Monday, January 13th, 2020
It may not be the hottest trending renovation and home makeover item on TV, but your foundation is easily the most important to take care of. Once your foundation goes, the rest of your Orlando, FL, house is coming down with it.
When is it time to address foundation waterproofing? Why is this step so important for all property owners? How do you do it?
Water is incredibly destructive. Unless it is coming out of the faucet on demand, you don’t want it in your home.
Long before you even see any leaks or standing water, it can be having a substantial impact on your Orlando home.
Florida is notorious for its hard tropical rains, storms and being built on a swamp. This already puts property owners in the Sunshine State at a significant disadvantage when it comes to water and foundations. It’s a constant threat. Chances are your foundation hasn’t been waterproofed already.
As water gets into the soil next to your foundation it begins building up pressure. This can lead to serious flaws and cracks in your foundation walls. Some are urgent safety issues. Even the ground underneath your home can begin to move if the builder didn’t take proper care and invest enough in putting in quality work to avoid uneven settling and poor drainage. This will lead to cracks on the exterior of your home, sloping roofs, and even cracks throughout the interior of your house.
Once it begins seeping in, water can do even more damage in crawl spaces and basements. True, basements are rare in Florida, but we have come across them in some homes. Even just damp and condensation will wreak havoc with your home. It creates that notorious toxic mold, adds to Florida’s already infamous humidity, and will dramatically drive up your utility bills. Over time this will deteriorate your ducts and burn out your HVAC faster, as well as creating water damage and foul odors throughout your home.
This can add up to tens of thousands of dollars very quickly, often before you even realize where the problem is coming from.
Clearly, with so much at stake and the extreme costs and loss that comes with dragging your feet, the sooner you can waterproof your foundation, the better.
If you are looking for a home to buy, it is smart to choose one that already has a waterproof basement or crawl space. Don’t confuse this with basic dampness proofing, which is not lasting and won’t help with leaks. If you can’t find one, you may use this as a negotiation tool. You could request the seller or realtor pay for this improvement along with any other repairs before you close on the property. Or you can have them give you a cash credit at closing to cover the costs of hiring a professional foundation expert.
If you are selling your home, this can be a great feature to help you stand out from the crowd. Advertise it. Homes with waterproofing are much less likely to have other issues or supersized repairs to deal with mold, dampness and structural cracks.
If you plan to keep your home, then this can be a critical step for protecting your investment and the health of anyone who comes into your home.
There are a variety of solutions for keeping water from damaging your foundation.
Proper above-ground drainage is often an inexpensive and easy one, things like cleaning, repairing and installing new gutters and gutter downspouts, as well as properly grading the soil to keep water from seeping down against your foundation and eroding it or pouring into your crawl space.
Vapor barriers can be used to encapsulate your crawl space to keep any moisture out of your home, while reducing humidity, damp, pest infestations, toxic air and radon gas.
If you have a basement, drainage and replacing windows and window wells may be necessary as well.
If you already have cracks in your foundation walls or slab, get an inspection and estimate to determine the right way to tackle these serious flaws. You may need additional support piers, waterproof barriers on the exterior of your foundation, and new grated drains.