A damp basement begets some kind of damage in your home, no matter how new or old your house may be. The problem, however, may not be in your basement. The presence of moisture in your home can also indicate a foundation crack or leak. You’ll want to call on the professionals in the Rush City, MN, area to determine what may have gone wrong in your home and what you can do to fix it.
The Causes Behind Foundation Damage
Your foundation can crack for a myriad of reasons, but most of them have to do with stress. The most common cause of foundation stress is hydrostatic pressure. This pressure builds up in the foundation of your home as water gathers near your perimeter. That water, brought on by rain or snow, causes the materials making up your foundation to rapidly change temperature. In doing so, the water causes your materials to expand and contract. Those changes in size generate stress, which can cause your foundation to develop cracks.
Of course, there are other reasons your foundation may begin to suffer structurally. These include but are not limited to:
- Insufficient exterior drainage
- Widespread tree roots
- Basement or plumbing leaks
- Shifting soil
- Uneven home settling
- A poorly poured or supported foundation
Signs of A Damaged Foundation
Identifying foundation damage without the experience to back you up can be difficult. Foundation damage can look a lot like basement damage, especially if it’s your basement that’s grown exceptionally damp.
Even so, there are some symptoms that will give away a damaged foundation over a faulty basement.
- Gaps between your walls and foundation
- Sticking doors and stuck windows
- Pest infestations
- Water damage found on your carpet, belongings, and any furniture in your basement
Foundation leaks can also cause damage outside your home. If you suspect something’s gone wrong, take a walk outdoors and see if you can spot any of the following:
- A cracked chimney
- Vertical cracks
- Horizontal cracks near your foundation
- Visible sinking
Note that not all of these signs of damage will manifest themselves. You’ll need to keep a careful eye out for new signs as time goes on.
Waterproofing Your Foundation
If you do identify a leak in your home, or if you have a professional inspect your home for you, you’ll be able to take the necessary steps to repair it with trusted foundation solutions such as wall reinforcements or piering. Afterward, you’ll need to discuss what waterproofing options will keep that damage from reoccurring.
Some of the most common waterproofing measures you can invest in include:
- Interior drains – You need to be able to intercept leaking water before it damages your supports or belongings. That’s just what a specially-designed interior drain called BasementGutter™ does. The sub-floor system catches water that seeps through the basement wall, floor, and wall-floor joint.
- Sump pumps – Once BasementGutter™ collects the leaking water, it needs somewhere to go, so it is directed to drain into a sump pump system. This system then pumps the water out of the basement and away from your home through discharge lines. These lines can be directed to drain far away from the foundation or even placed in the ground like downspout lines.
- Vapor barriers – While a vapor barrier is commonly used to encapsulate your crawl space, it also can be used in your basement. The thick liner is placed on the walls to protect the basement from both intruding water and any gases that would enter your home.
- Dehumidifiers – Once the leaking water has been addressed, you also must take care of any lingering moisture that could negatively impact your home and its support systems. It’s important to invest in an energy-efficient dehumidifier that will clean and filter the air as well as control moisture and humidity, reduce odors, and help prevent mold growth.
The Importance of Investing in Home Repairs
Sometimes, it’s tempting to let foundation problems try to resolve themselves. After all, if the problem appeared on its own, it’ll probably go away after a little while – right?
Wrong. In fact, if you let a problem with your foundation go untreated, you could find yourself facing significant problems in the days to come. Mold will readily take up residence in a home with a cracked or otherwise damaged foundation. That mold can cause respiratory problems for everyone in your home.
Similarly, foundation problems make it more difficult for you to sell your home if you don’t seek to resolve them. Your home’s value, as well as your wallet, will take a significant hit. It’s often easier to pay for foundation repairs up front than to try and sell a home with an actively damaged foundation.
Selling A Home with Foundation Problems
That said, it isn’t impossible to sell a home that has a damaged foundation. However, if the problem is active or has reoccurred in a home, you will need to disclose that information to the real estate agent you work with. You are required by law to let future buyers know what kind of foundation problems they may be inheriting.
Again, if you opt to sell a home with an actively damaged foundation, you risk losing out on some of your home’s resale value, typically about 30 percent. If instead you seek out repairs before putting your home on the market, you may be able to sell your home for its original value.
With that in mind, why not explore your repair and protective options with a professional? You can reach out to a foundation and basement repair contractor in Rush City, MN, for a home inspection and a free quote on the services you need to get your home back in working order.