Serving Mid, Western and Northern Michigan,
Kalamazoo, Lansing, Grand Rapids, Traverse City
Monday, June 24th, 2019 by Amanda Waldmann
With the heavy rains hammering Michigan this month, it isn’t surprising that we’re getting a ton of calls from homeowners who need our help with water in their basement. What IS surprising is the number of calls we’ve gotten just today, just from East Lansing, from people who suddenly have cracks in their foundation.
How is this related to the rain, you might ask. Well, I’m glad you did.
When rain falls, it has to go somewhere, right? That somewhere is usually into the ground, where it’s absorbed by the soil. With the deluge of rain, the soil is fully saturated in most of the state, and as it takes on water it expands. This can put pressure on anything in its way, including the foundation of your home.
Saturated soil can be a one-two punch for a foundation.
One - the soil. As soil gets saturated, it expands and needs somewhere to go. That somewhere is often impeded by a home’s foundation, so the soil presses against it. With enough time and/or pressure, the foundation walls will bow and form cracks. Soil may also just wash out from below a foundation - especially if you live somewhere with sandy soil - and leave the foundation unsupported. This leads to sinking, which can also produce wall cracks.
Two - the water. In a high pressure saturation situation, water just wants to move to a lower pressure area. It cares even less than soil what’s in its path; water is stronger than pretty much anything and will move through whatever it needs to. It will often enter a basement through microscopic cracks, or maybe through a new crack caused by soil pressure. As it moves through a wall crack, it widens it a little bit, allowing more water to move through. It’s a vicious cycle that can end in your home’s safety being at risk.
So what can you do?
I sound like a broken record, but the first and best thing you can do is call us. Foundation cracks aren’t something you can DIY fix or let exist unchecked, because they without fail get worse over time. One of our system design specialists will do a full inspection to determine what caused the crack and how to secure your foundation and guard against future damage. We have a variety of wall and foundation stabilization methods to solve a variety of problems and we’ll design a custom solution for what’s going on in your home.
It’s going to be a rainy summer - don’t let it ruin your foundation. Call today to schedule your free inspection.