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Leaking basement

Protecting Your Foundation Against Cracks and Leaks

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A leaking or cracked basement is more than just an inconvenience. If you’re looking to sell your home, you’ll want to determine where the leak is coming from and how you can best treat it. If you don’t, you risk losing a significant chunk of your home’s value in your resale.

It’s worth noting that a damp basement can often be a sign of foundation damage. Luckily, you can work with the contractors in your area to identify the source of a leak and respond to it accordingly.

The Causes Behind Foundation Damage

The most common force behind a cracked foundation is hydrostatic pressure. This pressure is the result of water build-up outside your foundation. As rainwater and groundwater gather around the perimeter of your home, they’ll cause an unprotected foundation to change temperature. As the materials that make up your temperature cool or warm, their particles will rapidly expand and contract. The stress that comes from those changes in size can eventually cause your foundation to crack.

That said, there are other reasons that may explain why your basement or foundation is abnormally damp. These include:

  • Insufficient exterior drainage
  • Widespread tree roots
  • Basement or plumbing leaks
  • Shifting soil
  • Uneven home settling
  • A poorly poured or supported foundation

Signs of A Damaged Foundation

No matter what the cause of your damage is, said damage will make itself obvious through several means. Some of the most common symptoms of foundation damage include:

  • Gaps between your walls and foundation
  • Sticking doors and windows
  • Mold
  • Pest infestations
  • Water damage found on your carpet, belongings, and any furniture in your basement

You can also spot a foundation leak from the outside of your home. Exterior signs of a leak include:

  • A cracked chimney
  • Vertical cracks
  • Horizontal cracks near your foundation
  • Visible sinking

Note that these signs can also indicate a problem with your basement. You’ll want to seek out professional guidance to determine for sure where the extra moisture in your home originates and how best to treat it.

Waterproofing Your Foundation

Speaking of treatment, you will need to discuss your foundation repair options with an area professional to determine what methods may best suit your home. Some of these include wall anchors, wall reinforcements, and piers.

Afterward, you’ll also be able to browse a catalog of waterproofing measures. By implementing these measures, you can protect your home from reoccurring leaks.

Some of the best ways to protect your home from water damage include:

  • Interior drains – Interior drains use a system of pipes around the perimeter of your basement to collect leaking water before it reaches the rest of your basement and belongings.
  • Sump pumps – A cousin to the interior drain, sump pumps also keep water out of your home by pumping out any water collected by the interior drainage system.
  • Vapor barriers – Vapor barriers tend to work best in your crawl space for encapsulation purposes, but you can use them in your basement. These plastic-like sheets are dense enough to drive off water as well as most gases that might otherwise make their way into your home. If water leaks inside the walls, it will be directed behind the waterproof vapor barrier and down into the sub-floor interior drainage system like BasementGutter™
  • Dehumidifiers – You’ll also want to make sure to address any lingering moisture that can weaken your home’s supports. With an energy-efficient dehumidifier, you’ll be protecting the air quality throughout your home. This unit cleans and filters the air while also controlling moisture, humidity, and odors, as well as helping prevent mold growth.

The Importance of Investing in Quick Repairs

If a problem is out of sight, it’s often out of mind. Even so, don’t think that neglecting a foundation problem will make it go away. The longer you leave your foundation in disrepair, the more significant the problem may become.

Untreated foundations can cause your home’s value to take a hit if you try to sell it without seeking out repairs. Mold will also rapidly take advantage of a home in disrepair, affecting both your home’s value and the health of your family. You can avoid both of these problems by reaching out to a contractor in the Cleveland area and exploring your foundation repair and basement waterproofing options.

Selling A Home with Foundation Problems

That said, it isn’t impossible to sell a home with a history of foundation problems. You can even sell a home that’s still dealing with a foundation problem. You will, however, have to speak with a real estate agent and make it clear from the start that your home will be in need of repairs. In fact, it is required by law that you disclose to potential buyers any foundation problems that have cropped up in the past or that you’ve neglected to repair before putting your home on the market.

Many homeowners choose not to repair their foundations before a sale for fear of the potential cost. However, if you leave your foundation cracked, you could lose up to 30 percent of your home’s resale value.

With that in mind, why not explore your foundation repair and waterproofing options? The foundation and basement repair professionals working in Cleveland, OH, can inspect your home and provide you with a free quote on the services that will suit you best.

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