How Water Damage Can Impact Your Foundation

Every house needs a strong foundation to shoulder its weight and to separate wooden materials from contact with dirt. Homes with a weak foundation are at risk of experiencing a rotting foundation, and they’re more likely to experience a termite infestation. Concrete is the most popular material for home foundations because it’s resistant, but exposure to water can still weaken your foundation.

Water is hazardous to your home’s foundation because your foundation is entirely or partially buried in wet soil, meaning there are areas of your house that are always wet. Rainwater can ruin your foundation’s structural integrity. Here are the main ways in which water impacts your home’s foundation. 

Hydrostatic Pressure

Rainwater causes more than just basement leaks. If the soil around your home’s foundation is oversaturated with water, the resulting hydrostatic pressure will push your basement’s walls inward. Shifting basement walls will result in cracked walls, which will eventually spread to your roof. All of this can occur suddenly, gradually, or during a period of heavy rain. 

Erosion

Puddles of rainwater or underground springs can slowly wash away the dirt that supports your home’s foundation, which will lead to foundation settlement. Foundation settlement in a structure refers to the distortion of parts of a building, due to uneven compression or shrinkage in the foundation. Early foundation settlement signs are subtle; as a result, homeowners are likely to ignore these signs. As the months go by, the signs of foundation settlement become apparent, and your house will require professional intervention at this point. Signs of late-stage foundation settlement include:

  • Sinking foundation
  • Unlevel floors
  • Stubborn doors and windows that refuse to close properly
  • Drywall cracks
  • Tilting chimneys 

Don’t ignore early foundation settlement because the longer you wait, the more expensive home repairs become. In the worst-case scenario, your home may become inhabitable. 

Expanding Soils

Depending on the region you live in, your soil may be classified as clay-rich. Soils rich in clay are rich in nutrients, making them fertile. Fertile soil is highly absorbent, so this type of soil can absorb large quantities of water; this is terrible news because clay-rich soil will expand when saturated with water. Expanded soil applies an enormous amount of pressure against foundation walls, causing your foundation to crack and shift. 

Preventing Foundation Problems

Small puddles in basement floors or a crack on a basement wall are problems homeowners think they can push to the side. Some homeowners fail to realize, foundation problems, big or small, must be taken seriously before these issues cause structural damage. Although one puddle isn’t enough of a threat to your entire property, sometimes one puddle becomes multiple puddles. Having an uncovered window well puts your basement at significant risk of experiencing water damage. Remember, water damage and foundation problems go hand-in-hand. 

One of the best ways to prevent water damage in your basement is by shielding your window well with a cover. Windowell Expressions manufactures window well covers of all shapes and sizes. Protect your window well and your basement before your foundation suffers. Contact Windowell Expressions today.