Frosty the snowman was a jolly happy soul, with a corncob pipe and a button nose, and two eyes made out of coal. But once that jolly, happy soul starts to melt, it can cause villainous things to happen around your home. As homeowners, we often don’t think about the effects that rain and snow can have on our homes until we start to see signs of damage.
Things like wall and floor cracks, leaks in our basements, and other water damage can end up costly to repair and only be the root of the problem. Before these things happen, it’s advisable to protect your home with waterproofing solutions to preserve its structural integrity. Here are some of the ways that snow melt can affect the soil surrounding your foundation and how to prepare your home in the future.
Snow + Soil = Disaster
If you live in Cleveland, you’re no stranger to the heavy amount of snow the area receives each winter. Mix that with the heavy clay soil in the region and you have trouble with your home’s foundation. Since clay soil has poor drainage capabilities, it’s prone to soaking up water and expanding when overly saturated.
Once the spring season comes around, all the snow that has accumulated over the winter begins to thaw out and melt into the ground. This is also known as the freeze-thaw effect. When water in the soil freezes and turns to ice, it expands, causing problems within the soil and to your concrete, foundations, and basement.
Snowmelt can enter your home through tiny cracks in your foundation, flooding your basement and damaging your walls in the process. As time goes on, this problem worsens as repeated cycles of freezing and thawing add cracks to your foundation. To prevent this from happening repair any cracks you find as soon as possible. Basement waterproofing and interior drainage systems can also help prevent snowmelt damage from harming your home. Your gutters and downspouts should also be in proper working order to ensure any melted snow is directed away from your home. And finally, when the snow stops falling, shoveling it away from your home can also reduce the risk of flooding.
The Dangers of Hydrostatic Pressure
One of the main culprits of damage to your home within the soil is hydrostatic pressure. Hydrostatic pressure is caused by an over saturation of water within the soil that can’t properly drain. This leads to immense amounts of pressure being put on your foundation which ends up cracking the structure. If there are any small gaps or cracks in your basement, water will find a way in. Although many homeowners believe that their basement foundations are impermeable, they are still constructed of concrete which is a porous material. This means that even a well-constructed foundation is still prone to the damaging effects of hydrostatic pressure. To prepare your home against this, we suggest installing the following.
An interior drain refers to a drain system that goes around the perimeter of the basement. For the most part, the interior drain is a great way to help with water in your basement before it collects in the generalized interior of the basement. Specifically, an interior drain helps reroute water to a sump pump by collecting it around the perimeter of your home’s basement.
This type of drain is incredibly beneficial for many basements, especially ones that typically have flooding issues from the walls. With an interior drain, you no longer have to worry about water in the basement, especially if that water comes from the walls instead of the floor. Plus, you can install interior drains as part of a drainage system in general, rather than having to do it exclusively on your own.
Especially if you tend to have issues with your basement flooding, it’s important to install a basement sump pump to pump that floodwater out. If you don’t have a sump pump in your basement, any water issues in your basement will just stand there, causing recurring standing water problems. This can lead to all the issues you already saw tend to associate with standing water in the basement.
A basement sump pump is the perfect way to avoid basement flooding problems, especially if they happen to you regularly. Whether you live in an area that’s prone to heavy snow such as Youngstown, or you just have basement pipes that could burst and create flooding problems, it’s important to have a basement sump pump so you can handle it.
Although it shouldn’t be your only choice, a dehumidifier can be a great way to remove excess humidity from your basement. Dehumidifiers can get your basement humidity down to whatever relative humidity percentage you choose, which means you can fine-tune the humidity in your basement.
Of course, it’s extremely important that you remove the original source of humidity in your basement before you install a basement dehumidifier. However, if you already have something managing the water entry in your basement, a basement dehumidifier can be an effective way to then manage the humidity.
Protect Your Home From The Damaging Effects Of Snow With Help From OBS
If you’re tired of experiencing damage that melting snow causes your home every spring, consider calling the experts at Ohio Basement Systems to provide you with solutions. We have decades of experience specializing in foundation repair and basement waterproofing and are aware of the damage that snow and soil can cause to your home.
By setting up an inspection, we’ll look around your entire home for signs of damage and then provide you with a written estimate of our suggested repairs. We proudly serve all homeowners in Akron-Canton, Cleveland, Mansfield, and Youngstown. Don’t hesitate to protect your home and call the team at OBS today!