How Does Extreme Cold Affect Concrete?

The Effects of Cold Weather on Your Foundation in Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wyoming

During the wintertime, most people are too preoccupied with checking that their heaters are in working order to think about their home’s foundation. Although most homeowners do not think about it, cold weather can have a significant effect on your concrete foundation. That is why it is vital that you invest in foundation repair services. If a problem develops with your foundation due to the colder temperatures, it could lead to many other problems throughout the home. Rapid Foundation Repair can help you ensure that your foundation is solid enough to withstand the cold temperatures this winter and perform concrete foundation repair.

When it comes to already existing concrete, the freezing and thawing of the cold months can cause several issues. When the ground thaws, it contracts, causing the concrete above to settle. Freezing ground expands, which causes the foundation to heave. This can lead to uneven floors and cracks in the concrete.

New concrete also is affected by cold weather, which causes a need for concrete foundation repair. As the concrete transforms from a liquid-like material to a solid, it must be kept above a certain temperature, usually around 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit. As the concrete powder is mixed with water, a crystallization process begins. Cold weather slows down this process. Temperatures below 14 degrees actually halt the growth of the crystals, which normally grow for months after the concrete is poured. The growth of these crystals strengthens the concrete and helps it to stand up against pressure from freezing water. The more crystals that form inside the concrete, the higher compressive strength it will have.

Concrete Foundation Repair Solutions in Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wyoming

If concrete must be poured during cold weather, it should not be poured on the frozen ground since the ground will eventually thaw and create cracks in the concrete. The newly excavated earth should be covered with insulated blankets, which are removed as soon as the pouring has begun.

For foundation problems that have resulted due to cold weather, Rapid Foundation Repair has a variety of foundation repair solutions. These solutions include:

  • Helical Piers: These piers screw into the ground and are used to lift settling foundations. When a foundation settles due to temperature change, piers can be installed under the surface of the foundation to offer support. Helical piers anchor into the deep soil to provide a solid foundation for the concrete.
  • Steel Push Piers: These underpinning piers accomplish the same task as helical piers. The main difference is that instead of being screwed into the ground, these piers are driven in.
  • Wall Anchors: These devices are designed to fix shifting foundations by pulling the foundation walls back into place. They consist of two main parts, the anchor and the rod and plate system. The anchor is driven into the yard adjacent to the foundation wall. Then a rod connects the anchor to a plate inside the foundation wall, pulling the foundation straight.
  • Helical Tiebacks: Tiebacks are also designed to correct foundation movement. These work like large screws, screwing into the ground laterally through the foundation wall to pull it into position.

If you have noticed problems in your foundation due to the cold weather, contact the experts at Rapid Foundation Repair right away. We proudly offer foundation repair services to the states of Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wyoming.