If the children’s story of The Three Little Pigs teaches us anything, it’s that it matters what our house is made of if it’s going to stand strong and keep us safe. Going a step further with that is the knowledge that a house is only as strong as its foundation (even if its walls are made of bricks!) Both proverbially and practically, a strong foundation is essential. So what happens when moisture attacks our foundations? Moisture becomes the “big bad wolf.” Moisture itself seems harmless enough, but when coupled with the foundation of our house can quickly become destructive and dangerous. Let’s talk about moisture and your home’s foundation and warning signs to look for.
How Moisture Attacks
Ideally, our homes are built on such a grade so that when rainwater falls, it flows away from our home. Time, erosion and just plain erroneous building can all cause rainwater to flow in towards our home rather than away. This is when trouble begins. As the water seeps into the ground near our foundation, it can settle and slowly begin to seep into and degrade our home’s foundation.
Usually, this will happen slowly over time. The rain falls and is absorbed into the soil and then as more and more water collects the pressure of the water gets heavier and heavier pushing against the concrete. Changing temperatures also cause the water to expand and contract. If you add in freezing temperatures this can sometimes be dramatic. That water begins to slowly seep into tiny crack and pores in the concrete. If you have a basement the water can then penetrate into the wall joints or up under the flooring and outer walls in your home if you do not have a basement.
Signs to Look For
Besides the obvious water seeping from your walls or floors, there are several signs that could indicate that moisture is degrading your foundation. Cracks along walls and on floors need to be checked out by professionals to determine if they are happening because of water degradation or for other reasons. If you have wooden baseboards or walls and the moisture level is higher than it should be then they may begin to dry-rot. If you see rust build-up on any metal components in your home, it should be checked out by professionals. Appliances that have rust could be from its own use of water or could be caused by excess moisture in your home. Be sure to check the furnace, deep-freezers, water heaters, washer/dryers and also the light fixtures in your basement for rust. Finally, the dreaded mold or mildew. (We shared all about mold here.) Mold and mildew can grow anywhere in your home but be sure to keep an eye on your basement. Remember, you may not be able to see visible mold growing but you can smell it. That odd musty smell? It is probably mold or mildew.
If you think you may have a moisture problem…
If you think anything may be happening with your home’s foundation, contact us. We will come out, assess what is happening, and give free estimates. When it comes to protecting your home from further water damage, you need to work with a waterproofing expert. We take a personal approach and provide complete solutions. The best part? Our work is 100% warranted and includes our own “Life of the Structure” Warranty that stays with the property and transfers from owner to owner. We are confident and proud of our work.