HOW TO SPOT THE EARLY SIGNS OF FOUNDATION DAMAGE DURING WINTER MONTHS
January 24, 2024
Winter in Alberta can be harsh and unpredictable. Its effects can pose daunting challenges for your foundation. One day it can be plus five and the next day you’re in the middle of the coldest week in the last forty years. In Edmonton alone, the temperature swing in forty-eight hours can exceed fifty degrees Celsius! Freeze and thaw cycles, snow and ice accumulation, and moisture and humidity changes can all affect the stability and integrity of your foundation. That’s why it’s important to take preventive measures and be aware of the early signs of foundation problems.
Foundation damage in winter is not unlike what we see in other seasons, but it may be easier to spot due to extreme winter conditions. Some of the common things to look for are:
Cracks in the walls, floors, or ceilings
Cracks are one of the most obvious and visible signs of impending foundation failure. They can appear in varied sizes, shapes, and locations, depending on the type and extent of the damage. Damage can be caused by the expansion and contraction of the soil, excess hydrostatic pressure, or movement of the foundation. Eventually, cracks will allow water and moisture to enter your home, causing further damage and health risks.
Doors or windows that stick or don’t close properly
Especially noticeable in older homes, doors or windows that are hard to open or close, or have gaps or misalignments, may indicate that your foundation has shifted or settled. This can affect the frames and hinges of your doors and windows, making them uneven or warped. It goes without saying that doors and windows that don’t seal properly can also increase your energy bills.
Gaps between walls and floors or ceiling
If you notice any gaps or separations between your walls and your floor or ceiling, it may mean that your foundation has moved or cracked. This can create spaces where air, water, insects, or rodents can enter your home, causing damage and health hazards. Gaps can also affect the structural integrity and safety of your home, as they can weaken the support and connection of your walls and roof.
Sloping or uneven floors
If your floors are sloping, sagging, or uneven, it may indicate that your foundation has sunk or heaved. This happens when the soil under your foundation expands or contracts due to large temperature changes, or when water or ice pushes or pulls your foundation. Sloping or uneven floors can also cause cracks, gaps, and damage your flooring, furniture, and appliances.
Water seepage or moisture in the basement or crawl space
If you notice any water or moisture in your basement or crawl space, it may mean that your foundation has cracks or leaks that allow water to penetrate your home. This can happen when the snow or ice melts and accumulates around your foundation, creating hydrostatic pressure and erosion. Water seepage or moisture can also cause mold, mildew, rot, and rust, which can damage your property and affect your health.
Soil erosion or movement around the foundation
Signs of soil erosion or movement around your foundation may mean that your foundation has been compromised. This usually happens during thaws when water from melting ice washes away or displaces soil, creating voids or gaps under your foundation. Depending on severity, soil erosion or movement can also cause your foundation to sink, settle, or shift, creating cracks and damage.
If you notice any of these telltale signs this winter, don’t wait until they get worse. Call us today to arrange a free inspection. We can diagnose the problem and provide you with the most cost-effective solution.
At Shield Foundation Repair, we have the experience, expertise, and equipment to fix your foundation and restore your peace of mind.
Protect what matters most. Call us at 780 760 4900 or use our handy contact form to get the help you need today.