7 Ways to Protect Your House’s Foundation From Water Damage
A house is only as strong as its foundation. So to keep your house strong for years to come, it’s important to protect your home’s foundation from water—both from the outside and from the inside.
Foundation water damage can cause cracking to occur, which can ultimately weaken your foundation, compromise the safety of your home, and lead to major repair expenses. Here are seven tips to help you avoid foundation water damage and give you peace of mind.
- Make Sure the Foundation Is Visible
Although the exposed foundation might not be the most attractive part of your home’s exterior, there should always be a gap between the ground and the house’s exterior materials. At a minimum, six inches of foundation should be visible for brick or cement exteriors and eight inches of foundation should be visible for wood exteriors. If soil, mulch, or other materials are too high, moisture can more easily penetrate the top of your foundation.
- Clean Rain Gutters Regularly
Rain gutters that become clogged with debris won’t be able to properly send rainwater through the downspouts and away from your home. Water will be left to build up inside the gutters every time it rains, eventually pouring over the sides and landing near the foundation of your home. And if the water is able to pool around the foundation, moisture could begin to seep into the foundation which will make it weaker over time. Clean your gutters at least once or twice every year to ensure rainwater can properly drain and check for any repairs your gutter system may need as well.
- Check the Length of Downspouts
Even if your gutter system is clean and properly working, if your home’s downspouts aren’t moving water far enough away from your home you could still end up with water damage due to rain. Downspouts should be designed to move water at least 10 feet away from your foundation. This will prevent the water from finding its way back to your foundation, even in major storms. If your downspouts aren’t currently emptying water at least 10 feet away from your home, in most cases the solution is as simple as purchasing downspout extensions that can carry water as far from your home as you want.
- Make Sure Your Landscape Slopes Away From the House
Landscaping should always be graded to gently slope away from your home (as well as other areas you don’t want the water to pool such as around walkways or a patio). A general guideline is that for every 10 feet the landscape should slope at least 6 inches to keep water moving away from your foundation rather than pooling near it or even running toward it. Because ground can shift and settle over time, it’s important to check for any low or sunken spots around the perimeter of your foundation and to fill these in as needed.
- Water Your Foundation During the Summer
Extended periods without rain can cause the ground around your foundation to dry and shrink. Then, if the area around your house receives too much water too quickly after a period of drought, such as during a thunderstorm, the ground will expand too quickly, which could upset your foundation and cause cracks. So although it may seem counterintuitive, occasionally watering the soil around the perimeter of your home will keep the soil at a proper density.
- Install a Sump Pump in Your Basement
No matter how hard you try to keep water away from your foundation and out of your home, there will likely be times when groundwater will get the best of you and find its way in. Installing a sump pump in your basement that can collect and get rid of groundwater is a great preventative measure to protect your foundation from water damage.
- Quickly Remove Water From Your Basement Following a Disaster
While a sump pump will take care of most of the groundwater that makes its way into your home, in the event of a flood, broken pipe, or another disaster, your sump pump may not be able to handle the amount of unwanted water. So in these cases, it’s in your best interest to call on a professional for help. Water damage restoration companies, like Water Extraction Experts, can quickly remove sitting water from your home to help minimize the extent of damage to the foundation.
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Hiring a professional restoration team like Water Extraction Experts can give you peace of mind that your home is in good hands.
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