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Help your house recover from the frost heave

Frost heave occurs when ice forms underground. As the frozen soil alternates between freezing and thawing, it can cause the very foundation of your house to change because frozen soil has about 10 percent more volume than dry soil. This can lead to serious structural damage to your foundation. Unfortunately, frost heave is not covered under most homeowner’s policies.

Frost heave can happen anywhere that experiences cold temperatures. Nevertheless, it is most common when a water source feeds into poorly drained or frost-sensitive soil such as clay and silt. (Generally, you can tell if you have these types of soils by touch. Clays are loose and will form a ball in your hand that crumbles when you poke it. Silts are made of small particles that feel slippery and sticky when are wet; they also resist water, so puddles often form on top of them when it rains.)

Wall cracks are a sign of frost heave. Cracks are most common on interior walls, but they can also occur on exterior walls. Other signs of frost heave may be cracked, tilted or shifted concrete floors.

If you notice any of these signs, you should contact a foundation repair specialist. Some of the long-term measures they can take to help your house recover from frostbite after eliminating any contributing water sources include:

  • Hydraway drainage system: They divert the water away from your foundation. In many ways they are similar to French drains ̵
    1; but manufacturers often claim that they are less likely to clog than French drains.
  • Spiral piers: They act as shoulders that carry the weight of your home.
  • Spiral wall anchors: They will permanently reinforce the foundation.
  • Soil stabilization: This process involves injecting polymers into the soil so that it will resist water infiltration.
  • Land compensation: This usually involves replacing poor soil with fill sand (a mixture of sand, dirt and clay that packs well) down to frost depth (this varies depending on where you live).

Heaving can also be caused by tree roots or pressure from nearby buildings. To find out what is causing damage to your house, be sure to contact a certified foundation contractor.

Although the frost pile is not covered under an ERIE homeowner’s policy,
contact us to find out in every way an ERIE policy Can
protect your home.

ERIE® insurance products and services are provided by one or more of the following insurers: Erie Insurance Exchange, Erie Insurance Company, Erie Insurance Property & Casualty Company, Flagship City Insurance Company and Erie Family Life Insurance Company (home office: Erie, Pennsylvania) or Erie Insurance Company of New York (home office: Rochester, New York). The companies within the Erie Insurance Group are not licensed to do business in all states. See the company’s licensing and business information.

The insurance products and rates, if applicable, described in this blog are effective as of July 2022 and are subject to change at any time.

Insurance products are subject to conditions and exclusions not described in this blog. The policy contains the specific details of coverage, terms, conditions and exclusions.

The insurance products and services described in this blog are not offered in all states. ERIE life insurance and annuity products are not available in New York. ERIE Medicare supplement products are not available in the District of Columbia or New York. ERIE long-term care products are not available in the District of Columbia and New York.

Eligibility will be determined at the time of application based on applicable underwriting guidelines and rules in effect at that time.

Your ERIE agent can offer you practical guidance and answer any questions you may have before you buy.

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