Seven Signs of Winter Foundation Damage

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

Get a Free Estimate

It’s easy to get excited about all that winter has to offer with snowfall and scenic views. However, you’ll still want to keep a close eye on the conditions around your home. While you likely won’t see as much rain as you did in the spring and fall, winter weather can still cause the hydrostatic pressure around your home to build up at a rapid pace. If you’re not careful, that pressure can cause your foundation to crack and the stability of your home to fall into question. 

basement cracks and leaks

Winter Signs of Foundation Damage 

As you’re looking out for foundation damage, what conditions should stand out to you? This winter, as you’re making your way through your home, you’ll want to watch for: 

Higher Levels of Humidity 

If you don’t have a hygrometer in your home, you may want to consider investing in one. These devices can help you determine what the levels of humidity in your home look like and whether or not they are on the rise. 

If you do have a crack or leak in your foundation, then you’ll notice the air in your basement or crawl space growing more humid. The stack effect will also drive that moisture into the rest of your home, making your space generally uncomfortable to be in. With a hygrometer in hand or a professional to guide you, you can determine what constitutes an unusual level of moisture in your home and how best to respond to that change. 

Difficulty Controlling Your Home’s Temperature 

It’s always a little difficult to keep your home as warm as you want it in the winter. If your HVAC system is constantly running, though, and your home never feels warm, then you may have a foundation condition on your hands. Leaks tend to make it more difficult for you to control the temperature throughout your home, as they add moisture to the air and allow warmer air to seep out of your home. 

Damaged Pipes 

If your foundation has cracked or started to leak, then your home appliances may be in danger. The extra moisture in the air can compromise the structural integrity of those appliances you use most often. They can also damage your pipes, lowering your water pressure and raising your water bill in the process. You’ll want to keep a close eye on your pipes for fractures or ice dams as the worst of the winter weather sets in. 

Uneven Floors or Bowing Walls 

The same moisture that can damage your pipes can also wreak havoc on your floor joists and other structural supports. As such, your drywall can start to separate from your wall, your walls can start cracking and bowing inward, and your floors can begin to sag and buckle. If you notice that your floor is squeaking more than it used to and that your walls, despite the weather, look frequently icy or damp, you’ll want to get in touch with a Springfield, MO, professional as soon as possible for a home inspection. 

A Tilting Chimney 

Foundation damage threatens more than just your basement or crawl space. If you let foundation damage go untreated for a considerable amount of time, then you can start noticing signs of your home’s failing structural integrity outside of your home. If your chimney, for example, appears to have cracked or started leaning in one direction, you can reach out to area professionals for a foundation inspection and potential repair solutions. 

Foundation Sinkage 

It’s not always easy to tell when or if your foundation starts to sink. If you take a gander outside of your home, you can keep a wary eye out for slipping walls or visible shifts in your landscaping. A foundation that’s cracked in one place or another can no longer bear the weight of your home as effectively as it once did. If there are gaps in the soil beneath your home, or even if the soil seems malleable, then your foundation can start to settle and sink deeper into the earth. 

When you reach out for a professional assessment, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss what piering or other repair options are available to you if you do think that your foundation may need to be supported. 

Mold 

While colder winter temperatures will make it difficult for mold to take root in your home, these growths can still crop up, especially if you’re actively trying to keep your home as comfortable as possible. Mold loves little more than a dark, damp, and warm spot to grow. If it has the opportunity to settle in next to a foundation leak, it will. 

The good news is that you can follow mold clusters to the site of a foundation leak. The bad news is that you’ll want to wait for a mold remediation specialist to remove that mold before trying to clear out the rest of your home. 

Don’t think that the colder winter weather has to put your home repair projects on hold. You still have the option to repair a foundation issue or to install home waterproofing measures even if the weather’s taken a turn. If you want help finding a leak in your foundation, or if you’re not sure what waterproofing measures might suit your home best, you can reach out to the professionals in the Springfield, MO, area. Our team at Foundation Recovery Systems will provide you with a free services quote after a personalized home inspection.