As a seasoned home owner who has lived in 3 different houses in 3 different states, I understand that a house’s foundation is the backbone of any home. It’s essential to protect your home’s foundation from water damage, both from the outside and inside, to ensure that your house remains strong for years to come.
Foundation water damage can cause cracking and ultimately weaken your foundation, compromising your home’s safety and leading to expensive repairs.
Here are seven tips to help you avoid foundation water damage and give you peace of mind:
Ways To Prevent Home Foundation Water Damage
Ensure Visibility of Your Foundation
While the exposed foundation might not be the most attractive part of your home’s exterior, it’s crucial to ensure that there is always a gap between the ground and the house’s exterior materials. At a minimum, six inches of foundation should be visible for brick or cement exteriors, and eight inches of foundation should be visible for wood exteriors. If soil, mulch, or other materials are too high, moisture can penetrate the top of your foundation easily.
Regularly Clean Rain Gutters
Rain gutters that become clogged with debris won’t be able to send rainwater through the downspouts properly, leading to water buildup inside the gutters. The water will eventually pour over the sides and land near the foundation of your home. If the water pools around the foundation, moisture could seep into the foundation, weakening it over time. Clean your gutters at least once or twice every year to ensure rainwater can drain correctly, and check for any repairs your gutter system may need.
Check the Length of Downspouts
Even if your gutter system is clean and properly working, if your home’s downspouts aren’t moving water far enough away from your home, you could still end up with water damage due to rain. Downspouts should be designed to move water at least 10 feet away from your foundation. This will prevent the water from finding its way back to your foundation, even in major storms. If your downspouts aren’t currently emptying water at least 10 feet away from your home, purchase downspout extensions that can carry water as far from your home as you want.
Ensure Your Landscape Slopes Away From the House
Landscaping should always be graded to gently slope away from your home, as well as other areas you don’t want water to pool, such as around walkways or a patio. For every 10 feet, the landscape should slope at least 6 inches to keep water moving away from your foundation rather than pooling near it or even running toward it. Check for any low or sunken spots around the perimeter of your foundation and fill them in as needed.
Water Your Foundation During the Summer
Extended periods without rain can cause the ground around your foundation to dry and shrink. Then, if the area around your house receives too much water too quickly after a period of drought, such as during a thunderstorm, the ground will expand too quickly, upsetting your foundation and causing cracks. So although it may seem counterintuitive, occasionally watering the soil around the perimeter of your home will keep the soil at a proper density.
Install a Sump Pump in Your Basement
No matter how hard you try to keep water away from your foundation and out of your home, there will likely be times when groundwater will find its way in. Installing a sump pump in your basement that can collect and get rid of groundwater is a great preventative measure to protect your foundation from water damage.
Quickly Remove Water From Your Basement Following a Disaster
While a sump pump will take care of most of the groundwater that makes its way into your home, in the event of a flood, broken pipe, or another disaster, your sump pump may not be able to handle the amount of unwanted water.
So in these cases, it’s best to call on a professional for help. Water damage restoration companies, like Water Extraction Experts, can quickly remove sitting water from your home to help minimize the extent of damage to the foundation.
Signs of Water Damage to Foundation
It’s crucial to know the signs of water damage to the foundation, including cracks in the foundation, uneven floors, gaps between the walls and ceiling, and doors or windows that won’t close correctly. If you notice any of these signs, it’s essential to call a professional immediately to assess the extent of the damage and recommend the best course of action.
Foundation Water Damage Repair Cost
The cost of foundation water damage repair can be significant, depending on the extent of the damage. It’s best to address any issues promptly to avoid more significant repair costs down the line.
By following these tips and knowing the signs of water damage to the foundation, you can ensure your home remains strong and secure for years to come. If you’re wondering what you can put around your foundation to stop water, the answer is to make sure the ground slopes away from your home, clean your gutters regularly, and check your downspouts’ length.