What Exactly is Foundation Damage?

At K-Guard Chicago, we’re passionate about preventing foundation damage. After all, it’s kind of our job. While we specialize in installing leaf free gutter systems, the whole point of our K-Guard Gutter System is for water to flow freely throughout your entire gutter system and for said system to direct water to flow away from your home’s foundation.

If you’re a homeowner then you’ve heard the warnings: water collecting around your foundation can cause water damage, keep water away from your home’s foundation, make sure your gutters are properly draining water away from your foundation, etc.

But do you know why it’s so important for water to drain away from your home’s foundation? Continue reading to learn all about foundation damage and how to prevent it.

What Exactly is Foundation Damage?

Foundation damage is exactly that – damage that occurs to your home’s foundation. While it seems self-explanatory, foundation damage is a little more complex than it may seem. There are different types of foundations and materials, warning signs and causes.

Foundation damage can cause many serious issues for homeowners including cracks in foundation, leaning or tipping, foundation upheaval, and so on. While there are many different types of foundation materials, we’re going to be focusing on the most popular foundation material for homes: concrete. Keep reading to learn more about foundation damage like what causes it and how to prevent it from happening to your home.

What Causes Foundation Damage?

There are many different things that can cause foundation damage. Here are just a few:

  • Soil conditions
  • Slab foundation issues
  • Improper drainage

Soil conditions are one of the more common causes of foundation damage. Soil moisture is ever changing, especially here in the Chicago region. Our winters are harsh with accumulating snow that eventually melts while our springs bring heavy rains and our summers bring thunderstorms that produce a lot of rainwater. Because we experience many different types of extreme weather conditions, the moisture in our soil is constantly changing; hot summers can cause soil to shrink while melting snow can cause soil to expand.

Slab foundations, while being a quicker option for most builders, can lead to structural damage depending upon how they’re poured and compacted. If a builder doesn’t properly compact each layer of soil once it’s added then the slab may not be supported correctly, leading to possible foundation and structural damage.

Improper drainage of rainwater and meltwater is another cause of foundation damage. If a gutter system isn’t collecting and directing water away from your home’s foundation then the buildup over time will cause damage like cracks, mold and even structural damage. A home’s drainage and gutter system is crucial when it comes to preventing water collecting around the foundation.

How can I Spot Foundation Damage?

While the causes above can happen to any homeowner, it’s relatively easy to tell if you have any foundation damage as well as to identify the type of foundation damage you may have. To determine whether or not you have foundation damage, walk around the perimeter of your home and examine the foundation and inspect each room in your home including the basement.

When examining the exterior of your home and the foundation, look for cracks in the foundation. If you notice any, especially horizontal cracks, it’s time to contact a foundation repair company.

To spot foundation damage in the interior of your home, look for cracks in the basement, gaps around walls and window frames as well as gaps in exterior doors. Again, you’ll want to contact a foundation repair company if you suspect foundation damage.

How can I Prevent Foundation Damage?

The best way to prevent foundation damage is to ensure that all water drains away from your home’s foundation. The last thing you want is for rain to accumulate alongside your home’s foundation, leading to foundation damage.

How can you ensure water is draining away from your home’s foundation? By installing a K-Guard Leaf Free Gutter System. Our larger sized downspouts allow for rain and snow/ice melt to be pushed even farther away from your home versus traditional gutter systems, aiding in keeping your home’s foundation safe. Our gutter systems can even handle 40% more water drainage than Leaf Guard.

What are you waiting for? With everything that can go wrong with improperly draining gutters and downspouts, now is the time to make the switch to K-Guard, especially entering the rainy season. Send us a message to schedule a free estimate or call (224) 808-3078.

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