Do you live in North Texas?
If so, chances are that your home has experienced some flood damage.
Did you know that water is the number one cause of foundation failure?
Excess moisture in the soil surrounding your home’s foundation can lead to foundation settlement, and even sinking.
In this article, we’ll answer the most common questions we get about flood’s effect on your home’s foundation.
We’ll also cover what you can do to prevent future flooding, so make sure to read until the end!
What are some of the signs of flooding?
Besides the obvious presence of water on your floor, there are other signs that can tell you if flooding has occurred in your home.
Some of the telltale signs include:
- Clay, silt and efflorescence on wall corners and floorboards.
- Rust, mold, and rot on surfaces.
- Discoloration and rot on your floor, rug, columns, and walls.
- The smell of mold and mildew.
- Cracks on the walls.
- Condensation droplets on your floor, walls, and pipes.
- Humidity in the air.
What are some signs of foundation damage after a flood?
Flood damage can be a very serious issue.
Once a flood has occurred, be sure to check for the following signs:
- Your doors don’t function properly. They become difficult to open and/or shut.
- The appearance of mold. You may also notice rotting.
- Floors getting out of level. Do your floors appear to be dipping, bowing or sagging?
- Condensation forming on walls and/or ceilings.
- Cracks forming on your foundation, walls and/or floor.
- The inclination of your foundation. Does your foundation appear to have moved in an upward direction?
- Separation of the wall mortar joint.
- Cracking of outdoor foundation bricks.
- Discoloration and rotting of walls, floors, columns, and rugs.
- Door frames appearing out of line.
If you notice any of these problems, it’s likely that your home’s foundation is damaged.
It’s recommended to call a foundation repair expert immediately. He or she will be able to tell you what course of action to take after their assessment.
How does flooding cause damage to your foundation?
Flooding impacts your home’s foundation in two main ways.
- When fast moving water pushes against your home. This can weaken or shift the position of your home, separating it from the foundation.
- When water penetrates deep into the ground, it has the potential to cause foundation shifting or upheaval.
As a DFW homeowner, you also have to contend with another unique factor: poor soil conditions.
North Texas soil contains clay which is expansive in nature. When moisture levels in the soil change, the soil changes in volume by either expanding or contracting.
Flooding or heavy rains cause expansive clay soil to expand.
Before long, this expansion puts pressure on the foundation causing it to move in an upward direction. This is often a serious problem that could render your home uninhabitable.
What’s next after you realize flooding has caused a foundation problem?
Have you been able to relate with any of the warning signs mentioned above?
If you have, you should try to seek professional help as soon as possible. A qualified foundation repair specialist will inspect your home and handle the repairs.
In the meantime, you can determine whether or not your home is safe for occupancy. If the structure has suffered serious damage, consider evacuating until all the repairs are done.
Besides causing structural damage, flooding can also trigger other risks like gas leaks and electrical faults.
Switch off the electricity. If you hear a buzzing noise or smell gas, get right away and seek the help of an expert.
Minimal flooding, while still a threat to your home, can easily be addressed and don’t always require such immediate measures. Tools like mops can help you get rid of the water.
How can you prevent future flooding?
There is no way to guarantee that your home will never flood.
But there are certain precautions that you can take to safeguard your home.
The following are some of the measures you can take to best protect your home from avoidable damages:
- Point your downspouts away from your home. If you don’t have downspouts, seriously consider investing in some soon.
- Make space between your siding and mulch. Wet mulch can rot the siding of your home, which can lead to leaks.
- Grade your lawn away from the house. This will help prevent rainwater from pooling around your home.
- Install check valves on your pipes. Gate valves tend to work better as opposed to flap valves when it comes to sealing against flood pressure.
- Raise your electrical outlets and switches. This includes circuit breakers, sockets, and switches.
- Apply coatings and sealants to prevent flood water from leaking in through cracks in your foundation, walls, windows, and doorways.
- Assure that the soil is at least 2 inches below the brick line.
Your home is more than just a roof over your head. It’s where you and your family reunite and rest after a long and busy day in the world outside of its safe enclosure.
Don’t let flooding damages ruin your home or its valuable possessions full of memories. Instead, use these proven tips to protect your home’s foundation as much as possible.