If you are worried about snow posing a danger to your home’s foundation, you’re not alone.
After all, the foundation is everything.
Many people cannot quite understand whether clearing snow from the foundation can save it from damage.
Others argue otherwise.
So, Should You Clear Away Snow from Your Home’s Foundation?
Yes. Snow can be very dangerous to your home’s foundation. It is not the snow that you should worry about but what comes out of it. Snowmelt. When the snow melts, it releases water that seeps down into your home’s foundation and causes many problems, including cracks and bowing of the walls. Worst of all, it can even cause the building to crumble down!
We’ll take a look at these dangers in this article and guide you on how to prevent snow from damaging your home’s foundation.
Seven Reasons Why Snow Will Put Your Home’s Foundation In Jeopardy
The foundations of most buildings are built with stone, concrete, or brick.
These materials are solid and formidable enough to withstand the ravages of weather elements such as falling snow.
Under extreme circumstances, however, the sturdiness of these materials can be compromised.
Such materials are porous and can allow water to sip through them hence jeopardizing the occupants of the building.
Water accumulating around the foundations can pose the following dangers to the home:
1. It Can Cause the House to Crack
Standing water from snow permeates the foundation materials and weakens them.
The result is the gradual development of cracks in the foundation. Eventually, the home can collapse.
2. The Heaving of The Foundation
Moisture seeps through the foundation materials and stays there.
In turn, the building accumulates more weight and causes heaving.
Such a phenomenon is equally dangerous as the building can even start sinking.
3. Snow Can Cause Bowing of the Walls
The rules of physics apply to the events leading to this dangerous occurrence.
When wet, dirt expands. The expansion of materials encompassing the building’s foundation exerts undue pressure on it.
Finally, the building will start bowing.
A bowed wall puts the building on the brink of collapse.
4. The Home Can Start Sinking
If the foundation of your building was not deep enough, snowmelt can percolate deep beneath the foundation materials and make the soil and rock down there moist.
A wet ground under the foundation can cause the building to gradually sink. It can eventually collapse.
5. Pressure from Melting Snow
As we mentioned earlier, snow melts with the slightest upsurge in temperature.
An unsteady change in temperature is dangerous to the foundation of homes.
Under worst-case scenarios, the damage can get to the basement of your home and put the entire building at risk of collapse or sinking.
Water from melting snow rehydrates the soil around the foundation and causes it to swell.
Swollen soil, in turn, exerts immense hydrostatic pressure on the building.
It may start small but eventually becomes a primary problem to deal with.
6. Flooding Crawl Spaces and Basement
No doubt melting snow releases a lot of water that can find its way into the basement and crawl spaces.
This is especially true if your foundation has developed cracks before. Snowmelt finds its way into the house through cracks and floods it with water.
Flood water in the basement or crawl spaces is utterly catastrophic.
Since most people use these spaces for storage, the ramifications of water here can be very serious.
Water will destroy property and make the place very unconducive.
It can equally destroy plumbing and electrical connections in these areas. Worse still, they can cause electric shocks.
How Can You Protect Your Home’s Foundation from Snow?
The best you can do to protect your home’s foundation from snow is to brace for winter.
During winter, snow falls massively and puts weak structures at their mercy.
So, you better get poised for what is to come by putting substantial preventive and protective measures in place.
1. Check Your Home’s Gutters
Gutters are installed on buildings to direct water away from the home’s foundation.
If you find that the existing gutters can no longer direct water away from the foundation, execute a thorough replacement as soon as possible.
2. Shoveling Snow
Snow accumulates overwhelmingly around the home’s foundation during winter.
This is inevitable. To minimize water seepage into the foundation, it is a good idea to keep shoveling it away daily.
It will greatly reduce the risk of water getting into the building.
Ideally, you will have to start by carefully clearing snow from the roof and then shoveling it away from the building.
Snow may not necessarily drench the foundation itself, but once temperatures rise and it starts melting, the damage will be executed.
Melting snow releases a lot of water onto the foundation and causes damage.
3. Execute Proper Landscaping and Maintain Your Home’s Drainage System
Another cool trick to keep water away from your home’s foundation is constructing a proper drainage system.
Make sure that they slope downwards to direct water away from the building.
This prevents snowmelt from getting anywhere near the foundation.
If you cannot do landscaping this way, look into utilizing a French drain.
It will serve the same purpose- keeping the foundation dry.
4. Waterproof The Foundation
You will have to waterproof the lowest foundation levels to prevent water from percolating into the heart of your home’s foundation.
What happens during winter is that the ground freezes due to dropping temperatures.
Frozen soil does not absorb water.
The result is the sheer retention of water in the foundation. This water idles around the foundation and slowly causes damage to the house.
Waterproofing the foundation is the best way to keep it at bay and secure the building from looming damage.
5. Putting Up Additional Support
Another thing you can do to keep snow at bay is to add additional support to the foundation.
In an aim to combat pressure that builds up from the outside, putting up additional support from the inside of the basement and crawl area helps to counter this pressure and keep the basement intact.
It prevents the building from crumbling down due to extrinsic hydrostatic pressure.
A Wall anchor is an ideal support material that can be used to mitigate this pressure issue.
Alternatively, you can contact wall experts who can help you determine the extent of the pressure the soil and dirt are exerting on the building.
They will be able to figure out the best wall support measure that fits your basement.
Wrapping it up
The foundation of your home is everything.
Snowmelt can be a huge menace as it compromises the strength of your home’s foundation.
Preventive measures that can help mitigate snow-related problems will save you money in the long run.
Stick to these guidelines and secure your home from unforeseen damage.