How Water Causes Foundation Problems in Homes


When it comes to foundation problems, such as wall cracks and shifting walls, water is the main enemy. Too much water causes the soil to swell and not enough can lead to soil shrinkage. Rainwater, if not properly diverted, can accumulate around and under the foundation, sometimes damaging the home’s structure. Water damage is the biggest threat to homes, costing homeowners thousands every year. Don’t let this be you!

water causes foundation problems

3 Ways Water Damages Foundations

In what ways does water cause foundation problems, and how can homeowners avoid it? We’ve compiled a list of the 3 common ways water damage foundations.

  1. Soil Erosion: Too much rainwater and plumbing leaks are two huge factors leading to soil erosion around the foundation. Over time, the signs of settlement may become serious enough to require intervention. These signs may include sticking windows and doors, sloping floors, and ceiling cracks.

    Solution: Divert water away from your home’s foundation by installing proper downspouts. Clean clogged gutters, especially during fall season. Repair plumbing leaks, especially in sewage pipes and bathrooms.

  2. Soil Expansion: Clay-rich soil is a common soil type in the United States and one of its characteristics is that it expands when saturated with water. Therefore, it can place immense amounts of pressure on your home’s foundation walls, causing them to bow or lean over time.

    Solution: Install a proper drainage system, such as effective gutters. Also, make sure the soil slopes away from your home. This allows rainwater to flow away from your foundation.

  3. Hydrostatic Pressure: Hydrostatic pressure is caused by water pressure. When soil is over-saturated with water, it increases the hydrostatic pressure against the foundation. As a result, basement walls may crack or bow.

    Solution: You can relieve hydrostatic pressure by investing in an effective waterproofing system, such as a sump pump or interior/exterior waterproofing. With an effective waterproofing system, water is collected where the basement floor meets the basement wall.

Don’t ignore basement cracks, sloping floors, sinking foundations, and bowing walls. These are just symptoms of a problem. Call the professionals to examine your foundation before the situation gets worse.