Unfortunately, any home or building can develop a foundation leak at any time. No one wants to find that their home is essentially leaking, but it does happen and when it does, the problem needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. The sooner you identify that there is a problem, the sooner you can have it fixed. Of course, the sooner the problem is fixed, the less damage you will have to deal with overall. Keep in mind that when your foundation develops a leak, water gets inside of your home and can damage floors, walls, carpets, furniture, and anything else that gets wet. It is no different in that respect that discovering you have a burst water pipe. If you suspect that your foundation might be leaking, there are a few things that you can do and look for to determine if you are right. Also, it is always a good idea to inspect your foundation annually in an attempt to find any potential leaks before they become a noticeable problem. The average homeowner does not know how to detect foundation leaks, but it is a vital skill to learn so that you can avoid costly repairs. This is why it is important to take some time to learn about things such as this when you become a homeowner. This is not to say that every person needs to become certified in construction or plumbing, or anything else. Rather, it is important to be able to spot a problem as soon as it presents itself. If you are suspect that you may have a foundation leak, you will find some useful tips and advice listed here.
Before going any farther, it is important to note, that if you are not comfortable looking for the leak or even signs of a leak on your own, you can call a professional and let them make the determination. Looking for a professional is a relatively easier process and one that many people are far more comfortable with than looking for the signs on their own. The option of looking is still a valid one, even with all of the current technology that today’s world provides. Of course, if you want to mix the new with the old, phone books are available online. For example, if you are looking for someone to help with leak detection in Virginia, you have two options. Your first option is to pick up a local phone book at flip through the pages until you find a professional in your area. The second option is to input the type of professional you are looking for along with your location into a search engine and let it do the work for you. This way, you will not only get phone book results, but you will also get websites and social media pages along with any reviews or additional information on the professional.
The first sign to look for is wet floors without explanation. If you are constantly finding a particular spot on the floor, especially near a wall, is wet without any apparent explanation, you may be dealing with a foundation leak. If there is an unfinished area, such as the basement where the foundation wall is exposed, you may notice something called efflorescence. This appears as a white, often powdery, substance on the wall. There can be a lot of it or only a little. What it is, is residue such as salt and minerals left behind when the water dried. This is a sure sign of a foundation leak. As for the inside floor, if you suspect a problem, but are not certain that the floor has been wet, there is an incredibly easy test you can perform. Simply go to the edge of the carpet, preferably in a corner, and peel the carpet back a bit. Do not worry, this will not affect the carpet in any way, you can simply lay it right back in place. Once you have pulled the edge of the carpet back, look at the strip running along the edge. This is called a tack strip. If there has been moisture there, the tack strip will be rusted. If there has been enough moisture, the entire strip will likely be damaged and may appear black or simply dark in color. Of course, if the area you are checking has had any spills or moisture from the inside, this test will not be reliable as it can only show that moisture has been present. Keep in mind that it does not take much for a tack strip to rust. If there has been any amount of moisture, you will see rust on the tack strip.
The next sign to look for is a visible crack in your foundation. If you can see a crack or hole, you will need to call in some professionals to fix it as soon as possible. Most people are not going to be in a position on a regular basis to a crack, especially depending on what side of the house it is located on and how noticeable it is. This is why it is important to do annual checks. Of course, if you have any other reason to suspect that you might have a leak, you should look for cracks and holes immediately. Even if you do not see any visible cracks in the foundation, there is a fairly simple test that you can perform to determine whether or not you have a leak. If you have a suspicion that you have a foundation leak, go to the side of the house where you believe the leak is and spray the ground and foundation with the water hose. Give the area a decent soaking and then wait. It may take some time for the water to travel from the point where you sprayed to the inside of your home, but after a bit of time has passed, check any and all walls and floors on that side of the house. Of course, if you have a two-story home, you do not need to check the second floor. If you are having trouble on an upper story, the culprit is likely either a leaking window or a burst pipe.