Foundations are wholly or partly buried in wet soil, which means they are constantly in contact with water. This water can be particularly rough on the foundation of a home. In particular, undiverted and uncontrolled rainwater can wreak havoc and even damage its structural integrity.
Water impacts on the foundation in three major ways:
Apart from basement leaks, water can cause much more serious damage. If the soil in the vicinity of the foundation becomes waterlogged, the ensuing hydrostatic pressure can press the walls towards the inside, resulting in bending and cracking. This can occur suddenly, when it is raining heavily or progressively with time.
There are some parts of the country where clay-rich soil expands after it becomes waterlogged. This puts great pressure on the walls of the foundation, making them to shift, bend or crack.
Underground springs or rainwater can gradually wash away the soil on which the foundation rests, leading to the downward movement known as foundation settlement. Initially, a homeowner can easily dismiss the signs of foundation settlement until the problem worsens and a professional has to be called in. Telltale signs include drywall cracks, irregular, uneven or sinking floors, windows and doors that do not shut properly and leaning chimneys.
Dealing with foundation problems
It is not a big deal to many homeowners if they notice a tiny crack on the wall of the basement or a puddle of water on the floor surface. As a matter of fact, many times it is something they tolerate for a long time before they think of calling a basement waterproofing professional.
Conversely, a bending, cracking basement wall or a settling foundation may appear more serious. It is alarming when the structure that supports your entire house is weakened. Luckily, the structural damage is usually not as bad as it seems, and many of the problems can be rectified thanks to advances in foundation repair technology.