Tips for Keeping Your Foundation Dry
Tuesday, April 12th, 2016 by Thrasher
Let Thrasher Foundation Repair provide you with a worry-free solution to your water issues.
Each structure has unique waterproofing and drainage needs, depending on the surrounding topography. Solutions can range from "easy" fixes such as maintaining gutters and downspouts to permanent fixes such as installing interior or exterior drainage systems and sump pumps. Following are some actions you can take as part of your maintenance routine to help alleviate water issues. It is important to remember that a systematic solution is best for providing the peace of mind in knowing that you are keeping your foundation dry.
Gutters and Downspouts:
Problems can arise when downspouts aren't adequately extended away from the foundation.
Gutters aren't kept clear of debris.
The guttering system isn't properly sized to handle roof load water.
? Install either buried downspouts or downspout extensions so that water is discharged a safe distance away from the foundation. Thrasher recommends taking these water outlets a minimum of ten feet away from the foundation wall. The soil at this distance is more compact, and the water will be further away from your foundation at this distance.
? Make cleaning gutters a routine maintenance habit.
? If you have done everything else and still have water spilling over the gutters rather than flowing through, you might consider contacting a guttering contractor to perform a roof load analysis to ensure the guttering system is sized correctly. For example, if you have a steeply pitched roof, you may need larger guttering to handle rainwater effectively.
? Thrasher offers gutter installation as part of a systematic approach to keeping your foundation dry and free from water damage.
Some of the largest contributors to water issues include foundation cracks, problems with gutters and/or downspouts, negative grade and groundwater. Identifying which of these problems, or combination of problems, you're experiencing is the best way to diagnose a proper fix.
Negative Grade: If the grade of the soil is sloping towards the structure, you're feeding water directly onto the foundation rather than having it drain away. If water is allowed to build up then recede from the foundation wall continuously, hydrostatic pressure can cause cracks, bowing walls and other structural problems. The soil in this area is made up of high levels of clay, which is very reactive to moisture.
? Add soil around the foundation to create a positive slope away from the foundation. The slope should typically be carried out a minimum of 6 feet from the foundation. Sometimes taking an elevation survey of the property and surrounding areas is necessary to make sure water is properly channeled. This is something that we recommend monitoring throughout the year as soil grade can fluctuate depending on factors.
Foundation Cracks: Foundation cracks can be caused by a variety of issues - excess water being one. Cracks aren't always signs of major foundation problems; however, they should be repaired, so they don't allow water to infiltrate. If left unprotected, this can cause significantly more damage to the home.
? Epoxies and urethanes can be used in the event of an active leak. However, a urethane will add no strength to a foundation and should only be used for waterproofing in circumstances where there are no structural concerns. Urethane is pushed through the foundation wall under pressure and is activated by water. Thus, it will seek out the water in the crack and will also go through the wall to the outside to seal the crack all the way through. This is a band-aid solution that will not last.
? Sump pumps are also a way to help get water out and away from your home. It is essential to regularly check your pumps to ensure they are functioning correctly. Thrasher also recommends having a battery backup installed with all sump pumps to prevent water entry when the power goes out. Like downspouts, it is essential to bury the sump pump discharges at least ten feet from the foundations to ensure that the water does not cycle through the pump repeatedly and cause damage to the foundation.
While these actions will help to ensure your foundation is as dry as possible, Thrasher also offers a patented waterproofing system that allows us to guarantee the inside of your home will be water-free. Whether the water is infiltrating your home from cracks in the wall, seeping through your wall or floor or coming in at the cold joint, we have a permanent solution to eliminate the water to restore your peace of mind.