The Michigan Homeowner’s Guide to Winter-Proofing Your Foundations
Michigan winters have something of a reputation for being harsh. But us locals pride ourselves on our love for the bracing holiday weather. Shouldn’t our homes be just as prepared to handle the gray and windy midwest winters as we are? October is the perfect time to start winter-proofing your home for winter weather. Doing so will help you maintain the integrity of your home’s foundations and ensure your family stays safe and warm all winter long.
5 Tips for Winter-Proofing Your Foundations
As Michigan goes through cycles of rain and snow, the expansion and contraction of water in the soil can lead to a phenomenon called frost heave, capable of buckling and cracking your foundation. To help prevent frost heave and other winter-related foundation repairs, take these measures before the first freeze.
Clean Your Gutters
Your gutters are an important drainage system for your home, designed to direct water out and away from your foundation. As autumn leaves accumulate, ensuring that both your roof and gutters are clear is an essential part of your winter-proofing routine.
And don’t forget about your downspouts! Hose them out to clear any blockages and make sure that they properly route rain and melting snow away from your home. If your downspouts don’t carry water at least 5–10 feet out into the yard, consider adding downspout extenders for added protection.
Protect Against Frozen Pipes
Burst pipes can cause extensive water damage to your valuables—and to your home’s foundations. Before freezing temperatures arrive, check vulnerable pipes to ensure that they’re properly insulated. Throughout the winter, keep your home’s core temperature above 55°F to keep those pipes fully functional.
Slope Your Soil Downward
Landscaping is a sometimes-overlooked element of your winter weather preparedness plan. The soil surrounding your home should be graded in such a way to assist your gutters, sloping down and away from your home.
Over time, erosion can cause the soil to shift, taking foundations with it. To prevent water from collecting and seeping into your home, make sure that soil slopes away from the foundation 6 inches down for every 10 feet of yard.
Upgrade Your Drainage & Waterproofing
One of the best ways to prevent frost heave from damaging your foundation is to have your crawl space or basement waterproofed. Waterproofing helps keep all of that excess moisture caused by rain and snow from penetrating the porous concrete your home stands on, extending its longevity and preventing costly repairs.
For houses with basements prone to cracks and leaks, improved drainage systems like sump pumps and backup systems are another great investment to consider.
Inspect for Warning Signs of Damage
Once you’ve fortified your home for winter, keep an eye out for signs of foundation damage. You may need foundation repairs if you notice:
- Doors or windows that become difficult to open or close
- Cracks developing over doors, windows, or where walls meet ceilings
- Floor tiles with cracks, especially when they’re laid over concrete
Call a foundation repair specialist right away if you notice any of these changes in your home.
Enjoy Michigan’s Winter Wonderland
Winter should be a time for family gatherings, outdoor adventures, and fun festivities. By taking these simple steps, you can prepare your home for any elements the Midwest may throw at it, and focus on enjoying the season. And if you do notice any signs of trouble during your winter-proofing, be sure to call the trusted professionals at Foundation Solutions 360!
Foundation Solutions 360: Experience You Can Trust
Veteran-owned and family-operated, Foundation Solutions 360 knows how important it is to have a warm and happy home for the holidays. For more information on guaranteed, budget-friendly foundation repairs in the Metro Detroit, Southern Michigan, and Northern Ohio area, call us at 855-532-5360 or contact us here for a free estimate.