Many homes and structures, especially older constructions, are eventually plagued with cracked foundations, bowing walls, and other formidable signs of deterioration that may leave the building unstable and even unsafe. The most dependable solution for these instabilities is the installation of wall anchors.
A pier and beam foundation, also called a crawl space or post-and-beam, is a type of foundation found in many older homes. Pier and beam foundations have advantages, but they can be susceptible to serious problems such as cracking, seepage, unevenness, and mold due to moisture. Further, homeowners with crawl spaces often experience sinking from pier rot. Intech Anchoring offers viable solutions to these problems, but it is first imperative to determine the probable cause of the damage before choosing a course of action.
Causes of Pier and Beam Foundation Problems:
- Poor Drainage: Insufficient drainage can leave the foundation more prone to cracking and the growth of mold. Drainage can cause unwanted moisture when directed toward the basement, which can be caused by misdirected garden and lawn watering.
- Soil Problems: Moisture retention within the soil can cause sheetrock cracking, an unevenness in the basement floor, and seepage into the basement area through the foundation walls.
- Original Construction Problems: Pressure over time can cause old cedar piers to rot through. If rotting occurs, sinking can follow and cause severe degradation to the foundation.
Once the cause(s) of pier and beam foundation deterioration have been determined, a solution can be selected and implemented.
Primary Solutions to Pier and Beam Foundation Problems
- Foundation Shoring – Reinforcing the foundation with timber piers.
- Foundation Strengthening – Supporting the foundation with concrete columns.
The Main Cause: Shifting Foundation
This may be caused by pressure surrounding the foundation or from shifting soil beneath the foundation. Hydrostatic pressure is a common culprit: water builds up in the soil around the foundation and begins to press in until the walls buckle from the strain. Cracks may be the first physical sign of foundation walls beginning to bow and buckle. If this is the case, and the crack is not simply a cosmetic issue, there is a number of risks to your home. Leaks or flooding may occur if the water seeps through the foundation walls, leading to mold or mildew growth as well as extensive water damage. Bowing walls and an unstable foundation can also severely affect the structural integrity of your home. Read more
A suggested first step is to determine the origin and location of the leak. Visible cracks or imperfections are good to note. Determining the source can help in diagnosing the cause of your basement flooding. Once a cause is determined, remediation and prevention can follow.
Taking inventory of what has been damaged is an important step for homeowners. Often, possessions suffer enough to require replacement or repair. This can be costly for homeowners, especially those who rely on their basements for storage. In the worst cases, heirlooms, photos, and other irreplaceable items are susceptible to water damage, and the consequence of losing such items is immeasurable.
Once exterior conditions have dried up, cleaning a flooded basement can require hours of labor and sometimes even a paid waste management solution. This can become costly and exhausting for the homeowners. Mold and other atmospheric dangers can become of further concern in the case of a leaking basement, which can skyrocket maintenance costs and cause discomfort or illness to residents.
Many homeowners are left to wonder when their basement will leak or flood again. The only way to eliminate this concern is to learn how to prevent further damage. The first step in prevention is to determine the cause of the leak.
Causes of Basement Water Leaks
Foundation Cracks: Imperfections in the structural integrity of your home can invite ground-water from run-off, excessive rain, snowmelt, and local overflow into your home.
Drainage Dysfunction: Saturated soil in your yard leaves water with nowhere to go. Water immobility can cause your basement walls to bow, crack, or buckle. Basements completely below-ground are especially susceptible to such damage.
Hydrostatic pressure: Standing water essentially puts increased weight on your home’s foundation, which renders it more susceptible to future leaks and problems.
Gutter Directivity: Some gutters direct rainwater too close to the foundation of the home, which will leave you with flooding and perpetuate your water problem.
Solutions to Basement Water Leaks
Controlling and properly managing water leaks in the basement is essential to protecting the structural integrity of your home. Consider the following solutions:
• Combat soil saturation and move water away from your home with professional landscaping solutions. This option may be costly for some homeowners and require permits and allowances from city zoning officials.
• Install a sump pump to force the motion of water away from your home. Sump pumps are a viable solution but require backup in case of a power outage.
• For best results, implement a Hydraway drainage system. Hydraway offers proven durability to keep your basement dry and damage-free. It’s 7 to 25 times more effective than its competitors with an 80 percent inflow, and it can withstand 11,000 pounds per square foot!
Intech Anchoring can direct you in choosing products and services to fit your unique circumstances. Visit us at mdti.net or call 734-432-5111 today to schedule a consultation.
Symptoms of a Shifting Home:
• Foundational cracks, which can be visible from inside the home, in the basement walls, or on the exterior of the home.
• Gapping between the building and chimney both internally and externally.
• Bowing walls, especially below ground-level.
• Sloped floors, which may curve downward in the middle of a room or at an angle toward any given wall. Read more
Why Do Driveways Flood?
There are several factors to consider that lead to driveway flooding. The yard may slope toward the driveway, for instance. In this case, all runoff from precipitation will flow toward the driveway and form a pool. Alternatively, the composition of the soil may not allow for sufficient absorption. If it is primarily composed of rock or clay, the water will rise instead of soaking in. Read more
• Cracked walls: Cracked walls are common, but not all cracks are the same. Soil expansion and contraction places an incredible amount of stress on your home’s foundation, which can create extensive damage.• Damp walls: A healthy foundation regulates excessive moisture, but a compromised foundation leads to high humidity levels, mold, and rot in the basement.
What Causes Cracks in Brick Walls
The most common cause of cracking brick foundations is a sinking or shifting foundation. This is often triggered when a home rests on uneven ground, which pushes sections of the foundation in conflicting directions. Read more
Contact Intech Anchoring
8250 Bunkum Road, Caseyville, IL 62232
Michigan Office & Warehouse
35850 Industrial Rd, Livonia, MI 48150