Heavy Rains and Foundation Water Damage: Everything You Need to Know
For a lot of people, it can take 14 years to save to buy a home in the Hamilton area. Now, imagine saving for all those years for a house only for foundation water damage to sink your dreams. That’s scary.
Securing your dream home for the long haul goes beyond checking its location, features and price.
You need to get your hands dirty (not literally) by learning the ins and outs of how too much rain and foundation damage can be your two biggest enemies yet!
Luckily, the learning curve is smooth and H & N Basement Worx is here to help. After all, we are wet basement repair and foundation repair specialist for a reason.
The best way to start is by finding out the relationship between heavy rains and foundation flooding, signs to look out for, and what to do to safeguard your house.
How Heavy Rains Affect Your Foundation?
Tackling this question requires a bit of insight into how water, especially from heavy rains, can lead to a cracked or settled foundation.
Homeowners in Hamilton and Burlington need to know sinking can cause structural damage to a foundation. What causes sinking, settling or dropping is the shrinking process of the soil underneath the foundation.
Soil shrinking often takes place during the dry season. During a heavy downpour, the soil absorbs lots of water and moisture. This heavy absorption with little drain causes the soil to swell. With time, the wet-dry weather cycles cause home basements to drop.
Besides sinking, water can cause cracks in basement walls by introducing lateral pressure. This pressure builds up when the soil surrounding the foundation walls over-saturates and expands.
Factors for Home Foundation Damage
1. Landscaping and Drainage
The perfect combo of good landscaping and drainage is one that channels water away from your house to the drains or street gutters. A quick look at your property is enough to spot the ground around your home slopping away.
Pools of water near your foundation are an indicator of poor drainage, which needs quick action (more about this in a bit).
2. Type Of Soil
Different soils absorb and drain water at varying rates. Houses sitting on clay soil are likely to experience foundation damage because of the characteristics of clay.
During the rainy season, clay absorbs lots of water and moisture and expands. The contrary happens during the dry season. It loses the water and shrinks causing sinking.
Sandy soil around your house can offer a more stable ground base on its properties. During heavy rains, sand doesn’t absorb nor retain water. Once a downpour is over, water drains out to nearest outlet.
A Water Damaged Foundation: What Are the Causes?
The listed factors nicely mesh with what causes basement flooding. If you have a basement, the following things will make it prone to flooding, and eventually damaged.
- Poor maintenance of the basement
- Failed or blocked sanitary lateral
- Cracked underground pipes
- Sump pump failure
- Weeping tile failure
- Surface inflow
- Poor lot grading
These three factors work against the durability of a foundation because 1) Groundwater level can be above the basement floor level, 2) Sewer lines are beneath the ground, and 3) Gravity always forces water down into any openings.
Although the effects of water under the house after heavy rain are the most common, naturally occurring groundwater can work against you during dry weather. Always be on the keen for signs of a cracked
What Are the Signs of Foundation Water Damage?
It’s always a good idea to seek professional help to know if your foundation is sinking. The warning signs you should check are as follows.
- Jamming and sticking windows and doors
- Cracks in and around doors and windows
- Cracks in the concrete floor
- Leaning chimney
- Stair-case cracks in the bricks
- Displaced foundations
- Heaves and major cracks
How Do You Protect Your Foundation from Water Damage?
Studies show that extended cycles of wet-dry conditions have been increasing since the 1990s. These results only mean more foundations are at risk of getting damaged.
You have few to no options of having to know how to remain safe and protect your basement from flooding.
Here are actionable steps you can take before going the distance of hiring professionals:
- Clean and rehung your gutters
- Identify low spots in your home and fill them
- Install a retaining wall to reshape the area around your home
Professional repair experts offer advanced solutions for fixing your damaged foundation. Expect the following measures from the experts:
- Excavation work to fix groundwater flow during heavy rain
- Installing a dedicated drainage system to prevent seepage
- Reinforcement of the cracked spaces with steel wall bracing or carbon fiber straps
Carry out any of the listed measures as early as you spot any damage sign. The most common indicators of damage are small cracks, which are usually less than one-eighth of an inch.
Professional Foundation Repair Services
Foundation water damage can easily expose you to the danger of losing your house. Experts can step in and fix the problem because they can handle any type of foundation repair.
You can also involve professionals in identifying early signs of damage especially if you’re located in an area with soft shifting cases.
If you think you might have any foundation water damage due to all the rain we had this spring, contact us or give us a call and we will be more than happy to come take a look and give you a professional assessment.