How Summer Rains Can Damage Your Home’s Foundation
Summer in the Carolinas is guaranteed to experience two extreme weather events – summer showers and summer heat. With the amount of rainfall and ferocity of storms that the Carolinas experience, even the most stable foundations can take a beating. There are a few sure signs of rain or water damage that homeowners need to be on the lookout for this season.
Exterior Signs of Damage
Minor cracks, sinking or settling foundation, and surface or sub-surface water collection around a home are visible, exterior warning signs that a foundation has experienced rain or water damage,
- Minor Cracks are formed when pressure is applied to a foundation. While they may not be a problem now, they could widen with future pressure or act as an opening for the groundwater around a home to penetrate the foundation and cause interior damage.
- Sinking or settling foundations are a warning sign that most people ignore. Most homeowners assume that a home’s foundation settling is such a normal occurrence that it doesn’t present a potentially dangerous problem. However, a foundation settling could have lasting damage to the integrity of a home. When there are heavy rains (as the Carolinas face in the summertime) the soil around a home will swell with the infusion of excess water. That soil will then dry out causing it to sink and form gaps around the foundation that it will then sink into.
- Surface or sub-surface water that has collected around a foundation is another clear sign that a homeowner’s foundation is in danger from summer rains. Improper drainage can certainly damage a yard; however, it also presents a danger to foundations as well. Given enough heavy rains, the water collected around a home can lead to more problems like bowed walls, cracks, or sinking foundations because as the soil becomes saturated with water it exerts pressure on the foundation as it attempts to create enough room for its enhanced volume.
Interior Signs of Damage
There are also several signs of rain damage that are visible on the inside of a foundation that should be taken just as seriously as any exterior signs of trouble. Bowed walls, flooding, and mold or insect problems are a few of these signs.
- Bowed walls are another type of damage presented by the soil and rain around a home. When the soil around a foundation swells with water it begins to push into the structure of the home (as mentioned above). Given enough pressure and left untreated, the soil can carry enough force to actually push a foundation inwards causing cracks, bowed walls, and other issues that undermine the integrity of the structure,
- Flooding is probably the most obvious sign of rain or water damage to a foundation. When water pools around a foundation, it can do more damage than just shifting the foundation from the outside. The water can seep into the foundation through cracks, even minor ones, or even through drainage systems that aren’t placed at a safe distance away from the home. If rain has managed to find its way into a foundation resulting in flooding or staining, there is a clear warning that there is a breach somewhere in the foundation that needs to be fixed before any further damage can be done
- Mold and insects are another symptom of rain or water damaged foundations. Water damage and standing water can lead to a huge growth in mold for a foundation since fungi only need a dark, damp area with the right temperature to invade a home. The number of insects or pests in a home can also increase through cracks in your foundation or other openings and cause damage as they seek shelter from the heavy rains.
Summer storms are unavoidable. The same can be said for rain or water affecting a foundation. However, just because foundations endure rain and water doesn’t mean that the damage they receive should be ignored. If signs of damage, like the ones mentioned above, are acted on fast enough, a foundation will be able to weather almost any storm thrown at it.
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