What Causes Foundation Problems?
Your home is precious, and so are the people it holds inside. Protect your investment and know the causes of foundation damage before they become a real concern. If you have ever noticed any of these causes of foundation problems, don't wait until you start to see the damaging effects. Call your trusted foundation repair experts at TerraFirma Foundation Systems today! Learn how you can save yourself time and money by requesting a professional foundation evaluation.Get a FREE Quote
When moisture is removed from the soil surrounding your home, it shrinks, like a sponge, and pulls away from your foundation creating a gap. This gap allows for foundation movement and other problems to occur. If your foundation isn't supported properly then it will shift into the space and structural cracks will start to appear.
The type of soil your home is built on makes a huge difference in your foundation's stability. Expansive soils, like clay soil, experience the most dramatic changes when there's too much moisture. Clay soil expands causing upheaval, which is the opposite of settlement, and pushes your foundation up, creating the same problems as a foundation settling.
Consolidating soil has the opposite effect of expansive soil, causing it to shrink and compact. Although clay soil is an expansive soil when wet, it also consolidates when dry. This effect will pull the soil away from your foundation causing structural settlement issues and gaps between the soil and your home.
Plumbing leaks cause expansive soil problems around your foundation. Leaks can occur in your crawl space foundation, exterior plumbing or city lines. Be aware of hidden leaks in your home as well, which can be a serious issue if not caught quickly. When the soil expands it will push against your foundation causing cracks and erosion.
Before your home was built, contractors prepared the ground where your new home was to be built. This typically involves testing and compacting the soil and designing the appropriate footing to support your home. If any of these steps were skipped or if substandard materials were used, your foundation could be at risk.
Poor Soil Preparation
Preparing the ground before building any structure requires an excavation of the land. This includes clearing away trees and plants, grading, and staking, making sure the soil is compact and buildable. If the builder didn't prepare the soil properly before building the foundation, your home will start to settle.
Protecting your foundation is as easy as keeping your gutters clear and pointing the downspouts away from your home. These simple steps can help prevent some of the foundation damage caused by poor drainage, expansive soil or hydrostatic pressure, which is caused by, you guessed it, too much water.
A hot, dry summer or period of drought can create problems for your home's foundation. When soil dries, it contracts, pulling away from your foundation. The shrinking soil creates a gap next to your foundation which allows it to shift and settle. You will start to notice cracks in the foundation that if not caught, can cause further damage in the wet and rainy months.
A large tree growing next to your home could be the source of some of your house settlement problems. If the roots extend under or next to your foundation, they absorb necessary moisture that helps keep the soil surrounding your foundation stable.
Mother Nature, plumbing leaks, poor grading or inadequate drainage can all lead to a house settling problem. When soil is wet, it expands, pushing against your foundation. When the hydrostatic pressure becomes too much for your foundation, you'll start to notice cracks, leaks and bowed walls or sticky windows and doors.