How Bad Drainage Can Destroy The Foundation Of Your Home

On November 24, 2018 by Himanshu Shah

How Bad Drainage Can Destroy The Foundation Of Your Home

The foundation of the house is the essential part of the house as it provides the necessary support for the whole structure. Therefore, it is necessary to protect it from all the potential risks. Destruction of the foundation by such factors as water accumulation and moisture retention can lead to the collapse or upheaval of the entire building.

For people who live in high rainfall areas, it is necessary to have a proper drainage system that directs water away from the foundation. The question normally asked is whether rainwater can cause substantial damage to the foundation. The answer to the question is yes, especially if it’s not controlled or redirected somewhere else.

How Does Rain Water Destroy the Foundation?

Water drainage system is one of the vital aspects to be considered when constructing the foundation of any house. Water is highly destructive to areas near the soil surface and the foundation which can prompt the use of professional foundation repair which can be very expensive. It would, therefore, be very advisable for homeowners to inspect the drainage of the area before building a house.

It is possible for rainwater to cause serious damage to the foundation of any house. This is brought about by the accumulation of water due to lack of proper drainage around the house. The amount of moisture retained in the ground area adjacent to the foundation may not cause damage immediately. However, over a long period, if the moisture content is not maintained or reduced effectively, it can cause catastrophic damages to the foundation.

When choosing a location for a new house, architects, as well as homeowners, should make sure the ground is slightly sloping away from the location where the house is supposed to be built. The slope will determine the drainage system of the house as water flows through gravity towards the lower areas of the landscape. This will reduce the chances of surface or sub-surface water accumulation which can lead to cracks, sinking or settling and even heaving. Such issues will, in the long run, cost you much for foundation repair.

The Damages Sustained By The Foundation Are Prompted By The Reasons Below:

Slopping Landscape – this is usually a problem when the slope of the area leads towards your house. Water tends to flow to your house area, therefore, clogging around it. The soil will in turn dampen, and this can lead to foundation damages due to shifting and movement of the foundation and consequently to unnecessary foundation repair.

Poor Drainage – the lack of proper drainage, especially in a wetland, can cause severe damages to your foundation. The wastewater will be dumped in the soil around the house. As the soil gains moisture and dries up, the expansion and contraction respectively will cause substantial movement in your foundation. This movement can lead to cracking and fracturing of the foundation.

Excess Retained Moisture – when the soil around the house gains too much moisture, it will lead to heaving. This is a situation where the excess pressure exerted by the expanded soil causes the foundation to be pushed upwards resulting in damages.

What Are The Signs Of A Damaged Foundation?

A damaged foundation or one that is on the way to destruction can be detected if anyone is keen around the house. The most common signs to look out for include:

i. Foundation, wall and floor fractures and cracks

ii. Settling or sinking of the foundation

iii. The upheaval of the foundation (heaving)

iv. Doors and windows that stick shut or refuse to open

v. Noticeable gaps around door and window frames

  • Uneven Or Sloping Floors

vii. A damp basement or crawl space in some types of houses
viii. Cabinets/ Counters separating from the wall

Once you notice any of these signs around your house, it is essential to consider a specialist’s advice for either drainage repair or repair for the entire foundation.

What Are The Options For Foundation Repair?

Say you have already built a house in an area where the drainage is slightly inferior. It would be highly advisable to manage any potential risks that may arise due to this. This is where you need to determine the best drainage system for your house to maintain an intact foundation. There are two types of drainage to choose from, i.e., the French drain or the Surface system.

  • The French Drain

This drain system involves the use of perforated drain pipes that efficiently manage small amounts of moisture around your house. The trenches are installed directly adjacent to the foundation. It is a very cost-effective management system that requires an easy non-intrusive procedure.

The Surface SystemThis usually is the best choice where the French drains can’t work. It is typically installed in beam and pier houses alongside the sump pump. It reduces the damaging effects of rainwater to the house.


Once you notice that your foundation might have possible damages, it is advisable not to ignore it. It would be best to consult experienced foundation repair companies around your area. You should also look for the teams that have good reviews and great referrals from previous customers. The reputation, customer service quality, as well as the quality of work, should also matter.

If your foundation is still intact with minimal damages from poor drainage, it would be better to opt for drainage repair. This is only advisable when the problem/damages are still superficial. It serves as a “Band-Aid” and should therefore not be a replacement for the full foundation repair.

Regardless of the type of damage you want to maintain adequately, every homeowner should only enlist the help of professionals who have been in the field for a more extended period. This ensures their credibility in handling the problem that equally matches their qualifications. Have the expert foundation or drainage repair team evaluate the problem before any rectification can start. The professionals you choose should also fall within your budget range to avoid any unnecessary expenses.

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