Water damage to the foundation of a home occurs in various ways. The consequences and cures are equally varied. It's never welcome news to hear that your home's most fundamental structure may be compromised in any way. However, it's critical to know the facts and take corrective actions as soon as possible to prevent a bad situation from becoming even worse. Here's how water damage to the foundation can happen and what it means.
Foundation damage may be non-structural or structural.
- Non-structural water damage normally refers to seepage through small cracks in a foundation or cracks or gaps in joints of a concrete basement wall.
- Structural damage to the foundation occurs when damage caused by water is prolonged and extensive. The house begins to shift under its own weight. Vertical stability is undermined and the structure often sinks further into the ground. Also, basement walls may begin flexing inward as they become structurally unsound.
Dealing with water damage to the foundation.
- Remedies for limited, non-structural damage are generally not considered major projects. First, reduce the water content of soil around the foundation. Correct sources of water such as overflowing gutters or landscape grading that pools water near the foundation. An underground exterior drain tile may also be installed to carry soil water away from the house. Basement waterproofing techniques include injecting sealant into cracks in the wall or floor and/or installation of an exterior waterproofing membrane. Where rising ground water is permeating the foundation, installation of a sump pump is also recommended.
- Re-stabilizing a foundation once structural damage occurs due to long-term water damage is often an extensive and expensive undertaking. After eliminating sources of underground water, a sinking foundation can be restored to original level with the installation of underground hydraulic supports (called “piers”) driven through the foundation footing. A basement wall flexing inward can be stabilized with carbon fiber or steel straps. The sooner professional intervention occurs, the more favorable and less costly the outcome will be.
For more about viable options when water damage to the foundation of your home, contact the experts at Rytech, Inc.