Every house is built upon a foundation, and Texan homes younger than 50 years are often built on slab foundations. Any home’s construction starts with the foundation, such as limestone formations in older houses, and if the foundation is well built, foundation repair may be rare, but in other cases, such as worn out limestone formations, foundation failure may become common, and basements will struggle to control moisture levels down there. Drainage solutions can be put in place, however, so that water damage can be prevented in the future. What sorts of foundations are the best? Limestone formations are an older type, so do they hold up in modern times?
A common issue for basements in American homes today is the intrusion of water. Sometimes, water may come from leaking pipes in the house, and over time, pipes will leak enough water to form pools at the lowest points in the basement. Other times, water will leak into the house from the outside, such as during heavy rain or floods, and a compromised foundation, such as old limestone formations, will allow a lot of water inside. Standing water in the basement can be a real issue; the excess moisture fosters a lot of mold growth, and many people are aware of how harmful mold in the house can be. Mold releases spores and other biological agents that set off allergies or asthma in people and pets, and it can grow nearly anywhere. Standing water can also damage the basement’s walls and floors and erode them, and standing water can also damage items in the basement such as furniture and stored items in boxes.
Limestone formations were built in American homes 100 years ago and earlier, and often involve limestone or other stone bricks held together with mortar. Often, however, this method proves itself an antique. Today, limestone formations are prone to eroding, especially when the mortar between the bricks fails, and this allows water to leak into the home easily, and compromised limestone formations may even buckle inwards and allow even more water into the home. This may threaten the entire house, and fixes must be done on limestone formations or other basements that are suffering structural failure. What can be done?
Limestone formations usually do not respond well to metal beams to hold them back, since they can still bulge from between the beams, so it may be a better idea to hire concrete contractors to handle this. Specialized crews can be brought to the home and set up concrete walls that will contain the bulging limestone formations, and this will prevent further warping and also block the water leaks that these compromised limestone walls will be causing. Foundations and basements made of other materials can be reinforced and have cracks fill in or walls reinforced, so that leaks are no longer an issue. Foundation workers can make sure that no more water can leak into the home from the outside, and this may be especially important for homes that are in areas prone to flooding.
Similarly, plumbers can be hired to fix leaking pipes in the ceiling of the basement to contain leaks, and plumbers can also install a sump pump to help remove water in case the basement gets flooded again during rain. The crews can also install channels that will divert intruding water to the sump pump, which allows that pump to draw up that water and deposit it outside the home to prevent standing water from gathering.
Another potential hazard in the basement is radon gas. This is a radioactive gas found in nature, and it often emits from the ground and gets into the air, building up concentration over time. A basement with cracks in the floor may permit a lot of radon gas to get into the home, and this can cause serious or even deadly symptoms in the occupants, including lung cancer. Contractor crews can seal up the basement to prevent more radon gas from getting in, and testing kits can be bought to check the air for dangerous radon levels. If so, the home’s air can be cycled out with all the doors and windows open, and this lowers radon levels below hazard concentrations.