Winter has arrived here in the Pittsburgh area and it comes with challenges to keep your basement and foundation safe and dry. Because ice and snow are water in solid form, it may seem that waterproofing your home’s foundation is not as much of a concern in the colder winter months but, well, it is.
Winter Water is Extremely Damaging
We all know that Pittsburgh winters are unpredictable, one day it is snowing, the next freezing rain, just to finish off with sunny days that melt away all that ice and snow. Then repeat! This back and forth means there is a lot of water during winter causing major damage to your foundation and basement walls.
Water expands as it freezes. So, as melted snow and ice hits the ground and seeps into the soil around your home, it will get into all the cracks and open areas of space. When temperatures dip below freezing, the water will freeze to ice and expand, moving the soil along with it, putting pressure on your foundation walls. This is the freeze-thaw cycle.
Another issue is ice melt from your roof. Heat from your home can cause your roof to warm up and melt the snow that has landed there. The melted snow then runs down to your gutters and can refreeze, causing what’s called an “ice dam”, clogging gutters and downspouts. What happens then as more water comes off the roof with nowhere to go but into the soil around your home where the freeze that cycle strikes again!
Winter is Here, Now
The time is now to take steps to protect your home from the months of cold and freezing precipitation to come. The most effective thing you can do to protect your home from winter water is make sure your basement stays as dry as possible. If you notice water on the floor, peeling or bubbling paint or the