Foundations and water go together like peanut butter and jelly. It’s true! It’s not unusual to find a leaking foundation wall in your home. However, it doesn’t necessarily indicate a catastrophe or doesn’t mean that your home was improperly built. Time and nature are often responsible for the cracked foundation walls in your home, and aspects of both will determine the reason for the leak and how it might be fixed.
Addressing a leaking foundation as soon as you see the water is essential. Water can not only cause a lot of property damage but can also be responsible for mold formation in your home. That’s unhealthy and could cause allergies and other problems amongst you and your family members.
Where’s the water coming from?
As you prepare to address a leaky foundation, you’ll first need to determine that the problem is indeed caused by groundwater leaking into the walls. Sometimes, homeowners overlook that the water could come from a plumbing leak. That really should be the first consideration. If you fix the foundation cracks and still see water, you’ll know you’ve made a mistake. So, don’t forget to investigate that possibility first.
Once you’ve examined the plumbing and found no problems, you can assume that the groundwater from the outside is being pushed into the foundation walls. This happens due to a process known as “hydrostatic pressure”. When excess water builds up around foundation walls, the pressure exerts itself on them, causing a bowing of the walls. Eventually, you’ll see cracks appear.
In addition, the soil expands when it’s wet and shrinks when it’s dry. This can affect your foundation, especially if you experience extremes in weather. When your foundation no longer has a steady bed of soil to rest on, it begins to settle into the ground.
Now, with an answer about your leaks in hand, you have several options available to address the situation, and you’ll need to determine which is the best and most permanent.
A permanent or a temporary fix?
Budget is a consideration for most homeowners when deciding how to do foundation repairs on their house. Many homeowners look for the cheapest way to make a fix, but that’s not always a wise choice, especially with an issue that can be as serious as a leaky, cracked foundation. For such a problem, you should look for a solution that’s more than just a band-aid. You’ll want a permanent solution that keeps the water from coming back.
Of course, you’ll first need to stop the water from making its way to the foundation wall. That may involve your gutters and downspouts, which could be improperly directed and cause water to flow toward the house. Call a gutter expert to determine this. Your lawn may also be sloped toward your house, and you may need to employ the services of a landscaper to handle that.
But once you’ve determined the cause, it’s time to consider your options. Should you decide on a quick fix, which may or may not last, you could use a urethane caulk to fill the cracks from the inside. You can do that yourself or hire someone to do it. However, this isn’t always the best option, especially when the cracks are more than a few inches deep.
When you desire a more permanent solution, taking care of the problem from the exterior makes more sense. While this is more time-consuming and certainly more costly, it provides you with a long-lasting result and will likely save money and hassle in the long run. This is especially true when there are multiple leaks.
Fixing your leaks from the outside involves:
- Excavating the foundation wall
- Cleaning the wall
- Filling cracks with hydraulic cement
- Coating the wall(s) with an elastic rubber membrane
- Replacing the weeping tile
- Back-filling and compacting the soil
When this is done by professionals like the staff at Urban Water Works, it will be a permanent solution that washes away the worries about more water damage. As water main and drainage professionals, we’ll cost-effectively manage your cracked foundation project, offering competitive rates and top-notch customer service.
For more information on addressing your leaky foundation problems, call us at 604-790-8993.