Flooding has caused massive devastation in Texas and neighboring states. In 2015 alone, the amount of rain storms dropping 3 or more inches of rain has risen by 50%. Countless neighborhoods and homes in Texas have been damaged or destroyed, with Houston and Austin areas getting the worst of it. With flooding hitting Texas hard recently and summer torrential rains anxiously awaiting, it’s important to know when flooding has damaged the foundation of your home and what to do next.
Signs of Flooding
Other than the obvious sighting of water on your floor, it is important to identify if flooding has occurred along with the degree of damage. The main places to check for flooding are in your garage. These are the elements you should inspect for:
- Humidity in the air
- Condensation droplets on your floor, walls, and pipes.
- Wall cracks
- Smell of mold and mildew
- Discoloration and rot on your floor, rug, columns, and walls.
- Rust, mold, and rot on surfaces.
- Clay silt and efflorescence (white powdery substance) on floor boards and wall corners.
How Flooding Can Damage Your Foundation
The main damage from flooding comes from the impact of rapid moving waters to your home. Flooding pushes the sides of your home, weakening your house’s structure and at times separating it from your foundation. Additionally, flooding penetrates deep into the earth causing severe damage. Foundation pilings that aren’t penetrating load-bearing strata can move, break, and shift due to flooding, causing intense foundational and structural damage.
With more intense flooding comes more intense damage to your foundation. Water traveling at 10 miles an hour has the same force as wind traveling at 270 miles an hour. Even worse, debris and toxic chemicals carried by water can further damage the safety of your home. Electric circuits, floorboards, and piping within and beneath your foundation are all negatively affected by flooding.
Signs of Foundation Damage
Once you’ve confirmed that flooding has in fact occurred, here are the signs you should review for foundational damage due to flooding.
- Doors do not shut properly and door frames have cracks.
- Windows no longer open or shut properly and have cracks in the frame.
- New cracks have appeared in the wall, ceiling, or floor board. Large tears in the wallpaper are also a sign of a wall crack.
- Foundation outside has moved (above, below, or further to one side) from the level of your lawn.
- Bricks in your outdoor foundation have cracked.
- Garage door no longer closes to the pavement.
- Sloping floors
- Wall rotation has formed which can be seen through large, outlining cracks in wall panels.
- Gaps or separation between walls, ceiling, and floor.
- Crown molding (wall frames) separation and cracks.
What to Do When You Have Flooding and Foundation Damage
If you have witnessed any of these signs of foundation damage in your home or commercial residence, make sure to contact Ram Jack. We provide a free estimate and can repair all of your foundation needs.
In the meantime, it’s important to identify if your home or office building is safe to stay in. If there are signs of structural damage, then the environment is no longer safe and should be evacuated.
Similarly, flooding can cause a whole host of other damages. Water can cause electrical and gas risks. For safety measures, turn off your electricity through your breakers and turn off your AC. If you hear a buzzing noise or smell gas, immediately evacuate and call a professional.
If there seems to be minimal flooding, try to absorb water with a mop or towels. However, flooding increases a risk of sewage and hazardous chemicals in your home. It is important to wear gloves and protective gear if you are inspecting for these things after flooding has subsided. Sanitize or throw out all things that may have come in contact with flooded waters. If any carpets were submerged it is best to throw it out and replace. Also, open your windows while you sanitize to secure safe ventilation.
How to Prevent Flooding and Foundation Damage in the Future
After going through an ordeal like flooding, it’s a good idea to take preventative measures and help limit damage in the future. Here are a few changes you can make once your flooding and foundation damages have been repaired.
- Store valuables away from your garage and transfer them to higher and safer conditions.
- Routinely check pipes for leaks.
- Improve drainage on your property
- Keep downspouts and gutters clear and pointed at least five feet away from your house. Make sure the water is falling away from your home, not towards it.
- Waterproof your garage walls to prevent excessive flooding damage. Some waterproofing materials you can use are Drylok and Xypex.