The foundation of your house, made up of the slab of cement beneath it and the stone walls of any existing basement, is vital to the integrity of your home’s structure. A damaged foundation can lead to expensive damage inside the house, such as cracking walls, bowing floors, and more. This kind of damage is not just expensive, it’s unattractive, dangerous, and leads to an overall lower quality of life. So, instead of waiting until you have to fix the problems caused by foundational damage, take a look at how waterproofing can save your foundation from having problems to begin with.
To begin, we need to take a look at some of the ways your foundation can be damaged.
One way a foundation can become damaged is if the house was built on unstable ground. This happens a lot in areas with a lot of moisture. If your house is near a river or lake, the ground will shift over many years. Even shifting by an inch over a few decades can cause foundational problems for your home. These problems will be especially noticeable as the seasons change. Do you ever notice your doors opening and closing differently at different times of the year? This is caused by a structural shift. Since the structure relies entirely on the foundation, that means the foundation is shifting as well.
The second type of damage is water and moisture damage. Even if you don’t live near a body of water, a wet climate can cause damage to your foundation. As rain water, snowmelt, and any other kind of water in the ground moves toward your foundation, it can damage it. But how?
The Pitfalls of Erosion
Have you ever seen a collection of photos showing a timelapse of a river being formed? Have you ever wondered why river rocks are so smooth and round? The answer is erosion. Erosion is when water continually runs over something and wears away at it slowly. It’s powerful enough to carve out pathways in the earth, create canyons, and smooth a boulder into a rock the size of your fist.
This same long-term effect can wear away at your foundation. While most of us don’t have our foundation directly adjacent to a running river, many of us have wet soil piled and packed against the walls of our basements. The water from wet soil, especially in very rainy or snowy regions, will damage our foundation walls over time.
As the walls develop tiny cracks, the water will get inside. This water travels through the stone, sometimes making its way into the basement. As the water moves through the cracks, it widens them and makes them bigger. This will continue on until the foundation begins to crumble and sag.
Expansion and Contraction
Even worse than the erosion is the expansion and contraction of water as temperatures change. If you’ve ever left a bucket outside over winter, you’ve probably lost yourself a bucket. That’s because, when water wills a space and then freezes, it expands. When it melts, it contracts. When it freezes again, it contracts again. This process repeating over and over again will split a bucket, crack a vase, and even destroy your foundation – unless you do something to save your foundation.
Waterproofing Can Save Your Foundation
If you want to save your foundation from erosion, expansion, and contraction, you need to invest in waterproofing. This is especially important if you have a slightly older house or if you want to prevent a new house from aging poorly. Give us a call today and we’ll be happy to schedule a consultation with you.