We at Restoration 1 of Fox Valley are used to getting calls for water damage and flooded basements. The Fox Valley area, specifically Oswego, Aurora, Naperville, Geneva, St. Charles, Wheaton, Plainfield, & Bolingbrook can all specifically suffer water damage to their homes. That damage can be caused by failing mechanicals like sump pumps, water heaters, condensation lines, and exterior water spigots. However, foundation problems can also produce the same sort of water damage. These problems are often hidden because they are below ground and/or hidden by your finished basement. Restoration 1 of Fox Valley can help you identify the common signs of foundation problems.
If you notice gaps in concrete or brick on the exterior of your structure it can be a sign of foundation problems. Your foundation can move and settle over time causing foundation cracks. Expanding and contracting soils caused by inclement weather, or the freeze-thaw cycle is often the cause of the problem. New construction can settle for the first 2-3 years causing various cracks. If you are thinking of finishing your basement in your new home, it would be wise to wait a couple of years.
Pay attention to the type of crack. Vertical cracks, while a source of water, are not necessarily a structural problem. However, horizontal and 45-degree angled cracks are definitely a sign of critical foundation problems. Other signs of critical foundation problems can be sloped floors, cracked plaster or drywall, doors or windows that don’t close properly, and counters and cabinets separating from the walls. These could be caused by improper grading and drainage, compacting soils beneath your foundation, hydrostatic pressure around your foundation that causes soil movement or erosion, and even potential sinkholes.
Drainage issues are some of the most destructive problems yet least expensive to fix. Take steps to shed water away from your foundation. Water that percolates down through the soil next to your foundation can freeze. Once water freezes it expands. That expansion puts pressure on your foundation walls resulting in cracking. Trees that were planted next to the home when it was built may have grown and begun to encroach on the foundation or roots might be inhibiting proper drainage. Remove vegetation next to your home that can impede drainage. Keep your gutters clean. Extend your downspouts 10 feet from the home. Grade or slope the soil away from your home. Making sure that the soil is below the top of your foundation. Make sure all drains are clear of debris.
Owning a home takes work. It takes effort to protect your investment. If you believe you might have issues, call us at Restoration 1 of Fox Valley and we can walk your foundation to develop a plan to minimize the risk to your home.
First, let us come look!
1. We can help you with standing water and refer you to a partner that can help with cracks and leaks.
2. We can mitigate clean-up and work quickly and efficiently to get the mess cleaned up
1. We use a Flir camera to detect where water is coming from in a finished basement- we do not rip out walls to check, we check and then remediate.
2. We will walk the perimeter of your home to check for exterior evidence of cracks.
3. Next, we open areas in the drywall or finished area to get to the root of the cause
4. Finally, we can call out referrals if there are additional foundation issues.