Spring might be the favourite season for many people, but it’s definitely not the best for their home’s foundation. Melting snow and ice combined with rain means your foundation has to stand up to a lot of water pressure, but even one weakness can cause a lot of interior damage. The best way to prevent spring thawing leaks is to make sure there are no cracks or weaknesses in the concrete!
What Does Spring Melt Water Do To Your Foundation?
Gravity is the real culprit come springtime. Hydrostatic pressure, this natural force that water in the soil exerts on your foundation walls, happens because gravity moves water underground. When melting snow and ice combine with the rain, this pressure is going to move it underground, and you are left facing thousands of litres of water seeping around and under your foundation. All it takes is one crack in the concrete walls, floors, or a plumbing or outdoor access opening, and you can see moisture getting into your basement.
But besides waterlogging the soil and forcing moisture next to your foundation walls, the deluge that comes with the spring rains and melting snow will put immense pressure on the walls, causing the soil to shift. Even if the water doesn’t get through now, it can make existing weaknesses worse so that they become problems in the future – it could be years from now, but it could be next month!
To prevent the leaks that might come with spring thaws and any potential long-term damage, your best bet is to get on the defensive.
Check The Foundation’s Interior And Exterior Walls
To be defensive, you have to be aware of any potential weaknesses. Start by walking around home’s exterior, looking for foundation cracks and damage around door frames and window wells and noting anything that looks suspect. After this, check the interior basement walls for cracks or discoloration caused by moisture, and run a moisture detector around the perimeter of the basement.
If you notice anything, take action. Small cracks in basement walls, whether they are in the interior or exterior, can be patched yourself. If you detect moisture behind any walls, you can investigate yourself, but it might be an intrusive repair. Call an expert to evaluate the situation for you. Spring, with its moderate temperatures, is a great season to make sure your foundation is secure for the future. If an large-scale waterproofing job is needed, now is the time!
Inspect Your Gutters And Downspouts For Leaks
If you’re sure your foundation is strong, the next step should be preventing any water from pooling around the foundation. If your gutters are clogged, water can spill over the side and puddle where the foundation leaves the soil; the same can happen if your downspouts are too close to your home. Make sure your gutters are clean, and your downspouts are the appropriate length away from the foundation: six feet at least, and on ground, not in the ground.
Test Your Sump Pump
We blamed gravity for the hydrostatic pressure on your foundation, but we use gravity against the water, too! Your home’s sump pump should be located at the lowest point of your foundation where the water will naturally flow, so it can remove that water as soon as it collects there. Test your sump pump now and make sure it has a backup energy source, so that when rain starts falling and the water starts flowing, you’re not caught unprepared by leaks.