Foundation damage due to freeze and thaw of late winter all comes down to the water content in the soil around Pittsburgh. It’s similar to what happens when you fill the ice cube tray too full and the cubes come above the top. This is a common example of water’s expansion traits. Since soil holds water really well, when the moisture expands, so does the dirt around your home. This exerts a lot of pressure on the Pittsburgh area foundation walls, and the constant expansion and contraction of all the materials beneath the surface from freezing and thawing can even shift your foundation!
Regardless of your home’s age, this should be a cause for concern. Even when the moisture isn’t directly next to the basement, soil expansion can still have an impact. When pressure is localized on one part of the foundation, you’ll quickly see cracks in that section of the wall. This causes weaknesses that can slowly but surely affect a larger area. This deterioration of the concrete will let melt-water into your basement easily, causing leaks and water damage. The moisture sitting right on your foundation will exploit the weaknesses it creates.
Foundation concrete is a very porous material. It can easily be saturated with water. When this water freezes, it also makes the pores in the concrete expand, or get into existing weaknesses to make them much larger. While it won’t always cause immediate problems, over time the weaknesses in the foundation will get much worse. Even though older builds are especially prone, all concrete is susceptible to the damage caused by freezing and thawing.
If you give your foundation the right treatment, though, you could stop a lot of these problems before they get too severe.
We’re here for all of your Pittsburgh Area Foundation Repair and Basement Waterproofing needs!