During the winter months, a few warm days can feel like a welcome respite from cold winter weather, but temperature fluctuation spurs the freezing and thawing cycle and can harm your foundation.
West Virginia’s mountains mean the state experiences drastic weather changes. As the mercury dips and rises, the ground beneath your feet is reacting.
Cycle causes ground to expand and move
When temperatures are above freezing, water from rain, snowmelt or runoff finds its way into cracks and crevices in the ground.
That water will freeze when the temperatures dip below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Frozen water expands about 9% in volume. That’s one of the reasons ice in a glass takes up more space than water alone.
As the frozen water expands, it separates and shifts the ground, leaving behind bigger cracks when the water evaporates.
The freezing and thawing cycle repeats, each time expanding cracks more and more.
The shifting ground is tough on your foundation. Movement from the ground beneath can cause walls to bow and buckle. The movement can crack your foundation floors or walls and cause other structural problems at your home or business.
Preventative measures can protect your home
To prevent the natural frost-thaw cycle from seriously damaging your house, homeowners can take preventative measures including:
- Ensure the basement of your home is well below the frost line.
- Make sure your gutters drain away from the foundation
- Prevent water from pooling around your foundation by grading topsoil so water is directed away from your home.
Have foundation damage? Contact the experts at Pat & Ricki’s Foundation Systems of WV
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