In the world of foundation repair, there are a lot of things that could threaten or destroy a foundation. As a home owner, you’re concerned with keeping up on maintenance to ensure that nothing goes wrong but the truth is, stuff happens. It can be anything from the soil shifting underneath your house in which you have absolutely no control over, or it could be the result of promising to get to whatever repair “next weekend”. No matter what the issue though, plumbers have seen it all. Knowing the common types of problems plumbers see can give you a good idea on how to properly maintain your home. Take a look at these common problems and repairs and see if there’s something you could be doing:

Gutters and Downspouts

Everyone knows it’s a good idea to clean your gutters out every fall and spring but it isn’t really one of those “oh my god, I need to do this this weekend or the house is going to implode!” jobs. It’s easily one of those, “meh, I’ll do it next weekend” jobs that get postponed until the following weekend indefinitely or until there becomes a problem.

If it’s not done regularly, however, debris builds up, rust rapidly grows and water backs up. Then the water keeps backing up, running down the side of your foundation until it starts water damage. It’s very common for a plumber to find the source of foundation damage to be poorly maintained gutters and downspouts.

Plumbing Leaks

Sometimes, leaks can occur under the foundation that will require a plumber to breakout a section of the slab just to gain access. This is one of those things that require a skilled plumber’s help. To compact the soil correctly after doing repairs, your plumbing contractor needs to have the right kind of experience. Other really common plumbing-related problems include water building up around the foundation. Or sometimes, a leaking pipe in the walls that isn’t noticed can end up damaging weight bearing studs.

Reinforces Exposed Steel

A common problem plumbers see in foundation repairs is the peeling or “blistering” of concrete along a beam. This issue results in the cable end of the steel bars becoming open and exposed. If you aren’t careful, corrosion can damage the strength of the bars. Your plumber will need to remove all adhesive from the steel and then use grouting with an epoxy base to help rebuild the beam[1]. This improves the protection of your repairs.

Brick, Rock and Cladding Cracks

Another issue that occurs regularly is cracking in the brick veneer or mortar caused by weathering and freeze damage, allowing moisture to get into those unprotected, vulnerable wall materials. Over time, this will cause the wood to rot and break down, and your plumber will have to seal the cracks with a type of caulking to prevent the weathering problems from happening again. You might also end up with a bit of structural damage visible as a result.

It’s difficult to know how to maintain something if you don’t know what kinds of problems can occur. Knowing the common foundation repairs that plumbers encounter can better enable you to make the necessary repairs when needed and ensure that your home stays safe and sound.

[1] National Foundation Repair Association