House Foundation Water Damage: Signs, Causes & Prevention Guide

Can water damage concrete foundation? Do you have standing water around your house foundation? Here, we will be discussing foundation water damage.

Water Damage To House Foundation

A lot of times, homeowners have to deal with varying moisture problems that weaken their structure.

Such moisture gives rise to a lot of conditions like mold growth, termite presence, peeling paints, wet stains on walls, and bent wooden floors. These and many others are structural issues caused by moisture.

How long does it take for water to ruin foundation? What happens if water gets under foundation? Is water damage considered structural damage? What happens if there is basement water damage beneath my home?

This article takes a look at water damage to the house foundation. As a homeowner, this is one situation you’ll want to avoid due to its damaging effects. Plus, a lot of costs may be incurred when fixing the property.

Property value also decreases as buyers are likely to be uninterested in buying your home.

Signs of Water Damage to House Foundation

How do house foundations get water damaged?

One of the things you need to know about water damage is that signs are always present. Such may be subtle or quite obvious depending on the condition of damage.

To the untrained eye, these signs aren’t quickly recognized until the problem worsens. So what are the signs of water damage to a foundation?

They include cracks in the sheetrock, as well as caulking disintegrating or pulling away from exterior surfaces surrounding fixtures and tubs.

Other signs include the presence of ants within or around your home, increased difficulty closing or opening doors, and cracks in stone or brick fireplace.

You may also notice your windows providing difficult to close, in addition to raised or cracked sections of floors. Ceiling joints may also be raised, in addition to the possibility of nails pulling out of sheetrock.

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Another thing you might notice is the appearance of cracks in brick and mortar.

All of these are conditions that signal the steady and gradual disintegration of your home all thanks to water damage to your foundation. Without urgent action to fix the problem, further deterioration is bound to occur.

Plus, mold issues are never absent when there’s water damage.

Causes of Water Damage to House Foundation

Our discussion won’t be complete without looking at common causes of water damage to house foundations.

There are several causes of water damage to a home’s foundation. Your situation may be a result of one or more of these causes. These include underground water, as well as surface water.

Other likely causes of water damage include trees situated too close to your building, poor drainage, as well as unstable soil. For a better understanding of these points, let’s briefly discuss each as follows;

  • Underground Water

When it comes to underground water, two types include naturally-occurring water as well as plumbing installations. For naturally occurring water, these include springs close to, or beneath the building.

The presence of underground springs may be due to the proximity of a pond or other water bodies.

Artificial underground water on the other hand arises from plumbing installations that may pass below the building. Leaks from such installations may affect your home’s foundation.

You’ll need to call for a fix to have any relief from the problem.

  • Surface Water

Surface water coupled with improper grading of your landscape is likely to result in, or cause water damage to your foundation. As rain falls, it’s expected to be directed away from the building by the outward slope of your home’s landscape.

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However, when your home surrounding isn’t graded, such water is likely to form pools within your yard. It may also collect around the building which results in its absorption by the foundation.

This translates to a whole lot of problems. Plus, the drainage capacity of your soil may be overwhelmed.

  • Close Proximity of Trees to the Building

Although trees are desirable to have around homes due to several benefits derived, they could turn out to be a problem when they’re situated too close to the structure.

Three branches extend outwardly in search of water and nutrients. These may affect underground installations like sewer lines, plumbing lines, and drainages.

What results is a clogging situation that worsens the presence of moisture, thus causing water damage among other issues. If you’re faced with such a situation, you may have to cut down such trees and have the stump uprooted and cut further back.

  • Poor Drainage

This has to do with your roof’s drainage system. Gutters and downspouts provide a vital drainage function as they guide rainwater down.

However, when these get clogged, water damage issues are likely to result. You’ll need to have downspouts that extend away from your home’s foundation to prevent any water problems.

  • Unstable Soil

Certain soils tend to be more compact than others. These are better for building structures.

If your home is built around locations with loose soils, you’re likely to face significant structural problems ranging from cracks and water damage. Unstable soils are easy to get flooded.

How can you prevent water from damaging your foundation? Let’s find out.

Preventing Water Damage to Foundations

We’ve mentioned the different issues that could arise from water damage to your home’s foundation. Here, we’ll be looking at ways to prevent or fix the problem.

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First off, it’s important to hire a structural engineer or contractor to help fix the problem. A wide range of solutions can be given by such expert(s).

Due to the technical nature of such interventions, we won’t be getting into them. However, there are measures you can take to prevent water damage to your home’s foundation.

These include checking the length of your downspouts and making sure your landscape slopes outward.

Other possible solutions include regular cleaning of gutters, having a sump pump installed, and watering your foundation during summer.

  • Checking the Length of your Downspouts

Downspouts help convey rainwater from your gutter and away from the building. When the length isn’t sufficient, the aim of having it in place is defeated.

Ensure your downspouts convey water as far off from your home’s foundation as possible.

  • Have an Outward-Sloping Landscape

As stated earlier, your home’s landscape matters a lot. Ideally, it should slope outwardly to prevent water collecting around your home which could result in water damage to the foundation.

  • Regular Gutter Cleanup

Your gutters need to be cleaned as frequently as possible to remove debris that could clog up or prevent the free movement of rainwater. This will help prevent water damage to your foundation.

  • Installing a Sump Pump

Installing a sump pump in your basement helps tackle eventual flooding that could affect your home’s foundation. It’s important to have a functional sump pump at all times.

Whenever you notice water damage to your home’s foundation, it’s due to the presence of one or more of the conditions above.

By taking appropriate measures such as those provided, you should be able to tackle the problem.

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