What To Do When Water Damages Your Home’s Foundation

foundation damageHow water can damage a home foundation is often a mystery to homeowners, especially those who’ve never been affected. The fact is, however, tough, heavy concrete is actually microscopically porous and quite vulnerable to moisture. With enough ground water under sufficient pressure, moisture eventually penetrates concrete pores and triggers deterioration. The result can be cracks in basement walls, shifting of the foundation, as well as water damage caused by infiltration into the basement or subfloor of the house.

Thinking about how water can damage a home foundation, all causes have one thing in common: excess water volume in soil. Here are some ways to reduce ground water around the foundation.

  • Maintain gutters. Roof runoff during heavy rain pounds the ground around the perimeter of the foundation, pushing water deep into the soil and exerting pressure against basement walls. Eventually, seepage enters the basement space. Make sure gutters are functional and not clogged and overflowing. Gutter downspouts should be long enough to discharge water well away from the foundation perimeter.
  • Install a drain tile. An underground drainage system, a typical drain tile consists of a four-inch diameter perforated plastic pipe installed in a bed of gravel. Typically the drain tile excavation runs around the exterior footing of the basement walls to collect and drain water away from the basement and foundation.
  • Grade the landscape. Pooling next to the house after a heavy rain is another source of ground water that may eventually penetrate the foundation. The soil should be graded in a gentle slope away from the house to divert water into the yard before it is absorbed.
  • Utilize a sump pump. To relieve hydrostatic pressure underneath the foundation, a sump pump basin excavated in the basement floor collects rising ground water. The pump automatically activates and pumps the water out of the basement to an outdoor discharge point. In areas of naturally high water table, a sump pump may collect enough water to activate multiple times each day.

To learn more about how water can damage a home foundation as well as effective steps to prevent it, contact Rytech, Inc.

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