Winter in the North Eastern US, as well as the North and Mid-West, can be a dangerous time for your foundation.
Temperatures sway between freezing and cold. But, what most home owners do not realize is that winter is typically humid as well. We just do not feel the humidity because the temperature is so low.
Every time it rains or snows, the humidity level is high. This presents two problems for your home:
1. Humidity will make your foundation feel damp, cold, wet. This is the first step toward mold and mildew growth.
2. All of that rain and snow gets into the ground around your home. The soil will do it's best to filter the water down, deep into the Earth. But, most of the soil around your house is heavy with clay.
Clay has really poor drain. The water stays in the soil, causing expansion. Now, when the ground is frozen, it is contracted. But, soon spring rolls around, the temperatures rise, and the soil will expand, putting a great deal of pressure on the walls of your foundation and foundation.
That pressure leads to cracks forming. Once cracks take root, even tiny cracks, water can start to push it's way in, causing all kinds of damage.
How To Protect Your Basement in The Winter
1. Have Your Basement or Crawl Space Inspected
This is an easy, but often overlooked, way to save yourself tens of thousands of dollars in repairs down the road. Having an expert inspect your basement walls, floors, and / or foundation is a great way to stop problems before they get worse.
Some companies offer free inspections, others charge a small fee. Even if it costs a few dollars to get the inspection, it is a very wise investment that can save you thousands of dollars in the future.
2. Clean Your Drains
If you have exterior drain (in your yard, driveway, near your foundation) have the drains cleaned. Clogs are a huge reason for back ups, pipe breaks, flooding, and damage to crawl spaces and basements.
3. Put in Extra Drainage
This is a larger investment, but one that will pay off with a huge return. Better drainage means your yard, driveway, foundation, and foundation will not be effected by excess water when it rains or snows.
Better drain will carry water away from your home, safely removing it from the soil, and relieving pressure on your foundation.