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✔ A solid foundation makes things last. It’s especially true with houses. That’s why if you want to assess the structural integrity of your home, you only have to check its foundation. After all, it’s what holds up your house, right?
✔ However, the foundation being structural integrity’s start and end also means that any damage could lead to major issues in your home. One of a house foundation’s major problems that may arise is taking on water. Cracks, electrical hazards, and molds may follow when that happens. Add to it the fact that water damage to a home’s foundation is a costly problem to resolve, with an average repair cost of USD$5,400.
✔ Luckily, there are some things that you can do to keep water away from your home’s foundation. Read below for our guide.
1. Regular gutter cleanup
✔ One of the best ways to prevent water from running off your roof and leaking into the house’s foundation is gutter installation. But installing gutters alone isn’t enough.
✔ What most homeowners miss out on is regular gutter cleanup. A gutter is only effective when maintained. You can’t expect it to continue properly when debris clogs the pipes and prevents water from draining.
✔ The good news is that it’s easy to find professional gutter cleaning service providers nowadays. Search for several companies near your area online, check their websites, get pricing, and pick the most suitable option.
✔ Of course, don’t forget about the downspouts, too. Is the water from your gutters draining far enough away (ideally 10 feet away) from the foundation? If not, then extend them to achieve a safe distance.
✔ Wait, how you’ve landscaped your yard can damage your home’s foundation? Believe it or not, it can. That said, your lawn can make your foundation susceptible to water damage when landscaping isn’t done correctly.
✔ A few things to keep in mind when it comes to landscaping include:
- The lawn’s gradient: The yard must tilt away from your home. It ensures that water doesn’t flow toward the foundation when it rains or when you water the plants. The last thing you’d want is water accumulating around your home and without anywhere else to go, penetrate the foundation walls. When that happens, be ready to pay professionals for the needed repairs.
Experts recommend at least six inches slope in 10 feet (or 5%). Use a level to check the slope. And remember to do it across the perimeter, not just the front yard.
- The plants’ distance from the foundation: Trees and shrubs provide natural beauty to your landscape. They also prevent soil erosion. Sadly, they can damage your foundation if they’re too close to your house (trees less than 20 feet away and shrubs less than five feet away). Ensure enough space between your home and the plant’s root system.
- The soil’s moisture content: It’s important to water your plants regularly, but did you know the soil also needs watering, especially if you want to protect your foundation during the dry season? Yes, it may sound contradictory, but dry soil isn’t a good thing. That’s because the soil particles can shrink, and it’ll have difficulty soaking the water when it rains. When that happens, it’ll swell and expand, putting pressure on the foundation possibly resulting in cracks.
✔ Following the tips above regarding landscaping reduces any chance of soil causing structural damage due to shrinking and swelling.
3. Foundation Waterproofing
✔ Another way to keep water away from your house’s foundation is waterproofing. Remember that this job requires a skilled contractor since any mistakes during the process can result in expensive fixes. It also involves significant surface preparation that should be left to the experts.
✔ The process starts with cleaning the foundation walls and footing. Any loose materials like concrete are also fixed or removed. Voids and holes, no matter the size, need sealing, too.
✔ Once done with the preparation, the real work starts: draining water that’s already inside the foundation (if any), treating the walls (inner and outer walls) by installing waterproofing membranes so water can’t move through it, and, finally, directing water away from the house through a drainage system like French drains.
✔ Waterproofing can reduce moisture, prevent flooding, and avoid property damage, so while it may not be one of the first home improvement projects you have in mind, it’ll make your house more usable and comfortable.
4. Sump pump installation
✔ Despite improving drainage systems, proper landscaping, and waterproofing the foundation, water may still enter your home, especially during heavy storms. This is where sump pumps come in and offer great help. They regulate groundwater to prevent flooding.
✔ What is a sump pump? It’s just a hole in the basement ground. As simple as this piece of equipment may seem, it could save you money, time, and frustration due to unwanted water damage. It requires upfront investment, yes, but significantly cheaper than foundation repairs. So, when water within the basement reaches a certain level, the pump switches on and sends the excess water away from the building. When there’s no water left, it automatically switches off.
✔ Sump pumps will give you extra peace of mind, knowing your property is protected even during emergencies.
5. Plumbing system maintenance
✔ Unfortunately, water that reaches your home’s foundation doesn’t only come from rain; any problem with pipes and plumbing fixtures may also result in water seeping through. That’s why your home’s plumbing also needs regular maintenance.
✔ Plumbing system maintenance involves several steps, including a tap washer checkup, pipe system inspection, and water pressure assessment. Of course, a professional plumber will do all these and then replace, if necessary, worn-out or broken parts to prevent or stop any leaks.
✔ What’s scary about water damage to the foundation is that homeowners can’t tell when it’ll strike, and it’s true even for seemingly perfect homes. Sure, you can expect flooding after a massive storm.
✔ However, even without a recent calamity, pipes could burst due to aging, leading to water invasion. Of course, without regular gutter cleanup, proper landscaping, and basement waterproofing, water damage is also inevitable.
✔ And that’s why you must invest in emergency solutions like installing a sump pump for added peace of mind.
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