Solid guidance for protecting your Kansas City business from the perspective of a commercial foundation repair specialist
Basement waterproofing and a solid foundation are critical to the structural integrity of your business.
All too often, business owners are not well educated about the substantial damage water can do to their businesses, whether they do business in a corporate office, manufacturing facility, retail store, restaurant, or other type of facility. Cracks in the foundation, a leaking basement, and other issues can weaken the foundation, the very basis of your company‘s building. The fact is, when most business owners in Kansas City and around the nation see a small crack in the foundation or notice the basement is leaking, they give it very little thought. If commercial business owners only knew the real damage water, rain, melting snow, sleet, or ice can do to their facilities, they would literally run to the phone to contact a trusted commercial foundation repair specialist.
Basement waterproofing and a solid foundation protect your building, your business property, and your employees’ health
Basements may leak water for several reasons, but one of the most common is that the ground is not leveled in a way that water flows away from the structure’s foundation. Gutters that overflow and downspouts placed in the wrong area are other contributors to a leaking basement. Rain water may also seep through cracks in the foundation walls, or even over the top of the foundation. No matter why it happens, the moisture can lead to the growth of mold, damage to building structure, and to your property.
It is a well-known fact that mold can cause health issues. Once mold develops in your basement, it can spread through other areas of your business as mold spores float through the air. Your own health and that of employees may be at risk, as well as the infrastructure of your building or other commercial facility.
Commercial waterproofing is effective for protecting your business
Various fixes and prevention measures can work to remedy a leaky basement, or prevent leaks from occurring in the foundation or other areas. These can include sealing cracks in exterior walls, injecting epoxy into cracks, installing an interior drain tile, waterproofing membranes that create a barrier against water for the foundation, or a combination of these methods. A basement waterproofing professional can investigate your issue to determine the best approach in your situation, or help decide whether a commercial drainage system may be the solution.
Is that crack in your foundation serious?
The truth is, not every crack is cause for great concern, but many do indicate serious issues. Severe droughts have become common in recent years, which may result in the parched ground beneath your building, warehouse, or other structure to crack and settle. Depending on weather conditions, the ground contracts and expands. Because a foundation is built on the ground, this movement can affect the foundation. The secret to determining whether that crack needs attention is knowing your foundation.
Generally speaking, there are three types of foundations: a drilled pier foundation, pier and grade beam system, or slab on grade. Knowing what type of foundation your business is built upon can help you determine whether a crack is serious. The soil type makes a difference, too. Considering most businesses in the Midwest are built on clay soil, this only adds to soil expansion/contraction problem.
How to spot foundation trouble
Inside and out, there are “symptoms” that may indicate you have foundation issues that should be addressed by a professional.
Inside, look for:
- Cracks in the sheetrock or drywall that are jagged, running across and down at an angle.
- Doors and windows that stick or have gaps around them.
- Cracks on the floor if your building is constructed on a concrete slab, particularly cracks in which one side of the crack is lower than the other. This indicates shifting of the foundation.
Outside, look for:
Cracks above windows and doors.
Cracks that take on a stair-step pattern in the veneer of a brick exterior.
Cracks across the foundation that run horizontally— this could indicate the foundation has been pushed by water over time.
You probably don’t need to panic if you see a crack or two in your foundation; however, if the crack is larger than a hairline crack or you find some of the signs listed above, you will want to consult with a commercial foundation repair specialist.
Even in a business setting, water damage, leaking, and foundation failure can occur. Unfortunately, considerable damage can be extremely costly to repair once the damage has spread to the walls, floors, doors, windows, and other areas of a structure, particularly important if you own the building or are responsible for repairs. In order to avoid extensive repair and the associated financial impact, have these issues addressed early on, as soon as you suspect there is a problem.