Winter Polar Coaster will be Hard on Foundations

The Farmers’ Almanac is calling for a 2020 winter of extreme fluctuating temperatures. The predicted phenomena has been dubbed a “Polar Coaster.” What will the winter weather mean for your foundation?

Two store home surrounded by piles of snow
Snow and ice around your foundation can increase the size of basement wall cracks.

Both the Farmers' Almanac and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently released their winter 2019-20 long-range predictions.

What will winter 2020 be like?

The 2020 edition of the Farmers’ Almanac predicts that two-thirds of the country will face a colder-than-normal winter season. The biggest temperature drops are expected in the northern Plains to the Great Lakes.

However, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says a warmer winter may be in the forecast. NOAA predictions say there’s a 40 to 50% probability of having higher than average winter temperatures.

The NOAA also is predicting higher than average precipitation in 17 states during the three month November-December-January period. 

NOAA is predicting higher than normal winter precipitation in a number of states. Map courtesy of NOAA.

Frost-thaw cycle creates basement cracks

In either case, fluctuating winter temperatures can be rough on basements.

The frost-thaw cycle, in which ground surrounding a home’s foundation freezes and unfreezes can be brutal for basements. (See Water is a Foundation's Biggest Nemesis.)

Concrete is a porous material. The pores allow water from ice or snow to enter the concrete. When that water freezes, it causes the pores to expand. When the ice or snow melts, those cares contract.

The alternating cycle of expansion and contraction creates small cracks and crevices. The small cracks allow even more water into your concrete foundation. Over time, those cracks can grow, causing foundation issues. (See 10 Ways Water Enters Your Basement.)

Cracks can lead to unstable foundation walls, leaks in your basement and other home issues.

My Foundation Repairs can help!

My Foundation Repairs has a network of expert contractors who can inspect your foundation and offer solutions for your basement issues.

Don’t let this winter’s predicted volatility further damage your foundation. Contact My Foundation Repairs today!

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