All it takes is a few inches of water to cause an extensive damage to your property, which can quickly become irreversible. Water damage can be devastating especially to the building’s structure: it weakens the foundation, causes cracks, and creates easy pathways for water to enter the building. If water is not removed in a timely manner, mold and other microbial organisms can begin to grow, creating damage and health hazards.
So, when should you start worrying that moisture could possibly damage your property? When there is a problem with surface water, a soggy lawn, or when you notice that water easily gets into your basement. It is important to waterproof your property because unexpected raining and flooding can happen anytime. Remember that preventing water damage is less costly than paying for home repairs.
Signs of Foundation Damage:
- Doors (including garage doors) and windows no longer shut properly
- Doors, windows, walls, ceiling, or bricks in the outdoor foundation have cracks
- Foundation outside has moved from the level of your lawn
- Sloping floors, or visible wall rotation
- Gaps or separation between walls, ceilings, and floors.
Here is what you need to do to prevent house foundation damage:
- Exterior Measures
The basement and the floor perimeter drainage is essential for a building foundation protection. This is why you should install a good drainage system to keep the building structure intact. A minor water leak is usually not noticeable at first, but it can create major damage later. Persistent leaks lead to mold and mildew, and even termites and ants, as they love digesting softened wood.
When homeowners experience moisture in the basements for the first time, they have to determine if the water problem is likely to re-occur. To accomplish this, check the following: gutters should be free of leaves and debris, the drainage pipes must direct water 5-10 feet away from the building, the ground around the house has to be sloping at least 10 feet away from it, and the lawn irrigation system should not be placed too close to the building.
Don’t make a mistake of letting the soil around the house completely dry out, as it starts shrinking in dry conditions. Why is it important? Because a sudden expansion of soil during a rainstorm is inevitable and will cause the soil to move which puts extra pressure on the foundation. A solution here is to run a soaker hose at least 6 inches from the foundation on sunny days to prepare for the time when a storm hits your neighborhood. Clay soils are especially reactive to expansion and contraction, compared to sand and rock terrain that is usually not affected.
- Interior Measures
Here is your moisture prevention action plan: know the location of your water main, check home appliances and upgrade washing machine and dishwasher hoses regularly, install water detection devices to be able to easily find leaks and to fix them immediately. Monitor your monthly water bill to identify the unusual increase in water usage that might indicate possible water leaks.
Check your water pressure to prevent damage to the pipes: ideally it should be 40 - 70 psi. To test the static water pressure, you need a pressure gauge. If you get your water from the municipal utility, select a faucet or a hose bib near the water meter. If your water comes from a well, use an outlet that is close to the well's pressure tank. To get an accurate reading, turn off washing machines, dishwashers, and sprinklers. It is a great idea to test water pressure even if you have a pressure regulator because it allows you to catch a problem with the pressure regulator before high pressure damages your plumbing.
Following these surprisingly simple steps will allow you to say Au Revoir to water leaks and prevent costly repairs. Now you know how to prevent water damage. Take the responsibility of protecting your property seriously.
We are here to help. Call our experts at 800-829-9580 for advice on what PPE you will need to accomplish your water damage prevention projects.