Tips to Prevent Foundation Damage
Most of us like to think that our home’s foundations are invulnerable. While many homes rest on strong foundations, none have invincible groundwork. Microscopic forces within soil and moisture slowly erode the strength of all structures’ foundations. So, rather than assume their immunity from danger, perform routine foundation damage assessments. Moreover, concrete foundation repair professionals suggest you have your plumbing inspected annually, maintain relative moisture levels beneath your home, drain water away from your structure, and more.
For all such questions and needs, turn to NV Waterproofing & Foundation Repair. We are a trusted provider of wet basement solutions, crack repairs, drainage system installations, and more. Indeed, we’ve honed our craft since 1986 to deliver outstanding customer service, high-quality craftsmanship, and cutting-edge products. Our dependable results have earned us the Super Service Award with Angie’s List multiple times as well as a “chosen provider” selection for Best Pick Reports over the past ten years. For more information, call our office at 1-855-649-7594 and tell us about your home foundation needs!
Below, we outline several tips for protecting your home’s foundations from damage:
Tips for Soil
We can categorize common kinds of foundation damage by the site where it occurs: soil, floor, and foundation walls. Additionally, each problem has specific indicators that signal their presence: foundation settlement, sagging floors, and wall buckling/failure, respectively. Almost all foundation repairs treat at least one of these problems.
Soil settlement occurs when the weight of a structure, combined with moisture and other factors, causes the soil beneath it to collapse. Soil, especially backfilled soil, contains tiny pockets of emptiness that crumple under a structure’s or moisture pressure. Even minute shifts undermine foundations’ structural integrity and lead to stair-step cracking, separating chimneys, and “sticky” doors and windows.
To help prevent soil settlement, you can:
- Keep the soil around your foundation “watered”: dry soil expands and wet soil contracts, so maintaining a consistent water level in your soil helps prevent these shifts. You might also place mulch around your foundation to retain moisture below ground.
- Have your home’s plumbing inspected routinely: since moisture causes soil settlement, you should try to prevent sudden floods from occurring beneath your home. A leaking pipe can introduce a fatal flow of water, so schedule routine plumbing inspections to avoid such leaks.
- Contact NV Waterproofing for foundation piers: even if your foundations have begun settling, you can prevent further damage with the right products. Our team stocks and installs foundation pier systems in two varieties: push piers and helical piers. Both products can lift and hold a house in their pre-settlement location.
Tips for Flooring
Have you noticed a “bouncy” feeling or tilt to your ground-level floors? Another common problem created by foundation damage, sagging, or sloping floors can affect your home’s structural integrity: they open gaps between the floor and interior walls. Cracks may appear around door frames as the surrounding walls sink. Doors and windows may “stick” as the frames lose their original shape.
Rather than waste your time trying quick fixes—such as block columns and shimming—we suggest:
- Maintain a reasonable moisture level in your basement or crawl space: oftentimes, the climate beneath homes has high relative humidity. The moisture in the air attacks the lumber that constitutes your home’s frame, which then rots and weakens. Nevertheless, you can limit that relative humidity level with a CleanSpace® Crawl Space Vapor Barrier system and a SaniDry™ Sedona Dehumidifier, both of which NV Waterproofing stocks and installs.
- Invest in a structural support system: homeowners with significant floor sagging should ask about a structural support system, such as the SmartJack® crawl space support system. These sturdy jacks can support the weight of your structure, restoring stability and leveling to your floors.
Tips for Foundation Walls
Your foundation walls’ are crucial to structural integrity, and seeing them crack and buckle is frightening. Indeed, specific types of cracks indicate specific problems. You might also see the wall push in at the bottom or lean in at the top.
Nevertheless, you can take steps to prevent such damage:
- Ensure water drains away from your house: a build-up of water outside your foundation walls can lead to a variety of problems. If the ground is composed of clay, it will expand due to the moisture and apply pressure to the wall, pushing it inward. Freezing temperatures cause groundwater to expand and pressure walls as well. Finally, simple hydrostatic pressure—that is, the pressure exerted by a fluid due to gravity—will also push foundation walls inward.
So, install downspouts to carry water from your gutters and away from your home. You might also consider installing ground drains. Homeowners with proper space can implement foundation grading so water drains away from their structure. Anything that prevents water from pooling along foundations protects your foundation walls.
- Keep trees and shrubbery away from your structure: plants use their roots to draw water out of the ground. During dry spells, they pull as much moisture from the ground as possible, which causes the soil to expand. This movement—as well as more soil contraction when it soaks up water—disturbs foundation walls and creates uneven settling. By planting trees and shrubs away from your house, you can avoid this problem.
- Use bracing and reinforcement systems: if your foundation walls have suffered significant damage already, contact NV Waterproofing about what you can do. For tilting, bowing, or buckling walls, we recommend the PowerBrace™ Wall Repair System. This device straightens walls out over time as its steel beams—secured to the wall’s inside surface with brackets— slowly adjust their position.
A GeoLock® Wall Anchor can also straighten buckling walls, but this product goes outside a foundation wall and thus requires some excavation. If obstructions on your foundation walls prevent us from using a PowerBrace, we can install a Wall Anchor instead.
Reliable Concrete Foundation Repair from a Trusted, Local Provider
You can rest easy and feel confident in your home’s longevity with the support of concrete foundation repair experts. Just reach out to NV Waterproofing & Foundation Repair. Our industry expertise and standing have earned us the trust and approval of decades’ worth of clients. Whether you need new home waterproofing, crack repair, drainage systems, or another service, call our office today at 1-855-649-7594. You can also visit our website and receive a free project estimate!