Foundation damage to your home is a real issue that many homeowners struggle with. There are several different types of foundation damage, which range from cracks in your basement walls to the entire foundation crumbling away.
The good news is that there are steps you can take to effectively prevent foundation damage and protect your home against it.
Understand the causes of foundation damage
The most common causes of foundation damage are soil movement, weather extremes and improper construction. When soil moves on top of your foundation, it can cause cracks in the concrete and even weaken it.
Extreme weather conditions can also cause foundation problems. For example, if you live in an area that experiences high winds or heavy rains, or if you have a slope in your yard that is prone to erosion, your foundation may be at risk for damage from these conditions.
Properly constructed foundations can also be damaged by improper installation. For example, if you have a concrete slab poured over a wooden frame instead of using reinforcing steel bars (as many builders do), your foundation may not hold up as well as expected.
Check your drainage system and keep it clean and functioning properly
An important thing you want to do is check your drainage system. This is a crucial step because if the drainage system is clogged, then the foundation will not drain properly and this can lead to foundation damage.
To check your drainage system, you will need to unclog all of the pipes that are connected to your foundation and make sure everything is flowing properly.
Inspect your home’s exterior for signs of deterioration
You should inspect your home’s exterior walls, windows and doors regularly for any cracks or other signs of deterioration. This will help you spot potential problems before they happen, which will reduce the risk of foundation damage.
Look for any loose boards, missing nails or other signs that may indicate water damage. If you notice any problems, take action immediately to prevent future damage.
A crack in a window or door can lead to water damage, and leaks from a broken pipe could cause flooding, so ensue to get foundation repair timely to avoid costly damage down the road.
Keep trees and shrubs away from your foundation
If your foundation is exposed to the elements, it’s important to take steps to protect it from damage.
- Choose a location that is away from trees and shrubs to prevent root growth, which can damage the concrete below.
- Keep vegetation away from your foundation so that it won’t grow up against the concrete and get damaged by roots or branches.
- If you have a retaining wall or fence around your foundation, keep those plants at least 3 feet away from the concrete surface to prevent them from growing up into the structure and causing damage.
Ensure that gutters and downspouts are working correctly
The first thing to do is to check your gutters and downspouts for damage. If they are damaged, this can cause water to pool on the roof of your home. This will cause damage to the shingles and cause leaks around the house.
The second thing you should do is to ensure that there aren’t any tree roots growing into your gutter, which could cause leaks. Tree roots form at the base of trees and can grow up through an otherwise intact dirt-covered gutter system, causing it to leak.
If you discover a leaky gutter or downspout, you’ll need to repair it immediately before more damage occurs.
Monitor the humidity in your basement
A basement is a great place to store your things and make it feel like home. But it can also be a breeding ground for mold and mildew. That’s why it’s important to monitor the humidity in your basement.
Mold thrives in moist environments with high concentrations of airborne spores; especially if the temperature is warm and damp. The best way to prevent mold growth in your basement is by keeping humidity levels low and never allowing moisture to accumulate in the area.