Foundation Repair 101: 4 Common Causes Of Foundation Problems

Home foundation issues are one of the most ignored but crucial elements of a house. After all, it holds everything your house has, including your precious furniture. So, maintaining it is practically a no-brainer. 

The strength and integrity of your home primarily depend on its foundation. Ignoring such problems related to your home’s foundations would lead to catastrophic and devastating results that could cost you thousands of dollars to fix. But how would you know if such issues exist in your home?

That being said, here are several indicators that your house has foundation problems:

  • Wall or floor cracks regardless of size
  • Uneven or misaligned doors and windows
  • Visible gaps in your doors, floors, and windows
  • Leaning chimney
  • Basement wall cracks
  • Stale and decayed smell due to mold and mildew in the basement
  • Water leaks, causing the walls to become damp
  • Weak flooring

If these symptoms are present in your home right now, your best option is to call your local foundation repair services in order to prevent them from causing huge problems. Also, you might want to learn about the common causes of foundation problems to prevent them in the future, including:

  1. Soil Under The House Shrinks And Dries

When the weather is scorching hot, it causes the soil underneath your house to lose its moisture. If this occurs, the support from the soil will draw itself away from your home’s foundation, making it prone to shifts and making it unstable.

When shifts happen, there will be cracks all over your home, and it won’t be easy to open up your doors and windows. Moreover, having trees around your home during intensely hot weather can also cause the soil to dry up. 

The roots of these trees may absorb the remaining water in the soil, causing it to dry. Then, the soil will pull itself away from your home’s foundation, resulting in problems that can lead to catastrophic structural damage. 

Furthermore, you have to consider where you live. Some areas have expansive soil, meaning they can absorb and release water that may swell or shrink the area. 

If you live in these areas, you might need to water your plants, especially your trees, during temperate and hot weather, like the summer season. 

  1. Soil Under The House Absorbs Too Much Water

When the soil beneath your home absorbs too much moisture, it will swell and expand. This forcibly raises the foundation of your home, resulting in cracks that can be seen on your walls and floors. Also, your floors might begin to incline because of sudden ground movement. 

On top of that, moisture collected on one side can affect the compactness of the granular soil, resulting in uneven support. If you’re living in an area rich in expansive soil, you might want to consider watering your plants only during the dry season or if necessary. This prevents the soil from absorbing too much moisture, which causes the soil to swell.

Also, you might want to check for other maintenance problems that can saturate the soil beneath your foundation, such as plumbing leaks, damaged sewer lines, snow melts, flash floods, and heavy rainfall. 

  1. Poor Construction Of The Home’s Foundation

Problems concerning the foundation of your home are not just a result of poor soil quality but also of poor construction decisions. 

When a home is constructed on top of two or more different soil types, there’s a high chance of differential settlement. This means that a home’s support foundation settles unevenly, leading to severe structural damage, such as collapse. 

Also, it would be a bigger problem if you found out that one type of soil under your home is loose, such as clay. To resolve this issue, you might want to consider using chemical grout injection to strengthen and solidify the loose base.

Another tip would be to install pre-fabricated construction piles that transfer the weight of your home to an area with a more supportive and stronger soil type. 

  1. Naturally-Occurring Sinkholes

A sinkhole is one of the most destructive natural phenomena that can happen to your home instantly. It happens because of the water that runs and touches the soil underneath your home, softening the support from the soil, causing it to collapse, and forming a giant hole. 

Here are the signs of a possible sinkhole in your area:

  • Trees, poles, and fences are tilting
  • Opening and closing doors has become more difficult
  • Higher water consumption due to underground water leakages
  • The presence of sunken fields around your lawn

You may also consider asking professionals to study the area and the water movement underneath your home to be more precise.

Final Words

A home foundation is an important topic that shouldn’t be taken for granted. Ignoring such issues can cause severe problems that might cost you thousands of dollars to remediate. 

In order to prevent foundation problems and repairs, it would be best to check the condition of what’s under your home, particularly the soil condition and water movement. This will help you check if some of the causes mentioned above are possible, such as soil drying and swelling. 

Furthermore, you can ask professionals to assess and evaluate the area you’re living in to determine the quality of the soil underneath. This will help you prepare for and avoid the possibility of structural damage.

Written by Julie Hanson

Julie is passionate about property – development, investment and portfolio planning. Along with husband Alec, Julie is actively building a property portfolio while helping others to do the same.

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