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How Can Flooding Cause Foundation Damage?

Flooded water near a foundation.

Floods are natural disasters that can severely damage structures of all kinds. Unfortunately, foundations are no exception, and they often suffer more than other structures during a flood.

Understanding how floods affect foundations is crucial for homeowners, especially in areas prone to flooding. We’ve put together this expert guide to help you do just that.

How Floods Cause Foundation Damage

Flooding often occurs in coastal regions and areas near large bodies of water. Many are unaware that flood water can cause significant structural damage to foundations, which was evident in 2022 when flood-related damages to structures were estimated at $13.5 billion—a figure expected to rise to $17 billion by 2052.

Cracked, uneven brick foundation wall.

When floods happen, they can damage the foundation of a house in different ways depending on how severe the flood is. Sometimes, water stands still for a long time, and other times, it moves quickly and forcefully, even if only for a short time.

Both situations are dangerous for the foundation of a house. Flood waters can make the foundation move or lift up, which weakens the structure of the house.

The type of soil under a house also affects how much damage a flood can do. For example, clay soil gets bigger and shifts when it gets wet, which can lead to serious and expensive damage.

Types of Foundation Damage Caused by Floods

Floods cause a number of problems for your foundation and your entire home’s structure by extension. Here are different types of foundation damage caused by floods:

  • Cracks in the Foundation: Water and pressure from the soil can make cracks in the foundation bigger and more severe.
  • Concrete Slab Damage: Water can get into concrete slabs, causing them to weaken and crack.
  • Foundation Settlement and Sinking: Moving water can cause soil to wash away, causing the foundation to settle and sink into the ground.

Signs of Foundation Damage from Flooding

After a flood affects your foundation, various types of damage can appear inside your home. These include:

Crack in the corner of an archway.

How to Prevent Flood Damage to Foundations

It’s important to take steps to protect a foundation from flood damage:

  • Waterproofing: Putting up vapor barriers to stop water from getting in.
  • Gutter and Drain Maintenance: Making sure water flows away from the house properly.
  • Install Foundation Piers: Using foundation piers to stabilize your foundation can help get it back to a safe position after a flood.
  • Sump Pump Installation: Using a sump pump to get rid of excess water near the foundation.
  • Proper Landscaping: Making sure the ground slopes away from the house to direct water flow.
  • Place Flood Vents: Flood vents help balance water pressure and prevent damage to the structure.

How to Repair Foundation Damage

If you find any damage, it’s important to fix it right away to stop it from getting worse. Hiring professionals to check and repair the foundation is crucial. Common repairs include lifting the slabs back into place with foundation piers, installing steel I-beams or wall anchors (for basements), and installing IntelliJack™ support beams for crawl space foundations.

Floods are a big risk to the safety and value of a house, especially in areas where floods happen often. Knowing the risks and how to deal with them is very important for homeowners.


Look at local maps and online services to see if you’re in a flood-prone area. Many communities also have local information to show you whether or not you’re in a flood-prone areas. If in doubt, call a city representative or a landscaping professional.

Flood vents that freely swing open and closed are a type of flood vent that many experts and homeowners trust to deliver effective flooding care. They are protected from clogging and debris, and can adapt to water flow better than other types of flood vents.

Yes, in fact, it’s better to work with a professional for flood vent installation. Make sure whoever you choose is a licensed professional with a trusted reputation.

Contact Groundworks for Leading Foundation Solutions

Groundworks technicians installing foundation piers.

Foundation damage isn’t something to put off—it will only get worse over time. When flooding happens, the need for foundation repair only increases; work with a trusted team like Groundworks, the nation’s largest and most trusted foundation repair professionals.

With offices in 35 states (and growing), our nationwide team has decades of experience to help you solve your foundation issues. Contact us today to find an office near you and schedule a free inspection!

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.