Can a water leak cause foundation problems
19 Jul

Can a water leak cause foundation problems? the short answer is: YES. It can damage the entire structure and cause it to collapse. But, does it happen in all cases? Are there ways to avoid it? What if what you think is a water leak is actually just capillarity?

If you want to find out once and for all what is that water that has leaked into your basement, kitchen, bathroom or bedroom, the best thing is that learn as soon as possible to recognize a leak or capillarity, and discover what are the best ways to eliminate it and restore the security of your home.

Leakage or capillarity?

Filtrations and capillaries do not have the same danger. A filtration requires a quick action called to solve the problem as soon as possible. On the other hand, capillarity is a somewhat minor problem, although don’t take it lightly either.

To differentiate capillarity from filtration, you only have to pay attention to the floor and the lower part of the walls. If there is water, it is a leak, and if not, it is just capillarity.

And the way to solve them is very different. In the case of capillarity, an HC control unit or units will suffice, but if it is a leak, you will need to install mortar and others.

In both cases, it is best to hire a professional. In fact, if you have water damage insurance, it is best to have a public adjuster who will advise you on the damage assessment and guide you through the most urgent repairs.

And why do they appear one and the other?

Since water seepage can cause problems in the foundation, the best thing is that you learn what causes it in order to prevent such a disaster.

Capillarities can and usually appear when the free entry of water through the inner face of the wall is cut off. Or put another way, dampness by capillarity appears when the ground has to absorb too much moisture and the walls of the buildings filter the water in the same way as if they were a sponge, with dire consequences.

On the other hand, the leaks appear due to flaws in the design or execution, since all the walls receive some hydraulic pressure. That is, when the water present on the other side of the wall enters the building through different leaks, then the leaks occur.

Cutting a leak generates rising damp

When we have discovered that a water infiltration can cause problems in the foundation, we will be ready to eliminate it as soon as possible. However, sometimes if we do not carry out the process properly (something easy, since it is a complex action) we can create capillarity. For this reason, before taking action, we must carefully consider the steps to follow.

It is best to take measures previously to ensure the anchor from the mortar to the wall. Also, the resolution of the joint between the wall and the pavement must be completely correct.

To improve the mechanical anchoring of the new mortar to the wall, it would be necessary to use bonding bridges that increase the union. But even better for this is to use fiber mortars.

On the other hand, you can use a switchboard to prevent capillary moisture from reaching it by reinforcing the water passage cutoff. If you are not an expert, in all these cases, contact a specialist or the consequences may be worse.

Resolve real leaks well

Now you know better than before, yes, a water leak can cause foundation problems, but luckily there are ways around it.

And there is a serious problem when trying to eliminate leaks, its weak point is the joint between the pavement and the wall. It is a joint run that must be solved as soon as possible.

First of all, the heel counter has to be constructed in a way that goes as deep as possible in the thickness of the pavement and in its entirety. Then, the half-round finish is perfect to better withstand the pressure.

However, it is possible that you ask experts to help you eliminate the leaks and, wanting to take the hassle out of you, avoid building this part of the anti-seepage mortar system.

Many professionals avoid it because it causes noise, dust, friction, etc.

Can a leak cause foundation problems? Know the consequences

Dampness, both due to leaks and capillarity, weakens the cohesive force of the walls and can even cause them to lose much of their Loading capacity.

Also, the moist contact of the foundation with the air causes the wall to rust. Consequently, and in extreme cases, this can lead to structural collapse.

Also, if the water walls absorb water from the terrain, they will also absorb mineral waters, nitrates and more. In the end, these will end up creating the so-called cryptoflorescences and efflorescences that corrode building materials. In this way, they weaken the bonding forces of the elements of that wall and reduce its load capacity.

In these cases, structural collapse is possible.

Signs to detect leaks or capillarities

Structural moisture, that is, moisture from seepage that can collapsing foundations has different appearances. These are some of them:

  • Cracks in the walls.
  • Saltpetre on the walls and floor.
  • Chipping on the walls.
  • Fungi on the walls and on the floor.
  • Mold in the corners.
  • Smell of humidity in the room.

If you have a problem of this type on your hands, the best thing you can do is contact Alconero & Associates, your public adjuster in Florida and find the best way to deal with these inconveniences.