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5 Signs of Foundation Water Damage 

Puddle of water in the yard of a home.

Your home’s foundation is built to last, but things like weather changes, soil type, and natural hazards can weaken it. In Canada, harsh winters and variable soil conditions often cause foundation water damage. 

Whether from melting snow, heavy rain, or underground water, you can’t ignore the risk. Spotting problems early can prevent expensive and disruptive repairs. 

It can be tricky to spot a wet foundation, but don’t worry. We’ll show you the signs of water damage so you can fix it before it gets worse. 

1. Moisture or Dampness  

Murky, muddy water.

A home’s foundation is supposed to be clean and dry. When it becomes damp, it can easily turn into a breeding ground for harmful fungi and bacteria. If you find your foundation walls are constantly damp or wet, chances are water is seeping through. Try to find the source of the moisture quickly. 

You might also notice that the air in your basement or home feels damp, which indicates high levels of humidity. High humidity leads to condensation and other issues like mold growth or musty odors. 

2. Mold or Mildew  

Black mold on walls.

Mold and mildew on your walls are indications of water damage. Both thrive in damp and wet environments. If you spot gray, white, black, or green substances on your walls, chances are mold has taken over. 

This growth can pose health risks such as respiratory complications and breathing problems. It can also cause wood rot and damage to structural supports around your home. 

Mold has no place in your home, but trying to remove on your own is dangerous. Mold experts can handle the removal, and basement waterproofing professionals can help you create a dry space to prevent mold from returning or growing in the first place. 

3. Foundation Wall Cracks   

Cracked block wall.

While foundation cracks aren’t always caused by moisture, you should never rule water out if you see them. Water, especially in expansive soil, may exert stress on your foundation walls known as hydrostatic pressure, causing them to crack. Depending on the nature of the cracks, you can expect anything from a minor foundation repair to an extensive repair job. 

4. Wall Discoloration 

Stained, damp block wall.

Concrete is porous and gets easily discolored when groundwater stays on the surface. The stains come from minerals that form when the water dries in the concrete, also called efflorescence. 

Staining on your wall, carpet, or wallpaper is an indication that water has seeped through the concrete foundation walls. However, not all stains are due to water. Mold can also leave black or grayish stains on your basement walls. 

5. Musty Smells  

Man holding nose cllosed.

Once mold or mildew forms on your foundation walls, it’s going to release a musty or pungent smell that will move up to the living space in your home. Some of the smells could also emanate from decaying wood or pest waste. 

How to Repair a Water-Damaged Foundation 

Water damage to your foundation is serious and needs quick action. If ignored, it can cause more problems and even structural failure. 

It’s best to work with a foundation and basement waterproofing expert. They can help you identify any water problems and recommend the repairs best suited to your home’s needs. 

Keep Water Away from Your Foundation 

Keep your foundation dry to prevent damage. Here’s how: 

  • Inspect and Repair Pipes: Check for leaks in plumbing and other pipes and fix them. 
  • Control Flooding: Install a sump pump to remove standing water from your basement. 
  • Improve Exterior Drainage: Ensure gutters and downspouts work properly and direct water away from your home. Re-grade your yard if water collects around your home’s perimeter. 
  • Seal Foundation Wall Cracks: Use hydraulic cement for minor cracks. For significant damage, consider specialized foundation repairs. 

Work With Professionals 

Basement wall with vapor barrier and steel support beams.

Some maintenance tasks are easy to handle yourself, but leave basement waterproofing and foundation repairs to the pros.

Our team at Groundworks Canada has years of experience in repairing and protecting homes. We know every house is unique and needs special care.

Our services include:  

Basement Waterproofing 

Basement Repair 

Foundation Repair 

Trust Groundworks Canada to Repair Your Water-Damaged Foundation 

Groundworks crewman inspecting a foundation.

Want to make foundation water damage repairs easy? Contact Groundworks for a free inspection and estimate. Our skilled technicians have the tools and experience to fix your water-damaged foundation. 

As Canada’s foundation repair experts, homeowners trust us for reliable, lasting solutions. Whether you need water management or foundation reinforcement, we’ll give you peace of mind knowing your home is in good hands. 

Foundation FAQs

Selling a home with foundation problems is possible, but you typically need to disclose the issues to potential buyers, which may lower the sale price. Repairing the foundation before selling often results in a better price.

Yes, poor drainage (such as damaged gutters) can lead to water pooling around the foundation, potentially causing soil expansion and contraction. Over time, this weakens the foundation, leading to cracks and other structural issues.

Foundation problems can occur in both older and newer homes. However, older homes might be more susceptible due to wear and tear over time.

Ted Dryce

Ted Dryce

Content Writer

Ted is an SEO Content Writer who has been with Groundworks since 2021. He’s covered home repair topics ranging from crawl space encapsulation to regional soil conditions. When he’s not working, Ted is performing improv comedy and working on his own creative projects.