Protecting Your Home's Foundation
Water damage hits at the core strength of your house. It will eventually cause serious structural damage to your home's foundation. In fact, nothing damages and weakens more home foundations than water.
Damp wood invites termites and carpenter ants; plus, water damage causes mold and mildew. And major work on a damaged foundation can easily cost you $15,000 to $40,000. The good news is that there are several simple, inexpensive ways you can protect your home’s foundation from water damage.
For Expert Help Evaluating Potential Water Damage Call (860) 216-2785
Ensure Good Drainage
Creating proper yard drainage around your home is the best way to prevent structural foundation damage. Poor drainage weakens your foundation, causing cracks, uneven settling, and pathways for water to enter your home. You ensure good drainage when you:
1. Clean your gutters regularly.
A clogged gutter will send cascades of water down the side of your house.
2. Make sure downspouts direct water 10 feet away from the house.
During a one inch rain a typical home with four downspouts dumps almost 1,600 gallons of water. Some homes have underground extensions that lead to a dry well, bubbler pot, or discharge on a sloping lawn
3. Check the slope of your yard.
The yard should slope 6 inches down over a 10-foot span away from your foundation.
4. Check all plantings around your foundation.
Be certain that anything planted near your home’s foundation is not causing water to pool around the foundation. Some plantings can form a dam that traps water against your home’s foundation. Don’t plant trees or bushes with extensive or deep root systems near your home’s foundation.
Fix Water Leaks
Small water leaks can lead to big water damage in basement. Repair dripping pipes. Check for dark spots under pipes or on ceilings. Inspect your roof every six months for any missing, damaged or loose shingles. Ensure the flashing around your chimneys is tight. Check caulking and sealants for peeling and leakage and look for cracking on collars around vents. Prevent algae and fungus on wood shakes and asphalt shingles with zinc control strips.
Test Your Sump Pump
Don’t wait until a flood or other major water event to know if your sump pump works properly. Test it every year. During storm season test it more frequently.
Know The Signs of Foundation Water Damage
A quick visual inspection of your foundation and home can reveal water damage issues that you need to deal with sooner than later. Here are eight things to look for.
1. Fractured brick
Cracks in brick cladding may indicate a sunken footing. Look for “stair stepping” cracks near your windows and doorways, running vertically or diagonally near the ground and foundation corners.
2. Wet crawl space
Excessive moisture, staining, or standing water in your crawl space is a sign of foundation failure and may cause mold growth and poor indoor air quality.
3. Damp basement
A damp musty smell often means water is not draining away from your foundation.
4. Fractured basement walls
Expansive soil pressure or lateral earth movement may cause horizontal cracks and water damage. This may eventually cause the basement wall to bow inward.
5. Cracks in interior or exterior concrete
Uneven, sunken concrete slab, garage slab, separation of concrete slabs, steps, patio, or sidewalks may be signs of shifting soil or settlement. Any of these may cause water to enter your foundation or lead to rotting thresholds, mold, and poor indoor air quality.
6. Problem doors or windows
When doors and windows stick you may have warping or distortion of your home’s frame caused by foundation failure and water damage.
7. Cracked Interior walls
Vertical cracks in interior sheetrock or plaster, as well as displaced molding or wood trim may indicate a sinking foundation.
8. Exterior mildew or stains
Persistent mildew or staining on exterior walls and siding may indicate insufficient draining of storm water around your home.
Remember, we’re here to help. We are water damage experts. Many people in the Connecticut region have used our professional water damage restoration services. So call SERVPRO Bloomfield/Enfield (860.216.2785) anytime, 24/7.
Ralph DiCristofaro, Nat Landon, Ron DeFeo
Certified SERVPRO technicians
24 hour emergency service