Ground frost could crack your foundation - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Ground frost could crack your foundation

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As if we need any more reminders this winter has been freezing.

"Since we've had extensive cold weather and we got that relatively early before we got snow, the frost drove really deep." Said Ryan Ollerich with American Technical Services, Inc.

He said the frost is around five feet deep, but most foundations are built to code, which only accounts for frost being about three feet deep.

That difference can cause some problems.

"Foundation cracking in the foundation walls. Mainly if there's enough movement you'll see sheet rock cracking on the inside, bud and tape joints ripping, tearing, pulling." Ollerich said.

He said the codes are set for averages and this winter has been below average.

But, until that snow melts there is not too much you can do.

"As far as preventing it, no there's nothing you can do. That's where Mother Nature comes in and that's why snow is better. If you can get snow early on, that helps keep the ground insolated and keep that frost from driving down." He explained.

So the best thing you can do when spring decides to show up is check your drainage.

"The more water that runs away, you're going to have a decreased chance of frost because you get a lot of those freeze thaw cycles during the winter and anything you can do to help shed that water and keep it away from your foundation is a good thing." He said.

If you see a crack in your foundation Ollerich said to simply put a line across it and check back every so often to see if there is more movement.

He said not to get it fixed until all the frost comes up.

Then call a structural engineering or construction company to make sure your house is still structurally sound.

Fixing your house all depends on how much movement there was.

The fix could cost you a few thousand dollars.

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