With the cold winter now behind us, so many people in St. Cloud, MN, are happy spring has come. They can now enjoy the sunshine and fresh air outdoors. But even as you join them, don’t forget that your foundation could be a casualty of the seasonal changes. Days are warming up, and in a matter of weeks, precipitation could give way to torrential rain. So you can expect lots of running water and soil to get wetter than usual.
Such seasonal changes can have far-reaching effects on your foundation. For this reason, you have to take measures to protect the below-ground areas from precipitation and flooding effects.
Signs of Foundation Damage
When you live comfortably in your St. Cloud, MN, home, you may not realize there’s a problem. Here are warning signs that your foundation is damaged:
- Windows that had no prior issues suddenly fail to close properly
- Cracks popping up on ceramic tiles over concrete floor
- Door fails to latch or jams regularly
- Steps pulling away
- Leaning chimney
- Cracks over windows, doorways and where the ceiling meets the walls
While some foundations are protected from precipitation and water, things can get out of hand when the rains start falling hard and moisture becomes a problem. The soil will soak in water and cause movement and hydrostatic pressure.
How to Protect the Foundation in Spring
Not exactly sure what you can do before we get to the peak of spring? Take the following measures.
Keep Proper Grading
Check the soil grading around your home. Is it channeling water to the foundation? If so, adjust the soil by raking or shoveling it before the rains start falling hard. But to be sure you’re doing it right, let a professional help you, especially if extensive landscaping is required.
Fix Cracks and Crevices
Cracks in your basement walls or foundation walls are often tell-tale signs of underlying issues. They may start small but widen with time. Such cracks may let in moisture from thawing frozen soil into the home and basement. The culprit is often the first expanding soil outside the home that exerts pressure on the foundation walls, causing them to lean, bow, or crack. Because of this, it’s best to fix them as soon as you can. Get in touch with your foundation wall repair contractor and seek their advice.
Remove Tree Roots near the Foundation
While trees beautify the yard, their invasive roots can go all the way down and start damaging the foundation. A few hours of work and the right equipment is all you need to cut the roots and stop them from causing damage. If you’re going to grow trees in the near future, ensure they’re several feet away from the home.
Reduce the Humidity
As days go by, moisture will start building up in the home. Humidity can be high and can cause damage to the foundation and basement walls. To prevent moisture issues, program the dehumidifier to 45% so it can start running once moisture starts building up.
Clean Out Your Gutters
Ensure gutters stay clean and debris-free. Unclog any that are blocked. Check to see if downspouts are angled a couple of feet away from your home. This will ensure any water from the melting snow on the roof gets channeled away.
Install an External Drainage System
Install external drainage around the perimeter of your home to help prevent rainwater from collecting around the external walls and entering your home. Drains also provide an easy escape for water. If you have a basement, consider installing interior drainage and a sump pump just in case the drains get overwhelmed or water seeps through cracks in the basement wall.
Cover Your Window Wells
If you have installed window wells to compensate for below-grade windows, make sure they’re fully covered and free of debris as well. These can be catch-all areas where water may collect as they seek an exit.
Clean Your Drains
Even if your water use won’t increase, you can expect rainwater to get into your main drain and storm drain as well as sewer lines. If these areas are blocked, you can be sure water can buildup and cause a spill or burst. Some of it may end up in the soil and seep through to the basement through cracks in your foundation.
Looking to protect your foundation from the wet and humid spring months ahead? Get in touch with us. We’re happy to complete a free foundation wall inspection and carry out repairs and other measures to stop foundation and water damage. Not sure what your foundation repair budget should look like? We can help you with that too! The first step is having us out for a free inspection, and our foundation expert will be able to provide you with personalized solutions to meet your repair and budget needs.