Foundation Repair – Water’s Effect on Foundations

Posted on Posted in General Article

Water can be a foundation’s worst enemy – no matter if the foundation is a poured type or a block type. When water drainage is flowing in the wrong direction (towards the house), it can destroy a foundation entirely. Foundation repair will be an absolute must once water has taken its toll on a house.

Heaving – The Effects of Water

When water soaks into the soil that surrounds the foundation, and does not drain properly, the soil swells, and the expansion only affects that soil that is soaked. Other areas of the soil that remain untouched will not swell. The expansion causes parts of the house to lift. This lift is, naturally, uneven as it is only in areas where water has impregnated the soil – and it causes the foundation to lift awkwardly. This lift is known as “heaving.” Cracks and holes in the foundation are then seen as evidence of heaving.

Does Waterproofing Help?

Waterproofing a foundation helps a great deal, as prevention measures are key to avoiding costly foundation repair. Downspouts, proper sloping and grading techniques on the landscape, and pumps can all help to keep a foundation drier.

But waterproofing doesn’t always prevent damage – heavy flooding from summer rains, and the winter-to-spring melt can cause more water to surround the foundation than waterproofing techniques can handle. When that happens, the above heaving is often seen, and foundation repair is required in order to prevent the house from sinking, sloping, and severely depreciating in value.

Complications

There are several complications that can occur when water has affected a foundation. Bowing, tipping, cracks, and tilting can cause complications throughout the home. Suddenly, floors are sagging, and doors and windows that once simply slid open with ease are now jammed and stuck. This leads to a severely depreciated home value, and living in the house becomes less inviting.

When to Get Help

Even the handiest homeowner can run into trouble sometimes. When it comes to foundation repair, professional services are often necessary to ensure that the foundation doesn’t fall apart (literally!). Checking the basement and foundation for cracks, visible seams, and holes is an absolute must, particularly after rainfall and during the wetter months, when the soil surrounding the foundation is vulnerable to being soaked (think spring and summer, especially). If there are small cracks, get them repaired immediately. Large cracks in the basement walls or the foundation will require the help of a foundation repair service. No homeowner should try to fix a foundation alone.

Heaving repair can be costly if a homeowner tries to go it alone without the help of a reliable, professional foundation repair service. Should the person attempting the repair make a mistake or error in judgment on how bad the problem is, calling in a professional at a later date will cost much more, as the errors will have to be fixed along with the initial problem.

So don’t bet the house – contact a professional right away for an assessment.