All homes are built upon foundations, and over the decades, various models and materials have been used for such foundations to prevent flooding damage and control moisture levels in the basement. By modern standards, however, the limestone brick foundations used in the early 1900s may be insufficient, while Texan homes built up to 50 years ago have slab foundation, which may be a vastly preferable choice for many homeowners. All houses need a great foundation to sit upon, but sometimes, foundation failure may strike, and a homeowner will be tasked with contacting a local commercial foundation repair crew to take care of any issues down in the basement. There are common problems that may affect a basement, such as flooding or dripping pipes, and a homeowner will have to control moisture levels by hiring repair crews. Neglecting to control moisture levels can lead to issues further down the line. What can be done to effect good foundation repair? Should an expert soil analysis be involved?
What Might Go Wrong
Water, for one, can be a real problem down in a home’s basement, and a homeowner may not be able to control moisture levels if there is a constant intrusion of water due to leaking pipes or foundations. The battle to control moisture levels begins when water gets into the basement from either the inside or outside. Some foundations are faulty, and may have gaps, cracks, or other issues that allow rain water, floods, or even melting snow to get into the basement. Houses in areas prone to heavy rain or flash floods are especially vulnerable to this problem, and after every rain storm or flood, a homeowner may discover a lot of standing water down in their basement. In other cases, this water is coming from inside the house instead, often through leaking pipes at the basement ceiling. Faulty or rusted or cracked pipes can leak or even rupture, and they will drip or even gush water into the basement, and over time, this can add up fast. Dripping pipes will patiently keep adding standing water to the basement floor until there is a whole pool of water.
Standing water creates excessive moisture down in the basement, and on major hazard is the increased and rapid growth of molds down in the basement, especially on wooden surfaces. Molds, as most homeowners know, will often release biological agents like spores into the air, and this can set off allergies or asthma in the people or pets in a home. Standing water can also erode the walls or floor of the basement, or it can damage furniture or other items.
A foundation or basement may also be compromised through earthquake damage, and even if a home is built with earthquakes in mind, such as those built along the San Andreas Fault in California, may suffer foundation damage after a quake, and this damage can allow water to flood into the home. A third hazard may be radon gas. This radioactive gas is found in soil, and it often emits into the air over time. A home that is built over radon-rich soil will allow a lot of this harmful gas to leak into the home if there are cracks and faults in the basement floor, and radon gas is dangerous. In a high enough concentration, it can even cause lung cancer. Thousands of Americans perish each year due to radon gas-induced lung cancer.
Foundation repair crews and plumbers alike can fix an afflicted home’s basement. Foundation repair workers can seal up cracks and other faults in the foundation or floor, and in the case of a bulging limestone brick foundation, the crews can build a concrete wall that will contain this bulge and prevent it from leaking any water into the basement (the limestone wall itself is difficult, if not impossible, to replace). Plumbers can fix leaking pipes and even install channels and a sump pump to draw up standing water in the basement and get rid of it in case of floods or heavy rain. A concerned homeowner can also get a radon gas testing kit, and if the results are positive, they can air out the entire home to lower radon concentrations below the danger level.