Can Water Damage The Foundation Of My Commercial Building?
A typical building foundation will be a thick slab of poured cement set into the ground or heavy mortar blocks, and it doesn’t sound as though it would be vulnerable to the effects of water damage. However, water can negatively affect your foundation both directly and indirectly and make expensive foundation repairs necessary. The water can seep into your home or business and cause problems indoors, as well.
What Are Some Ways Water Can Damage The Foundation Of My Location?
- Rainwater will usually penetrate the ground quickly and be carried away. Still, if the soil is already saturated - as can often be the case during rainy seasons - it can add to the pressure already coming to bear against the foundational walls. This pressure may create cracks and gaps, allowing water to seep into your basement or crawl spaces. Such conditions can then cause the foundation walls to tip or rotate inward, requiring major foundation rehab work.
- Suppose the local water table rises near the surface. In that case, it may push against the underside of the foundation - a condition called “hydrostatic pressure” - and the force of rising groundwater is powerful and continuous. Such a situation can infiltrate water into your basement through cracks and joints that widen over time, even sometimes permeating your solid concrete.
- Pooling water on the surface around the perimeter of your location will eventually degrade concrete and mortar foundations and is often caused by landscaping that slopes down toward the building. Rainwater will then pool around the foundation and seep in. Other damages can be caused by clogged, overflowing rain gutters that direct water to the ground or downspouts that allow discharged water to flow back toward the house.
How Can I Protect My Property From Water Damage To Its Foundation?
There are a few preventive measures you can take to protect your house or business from foundational damage:
- Clean rain gutters regularly, and replace both your gutters and rain-spouts ahead of wet weather if they look like they won’t function properly.
- Adjust any landscaping that slopes towards your building to direct water away from it instead.
- Ensure that your foundation is always visible. At least six inches of foundation should be visible for brick or cement exteriors, while eight inches of foundation should be visible for wood exteriors. If soil, mulch, or other materials are too high, moisture can more easily penetrate the top of your foundation, creating some of the above issues.
Whenever you experience water damage to your property, remember that your friends here at SERVPRO of Baldwin and Monroe are available 24 hours a day and seven days a week to help! We can be onsite right away if the worst happens. We can assist you in assessing your property to find vulnerabilities and establish ways to prevent future accidents.
We can get your home and business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, as well. Ask us how!