Heavy Rain! Water, Water and Water everywhere.
A scenario not liked by many. Apart from the fact that heavy rains create a damp and lethargic atmosphere, people are forced to stay in-doors and cancel all outdoor activities. There is another serious threat that many are unaware of, is that heavy rains weaken the foundation of your homes.
While a moderate shower has no reason for concern. But heavy rain poses a serious foundation problem to homes with improper drainage systems which need to be fixed immediately by hiring foundation repair experts.
Let us understand in detail how heavy rains affect the foundation of our homes?
Foundation damage begins with formation of minor cracks on walls and ground due to heavy rain. But minor cracks that are less than one-eighth–inch wide are not a cause of worry and can be ignored. Such hairline cracks are common in concrete foundation. However, one should keep in mind that minor cracks can create a problem in future. Minor cracks indicate that heavy rain is exerting pressure on foundation and thus should be supervised. If the existing cracks worsen over time or new cracks are formed then it can lead to water leakage. Ground water may enter your house through these cracks and weaken your foundation.
2. Soil shrinking:
Soil under your foundation expands and contracts depending on weather conditions. Heavy rain causes a drastic settling or sinking of foundation. During the dry season, the soil around the foundation dries up and contracts. As the soil shrinks it moves away from the foundation leaving large gaps. Now during a heavy downpour the rain water finds place in these gaps and settles down. The soil around and under the foundation absorbs lots of water and moisture and expands. Due to heavy rains the water pressure in the soil increases. The expanded soil exerts force on foundation wall and makes it bow in. As the water pressure increases the soil loses its ability to absorb the water. As a result cracks are formed in the foundation. The excess water makes its way and enters the basement through these cracks. Again as the dry season follows after heavy rainfall, the soil shrinks moving away from the foundation leaving large gaps. This leads to sinking of the foundation. Thus a cyclic movement of the soil according to weather conditions leads to settling or sinking of foundation.
It is thus advisable that after a heavy rainfall one should immediately get the foundation inspected by professional foundation repair consultants.
How to detect whether heavy rains have caused extreme settling or sinking of foundation?
Following are the warning signs that will help you to detect whether heavy rains have weakened the foundation.
- Cracks in and around doors and windows
- Musty odor and dampness
- Leaning chimney
- Displaced foundation
- Jamming and sticking of doors and windows
- Cracks in concrete floor or dry walls
- Cracks in the bricks of stair-step
- Major cracks in foundation
Reason’s for impact of rain on foundation. How can we protect our foundation?
Now that we know how heavy rains affect our foundation, let us quickly study the reason behind it.
1. Landscaping and drainage system:
Landscaping should have positive slopes that drain surface water away from the foundation. Negative slopes will move rain water towards the foundation leading to water accumulation. Pools of water near the foundation also indicate a poor drainage system. An appropriate drainage system should be installed which has the capacity to evacuate abundant quantities of water.
2. Flower beds:
The top soil of flower beds has a tendency to absorb a lot of water and moisture. During heavy rainfall flower beds accumulate water and form water puddles during torrential rains. This affects the integrity of the foundation. Thus flower beds should be located away from foundation.
3. Rain gutters:
There is a risk of water accumulation when gutter downspouts are located near the foundation. Gutter downspouts should be located at least 4 feet away from the foundation for proper evacuation of roof water.
Different soils have different capacities of absorbing and draining water. Clay soil absorbs a lot of water and moisture. It expands during heavy rains and shrinks during the dry season. Thus houses built on clay soil experience foundation damage. On the other hand sandy soil neither absorbs nor retains water. Thus sandy soil around the foundation provides a stable ground base.
5. Deep root plants:
Deep rooted plants should not be near the foundation. The roots of these plants extend in the drains to absorb water from it. This leads to blockage of the drainage system and water accumulation.
A Home is a precious wealth. People toil for years to buy their dream house. So it is indeed scary to imagine foundation water damage sinking your dream house.
Thus do not ignore the first sign of damage and secure your house by taking an easy way, call Guardian Foundation Repair in Knoxville, the best foundation repair and wet basement repair specialist. We provide comprehensive foundation repair services in Johnson City and East Tennessee too. Relieve your burden and rely on our experts to correct any foundation damage.