Tips for Keeping Your Foundation Dry

Let Pier Masters provide you with a worry-free solution to your water issues.

Each structure has unique waterproofing and drainage needs, depending on the surrounding topography. Solutions can range from “easy” fixes such as maintaining gutters and downspouts to permanent fixes such as installing interior or exterior drainage systems and sump pumps. Following are some actions you can take as part of your maintenance routine to help alleviate water issues.

Gutters and Downspouts:  Problems can arise when downspouts aren’t properly extended away from the foundation, gutters aren’t kept clear of debris, or the guttering system isn’t properly sized to handle roof load water.

  • Install either buried downspouts or downspout extensions so that water is discharged a safe distance away from the foundation.
  • Make cleaning gutters a routine maintenance habit.
  • If you have done everything else and you still have water spilling over the gutters rather than flowing through, you might consider contacting a guttering contractor to perform a roof load analysis to make sure the guttering system is properly sized. For example, if you have a steeply pitched roof, you may need larger guttering to effectively handle rainwater.

Some of the largest contributors to water issues include foundation cracks, problems with gutters and/or downspouts, negative grade and groundwater. Identifying which of these problems, or combination of problems, you’re experiencing is the best way to diagnose a proper fix.

Negative Grade:  If the grade is sloping towards the structure, you’re feeding water directly onto the foundation, rather than having it drain away. If water is allowed to continuously build up then recede from the foundation wall, hydrostatic pressure can cause cracks, bowing walls and other structural problems.

  • Add soil around the foundation to create a positive slope away from the foundation. The slope should typically be carried out a minimum of 6 feet from the foundation. Sometimes taking an elevation survey of the property and surrounding areas is necessary to make sure water is properly channeled.

Foundation Cracks:  Foundation cracks can be caused by a variety of issues – excess water being one. Cracks aren’t always signs of major foundation problems; however, they should be repaired so they don’t allow water to infiltrate.

  • Epoxies and urethanes can be used in the event of an active leak. However, a urethane will add no strength to a foundation and should only be used for waterproofing in circumstances where there are no structural concerns. Urethane is pushed through the foundation wall under pressure and is activated by water. Thus, it will seek out the water in the crack and will also go through the wall to the outside to seal the crack all the way through.
Pier Masters is installing an interior waterproofing system in this Overland Park, KS home.

Pier Masters is installing an interior drain tile system and sump pump in this Overland Park, KS home.

An exterior waterproofing system is being installed by Pier Masters.

An exterior foundation underdrain system is being installed by Pier Masters.