Foundation trouble has many warning signs and consequences, from damaged pipes to shifting walls. Problems with your foundation that progress far enough can lead to tens of thousands of dollars of damage and even destroy your home entirely. Unfortunately, many homeowners wait to act until they are already facing a worst-case scenario.
Water can be one of the most insidious causes of severe foundation damage, so recognizing the early signs is critical to addressing the problem before it's too late. Below are three indications that a water problem may be threatening your home's foundation.
1. A Moldy or Mildewy Smell in Your Basement or Crawlspace
Despite the stereotypes, your basement shouldn't be a damp, dark hole in the ground. An unpleasant, moldy smell in your basement is a surefire sign of excessive moisture. Start your investigation by looking for signs of trouble with your plumbing. If your pipes seem okay, then water is most likely entering your basement from the surrounding soil.
As long as you don't have visible cracks or standing water on the floor, the problem may not yet be severe. A foundation contractor can help you determine if moisture is seeping in due to a grading or drainage problem. Identifying and fixing the underlying cause now will help you to prevent the need for more expensive repairs to your foundation in the future.
2. Flooding After Rain or Snow Melt
While most basements include sump pumps or drainage systems, you shouldn't consider any amount of flooding to be an everyday occurrence. If water enters your basement following a typical rainstorm or as the snow melts in the spring, then you are suffering from either a drainage problem or existing damage to your foundation.
Once you clean up flood waters, do a thorough check for cracks. A significant amount of water can enter your basement from relatively small cracks following heavy rainfall. Even if you can't see any sizeable gaps, you may still have a severe problem. Since water infiltration will cause these cracks to expand over time, it's critical to locate and address them before they affect your foundation's structure.
3. Bowing Walls
The most severe indication of water damage (and possibly foundation failure) is walls that seem to be bending inwards or bowing. Cracks will form as this occurs, but they may be difficult to spot with some foundations. Bowing walls indicate an increase in water pressure from the surrounding soil, and they can eventually cause your foundation to fail.
If you notice this problem, contact a foundation repair company immediately. Contractors can use wall anchors or similar systems to reinforce your walls and restore them to their original condition. Although these repairs aren't always cheap, they can help to save your home from catastrophe. Contact a company like Du-West Foundation Repair to learn more.
During the summer months, I enjoy taking care of my outdoor plants and flowers. Because I live in the southern United States, my vegetation needs water almost daily. Thankfully, I have a convenient outdoor faucet connected to my home. However, I recently endured some problems with this source of water. When I turned on the faucet, I was greeted with a forceful spray of water going in all directions. Before I could gather my senses and turn the water off, I resembled my dog after she jumps into a pool of water. To avoid the wet dog look in the future, I plan to hire a professional plumber to take care of my faulty faucet. On this blog, you will learn about the benefits of securing a reputable plumber to repair your problematic faucets.