You want your home to reflect your beliefs and values. It’s hard to build a happy home, though, when you’re dealing with a foundation leak. Foundation leaks are sneaky – many homeowners will dismiss a bit of dampness in their basement when it first appears. If you let a leak go untreated for too long, though, you may find yourself dealing with a leak that requires extensive and invasive repairs.
Even so, it’s always better to repair a leak than it is to let one run rampant in your home. What, then, can you do to detect a foundation leak and protect your home’s value?
The Causes Behind Foundation Leaks
Sometimes, environmental pressures, like invasive tree roots, can cause the materials making up the foundation of your home to start to crack and let in water. However, it’s rare that one large event will trigger a foundation leak. More often than not, you can blame several smaller events for the damage done to your foundation.
Some of the most common cause of a foundation leak, not including invasive tree roots, include:
- Heavy rain
- Shifting soil
- Your foundation’s response to the weather
If you live in an area that sees frequent temperature fluctuations around the changing of the seasons, then you’ll want to talk to a local contractor about the kind of waterproofing solutions you can use to protect your foundation. Brick and concrete foundations, in particular, will expand and contractor as the weather changes. If you’re not prepared, these materials can easily crack and let water – and critters – into your home.
Signs to Look Out for
What should you be looking for if you suspect a foundation crack? Unfortunately, foundation cracks and basement leaks look at lot alike to homeowners who haven’t had to deal with them before. However, the symptoms of a foundation leak tend to appear in your structural supports. Some of the signs you’ll find inside of your home include:
- Bowing walls
- Shifting floors
- Gaps at the joints of your foundation
- Sticking doors
- Foggy windows
- Water-damaged belongings or furniture
Because there are so many myths claiming that foundation repair is too expensive, many homeowners let a leak grow in hopes that its symptoms will eventually disappear. Unfortunately, this isn’t how foundation leaks worse. If you let a foundation leak go for too long, you’ll start to see the leak impacting the exterior of your home. External signs of a foundation leak include:
- Vertical cracks in your walls
- A cracked chimney
- Cracks running horizontally across your foundation
How to Fix a Foundation Leak
Once you’ve sought out the professional opinion of a foundation repair contractor, you’ll be able to determine how severe the foundation leak you have on your hands is and what your viable solutions are. Your options will be plentiful. Some of the most common foundation repair solutions include:
- Leveling and slabjacking
- Subfloor drainage
Choosing a solution isn’t always easy. That said, the contractor you bring into your home should be able to give you all the details you need to determine which of the aforementioned solutions – or any combinations thereof – will keep your home safe in the long-term.
The Benefit of Professional Guidance
If you’re used to doing things on your own in your neighborhood, you may be tempted to DIY a foundation repair solution. While your intentions may be good, DIY solutions often cause more harm to your home’s foundation than they do good. Not only do you risk making the leak in your foundation worse, but you make your eventual repairs even more expensive, as professionals will have to remove your attempts at a solution before implementing their own.
When in doubt, reach out to the foundation repair contractors working in your area. The sooner you ask for help, the sooner you can get back to making your home your own.