Almost all parts of your home require regular maintenance, especially your basement foundation. Your home’s structural integrity rests on the foundation. Its main purpose is to hold together the structure above it. A properly built basement foundation will keep the structure sound and stable. If it gets damaged by moisture or other factors, this could lead to costly repairs.
When it comes to basement foundation problems, the primary culprit is water. Moisture can easily seep into a basement environment. In this blog, we will discuss the signs of basement foundation failure and the steps to keeping them in tip-top shape.
Signs of Basement Foundation Failure
- Cracked foundations
- Uneven and cracked flooring
- Sagging Floors or Ceilings
- Gaps in walls
- Diagonal cracks at the doors and windows
- Visible mold growth
- Water intrusion
These signs of basement foundation failure can be avoided by following these few maintenance tips:
Clean Your Gutters
You might not know it, but gutter problems can largely affect your foundation. A gutter’s purpose is to funnel rainwater away from the structure. What happens when the gutter is clogged with dirt and debris? Water will seep into the ground and make its way to your home’s foundation.
To avoid this, keep your gutters clear of debris. You can either do it yourself or hire someone to clean them out for you. Gutters and downspouts need to be cleaned at least twice a year. Maintaining your gutter system will save you from expensive foundation repairs.
Ensure Proper Grading
Grading is the process of adjusting the slope of the soil around a structure. To prevent water from getting inside, your foundation should slope away from your home. Proper grading reduces the risks of erosion and structural problems in the future. This is the key to preventing leaking basements and cracked foundation walls.
Your grade should drop one inch for every one-foot slope. This is called the minimum 1% slope. When dealing with your home’s grading, always remember that the ground should slope upwards as you move away from the house.
Use Basement Waterproofing
This is one of the most effective ways to prevent moisture from seeping into your basement foundation. As we all know, basement spaces are very prone to condensation and moisture development. Basement waterproofing will keep the water out and stop mold from growing.
The most common waterproofing methods are exterior basement waterproofing, interior sealants, foundation crack injections, and interior water drainage. These techniques are effective in drying out a wet basement. If you’re not familiar with these basement waterproofing methods, it’s best to reach out to a basement remodeler for professional advice.
Repair Visible Cracks
Over time, the soil around the foundation expands when they get wet. As a result, your basement foundation may begin to crack and shift. Foundation cracks indicate a structural problem, depending on the severity of the cracks.
For example, hairline cracks are normal and do not require extensive repairs. What you need to look for are vertical and diagonal cracks. When you notice cracks in your basement walls, the first thing you need to do is fill and seal them. It’s really important to address the problem immediately and seek help from experts.
There are different kinds of foundation cracks that require different kinds of solutions. Here are the common foundation crack repair techniques:
- Epoxy crack injection
- Polyurethane foam fillers
- Carbon fiber staples
- Sealants and masonry patches
Maintain Moisture Levels
A healthy below-ground space has a 50% relative humidity level. Anything higher than this ideal moisture level will cause mold to grow and flourish. If your basement is too humid, invest in a high-quality dehumidifier to remove moisture. It can draw out moisture-laden air. Dehumidifying your basement will help prevent moisture from damaging your foundation.
In addition, it’s good to ventilate your basement to remove mold and musty odors. One way to do this is by installing an exhaust fan. It’s now possible to buy a modern exhaust fan equipped with humidity sensors. Its humidity sensing capabilities can automatically detect moisture and get rid of air impurities.
If you need help with keeping your basement in excellent condition, turn to none other than Pittsburgh Basement Remodeling. We can upgrade your unfinished basement into a living space for the entire family. Contact us today to request a free quote!