Watch Out for Structural Water Problems

Do you have water or dampness in your basement or a wet crawl space?  Cracks or stains on your basement walls or foundation? Then most likely, you have water problems.  

Water is the number one culprit when it comes to structural damage, including basements and house foundations.  Early detection of possible water leaks in a structure can save the structure and prevent more extensive damage from occurring.  

There are several things to watch for that will help to prevent structural damage by water early on.  Keep an eye out for concrete slab floor cracks, wall cracks and cinder block wall ruptures which are all common sources of bad indoor air quality and high humidity in your crawlspace, basement and even throughout your entire house.  These can be indications of a larger water problem occurring elsewhere.

Look also for staining on basement block walls.   This wall discoloration is called “effervescence” which is a type of water vapor that shows up when there is hydrostatic pressure against your foundational walls, or water outside the basement walls or foundation that is pooling and causing leakage.  

Other things to look out for in your crawlspace and basement are foundational cracks, tilting, bowing or leaning walls, water leakage, wall cracks or stains.  If you already have waterproofing in place in your basement or crawlspace, check to make sure that everything is properly installed and sealed.

Water can enter into basements through wall cracks, poor drainage, and plumbing leaks.  This water seepage can be caused by several things including surface water runoff coming down the foundation walls, subsurface groundwater pushed through walls via hydrostatic pressure, a possible sanitary sewer water backup and/or storm sewer water backup.  

If you see water in your basement, immediately determine the cause and if it is an isolated incident or something that may recur.  First determining the source of the problem will help to answer this important question correctly. Then, it is important to take the necessary steps to properly waterproof your basement.  

Waterproofing your basement is crucial.  There are two types of basement waterproofing.  They are exterior basement waterproofing and interior basement waterproofing.  

Exterior waterproofing usually incorporates the installation of a French drain tile system next to the foundation and coating that is applied directly to the foundation to seal it.

Interior waterproofing of a basement is usually a system that uses a sealed sump pit kit to collect the water coming into the basement that then pumps it out.  This method of waterproofing is used more for water management, than water prevention.

Water problems affect 85% of all houses at one time or another.  Water entering the basement of a home is quite common. Knowing what to watch for to prevent major water problems in your house and basement is a good way to protect your house from structural damage.  

Have a trained expert inspect your home and basement for possible water problems and make professional recommendations may include:

  • Structural Repair
  • Pier Comparing
  • Fixing a Settled Foundation
  • Foundation Upheaval

Upheaval means the slab has risen above the original foundation elevation. This happens most often due to the introduction of moisture under the foundation. The most frequent cause of this moisture is a plumbing leak under the slab. The most common leak is on the drain side of the plumbing system.
Once you receive your recommendations, allot for any necessary structural repairs or waterproofing that is essential to the safety of your home.  Call American Structural today at 615-809-8727 for your free estimate.