Your home’s foundation is a crucial part of your home. Not only does it hold your entire house, but it also creates a barrier between your basement and the ground and water outside of it. If anything were to go wrong with your foundation, you’d likely have water leaking into your newly finished basement or damaging items in your storage. Keep in mind that your foundation walls are likely made of concrete, which is a tough, yet porous material. Foundation cracks are a question of “when” rather than “if” and require your immediate attention. Our Maryland basement waterproofing experts are here today to help you identify and address foundation damage before it leads to a flooded basement.
What Causes Foundation Damage?
There are numerous factors that could cause or contribute to foundation damage:
- When large trees are planted close to the house, their extensive root systems may physically damage the foundation wall.
- Ground water surrounding your foundation creates hydrostatic pressure that may eventually cause cracks or expand existing cracks.
- Soil movement during foundation settling may lead to cracks, especially if the foundation wasn’t properly installed.
Signs of Foundation Damage
Sometimes foundation damage is visible and evident, but in other cases it may be hidden and hard to detect. Be on the lookout for these major signs.
Cracks in Your Foundation
Unfortunately, you can’t check the bottom part of your foundation from the outside because it’s covered by dirt and landscaping. However, you can at least keep an eye on the inside of your basement walls, looking for any tiny and large cracks.
When checking your foundation, keep in mind that concrete does shrink slightly when curing, so minor cracks can be expected. The cracks to look out for are those that are larger than 1/16 of an inch or are uneven. Wider cracks could signify a much larger problem with the foundation. If the sides of the crack form an uneven surface, call a foundation repair expert immediately. This can indicate a severe shift in the foundation or drastic movement, and could be unsafe.
If you think you may be experiencing problems with your foundation, take a walk through your house. Check all doors and windows, and look at the seams where walls meet the ceiling. Foundation issues can result in unsightly cracks in the molding, window casings and other parts of the house due to the movement of the concrete. If your doors don’t close properly, or your windows seem to be sticking more than usual, this could also be due to an issue with your foundation.
Don’t forget to examine the frames of your basement doors and windows. Sometimes, they may separate from the surrounding walls, creating gaps where water can seep through.
Leaks and Moisture
The foundation of a home is built to withstand moisture coming in from the ground around it, so water seepage is a major concern for homeowners. If water does get into your foundation, a drop in temperature could cause the water to expand and crack the concrete. Leaks, especially small ones, are not always easy to spot. Look for signs of water damage on your basement items, such as wavy cardboard boxes or mold on your basement walls or personal belongings.
Your foundation is one of the most important parts of your home. If you notice any damage in your foundation or moisture in your basement, call a basement waterproofing and foundation repair expert such as Basement Waterproofing Technologies.