Why Older Homes Are More Likely to Need Foundation Leak Repair in Vancouver

  • May 18, 2023
  • Foundation

There’s something about older homes that new construction just can’t replicate; there’s the charm and the history, but there’s also a potentially long list of quirks you might encounter. And one of those issues involves your foundation. Unfortunately for local homeowners, foundation leak repair is a widespread problem for older homes in Vancouver. Blame it on the weather or blame it on the age, but either way, foundation repairs are something to be extra mindful of if you live in a home over 50 years old.

Here are a few common foundation issues that can affect older homes in the Vancouver area and signs to be on the lookout for.

A Sinking Foundation

Over the years, it’s normal for your foundation to shift a little as it settles. However, excessive and continual settling, better known as sinking, is a significant problem that can negatively impact the structural integrity of your home. Sinking can stem from several issues, including compaction problems when the foundation was poured, poor construction, excessive moisture levels, erosion, or other changes in the soil composition.

Water Damage

No one can argue that Vancouver hasn’t earned the moniker Raincity. With over 150 days of rain per year, foundation water damage and leaks are a risk that comes with the territory. Moisture from rain, snow, and groundwater can seep into the foundation, leading to mould, rot, and other problems.

Unstable Soil

Vancouver’s scenic landscape includes many steep hills and unlevel terrain, and unfortunately, homes built on hillsides are particularly susceptible to foundation issues caused by shifting soil.

The stability of a slope depends on soil composition, water content, and geological factors. Areas with loose soil are naturally more prone to movement and instability, which can lead to shifting and negatively impact your foundation. Hillsides are also more affected by erosion and water accumulation, both of which can lead to foundation leaks and other damage.

Age of the Home

The age of the home and the materials it was built with will also impact the durability of the foundation. Older homes may have been contracted with materials no longer considered structurally sound, like brick or stone, which require additional drainage to keep water from leaking through the foundation. However, even concrete-poured foundations sometimes need leak repairs due to age or other factors like poor construction or uneven settling.

Now that we’ve covered why homes sometimes need foundation leak repairs in Vancouver let’s look at a few signs of foundation damage:

• Cracks: Cracks in the foundation, walls, ceiling, or basement floor are all strong indicators that you could have foundation issues. Pay particular attention to cracks wider than 1/4 inch, diagonal, or stair-stepped.
• Uneven floors: Uneven, slopped, or sagging floors could indicate uneven foundation settlement or sinking. You can easily verify the slope of your floors using a 4-foot carpenter level placed horizontally in the middle of a room.
• Door and windows that stick: If you’re having trouble opening or closing windows or doors, it could be a sign that the foundation has shifted, causing the door or window frame to become misaligned.

The foundation is the building block that supports the rest of your home’s structure. At the first sign of foundation damage or a leak, it’s imperative to contact a professional to perform an inspection as soon as possible. Addressing foundation issues early can prevent further damage and potentially save you money in the long run.