As the weather begins to cool down, you may notice a few problems cropping up around your home that you never see until winter. You may think it’s just the air or the temperature, but really it could be an underlying foundation issue. One instance of this is the occurrence of sticking doors and windows. In most cases of winter sticking doors and windows, they are due to what is called frost heave. Let’s learn a little bit more about this common winter foundation problem.
What is it? Frost heave is when the soil around your foundation or under your deck gets saturated with water from the snow and ice. It then freezes and thaws based on the changing temperatures. As it does this, it pushes up as the water expands into ice and thaws back down as it melts. This can cause huge lifts and falls for your foundation, and that can cause cracks and worse.
One of the first signs of frost heave this winter will likely be your doors and windows sticking when they don’t stick at any other time of the year. You may also see cracks above door frames on the wall or above or below windows. This is all due to the frozen soil pushing against your foundation and raising it up. It causes damage to doors and windows by changing the way they fit in the frame. The sticking doors and windows will not open and close properly because of this, but it’s not because something has changed about them. Rather because something has changed about your foundation. This is why it’s very important to have a professional, certified contractor perform a free estimate when you have issues like this around the home. They may be hard to spot to the untrained eye, but we see the smallest details that help us resolve the problem.
As in most cases of foundation repair, the actual sticking door will not be replaced because it is merely a symptom of the real issue. In the case of a frost heave, the footing needs to be deeper in the ground to truly support the home and not be affected by a frost heave. Depending on the situation, we would likely use push piers or helical piers (underpinning) to resolve the issue and give your home the stability it needs to withstand tough Kansas winters. However, each case is different and a free estimate from our team will give you the most accurate idea of what’s going on and how we can resolve it.