Many people don’t realize how much foundation damage just one downspout can do to your home.
During a new construction, in order to form a new foundation, whether it be poured wall or masonry, the foundation hole was dug larger than the building. Once the building is constructed the hole is then filled with lose dirt, soil and in some cases used as a trash pit. It takes roughly 40 years for this trash to decompose and settle.
Now that the excavation is filled in, the builder leaves the homeowner with the responsibility of getting the roof water away from the house and finish the landscape. This is why you see in many Atlanta homes where the downspout is dumping next to the footer and foundation. You as a homeowner leaving the downspout dumping water right next to the building need to realize the damage its doing to your homes foundation.
So on a rainy day the water that comes out of your homes down spout runs out and into the area that was excavated in new construction. We call this the zone of failure. This excess water that enters next to the building puts stress and lateral pressure on the wall of your Atlanta home. This pressure is known to push walls inward, leaving cracked bowed walls and even wall failure. Shallower foundations are found in crawlspaces and slab type foundations. These foundations are more prone to foundation settlement.
This is caused by the water that saturates the soul your foundation sits on. The soil underneath is left weak or sinks leaving your foundation to crack and settle. During these drought periods, the foundation is closer to the earths surface which desiccates and gets dehydrated. Once moister leaves the soil, this can cause big cracks and voids in the soil. Now the weight of the building will compress these cracks and settle these voids along with your homes foundation.
Not only is foundation settlement in your Atlanta home a problem but the next issue your going to see is water seepage. Concrete is like a sponge and will absorb the water into the walls and lower levels of your home. These are the reasons why it is so important to get your roof water away form your building. As an expert the only way to do that is extending downspouts. We recommend that all down spouts be extended away from your home at least 10 feet to avoid these complications.