Water damage to the foundation can be very costly for homeowners. Whether it is caused by storms, heavy rainfall, or something else, it is very important to recognize the signs of water damage to your foundation so that you can react before it gets worse. There are also actions you can take to prevent foundation damage.
What Causes Damage to Your Foundation
There are many reasons why your foundation may get damaged. Here are a few:
Water on the surface:
There may be too much or too little water. If there is too much water, the soil will swell. If there is too little water, the soil will shrink. If the soil beneath the foundation settles, it can cause cracks and other damage. Also, if there are outdoor faucets and mismanaged water sources, they can cause damage to the foundation.
If the water is not draining how it should at your property, you may encounter foundation damage. Usually, it is a clog in the gutters and downspouts that causes this issue. You should always make sure that they are clean and unclogged and that the water drains away from the house. You can use gutter extensions and keep them 3-5 feet from the foundation. Also, the ground next to the house should slope away from the foundation, about ¼-inch per foot so that water can runoff properly.
Leaks from plumbing:
Sometimes it takes years to figure out that you have a leak, especially from sewage pipes or bathtubs. These leaks can erode the soil around the foundation.
Improper foundation construction:
At times, man-made materials and human error can lead the foundation to fail. For example, the amount of steel in a foundation will affect its structural integrity. If poor quality concrete was used for the foundation, it can be weaker which causes soil movement.
Improper soil structure:
Sometimes the soil below the foundation has a low density or isn’t properly compacted which can cause foundation damage.
If the trees near your house aren’t watered properly, they can take all the water from the ground which will cause the soil to shrink from the foundation.
There are some warning signs you can check for if you think you may have foundation water damage in your home. If there is foundational water damage, you need to call a professional to address the damage right away.
Warning Signs Your Foundation is Damaged:
Cracks in the foundation:
Cracks in the foundation can appear inside or outside of your basement wall. You can have shorter and narrower cracks which are not as concerning as longer and thicker ones. If you’ve experienced a flood or water leakage and you notice sudden cracks, that is a sign that you may have foundation water damage.
If you notice that your floors are uneven, this may be a sign of foundation damage. This is due to settling soil. You can test this by setting a marble on the floor and if it rolls, that means that it is uneven.
Peeling wall paint:
If you notice that paint is peeling off the walls, this could be a sign that you have foundation damage. This happens when concrete encounters moisture which prevents paint from sticking.
Stains on the wall:
Stains, dirt marks, or a chalky substance on the walls of your basement may be a sign of cracks in your foundation.
Gaps in windows and doors:
If windows and doors are not opening or closing properly or are sticking out of the frame, this may be a sign that your foundation is damaged.
Issues with mold and mildew:
Consistent issues with mold and mildew in your home may be due to cracks in the foundation that wick water up from the soil underneath. Mold spores spread quickly and cause further damage to your flooring and furnishings if left untreated. It can also cause health issues if you have prolonged exposure to it.
Sometimes water can move soil which can cause tree roots to penetrate the foundation. This can lift the foundation and warp and move walls in your home and cause them to lean. This can eventually cause the wall to collapse. You may also notice a bulge or horizontal cracks in the wall in the middle.
There are a few ways that you can prevent water damage to your foundation. When you properly care for your foundation and basement, you can avoid issues with water damage. This is what you can do to prevent water damage to your foundation:
Get rid of extra moisture:
Make sure that gutter downspouts are away from the foundation. There should not be any puddles near the house during or after rain.
Water your foundation and lawn:
If there are seasons where it is extremely dry outside, make sure to water the foundation to avoid the soil shrinking. However, you should never water the space between the dried soil and the wall of the foundation.
Add plants and trees:
Be careful when purchasing and planting trees and plants. You should always consult a professional before you choose a specific plant or tree to plant near your home. Some trees and plants can damage your foundation due to their roots. Make sure to always plant trees away from the home or the sewer line if you think they will grow to a significant height.
Have plumbing inspected annually:
You should always have your plumbing inspected annually which will let you know if you have any issues with piping or sewage which can help prevent water damage to your home.
Even if you take all the precautions to prevent cracks in your foundation, it can still happen. This can be very costly to fix and very stressful. If you think you may have water damage in your foundation, make sure to contact our professionals right away. We will do an assessment of your property and let you know what type of repairs are needed.
Our technicians specialize in removing moisture and repairing the damage caused by the water to restore your foundation back to its original state. For more information, make sure to give ServiceMaster by Restoration Contractors a call at (260) 420-1502. We are available 24 hours a day to provide water restoration services in Fort Wayne, IN and the surrounding areas.