The freeze-thaw effect is a natural process that can cause serious damage to home foundations. In Minnesota, it’s one of the leading reasons for damage. We see every day the many issues it can cause, so it’s important to know more about it. 

What is the freeze-thaw effect? 

The freeze-thaw effect is a natural phenomenon that occurs when water seeps into cracks, freezes and then thaws, which causes more deterioration. This can cause damage to roads, buildings, and other structures. The freeze-thaw effect is most common in late winter and early spring, when temperatures fluctuate between freezing and thawing.  

How does it damage home foundations? 

The freeze-thaw effect is a common cause of foundation damage. When water in the soil freezes, it expands and puts pressure on the foundation. This can cause cracks to form, which can then allow water to seep into your basement and lead to flooding later on. As the water melts in the foundation, it can refreeze and expand again, causing the cracks to grow larger. Over time, this process can weaken the home and lead to serious structural problems.  

How can you tell if your home’s foundation has been damaged by the freeze-thaw effect? 

It’s common for foundations to experience some level of freeze-thaw damage. However, over time, this stress can cause cracks to form. If you suspect that your foundation has been damaged by the freeze-thaw effect, there are a few signs to look for.  

  1. Check for cracks in the foundation or walls. These can be either vertical or horizontal, and they may be filled with dirt or debris.
  2. Another telltale sign of damage is doors or windows that stick or won’t close properly. This is often caused by the frame shifting out of alignment as the ground beneath it moves.
  3. Finally, keep an eye out for gaps between the foundation and the framing of your home.  

If you see any of these signs, it’s important to have your foundation inspected by a professional as soon as possible. Left unaddressed, the damage will only become worse over time. 

What can you do if your home’s foundation has been damaged by the freeze-thaw effect? 

There are a number of things that can be done to repair a foundation, but it will likely require the services of a professional contractor. Repairs for foundation damage include: 

  1. Any cracks should be repaired to prevent worsening damage.
  2. The area around the foundation should be graded so that water drains away from the house.
  3. A drainage system should be installed to help channel water away from the foundation. 
  4. Make sure that gutters and downspouts are clear of debris so that they can drains properly.  

A foundation repair expert can help with checking off these repair needs so you can feel secure in your home and its strong foundation. 

If your home has been damaged by the freeze-thaw effect, it’s important to take steps to repair it as soon as possible. By taking steps to protect your home’s foundation, you can save yourself from even more costly repairs down the road. Contact Concrete & Foundation Solutions for an estimate and to ask questions about whatever foundation repair questions you may have.