Oklahoma’s winter weather is hard on a home. The rapid temperature changes, sudden freezes, ice storms, and shifts in wet and dry weather all add up to a rough time for your house’s foundation. Taking care of your foundation with preventative measures is a smart way to protect your home’s value and structural integrity.
At Edens Structural Solutions, we believe homeowners deserve to feel confident in their house’s strength and durability, especially during the cold winter months. That’s why we’ve compiled these handy tips for preventing the most common issues that can create damage from the chill of Oklahoma winters. Take these actions to prevent winter foundational problems, and feel safe and confident in your home.
What Causes Winter Foundational Damage
Before you begin problem-solving to protect your home’s foundation and prevent damage, it pays to understand why winter is so tough on a home. Get to know the most common cold weather causes of foundation issues, so you can avoid them.
The villain for a lot of foundation damage in Oklahoma is the changing amounts of moisture in the clay dirt. As temperatures fluctuate above and below freezing, so does the moisture in soil. Top layers of dirt freeze first; then the cold temps freeze lower layers of soil.
When this happens, the freezing water expands and pushes upward, causing the soil to heave upward too. This can crack concrete. If the soil shifts sideways in areas where movement upward is restricted, it can cause a shift in the foundation.
Another common issue in winter that can harm your foundation is the problem of freezing pipes, which can result when temperatures drop below 20-30 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s why insulation for your pipes is so essential. Not only do broken pipes cause flooding, but the flooding can weaken a home’s foundation as well.
How to Protect Your Foundation During Winter
Now that you know how cold weather can lead to foundation problems, it’s time to make plans that will prevent damage and keep your home safe and secure. Here are some simple, effective ways to avoid foundation damage.
Homeowners often think of their roofs when thinking about their gutters. But your drainage system serves another important purpose too — it directs water safely away from your foundation. So, clear out gutters and point the downspouts so that melting snow and ice drain safely away from your home.
Because soil can expand and contract, pushing on the foundation and causing it to shift, it’s important for landscaping to be carefully planned. Make sure the soil slopes downward, away from the foundation.
Prevent flooding near the foundation by ensuring that outside pipes are properly insulated. Keep your home heated to at least 55 degrees, even when you’re not there. Heed freeze warnings.
Don’t take things for granted — examine your home foundation regularly, especially if you see signs of possible structural problems, such as cracks in walls. When in doubt, bring in a professional team of foundation experts to assess your home and, if necessary, suggest a plan of action that protects your home.
Install Better Drainage
Consider what your home and yard need to lessen moisture’s effects on the soil near your home. Options for preventing damage can include installing French drains or similar systems that help create better drainage.
You can also look into the condition of your foundation’s piers. Proper use of piers can help shore up your foundation and manage the shifting of soil better, so that your home more effectively resists the effects of winter. When having your home’s foundation inspected, ask whether they recommend the installation of additional piers.
Pay Attention to the Warning Signs
When your home’s foundation is suffering from winter damage, you’ll start to see signs. So, pay heed and look for professional advice if the winter months start to result in issues like these:
- Doors and/or windows are hard to open or close
- Cracks appear in walls—especially over doors and windows, or where walls meet ceilings
- Floor tiles show cracks, especially if tile is installed over concrete
Get Peace of Mind by Calling on Tulsa’s Experts in Foundation Repair
Proper precautions can enhance the longevity of your home’s foundation and help prevent damage. But beyond following these tips, sometimes it pays to have a professional foundation repair company’s advice. If you’re noticing signs like wall cracks or leaky basement areas that make you wonder about your home’s foundation—then wonder no more. Call on Edens Structural Solution’s pro team for an inspection that can put your mind at ease.
Contact us today for a free estimate that will give you confidence in your home.