Homes across Kansas City, MO, neighborhoods are not immune to water damage. Each year, water from storms and heavy rainfalls as well as melt-offs attack their foundations. You may not realize there’s a problem, as some signs take months or years to manifest.
Water damage can cause foundation problems and structural failure. Excess water can also damage your belongings and decorative finishes. If you’re concerned about water damage or aren’t sure of the signs, here’s what you need to look for during your home inspections.
1. Musty basement air
The funny smell emanating from the basement isn’t because it’s located underground. It’s because of the mold and mildew that are growing. With the limited airflow down there, nothing is keeping excess moisture in check.
If the smell is awful, it could mean the basement was contaminated by bacteria or raw sewage in the floodwaters. You will need an expert to uncover the actual source of the smell.
2. Gaps in doors and windows
If a draft is coming into your home from the doors or windows, it’s likely a foundation shift has happened. This movement will cause gaps around your windows and doors. These gaps allow air to leak out of your home. To make up for the loss, you will have to run your HVAC for longer.
Sticking doors and windows are another sign that there’s trouble in your foundation. Many people believe high humidity is behind their sticking windows. That’s not always true. The problem is the walls that are pushing against the frames. Additional pressure also warps the frame, and this makes it difficult to open the windows.
3. Persistent mold problems
Cracks in the foundation do wick water up from the underlying soil. This moisture fosters mold and mildew. Their free-floating spores travel through the air and may invade your home. A small streak or patch of mold may mutate into a serious infestation. Porous concrete and materials such as wallpaper, carpeting, drywall, and floorboards are at risk once the mold starts to spread.
Left untreated, mold can eat up your floors and boards and cause your floors to collapse. Mold will also regrow if you don’t address the root issue—in this case, moisture.
Prolonged exposure to mold can cause various health problems such as asthma attacks, respiratory infections, allergic reactions, sinus congestion, and eye irritation. To avert health issues and prevent mold damage, you need to act fast.
4. Leaning walls
Over time, water can displace soil around or under the foundation. Soil displacement can also allow tree roots to penetrate the foundation cracks. What this does is lift the foundation and widen the cracks. This movement warps the foundation walls in your home, causing them to bow or lean. When the load becomes too much, the wall can collapse.
Unless the problem is severe, leaning walls are hard to spot. Bulging may start with horizontal cracks near the middle. Cracks may be short or cover the entire length of the wall. Consult a foundation repair expert if you suspect the walls are leaning.
5. Wall stains
If you notice stains on your basement walls, the problem could be dirty water that’s infiltrating your foundation walls through cracks. This water will leave dirt marks or stains on certain parts of the walls. Efflorescence – a white, chalky substance – is another sign of the presence of water or water intrusion.
6. Cracks on basement floor and walls
When it rains, the soil becomes saturated and puts pressure on your foundation walls. The concrete foundation walls also are going to develop cracks because of this constant pressure. The soil can push up on the floor and lead to cracks there, as well. Wall and floor cracks may start slowly, and sometimes, you may not notice there’s a problem.
7. Uneven floors
Another sign water is attacking your foundation is uneven floors. This happens when underlying soils push the slab upward and out of place.
Fixing a Water-Damaged Foundation
Every foundation repair job starts with a thorough assessment of the foundation and the water damaged areas of your home. Experts will tell you what type of repairs are needed. As well as removing moisture, the experts will perform the necessary repairs to strengthen the foundation. Repairs can entail fixing and repairing wall cracks, as well as restoring foundation walls and floors to their original positions. If you have foundation issues, ensure you correct them. Proper drainage and other waterproofing measures will ensure water doesn’t pool around your home’s perimeter.
Don’t let foundation water damage cause your sleepless nights. The experts at Foundation Recovery Systems can help you repair the foundation and protect it from water. We use industry-leading solutions that are designed to last. To get started, schedule a free foundation inspection and repair quote.