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How to Repair a Damaged Foundation

A damaged foundation is bad news for anyone. Your home’s foundation is what keeps it “alive.” Without it, the rest of the structure would quickly fall victim to shifting ground and instability, making the building dangerous to live in. So, how do you know if your foundation is suffering? What happens if it is? Can you repair a damaged foundation? POM Waterproofing has answers to all of your questions and more. Let’s take a look!

Is My Foundation Damaged?

The first step to anything foundation related is knowing if it’s damaged to begin with. There are obvious warning signs from both inside and outside of a building.

Signs from the interior include:

  • Cracks in your sheetrock/drywall
    (Not your paint. Old paint get’s little cracks in it over time and this is harmless.)
  • Cracks in your flooring
    This is most noticeable with tiling or the cement floor of an attached garage.
  • Doors or windows that aren’t aligned correctly anymore
    Have you ever noticed your doors suddenly closing more or less easily during certain seasons? This is due to shifting in your foundation.
  • Floors being uneven
    Your foundation was built to provide a flat, even surface for your house. If the floors of your house are not completely flat, the foundation has shifted.

Signs from the exterior include:

  • Cracks in exposed parts of your foundation
  • Gaps between exterior doors or windows and the exterior wall
  • Displaced moldings, doorframes, and window frames
    If there is a gap between the frame or molding around a door or window and the wall that it should be sitting against, something is amiss. 
  • Cracks in exterior brick or stone walls
    Cracks in the mortar between bricks is bad enough, but any shift in the foundation that can apply enough pressure to crack the bricks themselves is noteworthy.

How to Prevent Damage

If you’re not seeing many of these signs, your foundation is probably fine. However, if you see one or two things that seem like they might indicate the beginning of a problem, there’s a way to prevent that problem from getting worse.

To prevent a damaged foundation, you should heavily consider damp proofing or waterproofing for your exterior. This process is somewhat involved. It aims to install a barrier between your foundation and the surrounding ground. This is very effective at stopping damage from groundwater and moisture. It can also be used to prevent moisture from leaking into basements, which is a leading cause of basement mold.

Can A Damaged Foundation Be Repaired?

The amount of damage a foundation can accrue before it is irreparable is quite extensive. Repairing a foundation actually comes with many solutions. This is especially true if you catch the damage early on. Foundations that are beginning to shift position due to the shifting ground beneath it are some of the easiest to repair – though the process isn’t simple nor cheap.

How to Repair a Damaged Foundation

If you need help repairing a damaged foundation, you’ll need to contact a local specialist. The repair will typically involve digging into the surrounding soil to expose the foundation. Your specialist can then repair it from beneath by applying supports. This uses a method called slabjacking.

If you have questions about damage prevention, waterproofing, or damp proofing, you can get all the help you need right here. Call us at POM Waterproofing and we can help you avoid any future need for foundation repair.

How Damp Proofing Can Protect Your House Structure

The #1 thing that destroys houses is simply time. Or, specifically, it’s the environment with the addition of time. This is the exact reason why abandoned buildings fall apart. With no one around to mitigate the damage done by the environment, they simply fall apart. Do you want to protect your house structure from the environment and minimize the amount of upkeep it needs to remain its best? Damp proofing is exactly what you need. Now let’s jump into why!

Ground Moisture Destroys Foundations

You might expect rain and wind to be the biggest environmental opponents your house has to withstand. However, the real opponent is much more insidious. Wind and rain can do a great deal of damage to parts of your house that are cosmetic or easily replaced. However, ground moisture has a much bigger impact on your house structure. The parts of your house that are hurt by ground moisture are difficult, or even impossible, to fix once damaged.

Let’s look at your foundation, for example. The foundation of your house is possibly the most important part of it, structurally. Without the foundation, your house would only last a few years before succumbing to moisture damage, ground shifting, and more. After a few years, any foundation will begin to get microscopic cracks in it. These are no big deal with they’re small. They show up from the earth around the foundation shifting slightly with each passing year. The changes are so small that their effect is really very small.

However, when these tiny cracks appear in your foundation, it creates a place for moisture to hide. The moisture in the ground around your foundation will seep into those cracks and make them worse. There are 2 ways they do this:

  1. The moisture flowing from crack to crack erodes the foundation the same way a river can create The Grand Canyon.
  2. Changes in temperature lead to that moisture expanding and contracting, which forces the cracks to widen and spread.

Structural Integrity

As you can imagine, the faster your foundation deteriorates, the faster other parts of your house structure do. For example, a damaged foundation makes it harder to protect your house structure from mold.

Houses with basements will experience the same struggle with basement walls as they do with their foundation. The difference is, the cracks in your basement walls will easily reach all the way through. This can lead to basement moisture problems and mold.

Mold is a particularly dangerous thing to allow a foothold. Once mold growth begins in your home, it’s very hard to get rid of. This is especially true when mold manages to make its way into your house structure, such as the wooden framework. It’s nearly impossible to protect your house structure and framework from mold once it’s taken hold. The best way to protect your house structure is to prevent damage to your foundation and basement walls before it happens.

A Long Lasting Home

If you want to keep your foundation and basement walls from falling victim to moisture damage, it’s time to look at how damp proofing can protect your house structure. Damp proofing creates a barrier between your foundation and the ground, keeping water and moisture from reaching it in the first place. POM Waterproofing does damp proofing for the entire Toronto area, and we can do it for you too. Give us a call if you want your home’s structure to remain its best.