Colorado is notorious for its hard winters. So, while there are many things you need to think about right now, it is important that you think about how you intend to protect your property’s foundation from ice this winter. Excess soil saturation and dampness may be damaging, but when this water freezes it only compounds the problem further causing unique and new damage while exacerbating existing issues.
Why You Should Keep Ice Away from Your Foundation
The most obvious problem with large amounts of ice surrounding your foundation is damage to the structure of your home. This can happen in a number of ways.
First and foremost, when the water in the soil under your home freezes, it expands and heaves upwards. This can displace and damage your property’s foundation as well as exacerbating existing cracks and damage. This, in turn, can lead to issues like uneven floors, bowing walls, standing water, mold formation, and musty odors in your basement. In fact, increased dampness and water in your home can also attract pests, especially in the winter months when Colorado Springs, CO, regularly sees temperatures well below freezing.
So, as you can see, it is advisable to keep ice away from your property foundation where possible. Thankfully, there are a number of ways in which you can do this.
4 Simple Ways to Protect Your Foundation This Winter
Some of the most effective things you can do to protect your home from the worst of the winter weather should be undertaken in mid to late fall. Other tasks will need to be done repeatedly throughout the winter.
Clean Your Gutters
First and foremost, you should make sure that your home is able to cope with rainfall and snowmelt when spring comes. Debris in your gutters will freeze solid, blocking them and causing water to back up onto your roof (which is very damaging) and overspill to pool by your foundation. If you ensure that they are free from blockages, however, you can be sure that they will funnel the majority of water away from your home.
Clear Window Wells
If you have below-ground basement windows, you should take the time to clear out the window wells before winter. Any water trapped in these wells will freeze and expand, putting pressure on your windows. Worse still, it could freeze them shut which is very dangerous if these are egress windows.
Schedule Regular Maintenance
Make sure that any waterproofing products you have in place already, such as sump pumps and dehumidifiers, get their annual checkup. This will ensure that they do not break down when you need them most. Your sump pump, in particular, should be fighting fit for winter. Once your scheduled maintenance is over, however, be sure to keep checking the exterior discharge line to ensure it has not frozen as this will cause water to back up into your home.
Shovel Away the Snow
Once the snow starts to fall, add your perimeter to the list of areas that need to be cleared. It may seem like a big task, but it is well worth it. By clearing snow away from your property walls you can ensure that the majority of water runs away from your home when the snow thaws. This will prevent ice buildup during sporadic freezes, of course, but it will also protect your home from excessive soil saturation in spring.
Taking on these simple tasks will greatly improve your chances of getting through the winter with minimal damage and disruption to your home. Of course, if you do notice damage being done this winter, or if you see existing cracks getting bigger there is one more thing you can do.
Call in the Professionals for a Long-Term Solution
If you are worried about the health of your property and foundation, do not hesitate to bring in professional help! An expert will not only be able to assess the extent of damage, but they will be able to suggest reasonable and cost-effective solutions. Booking a free inspection with Complete Basement Systems is quick, easy, and comes without any obligation to book repairs. Nonetheless, this will give you the information required to make an informed decision as to what is best for you and your home.