Water Damage Causes: Foundation Cracks

water damage foundation cracks

While water damage causes foundation cracks and other issues, this same process is likewise the origin of indoor or structural damage that frequently ensues later on. Because a concrete foundation is porous, water pooling on the surface or contained in the soil surrounding the home soaks into the concrete foundation and initiates gradual deterioration. Eventually, foundation cracks develop and/or the foundation destabilizes. Subsequent water damage causes a variety of long-term issues including the following:

Basement Damage

Water infiltration through a cracked foundation can be an intermittent problem as groundwater occasionally seeps upward through a cracked basement floor or leaks through damaged basement walls.  Eventually, however, occasional water damage causes long-term issues inside the basement, such as toxic mold growth as well as rotting exposed wooden structure. Vulnerable electrical components like the main breaker panel installed in the basement are at risk from water, as are the home’s furnace and HVAC ductwork. A finished basement usually includes drywall that readily absorbs water and deteriorates, as well as carpeting and other materials susceptible to damage.

Structural Changes

Defects in the house structure are also among the water damage causes that can that be traced back to foundation issues.  During winter weather, water infiltrating foundation cracks may freeze and expand, gradually deforming and/or shifting the foundation. As changes in the foundation may eventually cause separation at the joints between exterior walls and/or between walls and the roof, subsequent water damage occurs to the structure during rainy weather.

Plumbing Issues

Among the major water damage causes inside a home, broken pipes rank high on the list. These events may actually be initiated, however, by previous foundation water damage. When severe outdoor flooding—or long-term standing water from any cause—occurs, the ground beneath a house may become unstable and the foundation may gradually tilt and/or sink. Foundation instability and movement eventually stress house plumbing, particularly water supply lines, potentially triggering an indoor pipe rupture that causes flooding inside the house.

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