Is your home protected against the potential damage that can be caused by rain and pooling water? As many homeowners know, rainwater can be devastating to your home or property.
There are many ways in which water can cause damage to your home and foundation, and many solutions you can install to prevent that damage and protect your home.
Especially here in California where we have expansive soil, water can be both a blessing and a curse. While we appreciate that fact that it has rained and we have more access to water, that water can wreak havoc upon your home. When the soil under your foundation absorbs water it expands, when the water dries, the soil compacts down and is not in the same place it was before, supporting your foundation. This can result in cracked concrete slabs and the settling of your foundation resulting in unleveled floors and a weakened structural integrity. The water can also seep into a raised foundation and cause wood rot, mold and mildew which can be very dangerous for you, your home and your family.
It is imperative to take measures to prevent water from pooling around your home. There are many solutions to water problems. Sometimes an open underground drainage system, called a French drain, is needed. This is a process of installing a drainage system where the pipes are open and covered with wire mesh and gravel to allow the water to flow in, but not the dirt and other debris that can clog the pipes. In this way, the pipes absorb the water, instead of the soil, concrete and wood, and channel the water away from the house and the areas where it can do damage. A different type of underground drainage system is a closed pipe drainage system where the pipes are all connected to drainage boxes where the water collects and is pumped through the pipes away from the house. Sometimes, in areas that accumulate significant amounts of water or where there is a slope or hillside water pooling issue, sump pumps will be installed to help physically pump the water away from the problem area and away from the house.
There are many different drainage solutions for mitigating a water issues, but often, the reason you know you need drainage for your home to begin with is because the damage has already occurred. Depending on whether you have a concrete slab foundation or a raised foundation, there are different types of damage that your home can incur. A concrete slab foundation mainly runs the risk of being cracked. When the soil under the slab shifts, the concrete slab is no longer supported and it can shift and result in a cracked slab. The slab can also absorb water and become weakened and deteriorate.
In the case of a cracked slab or a deteriorated slab there are a wide range of solutions. Firstly, aside from installing proper drainage to prevent the problem from happening again in the future, the damage must also be addressed. If possible, the less expensive solution is to open each crack, install rebar to connect the two sides and fill the crack with epoxy substance which will both seal it and hold it together, concrete slab crack repair. If the damage is too severe the slab will have to be demolished and disposed of and a new concrete slab will need to be poured, cracked concrete slab replacement.
Related : When Is a Sump Pump Needed ?
It is similar with a raised foundation. The soil under the foundation is worn away by the pooling water and the foundation is left unsupported from beneath. Aside from soil issues, other issues can arise within the foundation such as water damage issues including the deterioration of metal components, wood rot, mold, mildew and the breeding grounds for creepy crawl ways. It is the deterioration of the wood and metal components that we, as a foundation specialist, will address. Any deteriorated parts will need to be replaced and strengthened and connected to the existing parts that were not damaged by the water. Any damaged wood beams or posts need to be replaced in a process called Earthquake Retrofitting, bolts that have rusted and broken down also need to be replaced and reinforced in a process called house bolting as well as replacing concrete that has subsequently cracked and broken away. All of these things leave your foundation, and therefore your home, weak and vulnerable to serious damage.
Related: What Is A French Drain ?
Lastly, it is the imbalance of soil and the leveling of floors that have become uneven that must be addressed in either of the two types of foundations. Concrete caissons or piers can be installed under the slab foundation to support the foundation where the soil has been worn away, this process is commonly referred to as Foundation Underpinning. Finally, the floors, which may have warped due to the water or the unstable foundation conditions, must be leveled. Floor leveling is optional and mostly considered cosmetic, but often if the condition of unleveled floors goes unchecked it can cause other significant weakness in the rest of the frame of the house.
We hope we have given you some sufficient information to start off with. There are many other solutions depending on the severity of the damage, such as sister foundations, cripple wall bracing, post and pier reinforcement and waterproofing options. At California Foundation Works we have both years of experience and a solid work ethic to meet your foundation needs as well as your budgetary and time frame needs. We will work very closely with you to insure that we address the issue and leave you feeling safer and more secure in your home.
Call us anytime at 323-418-2238, or there is an email sheet in the contact us section of this website, to schedule your free* foundation inspection right away. The rainy season is starting and its better not to wait!