Water Damage Foundation. Tips From Professionals
Water damage can cause serious problems to the foundation of your home. If water gets to your foundation, it can cause your home to shift and even cause the wooden aspects of it to rot. Protecting your home from water damage will help reduce the need for costly repairs. Understanding the signs of water damage and the things that cause it can help you keep your home’s structure safe.
Water Damage Foundation
Generally, there can be several signs of water damage to your foundation. Certain cracks, standing water in the basement, stuck windows, rotten wood, mold growth, or flooding outside. If you notice any signs, it is essential to act quickly. The faster you fix the problem, the cheaper it will be. Several methods protect your foundation, like root barriers, gutters, or a suitable drainage system.
In this blog post, I will explain in more detail what the signs of water damage to your foundation are. Several frequently asked questions, like how quickly water can damage a foundation, will be answered. And several methods how to prevent water damage to your foundation will be shown.
- 1 Signs Of Water Damage To Foundation
- 2 How Quickly Can Water Damage a Foundation
- 3 Water Damage Foundation Repair
- 4 Water Damage To Concrete Foundation
- 5 Water Under Foundation Slab
- 6 Water In Foundation Trenches
Signs Of Water Damage To Foundation
If you are worried that your home may be at risk for water damage to the foundation, be sure to watch for some of these signs, so you will know if your home is at risk or if it is in need of repairs. Catching the damage before it becomes too severe is essential.
You may notice a lot of small cracks in the concrete of your foundation, but as long as they are small and run vertical, they aren’t anything to worry about. If the cracks appear to be horizontal and seem to be getting deeper or spreading, they could signify that your foundation has water damage and is putting stress on the concrete blocks. Cracks that are not severe can be filled in, but others will need to be reinforced.
If you are unsure, ask a professional for help. Maybe it is nothing. But if something is not ok, the sooner you find it, the cheaper it will be to fix.
● Standing Water In The Basement
Any time there is standing water in your basement, there is a chance the water could be seeping into your foundation and breaking it down. The longer the water is standing, the more likely it is to cause foundation damage. Flooded water should be pumped from a basement as soon as possible to avoid more severe structural damage.
● Stuck Windows
When the foundation is damaged, the house can start to shift or move. This can cause the walls to fall or hang incorrectly, which results in windows and doors not lining up properly. You might see caps in your windows and walls, gaps in your door frame, or even cracks around the windows and doors. Your doors and windows might not open or shut, or they may not stay in either position on their own.
● Rotten Wood
Rotten wood can occur as the water gets into the foundation and starts to damage the frame of your home. You may smell the wood, notice it’s wet and chipping, or see soft and dark spots. These are all signs that the wood is starting to decompose and may be swollen with water. Drying out wood could reduce the amount of damage and rot that occurs, but in my experience, once the wood starts to rot, the structure may need some serious repairs.
● Mold Growth
Mold grows in damp and moist places. If you’re seeing patches of mold growing around the base of your home or on the foundation, there is likely water damage. Of course, mold can also grow if the basement is simply damp, but the longer it stays wet, the more likely it will be for the foundation or the structure of the home to have damage.
● Flooding Outside
When your home is flooded and the basement fills up, the water could move to the outside. This can also happen in the opposite way with the outside flood first and moving into your basement. If you see standing water outside your home, it could be pushing against your foundation or leaking into it and causing water damage. This could also be a sign of poor drainage, which means your home is even more susceptible to water damage.
How Quickly Can Water Damage a Foundation
Water can start to damage the foundation as quickly as 24 to 36 hours. The longer the water is standing, the more damage will occur. The amount of water can also play a role in how fast the water damage occurs. If you see standing water in your home, you should act quickly to remove any water standing in your home or outside.
Of course, there are situations with standing water for a much more extended period without significant damage. This greatly depends on the construction, the materials used, and the amount of water.
Water Damage Foundation Repair
If your foundation is damaged by water, you have two different repair options. The one that is used will depend on the severity of the damage as well as their preference. I personally often use a method called slab jacking. This method works best on small slabs or areas where there is only a small amount of damage, and it is not too severe. Holes are drilled into the concrete, and the cement is added to holes. The cement mixture will add some support to the structure and help stabilize it.
The other method is called Hydraulic Jacking. This involves jacking up the concrete and driving in piers that are made of steel and will help add some stability to the foundation. Special brackets are also used to keep the piers in place and add some level of stability. This method is a little more difficult and requires more expensive tools. It is only used when the damage is severe, and slab jacking is not an option.
I always recommend asking a professional for help. He can check your specific situation and come with the best solution.
Water Damage To Concrete Foundation
Water damage to the concrete foundation is very common, but there are some things you can do to prevent it.
● Root Barriers
If you have trees in your yard or your neighbor has trees, the roots could be pressing against the foundation. This could lead the foundation it to move or crack. Root barriers will prevent the roots from reaching your foundation and could help prevent problems that might make water damage more severe.
Putting cutters on your home will help route rainwater to drains so the water won’t collect around your home’s foundation and seep into it. If the gutters on your home are broken or are not working right, they may need to be replaced. If you do not have a gutter system on your home, you may want to install one to prevent draining water from damaging your foundation.
● Drainage System
The goal is to keep water away from your home and the foundation. The best way to do that is with a proper drainage system. The ground around your home should gently slope away from it, so the water naturally runs off away from your home and in a different direction.
● Maintain Temperatures
If the temperatures in your home change often, they could also affect the foundation. Temperatures can cause the foundation to shift and crack, which means water can find its way inside and cause problems. Keeping your home at a steady temperature when possible will help reduce the chances of this type of damage.
● Plan For Inspections
The best way to avoid a problem with a water-damaged foundation is to prevent it. You can have your home regularly inspected to avoid problems. An inspector will tell you if your home is at risk for water damage and help you come up with things to do to prevent it from becoming worse or occurring at all.
Water Under Foundation Slab
Water can seep under your foundation slab and cause many problems. It can cause the home to move around and shift and allow water to seep into other areas of the home and cause damage. Luckily, there are some ways to prevent this from happening.
● Redirect Water
You can dig a slope to redirect the water from the slab, so it won’t be able to drain under it. You will need to create a slope that keeps the water from running towards the slab but instead directs it away. You will need to make sure the slope is moving the water to a safe place and not to a neighbors yard where it could damage another home or to another area of your yard where it could flow back to the foundation.
● Feel Trenches With Gravel
If you have a trench around your home and foundation, you will need to feel it will gravel to help prevent water from pooling around it. You can also add a pipe to the trench and then cover it with gravel for the same effects.
● Clean Gutters
If your gutters are full of debris and leaves, they may not be routing the water in the correct place. Water can overflow instead and then end up under the foundation slab. Keeping the gutters clean and ensuring they are working will help. I recommend that anyone who has
Water In Foundation Trenches
If the trenches around the home’s foundation are filling with water, you may need to create a French drain system. You can do this by adding a pipe with small perforations around the trench and then filling it with gravel. The pipe will allow the water to drain so it does not sit next to the foundation in the trench.