Drainage Solutions Prevent Foundation Damage from Water

Water can be problematic for your home no matter what kind of material is used to build it. While there is always a big concern about water damaging wood in a home, even concrete foundations in Oakland can become damaged from water leaks and improper drainage in an around your home. Knowing about how water can damage concrete and how to spot potential problems due to water in your home.

Ways Water Can Damage Concrete Foundations in Oakland


Can occur over time due to carbon dioxide in the air...
The result of this effect is breaking down the passivating layer of the concrete through lowering the pH level of the concrete. If water gets into the steel reinforcements, it can rust, increasing the volume of the steel and cracking the concrete.


Can also lead to damaging concrete...
As with carbonation, chloride breaks down the passivating layer of the concrete, exposing the steel reinforcements to water, leading to rust and, eventually cracked concrete.


Attacks concrete either physically or chemically. In solution, sulfate causes a chemical reaction...
that weakens the bond between the aggregate and cement paste, leading to wear and cracking. In addition, sulfate can cause crystallization and recrystallization in porous concrete, which causes expansion. The expansion can then lead to cracking in the concrete.

Alkali-aggregate reaction

Occurs when the alkali hydroxides in concrete lead to cracking...
and expansion, resulting in a slow deterioration of the concrete. This cracking then opens the steel reinforcements to water and, eventually, corrosion.

Freeze and thaw cycles 

Can lead to deterioration in non-air entrained concrete....
Water expands when frozen, which can lead to cracking and distress. When the water thaws, more water fills and freezes in the cracks, further expanding them and causing more damage with each cycle.

Signs of Water Damage to Concrete Foundations in the East Bay

Look for water stains in the basement. If you find water stains in your basement or elsewhere in the foundation of your house, it means water has penetrated into your home. If the water stains are high on the foundation, it means there is likely a problem with drainage at your El Cerrito or Bay Area home. If you notice water in the basement, it may mean there is a fluctuating water table under your home causing water to leak into the house.

Look for standing water in the yard. You may notice extra water in your yard after a heavy rain, which is normal. But if the rest of the yard has dried and there is still an area of standing water, or you notice standing water in your yard when it hasn’t rained, you may have a problem that could lead to damage to your home’s concrete.

Look for foundation cracks. If you see cracks in your San Leandro foundation, you may have the beginning of a problem. Some small, thin cracks may be normal, but if the cracks continue to grow or lead to a hole, your foundation could be at risk.

It's important to protect your home from water damage.

If damage begins, the best way to handle it is by getting professional advice to assess the damage and make a plan to repair it. The experts at Jim Gardner Construction can help you find solutions to foundation problems as well as drainage systems to keep water from creating a bigger problem.

Jim Gardner Construction

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