The foundation of your home is the base of its strength. There are several variables that can negatively affect this very important part of your homes structure. Drainage and basement waterproofing is important and requires regular attention and maintenance to make sure it is adequately doing its job and protecting the foundation of your home.

Why is drainage so important to the basement foundation of a home?

For starters water is extremely destructive to a home especially over time. Water is sneaky. It starts with a trickle, and can seam harmless, but is often unnoticeable in its infancy. As time progresses and the water continues to be present the erosions will become more and more destructive, leading to eventual foundation failure.

Wet Basement Walls

The foundation of a building is usually made from cement and is set beneath the soil. Soil conditions are important and are always subject to water and environmental changes. The water can come from above grade, or it can be ground water depending on the location of the building. Cement will erode when directly subjected to water this is why basement waterproofing and drainage systems are extremely import to the over all well-being of a building.

“The foundation of your home is the base of its strength and without regular maintenance it will be compromised”.

The systems put in place to prevent erosion to the basements foundation at the time of a build requires constant maintenance. If a home is built correctly and maintained, then the basement waterproofing and the weeping tile system will function well for a couple of decades and possibly longer. Grading around a buildings exterior foundation should be maintained on a regular basis. Poor grading eventually leads to problems and will degrade the existing basement waterproofing system that was originally put in place. Allowing free flowing water to sit against or enter a foundations structure leads to its demise. Simple maintenance can avoid the eventual destruction of the foundation.

Foundation Damage

How does water erode a basement foundation?

Mitigation of surface water and ground water around the exterior of a building will determine how the basement foundation is affected from the ever change environment.

The grade around a home is one simple way to mitigate the surface water around the exterior of your homes basement. A positive slope away from a building is required to move water away from the basement foundation. If the grade moves water towards the building it creates pooling and directs water towards the basement. Constant pooling of water will erode basement waterproofing on the building and will erode cement as well. Pooling water can also cause soil to become saturated depending on the soil condition. Saturated soil, whether it is from surface water or ground water creates pressure on the foundation and puts undesirable pressure on the walls of the basement foundation. This leads to deterioration of basement waterproofing, creates cracks, can cause shifting, and will eventually allow water to enter the basement and cause a whole slew of other moisture problems inside the basement of the home. This leads to damage of interior finishes and mold inside the home. If outside pressures from poor drainage and saturated soil conditions continue it will eventually lead to structural damage of the basement walls and can cause bowing of the exterior basement walls.

Foundation Step Crack
Leaky Downspout

How to avoid major basement foundation damage?

Ignoring a leak in a basement at its infancy is the worst thing a homeowner can do. Small basement leaks will turn into bigger problems in the future if ignored. LEAKS DO NOT FIX THEMSELVES. We often hear; “it was just a small amount of water” or “water only enters the house in the spring”. These are signs of a larger problem. If these types of problems are fix as soon as they are noticed, then the larger problem like a bowing basement wall can be avoided in the future. But if ignored will cause future structural damage. Being proactive is extremely important to the condition of your home and the health of your family living in the home.

Wet Basement Mold

If you need help with basement waterproofing and foundation repair, give Benji Dittrich Construction a call, we can help.