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Close up of stair step cracking on brick wall

Foundation Settlement During Winter Months

Foundation settlement can happen for a variety of reasons any time of year, and there are certain conditions you need to look out for during winter. Learn more here.

Close up of stair step cracking on brick wall

Whether your home is older or recently built, any home can suffer from foundation problems. There are many reasons for a home to settle and shift: wet weather, earthquakes, poor construction, expansive soils, and even cold, dry spells.

With your home being one of your biggest investments–both financially and emotionally, it is important to understand the signs of a structural issue. It is also important to have these concerns assessed by a foundation professional before they get worse.

shrinking soil

Dry Periods

During times of dry weather, moisture from the soil is removed, causing the clay soils to shrink and pull away from your home’s foundation. This effect creates a void which allows for foundation movement and settlement.  If your foundation isn’t supported properly, your home will begin to shift into the open space and cracks can begin to form.

melting snow with grass

Snow Melt

After a heavy snowfall (this will vary depending on your region), the snow that accumulates next to your home’s foundation can cause flooding. This also causes the soils around your home’s foundation to expand, filling the gap where the soils were once compressed. The water will choose a path of least resistance, applying hydrostatic pressure to your home’s basement walls. Stair-step, horizontal and vertical cracks may begin to appear along with your basement wall.


During times of cold weather, the typical morning frost may be damaging to your home’s foundation. Frost applies pressure to your foundation wall, especially if your basement is unheated. Frost can be powerful- it can cause shallow foundations to lift out of the ground, causing significant structural damage to your home.

Address Wintertime Foundation Settlement with Expert Help

Foundation settlement is dangerous for your home and for your family. Contact the expert team at Tar Heel Basement Systems today for a free foundation inspection and repair estimate! We will assess the condition of your foundation and recommend the solutions best suited for your home’s specific repair needs. Some of these fixes include helical piers, push piers, slab piers, and other foundation reinforcement measures.

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