I had to run some errands today and I noticed many people’s yards around town were covered with standing water. We’ve gotten quite a bit of rain in the past few weeks here in Middle Tennessee. It really got me thinking about how detrimental water can be to homes and property.
I often use the analogy “Water formed the Grand Canyon. Just imagine what it can do to your home.” Hydrostatic pressure (the pressure of water pushing against your foundation), erosion and stagnant moisture can all wreak havoc on the materials from which your home is built.
Hydrostatic pressure can force water particles into the tiny pores in the cinder blocks which are used in constructing most modern foundations. Over time, these particles can create pathways through which water can pass into and through the block, pulling minerals out of the block and weakening it. This same pressure can also soften and displace the soil beneath the foundation footing, creating weak points or cavities which can lead to foundation movement, over-settling or failure. This, of course, is what usually results in the cracks you see in foundations and exterior brick walls.
Erosion can lead to the same problems. Once water establishes a pathway, it will continue to follow that pathway until the course is altered or stopped. This, too, can cause undermining and foundation failure. This also applies to concrete slab foundations, which will crack, shift and sink if undermined or destabilized.
The factors described above can then allow water intrusion into your crawl space or basement. Once water gets in there, the excessive moisture can, and usually does, create a perfect environment for microbial growth…mold. Although, not all mold or mildew is a critical health concern to us, some types are certainly bad for us. It can also cause the framework of your house to soften, rot and fail. Plus, high moisture environments are breeding grounds for all sorts of creepy-crawlies like cave crickets, roaches and slugs.
In addition to the structural concerns, pooling water and uncontrolled drainage can cause problems on your property. Areas of pooling water can inhibit the growth of grass or plants and they create great places for mosquitoes to lay their eggs. Unsightly low spots and trenches can form as well…and that’s on flat land. Poor drainage causes even more problems if your property is on a hill!
Fortunately, there are several ways to remedy these problems and avoid the damage that can result. Methods such as French drains, buried downspout extensions and drywells, to name a few, are some of the methods that Nashville Structural Solutions implement to get drainage under control. It is definitely more cost-effective to proactively address poor drainage than it is to repair a failed foundation.
If you’re noticing pooling water, erosion, soft ground at your foundation or if you’re already aware of water intrusion, foundation settling or cracks in your walls, it’s time to take action. Visit us at www.nashvillestructural.com and drop us a line. Let us find the right solution for you.