Is your home beginning to feel like a rainforest? Do you have a growing suspicion that something suspicious is growing? If you’ve noticed signs of mold growth or staining, peeling paint, buckling, and cracking of walls, ceilings, and floors, you need to take action.
Water leaking in your home can cause:
- Structural damage
- Mold, mildew, and rot
- Window condensation
- Musty, stagnant air smell
- Trapped gasses and contaminants
- Allergies and respiratory problems
- Termites, roaches, and other pests
- Humidity added throughout the house
- Increased energy to heat damp air in winter
How does excessive rain cause leaks?
Saturated Surface Soil
The soil can only absorb a certain amount of the above-average rainfall that we’ve been experiencing. Too much rain can saturate the soil around your home or other structure. When soil reaches its saturation point, water that isn’t absorbed causes the water table to rise.
When the water table rises underneath a foundation, it creates hydrostatic pressure. The force of hydrostatic pressure against the foundation can cause cracks that allow water to enter the basement.
The Trickle-down Theory
When gutters and downspouts are clogged with debris, need repairs or downspout extenders, rainwater (or snow melt) falls to the ground instead of being channeled away from the foundation. As a result, large amounts of water can pool causing lateral pressure against the foundation. And just like hydrostatic pressure, lateral pressure can cause damage to the foundation and allow rainwater to seep into the basement.
Many basements in our Tri-State area are constructed of concrete blocks or poured concrete. Pressure from excess water can cause cracks in both types of concrete basements. The hollow interior of concrete blocks can serve as a conduit for water to seep in from outside, and can cause mortar between the blocks to crumble. Poured concrete basements can crack from hydrostatic pressure when rainwater forces its way into the structure through the seam where the walls meet the floor, known as the cove. Brick foundations can crack under pressure, too. Vertical sections of mortar between bricks are weak spots that can crumble.
The Root of the Problem
Roots from shrubs and trees growing next to a home can cause several problems. Roots can become entangled in underground drainage systems and cause leaks. Root systems contract, expand, and increase in length, which changes the composition of the soil. Repeated cycles of contracting and swelling can lead to cracks in the foundation that allow water to seep inside. Soil and landscaping that surround your home should be downgraded so that water flows away from the foundation.
How is a wet basement repaired?
The word “damp” doesn’t have to be synonymous with “basement.” Popham’s certified water control specialists inspect the structure by examining the areas such as overhangs, gutters, downspouts, and the foundation. The yard grade height and landscape are also inspected for any areas that may contribute to water flow problems. After the evaluation, Popham recommends the best water control system for the particular situation.
Popham Construction installs two types of water collection systems, both designed to divert water from the foundation into a submersible sump pump. These systems are installed beneath the basement floor at the perimeter of the space. In some cases, additional protection is needed, in the form of moisture barrier wall panels. These panels serve as a permanent solution to water seeping through basement walls by covering and sealing interior foundation walls, diverting any water seepage into the drainage system. Click here for more information on waterproofing systems used by Popham: Waterproofing
What about leaks in roofs?
Cracks or splits in a roof can allow water inside. Signs of a leaking roof are water damage in the attic and on the ceiling below the attic. Beams that have absorbed moisture become weakened, and can lead to the roof sagging. Some parts of roofs and exterior walls are particularly prone to leaks and water damage. These include roof valleys, the intersection between a dormer wall and the roof surface, and chimney and skylight perimeters—nearly anywhere runoff is heavy or where two opposing surfaces meet. These areas require the extra protection that flashing (weatherproofing) provides. Do not climb up on your roof! Let Popham’s certified roofing inspector risk his life instead! (He has years of ladder-climbing experience). Click here for more information on: Roofing and Gutters & Leaf Protection.
Don’t wait for an emergency!
As you’ve read (hopefully you’re still reading!), water can damage a structure in many ways. Don’t put off repairs for a rainy day! Water damage doesn’t dry up and go away—it worsen$! Check out these Home Repair Priorities to prevent water damage in the first place.
We’re here to help! If you have concerns about controlling rain water, or if you’re interested in discussing another project, please Request a Free Consultation or call Popham at 812-479-5850. Make plans with Popham!