How Flooding Affects Concrete

Flooding and concrete

Living near the coast means hurricane season can be one of the most dangerous times of the year. Many of our homes and buildings are also built below sea-level, so with rising tides and brutal storms comes the unstoppable threat of flooding.

Flooding has been a huge issue in the South Carolina Lowcountry for the past few years, and many have lost everything to this natural disaster. Flooding can cause permanent damage to your home, business, and belongings.

To be ready for the next hurricane season, be sure your concrete and foundations are properly prepared and protected.

How Does Flooding Damage Concrete?

Concrete is innately water resilient and can withstand massive amounts of water. What causes damage to concrete is the flooding of the ground underneath where it is poured. The shifting of soft ground can move and crack concrete slabs or pilings. Water moving at 10 mph can be just as strong a force as winds up to 200 mph.

Whether it’s pipes bursting in your home or coastal flooding due to storm surges (the rising of sea levels because of stormy weather), the pressure and weight of tons of water on a structure can cause cracks and breaks in its concrete.

The force of these waters on the ground around the buildings can also cause problems. When the ground is overly saturated, the foundation and concrete walls can shift. This movement causes concrete to crumble and break because of the differences in ground level and stability.

What to Do If Your Concrete Is Damaged?

If there is any damage to your patio, foundation, or concrete walls, you should contact Knight’s Companies for help with the repairs. Be sure to also contact a local disaster clean-up company to remove any waste or water trapped in and around your building. Watch where you walk if your concrete foundation or patios are cracked to avoid injury.

There are two different strategies of reducing future water damage in concrete. The first is a water exclusion strategy that prevents water from entering a building and minimizes the impact low depth flooding can have on a building.

The second form of protection is called water entry strategy. This is designed for higher flood waters and aims to reduce the amount of damage caused to a building once water enters it. Both of these strategies help prevent serious damage to buildings because the concrete is made specifically for flooding conditions.

Whether your concrete manufacturer uses water exclusion strategy or water entry strategy, concrete is essential to providing a solid barrier for your home or building.

Signs of Flood Damage

If you’ve recently had high tides, local flooding due to rainfall, or burst pipes, be on the lookout for the following signs of concrete and foundation damage:

  • Concrete patios are cracked or slanted
  • Doors do not shut properly
  • Doors and windows have cracks in their frames
  • Cracks have appeared in the walls, ceilings, or floors
  • The foundation outside has moved – you can tell this has occurred if the foundation is no longer level with your yard
  • Molding is cracked and separated
  • Floors are slanted or sloping

 

If you find any issues with your concrete after a storm or flood, call your local disaster relief organization or Knight’s Companies for a referral on Columbia, SC concrete contractors who can help repair any damage.