Water is perhaps the greatest enemy to a concrete foundation. Not only does it threaten the foundation’s longevity but also the structural integrity of your home. With time, it will cause it to weaken and disintegrate. Excess moisture in foundation walls also fosters mold and pest problems. You can protect your Springfield, MO, home by keeping out water and waterproofing your foundation.
Effects of Water on a Concrete Foundation
Although concrete is usually the choice material for building the foundation, it cannot always withstand water. When water from clogged gutters spills and pools around your home, it soaks into the soil, often resulting in significant foundation and structural damage. Some common effects of water on a concrete foundation include:
Water from snowmelt, broken pipes, rainstorms, and bedrock pools can saturate the soil around your house and push against your foundation walls, weakening your concrete foundation’s bearing capacity. The relentless push exerts pressure on your foundation, causing the walls to bow and crack, and this can lead to foundation leaks.
Water also causes the soil underneath your home’s foundation to expand and contract unevenly. When soil, especially clay soil, absorbs water, it expands and pushes the foundation slab upward. The areas that do not get water do not swell. Some sections of the foundation will experience an upward movement due to soil expansion. This uneven lift puts pressure on your foundation, causing it to crack.
With time, underground water washes away the soil that supports your foundation, leading to foundation settlement. The result is that doors and windows will stick, floors become uneven, drywall cracks will form, and chimneys will tilt.
Waterproofing your concrete foundation is usually an adequate safeguard against basement leaks.
How to Waterproof a Concrete Foundation
There are many ways to fix a leaking foundation and other water problems. Some of the recommended solutions include:
Exterior Drainage Measures and Maintenance
Your gutters and downspouts are often your first line of defense against water infiltrating your foundation. Makes sure these fixtures are properly installed, in good working order, and free of clogs. It’s also important to angle the downspouts and extensions down and away from your home to prevent water from draining near your foundation. In the same vein, having a properly graded yard that also slopes away from your foundation is critical for the same reason.
Install a Flood Vent
Although flooding is less common in the Springfield, MO, area, meteorologists have been predicting an increase in extreme weather in the future. So, it doesn’t hurt to invest in a flood vent now as a precautionary measure. In a storm, this fixture will allow floodwater to escape and not accumulate behind foundation walls. Installing flood vents can also lower your flood insurance premiums by 83%.
Invest in Interior Drainage Solutions
Whether you face an onslaught of water from a flood or some trickles here and there, it’s important to protect your basement from any water intrusion. An interior drainage system will collect leaking water from the walls and floor and drain this water into a sump pump system. The sump pump then ejects this water before it has a chance to damage the rest of your basement. Just as these solutions work perfectly together, they also can be paired with other waterproofing measures like a vapor barrier and a dehumidifier for complete protection.
When Is the Right Time to Seal a Concrete Foundation?
While you can seal the foundation just about any time of the year, summer is the best time. It’s easy to inspect the foundation and apply the appropriate waterproofing solutions during summer. Warmer temperatures mean waterproofing solutions bed in quickly. Since there’s no water, curing is fast and effective.
It’s easy to perform foundation checks and diagnose underlying problems in the summer than in other seasons. The soil is also loose and easy to excavate. Contractors can work for long hours in summer, thanks to the extended daylight hours. Just make sure you schedule a foundation waterproofing inspection in advance.
Protect Your Foundation from Water
If you already own a home, do not take any longer to waterproof it. Postponing this activity means water problems could worsen. Ultimately, it will cost more to repair and waterproof the foundation. The benefits of waterproofing a concrete foundation goes beyond preventing damage and costly repairs—it also provides peace of mind. Contact Foundation Recovery Systems today to schedule a free inspection and repair estimate.