How water damage affects your foundation
The constant rain the Pacific Northwest gives us luscious forests and beautiful greenery, but the rain can also be a slight headache for homeowners.
Along with the potential of mold growing in your basement or crawl space, water damage could also affect your foundation.
Water can be especially hard on foundations because, being entirely or partially buried in wet soil, they are the areas of the house that are in constant contact with water. Rainwater, if not properly controlled and diverted, can inflict an enormous amount of damage in a home’s foundation, sometimes ruining its structural integrity.
Water affects your foundation in three main ways:
Hydrostatic pressure: Water can cause more than just basement leaks. When the soil around the foundation is oversaturated with water, the resulting hydrostatic pressure can push the walls inward, causing them to crack and bow. This can happen all of a sudden, during a period of heavy rains, or over time.
Expanding soils: In some areas of the country, clay-rich soil will expand when saturated with water. This applies an enormous pressure against foundation walls, causing them to bow, crack or shift.
Erosion: Rainwater or underground springs can slowly wash away the soil that supports the foundation, causing foundation settlement. Early foundation settlement signs aren’t always obvious and can be easily dismissed by the homeowner – until they become serious enough to demand professional intervention. Signs include sinking, uneven or unleveled floors, doors and windows that do not close properly, drywall cracks, and tilting chimneys.
What to do if you have foundation problems
A puddle on the floor or a small crack on the basement wall is often something homeowners feel like they can deal with, and many will put up with the problem for years before they consider calling a pro.
On the other hand, a sinking foundation, or a bowing, cracking basement wall, can seem more serious. It's frightening when the very structure that keeps your whole house standing is compromised. Fortunately, in many cases, the structural damage is not as bad as it looks, and thanks to modern foundation repair technologies, most problems can be solved.
TerraFirma offers the most advanced and reliable foundation repair and waterproofing solutions for your home. From foundation piers and wall anchors to sump pumps and Waterguard: there is hardly any type of structural damage that our dealers can’t solve.
How do you know if your home needs waterproofing or foundation help? By setting up a free inspection with TerraFirma!
Note: a version of this blog also appeared on our parent website, Basement Systems.