How Cold Weather Affects your Basement

January 14, 2021

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While wintery conditions may be great for snow days and winter sports, they’re less than ideal for your home’s foundation and underground basement. Frozen sump pump discharge lines, frost heave, and leaks can all be caused by the lower temperatures and the precipitation of winter. Below are a few tips to help preserve your home’s foundation and how to spot damage before it becomes catastrophic. 

Frozen Sump Pump Discharge Lines

Your sump pump is integral in keeping your basement dry by pumping water out of your basement. However, in winter the discharge line leading water away from your home can freeze and become blocked, which can lead to flooding. Luckily if you make sure your discharge line is placed at a downward angle, water can’t collect in the line, meaning it can’t freeze and cause a blockage. Regular inspection of your discharge line can help make sure there are no blockages.   

Frost Heave 

Think about uneven or cracked sidewalks. The forces causing damage to those are the same ones your home’s foundation endures. Frost heave occurs when water in the ground freezes and expands the soil, putting pressure on your home’s foundation. This can cause cracks in the walls, floors, and ceilings, which can lead to further (expensive) damage. Contact a professional if you notice cracks in your foundation; this can save you, and your home, in the long run. 

Leaks and Seepage 

Winter weather doesn’t just cause issues when it’s cold. Once it starts warming up, water in the soil and snow on the ground melts. This water can create pressure that can cause cracks or seep into your home’s foundation through existing cracks. Peeling paint, musty odors, and dampness are signs water may have seeped into your basement. Installation of a French drain and regular inspections, as well as any needed maintenance, can help save your home’s foundation from seepage damage.  

At DriBot, we can’t change the weather, but we can help you monitor for signs of weather-related issues to your home’s foundation. Our temperature sensors let you know if your water lines are too hot or too cold, and if the space around your sump pit is above or below where it should be. Our optional waterline monitor can also check for blockages and leaks. And if an issue is detected, DriBot’s mobile app will let you know so you can catch damage before it spreads into a bigger issue. 

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