Water is one of the most powerful forces in the world. You only need to encounter bowing walls in your basement to understand how powerful water can be.
Bowing walls are a sign of water-related problems with foundations. Basement walls bow inward when there is excessive moisture in the soil surrounding the basement. The buildup of water in the soil results in an increase in hydrostatic pressure. This pressure acts laterally against the foundation walls causing them to bow inward.
How to Prevent Bowing Walls
The key to preventing bowing walls is to manage water around the foundation of the building. The following are some effective and easy ways to keep excessive water away from your foundation:
1.) Ensuring that you’ve properly pitched the land around your home
Ensure that the land around your foundation slopes no less than 5 degrees away from the foundation. This allows for runoff from melting snow and heavy rains to flow away from the foundation. It also prevents water from eroding the mortar joints and saturating the ground near the foundation where it can cause havoc to the footing.
2.) Maintain your gutters
It is important to maintain your gutters. Check to ensure gutters don’t sag and are clean and free of debris. This will ensure that you have the proper flow of water through the gutters and avoid gutters overflowing. Downspouts should direct water into drains that direct water away from the foundation of the home.
3.) Invest in covers for your window wells
If your home has window wells, be sure to invest in window well covers. This will stop rainwater from entering the window wells and seeping into the soil around the foundation.
4.) Do not install asphalt or concrete near the foundation of your home
Asphalt and concrete are both impermeable surfaces. It may seem wise to install them near the foundation of your home to prevent water from penetrating into the soil around your foundation, but it is actually counterproductive. Runoff from melting snow or rain will flow along these hard surfaces and accumulate in any low areas near your foundation. Ensure that these hard surfaces are installed not less than 4 feet away from the foundation of your home.
These tips will help you ensure that your foundation is kept safe from the destructive force of hydrostatic pressure. Be sure to speak to one of Family Waterproofing Solutions foundation experts at (708) 330-4466 or schedule an appointment about further steps to protect your foundation.