How to prevent water damage from water

Water is essential to life, and in most cases is probably viewed as helpful or benign to us.
But rainwater, sprinkler water, and water from broken plumbing can cause significant damage to a home's foundation. Even though initial signs of water damage may seem insignificant, any evidence of water problems should be thoroughly investigated to prevent the foundation from weakening.

Plumbing should be regularly checked for leaks, along with washing machine hoses and water heaters. One way to find out if there are any plumbing issues, is to take a water meter reading and then turn off all faucets and any appliances that use water. Don't flush toilets for an hour. Then, re-check the meter to see if the amount of water used has increased. If so, that indicates that you have a plumbing leak that could then cause damage to the foundation. You can also purchase water alarms with built-in moisture sensors, and install them near water-using appliances, and under sinks and toilets.

Also keep your roof free of debris and regularly clean gutters and downspouts. When rainwater can't pass through a clogged gutter, it can flow down walls to the ground, where it can seep into the home's foundation. Examine your home's exterior walls for cracks or holes where rain can seep in, and have them sealed. This includes places where plumbing or wiring enter or exit the building.

Make sure any exterior windows and doors, particularly in the basement, are well sealed and close properly. If you find any windows or doors that don't open and shut correctly, your foundation may already be damaged and should immediately be inspected by an experienced foundation repair expert.
When water seeps into the soil underneath a foundation, it can cause the soil to expand and lift the foundation, resulting in foundation cracks. When the soil dries, the foundation will settle. Constant expansion and contraction will increase and worsen structural damage. Water can also create foundation cracks and make any existing fissures larger. Other problems resulting from water entering a home include moisture-induced mildew and mold.

Studies show that seemingly benign water causes more structural damage to homes than any other hazard. If you have drainage problems or suspect foundation problems may already exist, have your home looked at by an experienced foundation repair expert. Quickly resolving water leakage or drainage problems can prevent costly foundation repairs or replacement down the road.

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