Springtime often is when homeowners decide to call a basement and foundation specialist to look at waterproofing issues. Do they know something you don’t? Not necessarily. The timing just happens to coincide with a season that sees an increase in rain in many regions as well as ground thawing, which produce saturated soil that presses in on a home’s foundation. This often is the time when homeowners start noticing cracks in the basement walls and water blotches on the foundation floor.
All seasons affect soil and humidity, but some weather, such as heavy rainfall and snow, affects soil more than moderate weather. Incredibly dry soil can also damage a foundation as it shifts. Damage to your foundation may build up, and you might not notice it until several seasons later. It’s important to get an assessment on what the foundation and/or basement issues are as soon as you spot them.
Winter in areas with snowfall and freezing temperatures causes foundation damage via frost heaves, ice dams, melting snow, and freezing-and-thawing cycles in the soil. However, winter also is a good time to have a professional make repairs.
During winter, rainfall is less frequent and the soil is more stable than it would be during a rainy season. This is a great time for waterproofing and repairs, even if you have to work around holiday schedules and school vacations. Damage and the source of the problem won’t go away if you ignore them. What starts out minor will become something major if left alone.
Spring may be the time when water leakage is more blatant as snow melts and rain comes, but that can work to your advantage. This means that signs of foundation damage will be more obvious, and it also makes it easier for a professional to find the source of the problem and recommend an appropriate and effective solution.
Signs to Look For
So what are the signs to look for when checking your foundation and basement walls? Look for cracks in the basement walls or foundation. Even hairline cracks indicate a water problem. Long, wide, and/or deep cracks take priority over barely visible ones. Do not attempt to repair cracks yourself. Yes, there are plenty of products advertised to help you do just that, but unless you know exactly how deep the crack runs, you would be taking a risk on success. Also, filling the cracks does not address the source of the problem, so you will still have that to contend with at a later date.
Find someone with a good sense of smell and see if the basement has a mildew odor. If it does, you likely have a mold problem. You might not be able to see mold as it can grow out of sight. This is when a basement specialist with mold remediation certification comes in handy. He or she knows exactly where to look to find hidden mold.
In other parts of the house, check for sagging spots on the floor, cracks along the ceiling, cracks in windows, and unlevel doorjambs and windowsills. If you have a hard time closing interior doors or they won’t latch, this also could be attributed to foundation problems. Look for uneven gaps between doors and the floor and doorjambs.
Acculevel Offers Year-Round Service
At Acculevel, we know weather never takes a holiday, and a lot of it affects a foundation’s stability. There is never a better time to schedule repairs than the moment you notice a problem. Our experts can handle all aspects of foundation and basement waterproofing and repair, from filling cracks and removing mold to making the foundation level again. If you live in the Midwest and have noticed signs of slab or wall damage, contact us at (866) 669-3349 or [email protected].