How to Keep Water From Damaging Your Home’s Foundation
As your body’s health can all be traced back to your gut, so can the health of your house can be traced back to its foundations. Foundations didn’t get their name for nothing — they are the start and the end of the structural integrity of the buildings that sit atop them.
One of the worst things that can happen to a house is its foundation to take on water. Water brings mold, mildew, erosion, cracking, and major compromise. Major compromise means major repairs, which are going to be costly and time-consuming.
Before it’s too late, read through the following guide to preventative maintenance to avoid water damage to your home’s foundation in the first place.
What is a Foundation, and Why is it Important?
A foundation is a solid, concrete structure buried into the soil beneath your house that the structure sits on top of. Many houses are built on top of loose soil or even partly aqueous land, and without a solid foundation beneath them, they would over time sink into the ground.
In addition to providing support for the building structure, foundations resist movements, like earthquakes, that occur deep within the earth. Foundations can also help insulate your home and prevent insect infiltration.
Why Divert Water Away from Foundations?
Water can accumulate around your home’s foundation in several ways, from pipes bursting to freezing temperatures to summer storms bringing on flash floods. Water is perilous to foundations for, again, many reasons.
The biggest reason is that once enough water gets into the soil, it will expand and shift the ground. That can lead to the foundation being pulled and buckling, causing cracks which the water will seep into, causing mold, electrical, and all sorts of other damage.
Diverting water is of the utmost importance in keeping a healthy home, but how can you start before it’s too late?
Keeping Water Away From Your House’s Foundation
Regularly Clean Out Your Gutters and Downspouts
The most obvious way you can keep water away from your home’s foundation is by regularly cleaning your gutters, both attached to the roof and at the edge of the property.
You should also check to see where your downspouts are depositing water. The general recommendation is that downspouts should be draining water at least ten feet away from the foundation of your house.
If leaves and debris block your gutters and downspouts, the water from downpours will build up and spill over, dripping down the side of the house and seeping in along your house’s foundation. That, above all, should be avoided.
Plant Native Bushes and Flowers Around the Edge of the House
One underrated way of ensuring the protection of your home’s foundation is to plant native species of bushes, flowers, and trees along the perimeter of your home.
Plants that are endemic to the region you live in will shoot down roots of the proper density that act like natural retaining walls, keeping the soil properly moist and packed in like clay.
Make Sure the Ground Around the Foundation is Properly Graded
Landscaping is important when it comes to your home’s foundation. The land should be graded away from home, sloping at least 6 inches every ten feet.
Grading the land this way ensures that water flows away from and not toward the foundation. Water flows above and below ground, so you don’t just have sprinkler water to worry about when it comes to grading.
If too much water accumulates around the base of your home and doesn’t have anywhere else to go, it will work on penetrating the walls of your foundation like a fortress. Once those perforations are complete, there’s very little you can do outside extensive, expensive repairs.
For Emergencies, Invest in a Sump Pump
A sump pump is a device that works like a mechanical storm drain. It’s a barrel-sized machine that’s installed in the lowest point in a home, usually in the basement, and for the most part, idles in standby mode.
When too much water begins to accumulate around the house’s foundations, during a storm or flood, for example, the sump pump activates, channeling that water out of the soil or basement and into the nearest storm drain.
These are common in hurricane-hit states but are good investments for every homeowner.
Keep Your Family on Firm Footing
Water damage to the foundation is the destroyer of many dream homes. Most think they’re able to read the signs of water damage before it arrives — massive storm, burst pipe, overly wet spring season. But in truth, water can accumulate slowly along the perimeter of a house over the years, silently degrading the foundation’s integrity.
Please don’t wait for it to be too late. Our team at All Dry USA provides 24/7 services in five states for all your foundation inspection and water damage repair needs, from mold remediation to fire and smoke damage repair.
Foundation repair is often too big for DIY projects. Don’t break your back or your bank. Call All Dry USA today.