Wintertime tends to dry out your soil, which then compacts, and can cause your foundation to settle and sink further into the ground. Foundation settlement can cause gaps and cracks to form in your home, as well as other structural problems so it is best to get it checked out as soon as possible. A majorly damaged foundation can be very pricey be fix.
Foundation Settlement During Winter
Many people don't think about how any moisture in the soil surrounding your home can freeze if the temperature drops low enough. The moisture expands as it freezes, pushing against the concrete which causes it to heave. The soil will shrink back as it thaws again, causing the foundation to settle due to lack of support.
When cold temperatures cause the soil under your home to heave and settle, foundation cracks might form inside your home. These cracks can also form if moisture in the concrete itself freezes, causing it to expand and crack the concrete.
Leakage & Erosion
Foundation cracks caused by the freezing and thawing process allow for the perfect entry point for water. Cracks are probably the most common spot you'll find leakage during the first major rainfall after cold, dry weather. This is because the shrinking soil opens up voids where water can collect underground, increasing the hydrostatic pressure and erosion.
Root Damage & Concrete Upheaval
When the soil around your home dries out, the beautifully kept shrubs and trees surrounding your home will begin to search for water near where they are planted. The large roots could extend under your foundation, and push against the concrete, causing upheaval. This can lead to cracks, leaks, and other issues.