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Seven Signs of Winter Foundation Damage

If you're concerned about your foundation’s ability to weather the harsh winter, then be sure to watch out for these various problem signs.

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It’s harder to conduct home maintenance during the colder months of the year—but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Winter weather can spell all sorts of trouble for your foundation. As such, you’ll want to take active steps to inspect your foundation for any signs that might indicate unwanted damage. 

Luckily, winter weather doesn’t stop the professionals serving the Baltimore, MD, area. If you think something may be amiss in your home, you can reach out to an expert at JES Foundation Repair for a home inspection and a free quote on those foundation repair solutions or basement waterproofing services you might need to bring your home back up to snuff. 

signs of foundation damage

Winter Signs of Foundation Damage 

Protecting your home from unwanted foundation damage can be a tricky matter. Luckily, there are some signs that give away a faulty foundation. As you’re inspecting your home this winter, you’ll want to keep an eye out for: 

Higher Levels of Humidity 

As moisture makes its way into your home, even in the winter, the levels of humidity in your home will start to rise. You can normally track these changes with a hygrometer, but you can also feel when the air in your home is getting unusually cool or moist. 

At face value, higher home humidity may not seem like a bad thing. If you don’t have an active dehumidifier in place, however, that increase in moisture throughout your home is likely a sign that your foundation has either cracked or sprung a leak. As such, you’ll want to take a look through your home as soon as you can so as to start investing in repair before the damage to your home can get worse. 

Difficulty Controlling Your Home’s Temperature 

Higher levels of moisture in your home will subsequently make it more difficult for you to control your home’s temperature. If you notice temperatures in your home fluctuating seemingly at random, you may want to take a look at your foundation. Not only can foundation leaks make your home less comfortable to live in, but they can also cost you a pretty penny as your HVAC system tries to compensate for the consistently too-cold temperatures throughout your space. 

Damaged Pipes 

Higher levels of moisture throughout your home can also put your pipes at risk. Your pipes are made out of sensitive materials. As such, their molecules will rapidly expand and contract when exposed to rapidly changing temperatures. If put under this kind of stress for an extended period of time, your pipes can start to fracture or crack. 

Cracked pipes are a problem for more than one reason, especially in the winter. If the leak inside of your home ends up resulting in significant flooding, you’ll not only have to contend with that water damage but also with any ice that freezes over due to the colder temperatures. Your water bill can also rise exponentially if you let these types of leaks go unchecked. 

Uneven Floors or Bowing Walls 

Moisture also makes it more difficult for you to retain your floor joists and other structural supports. Water and ice can seep into these more porous materials, rotting them from the inside out. As such, your floors and walls can start to sag and bow inward as the materials holding them up give out. 

A Tilting Chimney 

Your foundation isn’t just supporting the bulk of your home. Its health also correlates with the health of exterior home accessories, including your chimney. As such, you can look to your chimney if you want to keep an eye on the health of your foundation. 

If it appears that your chimney has started to lean or crack, then you’ll want to reach out to area professionals as soon as possible. Not only is a damaged chimney a sign that your foundation may be leaking, but a tilting chimney can cause serious damage to your roof and the rest of your home. 

Foundation Sinkage 

A cracked foundation can no longer support the weight of the home on top of it. As such, a damaged foundation is going to start settling or sinking in loose or gapping soil. 

Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to tell when your home is sinking. If you think something’s gone amiss in your home, take a step outside. There, you can more readily keep an eye on any soil that may be shifting or any foundational bricks that may have fallen out of place. 

Mold 

It is more difficult for mold to take root in your home in the winter, but that does not mean that it is impossible. Mold tends to serve as a prime indicator of foundation damage in your home, as it thrives when it has ready access to moisture, darkness, and heat. 

Note that if you find mold clusters somewhere in your home, it’s in your best interest to have a mold remediation professional remove them. While you can try to remove mold clusters on your own, you’ll need to make sure you have the right safety equipment with you to prevent yourself or your loved ones from accidentally getting sick. 

How Can You Protect Your Home from Foundation Damage This Winter? 

Hydrostatic pressure doesn’t stop working outside of your home in the winter. Luckily, neither do the contractors who can help you repair damage done to your foundation. If you find yourself contending with any of the aforementioned conditions, know that you’re not alone. You can get in touch with a professional working in the Baltimore, MD, area for guidance. After a home inspection from a JES Foundation Repair Expert, you can look over a free services quote to determine what kind of foundation repairs and preventative waterproofing measures might suit your home the best.

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