Whether an internal or external drainage system has failed, or natural soil drainage is excessive, there will be signs of water damage. It is important to contact a basement and foundation repair expert as soon as you notice waterproofing problems. However, there are some causes of water issues you can address yourself.
Signs of Drainage Problems
Unless a water pipe freezes and bursts, water damage doesn’t happen overnight. Look for water spots on the foundation as well as cracks running either horizontally or vertically along the walls. Cracks may be small hairline fractures or larger and deeper ones. Both types are cause for concern, with larger cracks needing immediate attention from a specialist.
Drainage problems also can cause foundation shifting, which leads to a host of problems. Some issues include doorframes and windowsills that are not level; cracks in the ceilings above the basement; cracks in windows; gaps between the door and the frame; and sagging floors. These issues are indicative of medium to severe foundation problems. Do not attempt to fix these issues yourself. You need accurate foundation repair — and this means a hiring a specialist.
What You Can Do
Expansion and contraction of soil around your home’s foundation is the main cause of water problems. As soil becomes saturated, it swells and pushes against the concrete, creating cracks and shifting the foundation. There are things you can do outside your home to limit how much water comes near the foundation.
A roof without a gutter system allows water to drip directly next to the foundation. Make sure your gutters are clear and angled several feet away from the house. You can purchase downspout extensions to funnel the water elsewhere. To drain water away from the foundation, address your landscaping. The ground should be sloped at an angle away from the home. This encourages the water in the soil to flow in the slope’s direction. Don’t let snow accumulate on the roof. Use a roof rake or heated coils to keep melting snow from creating ice dams.
If your basement is prone to flooding and you need a stopgap measure, consider a sump pump or two. This will not address the underlying problem, but it will get excess water out of the basement. To dry out the floor, run a few box fans raised a few inches off the floor.
If you live in an area that has soil that alternates between wet and bone dry, water the dirt. Try to keep moisture levels as consistent as possible.
What Professionals Should Do
Unless you’ve been trained in basement and foundation repair, it really is best to leave everything to the experts. Pros can install drainage systems, repair cracks, remove mold, and bolster your foundation. Specialists have to handle helical pier installation as they have the major equipment needed to perform this repair.
Slabjacking involves injecting expanding epoxy into the soil below the foundation via small holes. The epoxy expands, filling any gaps where the soil might shift. Installing helical piers requires digging outside the foundation until stable soil is reached. The piers are attached to the foundation’s footers and then to the wall. This is not something a homeowner can do.
If you know without a doubt that the hairline cracks in the basement walls are shallow, you can fix them with epoxy specifically made for concrete repair. However, this does not get to the root of the problem; you still should have a basement and foundation repair expert assess your home so you know where the issue originates and receive recommendations on how to fix it.
Acculevel Handles All Repairs
At Acculevel, we know foundation repair can be expensive. However, we promise only to make necessary fixes. We will never try to sell you a service your home doesn’t need, and we don’t believe in price gouging. From minor cracks and installing drainage systems to slabjacking, we are your foundation and basement repair specialists. If you live in the Midwest and are having drainage issues, give us a call at (866) 669-3349 or email us at [email protected].