How To Stop Water From Damaging Your Foundation

Every building has a foundation, and it can be damaged by many things, including tectonic shifts or soil erosion. Another culprit is water damage, which can occur both inside and outside the property. Below are some ways to deal with it.

Warning Signs Of Water Damage

Water damage is quite common, but it is also preventable if you catch it in advance. Unfortunately, many people don’t recognize the warning signs, and by the time the problem becomes big enough to get their full attention, the costs for resolving it are truly exorbitant. Typical warning signs that water damage is present in your foundation include the presence of mold, concrete which is crumbling, discoloration or staining and septic tanks or sump pumps which are backed up.

Additionally, it must be emphasized that some water damage will be completely invisible to the naked eye. Pipes beneath the floor might be busted or valves behind a wall might loosen. This damage can only be detected indirectly by shutting down the water main for about three hours to see if your meter changes. If so, there is a leak in the structure and you’ll have to contact a plumber. If you chose not to, the problem will only get worse and more expensive.

Why Are Leaks So Dangerous?

The reason leaks are so dangerous is because over time they will weaken the integrity of the foundation or ground, which will require further and more costly intervention. In the meantime, you can expect your water bill to increase, because you will be spending extra money for water that is not being used.

How To Address Water Damage Outside The Home

Sewer pipes, runoff and rain can adversely impact the foundation of your property. The first step towards addressing it is to perform routine inspections, every 3 to 6 months. You will want to review your roof tiles and fix or replace those that are missing, lose or broken. You should also clean out the gutters, especially at the start of each winter. Downspouts should be inspected to ensure that they’re ejecting water a minimum of two yards from the building.

Prudent landscaping can go a long way to protect your foundation while extending its lifespan. For instance, the surrounding soil can be sloped so that the rain runoff will flow away the building. Another technique used by experienced landscapers is to plant shrubs and trees near the property so that they soak up the excess moisture, but don’t plant them too close to the building, otherwise the roots might penetrate the foundation as time passes. The U.S. Housing and Urban Development agency recommends planting vegetation no close to the building than the final height that the plant is expected to reach at maturity. This means that a tree which will become 10” tall at maturity should be a minimum of 10’ from the property.