Water beneath your Colorado home’s foundation may not seem like a severe problem at first glance, but groundwater or heavy rainfall resulting in pooling beneath your home can take a toll on your home’s structural integrity. This common issue leads to the problem signs you first identify with as foundation damage. Wall cracks, sagging floors, tilting chimneys, or nail pops result from water leaks under your foundation. We’ll explain why the changing water levels beneath your Denver, Colorado Springs, and Grand Junction, home are one of the main reasons for foundation damage.
What Causes Water Under Your Foundation?
There are two main reasons you experience water leaks under your home– the weather and soil conditions in the Front Range region and the construction methods used when building your home. Read on to learn more about what causes water leaks under your foundation.
When your home was built, the construction crew dug a hole slightly larger than your foundation. Once the floor and walls were built, the fill dirt was replaced to prevent gaps between your home and the property.
The problem is that the soil that was removed and replaced is now looser, meaning the particles are farther apart. This allows water to easily run towards and under your foundation. Essentially, it creates an artificial water table around your home. This is called the clay bowl effect.
Unfortunately, this problem plagues all homeowners regardless of soil type, but in the Front Range region, where the soil is troublesome, the problem increases.
Weather & Soil Type
Although the Denver, Colorado Springs, and Grand Junction areas receive less than average rainfall each year, even the smallest amount of water can cause big problems when combined with the clay soil. And the area’s frequent droughts are as detrimental as heavy rain for homeowners. The clay soil in the region is highly volaille, meaning it expands rapidly when exposed to water and shrinks, becoming brittle when dry.
This type of soil movement means your home’s foundation is not supported properly, causing it to dip and sag unevenly. Because of this, you’ll notice all kinds of foundation damage warning signs like wall cracks, sloping floors, and sticking doors and windows.
Damage Caused by Foundation Water Leaks
If your Colorado home is struggling with water leaks under the foundation, you will soon know about it. Learn more about the damage caused by foundation water leaks below.
It may be most common to link home settlement to areas with a lot of water since washout is a common cause. But when you consider the problematic soil in Colorado, it becomes clear that settlement is a big problem here as well.
When it rains, the clay soil expands rapidly, putting pressure on your home and causing it to shift. During times of drought, the soil shrinks, leaving voids your home easily sinks into.
This movement causes many other secondary problems as well.
Spreading Wall Cracks
As your home sinks into the voids created, it rarely does so evenly. Because of this, look for wall cracks in your basement or crawl space, on exterior brick walls, and in the living areas of your home.
It’s common for cracks to start as hairline cracks that expand and spread over time. They are typically stairstep cracks, meaning they follow the mortar joints, or diagonal drywall or plaster cracks starting at corners of doors and window frames.
As tempting as it may be to patch and forget about wall cracks, if you don’t address the root cause of the problem, the problem will keep occurring.
Sticking Doors and Windows
Like cracks, when your Colorado home sinks into the voids created by water under your foundation, it becomes unlevel. Door and window frames are often impacted, making both difficult to open and close.
Sticking doors and windows is a good sign you have foundation damage and need the help of professionals at Peak Structural.
While it can be common, it is not normal to have a damp foundation. Although there are plenty of reasons why your foundation is damp, the bottom line is a damp foundation only spells trouble for homeowners.
Dampness and humidity lead to mold and wood rot; both are unhealthy and steal value from your home. Mold can grow much faster than you may think. In ideal conditions, it takes only 24 to 48 hours for growth. This is why it’s important to address any excess moisture as soon as possible.
It’s common for all homes to experience some sort of natural settlement after being built, but this settlement is very rarely noticed by homeowners. Natural settlement is typically visible as small hairline cracks, usually in the basement or crawl space, that stay the same size year after year.
Generally, foundation problems are noticed by homeowners when they are much more severe than in common natural settlement. When in doubt, it’s always best to ask a professional. Since addressing foundation problems early saves you money and secondary repairs, it’s a good idea to have any concerns inspected as soon as they are identified.
The local experts at Peak Structural offer free, no-obligation inspections to put your mind at ease.
When your home experiences a water leak under your foundation, the first place you may see signs is on the basement floor. You may notice cracking or a damp, moist feeling. If left untreated, cracks will get larger, and water may seep through, causing puddles and possibly standing water.
But why? Hydrostatic pressure is the term used when referring to the amount of pressure water exerts on a structure. Hydrostatic pressure is a large concern since the Denver area has clay soil. Clay soil expands rapidly, increasing hydrostatic pressure until cracking occurs.
Professional Benefits of Peak Structural
While repairing some work around the house makes perfect sense, repairing your foundation is not a DIY project. In addition to your home being your largest asset, foundation work takes experience and expert tools to get the job done right.
The professionals at Peak Structural have worked in the Denver, Colorado Springs, and Grand Junction areas for nearly two decades, and in that time, they have repaired thousands of homes like yours. They understand the unique challenges of the soil and weather in Colorado and have developed products and procedures to ensure our solutions last for years.
Schedule your free, no-obligation inspection and let Peak Structural take the worry out of your foundation problem. Our friendly team never uses high-pressure sales tactics, and you’ll never be upsold products you don’t need. Contact us today.