Your foundation is a critical area of your home. Not only does it support your home, but it also keeps out moisture by creating an effective dam against groundwater. Unfortunately, many things conspire against your foundation. From sunken soils to moisture to cracks, the odds seem stacked against this part of your home. The only way you can protect and safeguard it is to deploy exterior waterproofing and enhance drainage both inside and outside your home.
Why is my foundation leaking?
Your home’s foundation faces serious challenges from the first day. When the local builder excavates the ground to make room for the foundation walls, they’ll leave space between the outside of the walls and the soil surrounding it. They then backfill this space with excavated soil, leaving loose, fluffy earth. The soil inside the space absorbs more moisture than the un-excavated ground around it, resulting in a false water table.
Typical of most Kansas City, MO, yards, more water collects in the area surrounding your foundation whenever it rains than any other part. Water buildup exerts pressure on your foundation walls. If the foundation or basement has cracks, this water will easily pass through it. Water can also seep through foundation wall-floor joints, porous concrete, or basement floor in the form of moisture.
To avert this problem, you must endeavor to keep water away from your home’s perimeter. If that’s impossible, remove the water.
1. Grade the foundation soil
The excavated soil surrounding your foundation will settle with time. When this happens, it will create a dip in your yard all around the edge of the foundation. Water and snow will collect there and start going into your foundation, worsening your basement moisture issues.
We strongly recommend that you add dense clay soil to the area until your property has a positive grade, meaning the ground slopes away from your home. Avoid sand or mulch, as both will drain water right into your foundation and worsen your water problems. When adding soil, ensure that it doesn’t touch your siding. Leave a four-inch space between your siding and the soil line as a deterrent for termites and carpenter ants seeking to get into your home.
2. Curtain drains
Next, create curtain drains along the edge of your sloping yard or at the bottom of the incline. You can create these drains by digging a trench a few meters from your foundation. Once it’s dug, lay pipes along the trench and cover them with stone. It will appear as a stripe of stone around your yard. These drains can limit the amount of water that collects in your yard. However, they won’t stop water from other sources or directions from reaching the foundation.
3. Downspouts and gutters
Gutters are supposed to be clean and free of leaves or debris. Any foreign material will obstruct water flow and stop the gutters from doing their job. Make sure you perform routine checks and maintenance, so the gutters remain in top shape. Once the gutters are working, turn your attention to the downspouts.
Are they ejecting water away from your home’s foundation or toward it? If the latter is the case, be sure to extend them a couple of feet away from the foundation.
Downspouts extensions can be a tripping hazard. Also, they can get in the way of mowing your lawn. Don’t buy the usual extensions. Go for a recessed downspout extension, as you can bury it without fear of clogging. This type will move water away from the foundation without interfering with yard maintenance or access.
4. Basement waterproofing systems
Soil grading and downspouts are two effective exterior defenses against water. But they won’t deter interior moisture issues. Going inside, you’ll need to waterproof your basement floor and walls. Make sure you install the BasementGutter™, an interior waterproofing system that’s superior to the old-fashioned interior drains. It’s easy to install, effective in collecting water, and resistant to clogs.
It’s also advisable for you to install a sump pump system together with a battery-powered backup pump.
Lights can go off during a rainstorm. When the main pump fails, the backup pump will activate and eject any flood water that gets inside the basement.
If you would like to create an effective first line of defense against moisture or groundwater, get in touch with the experts from Foundation Recovery Systems. Once you schedule a free inspection and quote, one of our experienced professionals will complete a thorough evaluation of your home and recommend the best solutions suited to your home’s specific repair needs.