Leaking Water: Can It Cause a House to Sink? Damage and Prevention

Leaking water can cause a house to sink. Having constant moisture present around a property’s foundation can harm it by washing away the soil holding it together.

As time goes by, such erosion can lead to the sinking of a building, resulting in more severe structural risks. This will eventually require restumping or underpinning. 

In this blog, we’ll talk more about how leaking water damages foundations and what you can do to prevent them.

What Happens When Water Leaks Near House Foundations? 

Water leaks near house foundations can lead to severe structural damage. The constant presence of moisture caused by a leak can cause the foundations of a home to weaken, leading to potential subsidence.

What is subsidence? Read our blog to learn all about it.

What Long-Term Damage Can Water Leaks Cause to Foundations? 

Water leaks can cause the following long-term damage to house foundations:

Structural Weakness and Cracking 

Water leaks can significantly undermine the structural integrity of a building. When water seeps into the foundation, especially in homes with different house footings, it can weaken the concrete or other foundational materials.

Mould and Fungal Growth 

Persistent moisture from water leaks creates an ideal mould and fungal growth environment. This issue is particularly concerning in enclosed spaces where ventilation is limited.

Soil Erosion and Subsidence 

Water leaks can lead to soil erosion around the foundation, which is particularly problematic for buildings with certain types of footings. The constant flow of water can wash away the soil that supports the foundation, leading to uneven settling or subsidence.

Is House Sinking the Same as Subsidence? 

Yes, house sinking is the same as subsidence. Subsidence is caused by the downward movement of the foundation due to changes in the soil.

Can Leaking Water Cause A House To Sink_ Damage And Prevention

How Can I Prevent Foundation Damage from Water Leaks? 

You can prevent foundation damage from water leaks through proper drainage maintenance, a plumbing leak inspection, and a sump pump installation.

Proper Drainage Maintenance 

Maintaining proper drainage is crucial in preventing foundation damage from water leaks. Ensure your property’s grading slopes away from the foundation, allowing water to drain naturally. This can be achieved through landscaping adjustments or installing French drains.

Gutters and downspouts should be regularly cleaned and in good repair, directing water away from the foundation. It’s also essential to check for and seal any cracks or gaps in the foundation where water might seep in.

Plumbing Leak Inspection 

Regular inspection of plumbing systems plays a vital role in preventing foundation damage. Leaks from pipes can often go unnoticed, especially if they are underground or within walls.

It’s advisable to have a professional plumber inspect your plumbing system periodically for any signs of leaks or weaknesses.

Sump Pump Installation 

In areas prone to heavy rainfall or flooding, installing a sump pump can be a highly effective way to protect your foundation from water damage. A sump pump is designed to automatically pump out water accumulating in a sump pit, typically installed in the lowest part of a basement or crawlspace.

Keeping this area dry prevents water from rising and seeping into the foundation.