Concrete is one of the strongest and most widely used materials – you’ll find it in basements, back yards, in homes, and used to lay pavements. But can water damage a concrete slab? This is a question we hear often, but many people are surprised to discover that, yes, concrete water damage is possible.
If water is left to sit on concrete, it can have adverse effects. For example, it can damage the foundations of a property, and it may even create mold and other bacteria, causing the concrete to break down. Not fun.
With this in mind, this blog post will explain how water damages concrete, what to look for if you think your concrete is damaged, and how you can prevent concrete water damage altogether.
Water damage on concrete – how does it work?
Concrete that is damaged by water is usually a result of flooding. This could be severe weather and flash foods, a burst pipe, a leaking washing machine, or any other water damage or water leaks.
Rainwater (floods) and other water from a burst pipe or a leak are acidic. Acidic substances, including this water, can aggravate the concrete, breaking down the structure. If rainwater and other acidic water are left, it will begin breaking down the foundations of your home.
Moreover, water naturally breaks down the materials that concrete is made of (acidic or not). Once again, if the water is left unattended, it will build up mold and bacteria, causing the foundations to shift and the concrete to crack.
Not only are the mold and bacteria harmful itself, but it will begin to work away at the concrete, further weakening the structure.
What to look for if you think your concrete is damaged
If you think you have concrete water damage, there are a few telltale signs to look out for – these include:
- Cracks in the concrete: do you notice any cracks? This is a likely sign of water damage.
- Nasty odors coming from the basement: a nasty odor from the basement could be a sign that mold and bacteria have begun infecting the foundations of your home. This needs to be addressed immediately.
- A sinking home: it sounds silly, but if you’ve noticed your home has sunk ever so slightly, then this is a sign that the foundations are no longer fully supported.
- Uneven concrete slabs: if a concrete slab is no longer even, then it has likely suffered water damage.
How to prevent water concrete water damage
Okay, now that you know how concrete water damage happens and how to spot the signs, how can you prevent water damage?
Typically, it all comes down to the proper maintenance of your home.
You should check your plumbing regularly (and fix any broken issues), ensure the gutters are not blocked and full of leaves, and that all the surrounding drains are working properly.
Also, you may choose to landscape so that rainwater (and gutter water) flows away from your property, not towards it.
After the events of a flood or other water-related damages, you need to act quickly.
Not only can water interfere with the interior of your home, causing havoc, but it can also have adverse effects on concrete and other structures.
If you’re suffering from water damage, then contact the team at EcoCleanTexas. You can also ring us at (210) 361-8127. Experts in water damage restoration, we’re here to help when you spot a water-related emergency.
What happens if water sits on concrete?
If water sits on concrete for too long, it begins to break down the structure. It may also build up mold and bacteria, causing further damage and several health risks.
How long does it take for water to damage foundations?
The effects of water damage can happen in as little as twenty-four hours. To protect your foundations, we recommend waterproofing. This will provide extra protection and fewer adverse side effects (so long as you tackle the damage early).
How do you fix water-damaged concrete?
Water-damaged concrete can be difficult to fix. The concrete will need pressure washed to remove crumbling cement, and the concrete will need to be re-sealed after cleaning.