Repairing Winter Foundation Damage
Although Raleigh winter temperatures rarely dip below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, the winter weather can still do some damage. This includes winter foundation damage that you may not notice until well into spring. You may find issues in your basement, such as damp spots on your walls or cracks in cinder block mortar joints. These signs that water seeped into your foundation and froze require repairs and basement waterproofing to keep your structure sound.
Why are my basement walls leaking water?
Most homes built in the Raleigh area have some type of exterior basement waterproofing applied as part of construction. This basement waterproofing can include asphalt-coated sheeting or a plastic membrane. But over time, these materials break down. As they age, the barriers allow moisture from the ground to soak into the foundation. This moisture freezes in winter, expanding to create cracks and other winter foundation damage.
It is surprising how much water dwells inside a home’s foundation, particularly if your home builder used cinder block basement construction. Each of these blocks has two center openings where water collects but cannot escape. Even a solid concrete foundation is naturally porous and allows water to collect in these tiny pores. Whether the temperatures drop below 36 degrees for one night or multiple, water already in your foundation freezes, expands and causes winter foundation damage. The freezing water cracks mortar, shifts the foundation blocks and creates tiny cracks that only get bigger with time, ground shifts and more winter weather.
Signs You Need Basement Waterproofing
Winter foundation damage is not always the first sign that you need basement waterproofing. There are actually multiple ways you can tell that water is making its way from the outside to the inside of your home at ground level.
Signs you need basement waterproofing to prevent winter foundation damage include:
1. Structural Defects
Structural defects like cracks in basement walls clearly indicate your basement has a problem. Because soil expands and contracts on an ongoing basis, the pressure exerted on your foundation also changes. This pressure will make these cracks bigger, just like leaking water does. If you notice bowing walls or cracks forming in mortar or the walls themselves, call your Raleigh basement waterproofing pros for help.
2. Odors and Dampness
How your home’s bottom level feels and smells are two other signs of a leaky basement. When you walk into your basement, do you notice a change in humidity from other parts of your home? Is there a musty smell in this space? If your basement shows either of these signs of moisture, it is time for a basement waterproofing inspection to avoid big problems like mold and mildew growth.
3. Shiny or Stained Walls
When basement walls leak water, these leaks can leave shiny trails and stains. If you notice your basement walls sparkling, there are probably mineral deposits being left behind from water leaks. Call your basement waterproofing experts at Raleigh Waterproofing for an inspection.
Options for Winter Foundation Damage Repair
The best way to prevent winter foundation damage is through basement waterproofing. As mentioned above, many methods of foundation protection actually break down over time. This is why you should have your foundation regularly inspected by basement waterproofing experts.
Some of the best methods for basement waterproofing and foundation protection include application of a moisture barrier, so water does not get into your foundation, in the first place. Basement sealing for interior walls is another method for preventing winter foundation damage. There are also the options of a French drain to properly direct water away from your home structure and a sump pump to keep the basement dry.
If your home experiences winter foundation damage this year, it is important to call the pros of Raleigh Waterproofing as soon as possible. They can evaluate the damage and determine the best means of repair. They can also recommend the best methods for basement waterproofing to keep the same type of damage from occurring again next year