If you notice cracks or water leaks around your home, you may be having some foundation problems. This is a very dangerous situation because if your foundation is cracking, sinking, or shifting, it puts your whole house at risk. So, routinely check for any brick wall cracks or chimney cracks, drywall fractures and always look in your basement to see what your foundation is doing down there. If you notice any problems it's best to address the situation immediately because there are solutions available.
When it comes to repairing a cracked foundation, whether it be sinking, bowing or leaking water, two words immediately come to mind - Foundation Repair & Waterproofing. What are the differences? Which one do I do? Which one do I do first? Which one is correct for my situation?
First, as always, contact a knowledgeable foundation inspector. This generally is a civil engineer, structural engineer or P.E., or certified foundation repair contractor. These are the experts that can diagnose your problem and give well founded advice on a course of action to resolve your foundation issues. They will walk through your home, inside and out, and analyze your situation and give you a written evaluation of the current extent of damage. With this information you will then be able to make a sound judgment on what steps are needed to maintain the original integrity of the structure.
Simply put waterproofing can be defined as diverting water to a predetermined location. Waterproofing does not solve structural issues. Waterproofing does not fix a failed foundation.
Waterproofing can remove problematic water from around a structure. Waterproofing can divert water so as to not put undo stresses on basement walls. Waterproofing can stop nuisance water infiltration. Waterproofing is just one step in the process of solving your failed foundation. When used in conjunction with quality foundation repair products, waterproofing, can and will help maintain the integrity of your home.
Foundation repair can be defined as methods of underpinning or shoring your failing foundation due to unexpected forces. Using designed and engineered foundation repair products can reposition your foundation to originally designed tolerances. These products can be used to lift a structure. These products can support your foundation by changing load bearing points. Quality foundation repair methods use surrounding load bearing soils to support your homes foundation.
Which comes first the chicken or the egg? Do you waterproof first, or do you install foundation repair products first? Simply put, it depends on the recommendations of your foundation expert. Is water infiltration causing your problems? Is water collecting around your home? Are your gutters and sump pump working properly? Is your foundation settling due to poor soil support or changing soils under your home? Are there vertical cracks in your basement walls? Are there horizontal cracks in your walls?
These questions all will be answered in the initial inspection of your home. Your foundation engineer will talk you through your individual needs and suggest methods of repair. Generally you will need a combination of foundation repair and waterproofing. When used together you can be assured that your home will be restored to its original structural integrity while removing water issues that can cause future foundation problems.
Epoxy sealing a crack works great, but if you are only diverting the water to the next weakest spot on your foundation you are only chasing a problem. Super duper sump pumps with turbo charged battery backups are great, but do nothing to straighten bowed or sinking walls. A dry basement does nothing for a basement that is setting on poor or consolidating soils. If your basement is leaky, there has been damage done, and this damage needs to be addressed by foundation repair experts.
Foundation repair or waterproofing is the question; a qualified foundation expert is the answer. Call your local expert today and have your foundation issues solved by the experts.