3 Steps Toward a Healthy Foundation this Winter

by | Jan 9, 2018

What you can do to keep your foundation from buckling this winter

Winter months are hard on a foundation.

This is especially true in the St. Louis area, where we fully experience all four seasons. Each part of the year has a relatively high variance in temperature and rainfall, which has a significant impact on the density of our soil.

During the summer, soil usually dries out, causing it to shrink and shift around the house. When the rainfall comes in autumn, the soil expands once again. In the winter time, soil becomes durable thanks to the freezing temperatures. The soil then thaws out in the spring and the cycle begins once again.

This shifting ‘seesaw’ effect can put enormous pressure on your foundation if you aren’t managing the water properly. For instance, if water builds up in areas near your house, your foundation may be under pressure. Once that expanded soil freezes in the winter, the density will continue to push against for foundation and could ultimately lead to a collapse.

Dealing with the fallout of a major failure is expensive, stressful and time-consuming. Instead of waiting for that to happen, you can take charge of your landscape by organizing your drainage efficiently.

We firmly believe if you don’t manage water, water is going to manage you. With that in mind, here are 3 steps you can take to help you foundation out this winter:

Gutters and Downspouts

This may seem like a very obvious point, but so many people neglect this simple task and it winds up hurting them in the long run. If your gutters are clogged in the winter, and it can disrupt the drainage system around your entire landscape. Cleaning them out is a simple, quick thing you can do to keep your foundation healthy this winter.

Also, if you are using a black corrugated pipe you got when you moved into your home, we strongly suggest you switch to an updated PVC pipe with clean outs. We also suggest you find out where that water is going. That water could be leading nowhere productive and harming your foundation. If that is the case, you may want to disconnect those black pipes and get all the leaves out of there.

This simple proactive tip has helped homeowners everywhere avoid serious foundation issues.

Failing concrete

If you have a failing concrete slab in your home, it is usually best to remove it before the winter. This time of year is when the soil expands more and that has a serious impact on your home. Having a failing slab of concrete in your landscape makes this issue even worse.

We don’t always recommend pouring new concrete during the winter time, but you should come up with a plan of how you will replace your removed concrete.

Winter discharges from a sump pump

One last thing to consider is the sump pump in your yard, if you have one. Winter discharges form the sump pump are important on some homes because this allows the water to discharge out of the line if it freezes.

You should also keep an eye on any outside pumps. To prepare for winter months, we recommend applying heat tape to it so that it can stay warm and function properly during the coldest part of the seasons. When you get into the severe hard times and the ground is hard as a rock you want to make sure that pump in the line is all warm.


Don’t let these cold St. Louis winters do any damage to your home by taking proactive steps to prevent any damage. These simple guidelines can go a long way in defending your home from the elements.

At Waterproof Solutions, we offer professional foundation insight in the greater St. Louis area. To learn more about our services, give us a call today! We’re always happy to help by answering any questions you have or providing a service you need.