We like to think that basement waterproofing is a one-and-done procedure that will wash away all of our water and dampness worries, but that just isn’t true. While basement waterproofing measures will help your home to stand up to dampness, hydrostatic pressure, and other environmental issues, extreme weather can overwhelm even the best measures.
When this happens, you need to know how to spot the signs of damage, and what to do to ensure that the damage does not spread and cause even more problems within your home.
What Kind of Winter Weather Can Damage Home Waterproofing Measures?
While Appomattox, VA, doesn’t often see severe hurricanes or huge storms, winter can nonetheless be hard on your home’s yard, foundation, and basement. The generally wet months, the sudden frosts and snows, and the strong winds that blow in from the north are a perfect storm when it comes to causing damage to a property and its foundation.
So, the kind of weather most likely to damage your home is cold, wet, windy weather, heavy rainfall, and sudden cold snaps and snowfall. The most common issues caused by this kind of weather are:
Heavy rainfall and wind can wash away the soil in your yard and cause erosion (especially if the soil is bare). Erosion can cause many different issues, but the most pressing is the fact that it will change the grading of your yard. This will impact the effectiveness of your drainage systems, increase the likelihood of soil saturation, and could even lead to an exposed foundation.
Excess Hydrostatic Pressure
All homes are subject to some level of hydrostatic pressure, but when soil saturates this will increase. An excess of hydrostatic pressure can lead to cracks in your foundation and bowing walls. Saturated soil also increases the risk of foundational issues like settling and sinking, and when a home sinks unevenly, certain parts of it experience disproportionate hydrostatic pressure, making them far more vulnerable.
Frost heave occurs when a snap freeze sets the top layer of soil before the deeper layers. As these under layers freeze, they expand and push the top layer up as a shelf. If this soil is uncovered, it will return to normal (relatively speaking) with the thaw. If it is underneath a structure, however, it can damage the foundation of a property and cause it to bulge upward, cracking as it does so.
Poured concrete may be one of the most popular building materials in the world, but it is also susceptible to dampness. As a porous material, concrete absorbs water. The water it takes on will eventually seep through to the other side. This water intrusion is far more likely and severe when the soil around your home is saturated.
The most common consequences of this kind of damage to your foundation and waterproofing measures are:
- Mold formation
- Bowing walls
- Spreading cracks
- Rising dampness
You can reduce the likelihood of experiencing these issues by maintaining your yard drainage systems, paying attention to your landscaping, and completing yearly maintenance on your waterproofing systems. Of course, even the most careful homeowner will face some issues at some point. When you see any of the red flags mentioned above it is best to contact a professional to ensure your home is properly assessed and repaired before the issues snowball.
If you are concerned about the health of your basement or you are worried that your waterproofing measures have been damaged, please contact the expert team at JES Foundation Repair to arrange a free inspection. All of our inspection appointments are thorough, come with no obligation to book repairs, and end with a written quote that details the cost of our recommended repairs and solutions.