Homes in areas susceptible to flooding such as Dallas and other parts of Texas, should be aware of possible drainage issues during the wet season. Water that pools in the yard can damage the landscape, the foundation and even harbor mosquito larvae and other pests. By being aware of warning signs, homeowners can avoid costly repairs from water damage caused by poor drainage.
Crosstown Engineering outlines the five common issues that homeowners should look for that may lead to further drainage problems, if not corrected.
1. Collection of Water Next to the Structure
Water that does not drain tends to pool, especially in low-lying areas near the foundation. Homeowners should be observant and take note if puddles do not evaporate within a few hours. These puddles can ruin the soil bed, cause roots to rot, wood foundation elements to fail, soil “heave” or “settlement” and create mildew. Homeowners may need to re-landscape their garden bed and the slope of their lawn to ensure that water is flowing in the correct direction (away from the foundation).
2. Cracks in the Foundation
Homeowners that notice cracks in the foundation of their home should consider a home inspection. Even hairline cracks can grow bigger overtime and cause severe damage to the home’s structure. A structural engineer can determine the cause of the cracks and offer a solution before further damage occurs.
3. Water Stains on the Walls / Floors
Water stains are most commonly found on the walls and floors of basements or low-lying areas near the home’s foundation. This is caused by water infiltration through walls. When the water stages up next to the home, it can leave white lines from mineral deposits. Homeowners should routinely clean out their gutters and make sure their downspouts are draining rainwater away from the foundation.
4. Mildew in the Attic and Pier and Beam Area
Homes that experience drainage issues may have significant home drainage damage from the moisture, which causes mildew and wood damage due to rot. If mildew is left untreated, it can ruin the structure of the home and cause severe health consequences. Mildew is caused by the collection of moisture from inside the house or crawlspace area. If it is found on the underside of the roof, there is most likely trouble at the ground level
5. Flaking on Walls
A condition called spalling refers to big patches of the wall flaking off due to mineral deposits. Left behind evaporating water causes these deposits. Whether the pieces are large or small, a foundation inspection by a structural engineer can determine whether the spalling is threatening the integrity of the home’s foundation.
If you suspect your home’s foundation may be in need of a foundation inspection, or if you have questions about water drainage, contact one of the independent foundation engineers at Crosstown Engineering.