Water Damage
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How to Protect Your Foundation from Water Damage

Last Updated on April 4, 2024 by Admin

Foundation is the last place every homeowner dreads being exposed to water damage, especially since a house is as strong as the foundation. Unfortunately, water damage to the foundation can occur following serious floods, hailstorms, pipe breaks, poor drainage, and other water issues. Seeping water through the foundation is not only a risk to your home’s integrity but also an electrical hazard and promotes the growth of dangerous mold. With consequences of such magnitude, consider the following tips to protect your foundation from water damage.


1. Ensure that your Foundation is Visible

Even though an exposed foundation may not be aesthetically pleasing, ensure that there is a small gap between your home’s exterior materials and the foundation. Building and construction experts recommend that at least 6 inches of brick or cement exterior foundations and 8 inches of wood foundation should be exposed. Covering your foundation with soil, mulch, and other materials makes it easy for moisture to penetrate your foundation.

2. Ensure Proper Drainage

Another excellent way of protecting your home from water damage and avoiding the need for costly water damage restoration is ensuring that you drain water out of your house properly. For starters, ensure that the ground surrounding your house is graded far from the foundation.

Drainage experts suggest that soil around your foundation should slope by 6ft within a 10ft distance. If you can’t achieve this, you can add some dene soil, preferably clay, to enhance grading and prevent water accumulation around the foundation.


A second way of ensuring proper drainage is installing French drain systems around the foundation. For homeowners who don’t understand the meaning of a French drain, it is a shallow drain that collects and directs water away from your foundation.

To construct this, simply dig a trench around your foundation, add some gravel, and install a drain with perforations. The trench should have between 3% and 5% downslope for a smooth water flow.

Lastly, ensure that your basement has a reliable exterior drain. This could be in the form of a footer drain or weeping tile that removes excess water from your basement.

3. Maintain Your Gutters and Downspouts

Maintaining the proper functioning of gutters and downspouts is another effective way of protecting your foundation from water damage. Gutters can trap water due to obstructions caused by the accumulation of various debris.


Therefore, keep them clear of any branches, leaves, and debris to ensure that water flows freely. If your roofing gutters are blocked, a heavy downpour will pour overflowing water into the ground, close to the foundation.

On the other hand, you should ensure that your downspouts drain a minimum of 10ft from your house. If this isn’t enough, you can extend the length of downspouts to be certain that rainwater is drained far from the foundation.

Unfortunately, most homeowners find downspouts quite unsightly, especially since you have to connect them with pipes and other fixtures. Exposed pipes are also tripping hazards and cause inconveniences when mowing the area.

If these are your major concerns about installing downspouts, you can opt for recessed downspouts that are buried in the ground. These options drain water away from your foundation while maintaining the beauty and accessibility of the area surrounding your foundation.

Use aluminium guttering It can hold up under adverse weather conditions, and it will last for years without needing maintenance or repairs.

4. Maintain Your Property

To prevent your home from water damage, especially the foundation, you should leak-proof the entire structure. This includes;

  • Regular inspection of the walls for visible cracks and weakening mortar joints, especially foundation walls.
  • Check your roofing to ensure that it doesn’t allow trickling of water. Replace broken roofing tiles and fix misplaced or loose tiles.
  • Inspect your plumbing fixtures regularly to ascertain their condition.
  • Check for undetectable leaks from the kitchen sink, toiles, bathtubs, and household appliances.
  • Check for signs of water pooling around the foundation.

5. Use a Sump Pump

Regardless of how much you try to prevent water accumulation in your foundation, some situations, such as overflowing rivers or natural water calamities, are beyond your ability. However, if you are faced with such, installing a quality sump pump in your basement can prevent basement flooding and consequential water damage to your foundation.


The working rationale behind a sump pump is very easy. The pump comes with a sump basin that traps water, be it from rains or underground seepage. If water surpasses specific levels, the sump pump activates and drains water into storm drains, dry wells, or sewage lines, depending on your municipality.

If you have a sump pump in your basement, ensure that you conduct regular tests, especially before rainy seasons, to ensure that the machine is functional. A reliable sump pump provides the best possible protection to your foundation from water damage.


Maintaining the integrity of your foundation may not be an exciting home improvement activity, especially since it isn’t noticeable. However, everybody will notice the damaging effects of water on your foundation. Therefore, take advantage of the tips mentioned above to protect your foundation from water damage. If water damage is imminent, contact water damage restoration experts for quality services.

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