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We've had yet another thaw this winter followed by a deep freeze and a common issue that causes cracks in foundations is the freezing and thawing of moisture in the soil around your foundation. Cracks are started when the concrete of your foundation, which is porous, has water in it that freezes. Freezing water expands and causes deterioration of your foundation. With multiple freeze-thaw cycles like we're getting this winter, this process is repeated many times. Eventually, these cracks can get larger and become a real problem with the stability of your foundation.
 
The culprit in this cracking is excess soil moisture. Depending on factors like the drainage of your soil and how well the water coming off your home roof is routed away from the foundation could determine how much water is getting access to your home foundation. If you've seen how an overfilled ice cube tray freezes, then you've seen freezing water at work. Water is one of the few liquids on earth that expands when it freezes and there is very little, including concrete that can resist the pressure of the force of freezing water. 
 
A well-graded property, combined with well-maintained water spouts from roofs with water directed away from the foundation are great ways to reduce the water in the soil around your foundation and hence reduce the chance of cracking. Keep your foundation dry and safe, and your home investment will stay sound! If you're concerned about foundation problems with your current home or an upcoming home purchase, have us inspect your property and give you a full report. 

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Keith Langlois

RHI | NHI

Registered Home Inspector
National Home Inspector
Licensed Electrician