How Do You Know If Your Foundation Has Water Damage?

Concerned about the state of your foundation? Keep an eye out for signs of water damage throughout your home if you want to keep your home water-free.

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Your foundation does more than keep your home in place. If your foundation starts to suffer from structural damage, it can allow unwanted moisture into your home. That moisture, in turn, can impact both the value of your property and the health of your family. 

How do you know when your foundation has suffered from water damage? 

wall cracking and mold problems

Signs of Water Damage in Your Foundation 

It’s a little easier to find water damage in your crawl space or basement than it is to find it in your foundation. That said, there are still signs that can give away foundation damage if you know where to look. 

Some of the most common signs of a water-damaged foundation include: 

  • Musty smells. As moisture makes its way into your home, it will gather in your most porous materials. This means that you’ll see dampness in your drywall, carpet, furniture, and wooden supports. That same dampness will generate an unpleasant, musty smell that you can track both to your damaged belongings and to the most obvious point of damage visible above ground. 
  • Mold clusters. Mold loves moisture almost as much as it loves darkness. Combine the two, and your foundation will become the ideal incubator for mold growth. This growth can prove dangerous both to your home’s structural integrity and to your family’s health if they go untreated. While you may be tempted to try and remove mold from your home without professional help, it is in your best interest to wait or at least to secure the health and safety materials you need to avoid coming into contact with materials that might cause you harm. 
  • Popping floor joists. The floor joists in place throughout your foundation are meant to help your floor stay in place. These joists can rot or rust, depending on what materials they’re made of, when over-exposed to moisture. Not only is this dangerous for the joists themselves, but this damage can also cause the floors throughout your home to bounce or sag. 
  • Bowing walls. Unwanted moisture in your home can also cause the structural supports, insulation, and drywall that make up your walls to fail. As such, you may notice your concrete walls starting to crack and bow inward, your drywall starting to pull away from its wooden supports, or gaps forming near your floor if you find yourself contending with severe foundation leaks. 
  • Standing water. Finally, standing water is a dead giveaway of some manner of damage in your home. Your foundation serves as a gateway for moisture after it’s been damaged, allowing water to more easily make its way into your basement or crawl space. Should significant puddles start appearing in either of these locations, you’ll want to work with a professional both to attend to that immediate damage and to assess your basement or crawl space for cracks or settling that may threaten the stability of the rest of your home. 

If you’re not sure whether the signs of damage you’re seeing throughout your home are indicative of foundation damage or damage to another part of your home, you can always reach out to a professional. Together, you can conduct a home inspection to better understand how moisture is getting into your home and what you can do about it. 

Why Do You Need to Fix A Water-Damaged Foundation? 

Unfortunately, it is not in your best interest to leave the aforementioned signs of water damage unattended. The longer you leave your foundation to suffer from water damage, the more significant that damage will become. Leave that moisture in place for too long, and you’ll see the value of your home plummet. Similarly, excessive moisture that’s taken root in your foundation can cause respiratory problems for you and your family. With that in mind, it’s in your best interest to act quickly if you believe that high levels of moisture in and around your foundation may be wreaking havoc throughout your home. 

Working with Area Professionals 

If you start to notice signs of water damage throughout your basement or crawl space, it can be tempting to try and invest in DIY home solutions. Unfortunately, attempting to DIY foundation repair can be more expensive and unnecessarily stressful than working with a team of professionals. As such, if you think something’s gone wrong in your home, reach out to the contractors serving Winston-Salem, NC. Together, you can discuss what kind of damage your foundation may be suffering from and what repairs may help you bring it back up to snuff. The professionals at Tar Heel Basement Systems can provide you with a free inspection and repair quote on those services that might suit your needs best.

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