Poor Drainage Can Cause Foundation Problems

It’s true that one of the major repairs that residences need to make relates to their foundation. Many of the instances where the foundations have sustained damage have pertained to water damage that had gone unnoticed. Poor drainage caused by issues such as landscape irrigation, uncontrolled runoff, and bad pipes can cause some of this water damage. Here’s more information about how bad drainage can cause foundation issues:

What is poor drainage?

When excess water is not drained out properly from your home it results in poor drainage. One of the most common causes of poor drainage is construction damage. Removal of topsoil for construction leaves the excavated area only with subsoil. Construction workers usually employ heavy equipment for compressing the soil and reducing air space.

Flawed grading of such sites often leads to ponding (the low areas remain at maximum risk) and water runoff from the downspouts or roofs. Issues such as old pipes can be one of the culprits and clogs can cause fluids to back up and flood near the foundation.

Identifying and Addressing Poor Drainage

Spotting poor drainage at the right time is extremely tricky. You will have to constantly look for signs of flawed drainage. Here are some of the things to look out for:


If you notice a mini waterfall along your gutter’s edge, it’s possibly resulting from debris and dead leaves accumulating inside it. Those unwanted substances end up blocking the water flow and what you get is gushing gutters. Ideally, you should wait for your gutter to gush. It would be wise to take necessary steps the moment you notice changes like paint or siding peeling off your walls. This can cause water to accumulate near the foundation, which will can cause considerable damage.

Water Stains

The location of the stain in your basement would tell you how serious the problem is. If the stains are in the basement, for example, it can point to there being excess water close to the surface or even further underground. Both issues will need to be addressed.

Foundation Cracks

Small cracks that appear in foundations can be normal, especially since homes tend to settle over time. However, not all of these cracks are harmless. Large cracks are often caused by poor drainage. In this case, the foundation will not only need to be repaired, but the drainage issue should be addressed so the problem doesn’t resurface.


Gray or white crusts appearing on basement walls also indicate poor drainage. You should also be wary about flaking walls, which can signify that there is too much moisture nearby. Chances are pretty good that if the paint is chipping or flaking, the nearby foundation may also sustain damage.

The easiest way of avoiding poor drainage induced foundation problems is inspecting your home for such damage at regular intervals. If you are considered, contact us and we’ll take a look at your foundation and address fixing any issues.