Oklahoma homeowners know the variety of weather the foundations of their homes must be built to withstand throughout the year, but do you know the degree of damage weather extremes such as flooding can cause?
It’s easy to give little thought to your foundation when it is hidden underfoot, but its structural integrity should be at the forefront of your mind in the aftermath of a flood. Without a sturdy, functioning foundation you could find your whole home at peril. Here’s what you need to know about the potential damage flooding can do to your foundation.
How does flooding damage your foundation?
Flooding damages your foundation in two main ways: from the force of fast moving water and from the water seeping in and causing or widening foundation cracks. Both kinds of damage weaken the structural integrity of your home and expose its interior to the elements in dangerous ways.
The force of flood waters and debris pressing against your house can be enough to weaken the overall structure or even separate the walls from your foundation. Foundation pilings deep in the ground aren’t safe from rapid flood waters either. As the water rushes in, it can create instability that allows pilings to shift or even break. Any movement of your home’s foundation puts the entire house at risk of collapse.
Can flooding lead to foundation cracks?
In a word, yes. Flooding can also create or exacerbate foundation cracks. Small cracks naturally form over time due to changes in moisture and temperature, but an extreme force like flood waters can cause cracks that can’t be ignored. Foundation cracks will let cold air and moisture into your home, damaging wall and floor materials, ruining electrical elements, and introducing mold spores into your living space. More seriously, large cracks can cause instability to your home’s structure, possibly resulting in collapse.
What other parts of your home are impacted by flooding?
It may not always be obvious that a home’s foundation has been affected by flooding. It’s always a good idea to call a professional to determine the safety of your home after a natural disaster, but there are signs you can look for yourself too. After a flood, look for cracks in door and window frames or note if doors and windows do not open and shut properly anymore. These can be signs that your house is misaligned on its foundation.
Inspect your walls, ceilings, crown molding, and floors for new cracks. Also, walk your floors to test if any are sloping oddly. Take a good look at the outside of your house to see if it has moved off its foundation or if the foundation itself appears misplaced–either higher, lower, or tilted–compared to how it previously sat in relation to your lawn. Finally, look for foundation cracks or other gaps and spaces on the exterior of your home where parts seem to have broken away from each other.
What should you do if you find flood damage?
If you see any of these signs, there’s a good chance your home has foundational damage and you will need a professional consultation to determine the extent of the damage and to review restoration options. Foundation damage after flooding is a serious concern for homeowners and one that should be addressed promptly to reduce risk of further damage to your home and danger to your family.
Oklahoma homeowners, if you see signs of structural damage to your foundation, don’t put off calling the professionals! Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with our experienced foundation experts. Edens Structural Solutions is here to help!