How to Stop Water Seeping Through Slab Foundation (Expert Advice)

January 12, 2023

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Never overlook water seeping through a slab foundation in your home. Foundation leaks weaken the concrete, risking severe cracks. That moisture also risks framing wood rot, mildewed carpeting, mold, and other serious issues!

The good news is that you can address water seeping through a slab foundation before that secondary damage occurs. Also, you can protect your home against sinking and settling if you tackle that slab leak quickly. Keep reading to find out more about slab foundation damage and how to address water leaks. Moreover, call a contractor near you when needed to ensure quality fixes for foundation leak repair.

What causes water seepage

Hydrostatic pressure is typically the cause of water seepage in concrete slab foundations. This occurs when the soil is saturated with moisture and pushes on the foundation walls or floor of your home. That hydrostatic pressure can eventually force water up through cracks, joints, or other openings in the concrete slab.

water seeping through a slab foundation

How do you stop water seeping through slab foundation?

Foundation repair contractors use a few different slab foundation repair methods, a few of which you can install yourself! Check out those methods here so you know how to address your own foundation and identify foundation cracks before it's too late. You can also purchase a calcium chloride test online if you'd like to quickly determine if there is moisture present in your concrete floor or structure.

Installing a vapor barrier

A vapor barrier includes a thick, waterproof sheet applied around the foundation wall. This barrier blocks moisture from seeping into the foundation concrete. However, a homeowner might rely on a professional for this installation. He or she can excavate around the damaged areas safely, and ensure a proper installation.

Installing a weeping tile or French drain system

Both weeping tiles and French drain systems consist of PVC pipes buried just underground. These pipes collect water from the soil and then direct it away from the home’s foundation. A contractor places weeping tiles close to the foundation or even just underneath the slab.

French drains often start at the foundation base and then work their way across the lawn. They might direct that moisture to a nearby street or another spot on your property. In addition to protecting the foundation, a French drain can help water your outdoor features! That drain might direct water to a garden or landscaping feature, keeping them hydrated.

Using a sump pump

Sump pumps collect moisture in a pit installed at a low point. The machinery then pumps that moisture to another point, away from a property’s foundation. These sump pumps are excellent for areas prone to flooding.

sump pump installation

Grade your property

Grading refers to your property’s slope. A property should slope slightly downward, away from a structure. This slope helps encourage water to run in that direction rather than collect around a structure’s foundation, causing water seepage.

A sign to look for if your property is not graded properly is pooling water in the yard. This can cause easily identifiable signs such as excessive growth or your lawn or foundation plants.

A landscaping contractor or engineer or a foundation repair specialist can often check a property’s grade. Correcting or increasing that slope can help keep water away from the foundation, reducing the risk of leaks and decreasing the presence of hydrostatic pressure as well.

Check your property’s gutters and downspouts

Gutters and downspouts should collect rainwater and melting snow and then direct it several feet away from a structure. This keeps that water from seeping into the ground around a foundation. However, clogged gutters or short downspouts aren’t necessarily effective especially in heavy rains or thick snowfall.

Property owners might invest in downspout extenders, which attach to the end of those spouts. These extenders help empty that water several feet away from a structure. Also, ensure to keep gutters clean and clog-free. This prevents water from washing over their sides and collecting around a structure’s foundation, causing a slab leak.

Repair all plumbing leaks

Concrete slabs absorb moisture from leaking pipes underneath the foundation. That moisture eventually makes its way to the concrete surface and into your property’s interior! Have a plumber or foundation repair contractor check for leaks when you notice water damage inside your structure. Also, ensure you avoid anything that risks damaged underground pipes, such as putting things down drains that create clogs. Ask the plumbing professional to check for weakened water lines and detect if you have copper or galvanized steel pipes. These are more common in older homes and could be replaced with a more suitable material.

Can water come up through a concrete slab or concrete floor

The short answer is yes, water can come up through a slab foundation. First, slab foundations are usually just 4-6 inches thick. Second, plumbing pipes often run underneath that slab. Plumbing leaks and trapped moisture in the soil can mean water coming up through the slab.

Typically, homeowners might notice water stains along baseboards or damp, mildewed carpeting. You might also notice soft or “spongy” flooring underfoot. Also, musty smells in the home can indicate water coming through a slab foundation.

If you notice these issues in your home, remember to address needed repairs along with foundation waterproofing. Keeping dampness trapped underneath carpeting only ruins its backing and fibers! Additionally, damp baseboards and framing encourage mold growth and wood rot. Clean or replace these materials as needed, to prevent damage from spreading.


foundation waterproofing

What happens if water gets under concrete slab?

When water gets under your concrete slab, the flooring and foundation can become damaged. This can lead to structural weakening, water leaks, mold growth, and other costly issues. If left untreated, these problems can quickly worsen. Additionally, the trapped moisture encourages pests like termites and carpenter ants to move in as well.

To prevent these issues, it is important to check for hydrostatic pressure, moisture and fix any cracks or water seepage points in your foundation. To completely prevent water from getting underneath a concrete slab, waterproofing the foundation may be necessary. Professional waterproofing services can provide added protection against leaks and other potential damage.

What happens if you ignore a slab leak?

Property owners should never put off water leak repairs for their slab foundation. That concrete only gets weaker over time, as said. Eventually it might crack and then sink along one side or the other. Then, your property might require leveling or underpinning. These processes are typically far more expensive than concrete leak repair!

Moreover, a settling foundation pulls on interior and exterior building materials, leading to cracks. Not only are these cracks unsightly but they let in outside heat and cold. Sinking structures also mean uneven surfaces, doors and windows that stick, and plumbing clogs.

Also, those leaks let moisture into a structure which also risks costly damage. Wood framing and drywall both absorb moisture easily, risking cracks, crumbling, and rot. That moisture also encourages mold growth, which often means even more damage to building materials!

Additionally, carpet also tends to absorb moisture along a slab surface, risking damage and mildew under its padding. Mildew often means musty odors that never seem to come clean no matter your efforts!

Lastly, note that all this damage can affect your property’s value. In some cases, a damaged foundation might mean that your property doesn’t pass an inspection. In turn, you might not be able to sell the property if you decide to relocate. You might also lose equity over the years.

Call our team to handle your slab leaks!

Better Foundation Repair San Diego is happy to explain about repair options for water seeping through a slab foundation. Hopefully you found this information useful and informative. If you’re in the market for expert services, call our San Diego foundation repair contractors. We offer FREE foundation inspections and repair price quotes. For more information, contact us today.

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