Nothing can be more damaging to a home's foundation than standing water. This could either come from rain water pooling up around the foundation, or seepage from a burst pipe. As concrete foundations are porous, it's important to install functional gutters and water channeling systems to keep your foundations dry. Otherwise, the break down in concrete may cause the foundation to shift, which manifests in terms of cracks in the ceiling or in the wall.
Standing water near the foundation can also be caused by architecture. Downspouts that discharge water below grade, for example, can cause water to seep into the foundations. Similarly, gutters near the foundation that are blocked can also result to them holding water longer than needed. This is particularly damaging if the water pools in the basement that lacks sufficient water-proofing.
Standing water can even become more than just a nuisance come winter as it can seep into the foundations and wreak havoc faster than standing water in warmer weather. Water that seeps into cement foundations can freeze, expand, and then push the concrete outward, resulting to the foundation swelling and pushing everything up and causing seams in the walls and ceilings.
To prevent minor leaks from becoming big ones, attend to hairline cracks when you see them. While that crack may not necessarily mean structural weakness, leaving it unattended could lead to more serious repairs that cannot be carried out on your own. With crack injection resins now available to do-it-yourselfers, there’s no reason why you cannot do small repairs when the need arises. Whatever the real estate atmosphere in your area, a house with visible cracks can only drive down its market value, something you would want to avoid in the still rebounding housing market.
More than just the dollar value of the house, however, is its structural integrity in relation to the safety of those who live in it. With that in mind, schedule a regular check-up of your foundations and thoroughly evaluate whether the crack you spot is structural or cosmetic. While DIY crack injection resins can address cosmetic cracking, consider having a professional over to assess how you can address structural weaknesses.