How to Stop Foundation Water Damage to Your Home

Every element of your home’s structure ultimately relies on an intact foundation. A damaged or deteriorating foundation undermines the stability and strength of the entire house. What’s worse, a permanent fix can be exceedingly costly—a major reason why a defective foundation is often a deal-breaker when a home’s up for sale. Ironically, one of the biggest threats to the integrity of that solid concrete structure supporting your house is simply water.

Chronic exposure to water deteriorates concrete foundations and also undermines the soil supporting it. Here are some ways to keep water and foundation separated and avoid highly expensive consequences.

Manage Drainage

Grade landscape so water flows away from the foundation. The slope away from the house should decline by at least 6 inches over a 10-foot distance. For best results, create the graded slope using dense soil such as clay that carries water away instead of absorbing it.

If drainage by grading isn’t adequate, consider adding a french drain around the foundation perimeter. Installed in a gravel-filled trench about two feet deep, a perforated plastic pipe conveys accumulating ground water away from the house to a deeper portion of the yard.

Maintain Gutters

Clogged, overflowing gutters pound water deep into the soil adjacent to the foundation during heavy rain. Chronic moisture from saturated soil infiltrates the pores of a cement foundation as well as seeping through cracks and crevices, causing ongoing deterioration. Keep gutters flowing freely and extend downspouts to discharge water at least three feet (more is better) from the house.

Resolve Plumbing Issues

Water supply lines are frequently routed beneath the slab foundation of a home. Unseen leakage from these pipes can erode supporting soil, causing the foundation to shift and crack. If a hidden plumbing leak is suspected due to unexplained water bill increases or other signs, have it checked out by a qualified plumber.

Install A Sump Pump

In some locales, the continuous pressure of natural ground water rising under the foundation causes deterioration and seepage. A sump pump installed in the foundation or basement floor relieves pressure by collecting water and automatically pumping it outdoors.

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