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Welcome to our July 2017  issue ” How Weather Affects Your Homes Foundation”.  The information I will be providing is relevant to all home owners, property managers, and contractors. Please forward this information to friends, families, and colleagues so more people can be informed.
Thank you,
Mahmood Dewji

How Weather Affects Your Homes Foundation 


While we tend to think of our homes as impervious to the elements, concrete slab foundations are susceptible to Alberta’s unique weather conditions. This is especially true when you consider the weather extremes like severe thunderstorms, winter freezing, extreme heat, and as we have experienced recently, excessive rainfall.

Excessive rainfall (or extreme over-watering), causes the soil to expand, especially if the soil is comprised of mostly clay. Clay has an excellent capacity to absorb very large amounts of moisture; and swells as a result, which can add pressure underneath and around the foundation. In times of large rainfalls, make sure water runoff drains away from your home’s foundation. After a rainfall, go outside and look for water pooling in areas next to your home, mark any areas of puddling, and fix the drainage as soon as you can.
Alternately, clay also has an excellent capacity to shrink when it becomes very dry.

In times of drought, just look at the soil and the large cracks that appear. Imagine this same cracking, due to shrinkage in the soil under your home; and it is easy to imagine how it can lose some weight-bearing capacity. When seasonal dry spells are combined with extreme heat, drought conditions result. Did you know that extreme drought conditions can also drive nearby trees and shrubs to extend their roots under your home, further drying and shrinking the soil? Using the right amount of  foundation irrigation can help maintain a more constant level of moisture, and root barriers can prevent intrusion from plant roots. 

While summer conditions generally cause the soil to contract, winter conditions cause the soil to expand when more water is retained in the soil. When expanding soil pushes a foundation upward, it is called heave. Unheated slabs on grade are susceptible to frost heave—when ice forms within the soil and increases its volume. During extreme cold spells, keep an eye on outdoor faucets and your sprinkler system for cracks and freezes.

No matter what the season, periodically inspecting your home, inside and out, is the best defense to detect foundations problems early, or to prevent them altogether. Please feel free to contact Crackhunters to book a free foundation inspection. If you would like more information on our preventive measures to protect your foundation. We’re here to help. or 877-668-8860
Mahmood Dewji

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