In the past few years, many Missouri homeowners have seen how damaging flooding can be. Comparatively, the standing water in your yard may not seem as volatile as the rushing floodwaters that can sweep away a car. However, standing water indicates saturated soil and drainage problems that can have far-reaching effects throughout your property.
To understand the effects of standing water, let’s look at the full cycle of how it can affect your home and property. We’ll start at ground level with what’s happening on the surface of the soil, and we’ll work our way down to how it could affect the strength and stability of your house.
1. More Mosquitos and Pests
If you have standing water in your yard, your yard is the ideal breeding ground for insects and pests. You could get more mosquitoes, flying insects, roaches, carpenter ants, ticks, rodents, and termites. Many pests are water-loving, and damp conditions will attract these critters and allow them to repopulate. In the Ozarks where mosquitos are a big problem, the city of Springfield cautions that mosquitoes can breed in as little as one teaspoon of standing water.
2. Reduced Curb Appeal and Risk of Falling Trees
Standing water is an eyesore, and it can also cause dangerous landscaping problems. Waterlogged soil will kill your lawn and can kill nearby plants. It can also damage tree roots, which creates a falling hazard. Dead or dying trees and easily topple during a windstorm, damaging your house.
3. Failing Septic System
When standing water is unable to drain, the soil remains saturated, and this wet ground can cause your septic system to fail. When your leach field is unable to disperse wastewater, the sewage could back up into your basement or crawl space.
4. Well Water Contamination
Standing water can harbor the same bacteria and pathogens as lakewater or streams. This could contaminate the area’s groundwater and affect the quality of your water. Your drinking water could contain E.coli, coliform, chemicals, fertilizers, and more.
5. Increase in Underground Hydrostatic Pressure
As your soil continues to absorb moisture from the pool of standing water, the water saturation can start to increase the amount of force that is being exerted on your home’s foundation. Known as hydrostatic pressure, the buildup of underground moisture around your home can cause structural problems including foundation cracks, bowing walls, and basement floods.
6. Flooding is More Likely During Storms
Having water problems on your property before a severe storm begins means that your home will be less able to withstand new flood risks. Additional stormwater and runoff will have nowhere to go. In Kansas City, eight percent of properties are already at risk of flood damage, and properties with standing water could fare worse than others in the neighborhood.
7. Cracking and Shifting Foundation
Water is the main cause of many types of foundation damage. Wet soils can expand and contract, and soil can be disturbed or start to wash away. These shifts can cause differential settlement where the house loses its even structural support. As a result, the building will start to tilt, bow, and crack.
8. Water in your Basement or Crawl Space
The outdoor moisture problem that started with standing water will eventually become an indoor water problem. As water seeps through the cracks and joints of your home, your home will become more humid. The floor of your basement or crawl space will become damp, and eventually, your home may flood. This can lead to structural problems with your home, as well as health risks. For example, water and electricity are a dangerous combination, and you don’t want puddles of water near electrical outlets or wiring.
9. Mold and Air Quality Problems
Dampness in a basement or crawl space can cause mold and mildew. These air quality problems will circulate throughout your house because of the upward flow of air that’s called the stack effect. Issues like mold can be especially common in cities like St. Louis and Moberly, which have widespread problems with mold and allergens. However, homes throughout Missouri could be at risk.
10. Damage to Home Systems and Building Structure
Water in the basement or crawl space can damage the structure itself. Wooden support beams absorb the moisture and become weak. Drywall and flooring will be ruined. Moisture will also damage appliances like hot water heaters, HVAC units, and furnaces.
Flood damage is generally very expensive to repair, and FEMA estimates that just one inch of water can cause $25,000 in damage. This has real consequences for Missouri cities, and in St. Louis, there’s an estimated $4.6 million in flood damages each year.
What Can You Do About Standing Water?
The longer the standing water problem persists in your yard, the more problems you will start to see. If you’re just starting to see pests or dying trees, neglecting water issues will expand the damage to your home.
Water management is important for Missouri homeowners who face threats of heavy rain, snowmelt, overflowing rivers, flooding, and drainage problems. Foundation Recovery Systems helps Missouri homeowners deal with structural issues and water problems that may have caused the damage.
Common solutions to standing water can include:
- Yard grading to create a gentle slope away from your foundation and address low spots in your yard where standing water can pool.
- Gutters and underground downspouts to direct water away from your foundation so you can manage stormwater.
- Drainage systems that help you control the flow of water in your yard, disperse water from problem spots, and mitigate water problems in your basement.
- Foundation waterproofing to help protect against exterior water threats like hydrostatic pressure and water seepage.
- Sump pumps to automatically remove water from your home as soon as it’s detected and battery backup systems to keep the pump running even if the power goes out.
Do you know the best way to protect your home from water damage? Get personal advice from the experts with a free inspection from Foundation Recovery Systems.