Like it or not, basement leaks are common and can happen to any home. They can be caused by a variety of reasons, but most typically are the result of foundation cracks. When cracks occur in the foundation of a home, there may be things that homeowners can do.
A new home may take time to settle into the ground. That settlement typically will cause cracks in the foundation walls and base. As the soil is hardening and moving around under the home, it can cause pressure on the cement and concrete that is below the house. Drying soil can flex and cause the cement to crack as a result.
Common Causes of Foundation Cracks and Basement Leaks
- Settling Soil
- Expansion/Contraction of Soil
- Temperature Changes
- House “Flexing”
- Tree and Shrub Root Growth
- Heavy Machinery to Close to Structure
As a home settles into the space, it will flex a slightly in various places. The more flexing, the higher the chance for a crack to result in the foundation below. Too much pressure added to the concrete could create a crack or mark that could draw in a leak.
Temperature changes can also cause cracks to result in the concrete layer below. A home will expand with the heat and may shrink a little in the colder weather. This change in temperature can cause more movement in the floorboards that can be noted with more sounds under each foot step.
Tree roots from nearby trees and shrubs, could cause damage to the foundation as well. When roots travel through the soil, it can begin to dig away at the home’s foundation. That digging and pressure will ultimately cause a crack and a leak to occur.
Heavy trucks or machines that are too close to the home and its walls will result in too much pressure for the walls and foundation surface. Often when a neighbor is getting work done to their home, they may ask for heavy machines to go along side of the home. This pressure could create small cracks in the base of the home. If a homeowner is having work done to the backyard or side of home, they may want to ask the company providing the service to check for cracks before any work is started.
Basement leaks should be dealt with right away. Over time pressure can mount and water could get inside. A wet basement may pose different issues for the homeowner to deal with. Prevent further leaks from occurring by fixing the cracks and getting to the bottom of the issue. Learning why a house is cracking in the first place may help to fix the issue and prevent it from happening in the future.