A Look at Some Common Culprits Behind Foundation Problems
The foundation of your house carries the weight of the entire building and transfers it to the soil on which the house sits. As a result, any activity that causes the soil under and around your home to shrink away from the foundation is bound to result in foundation problems.
Here are some of the common causes of foundation problems in residential buildings.
Although the area you live in may have no recent history of major seismic events, your home is always moving on your property's soil. Over time, the seismic pressures may cause your foundation to shift and create foundation issues. Even if you haven't had any earthquakes in a long time, it's best to periodically have your foundation inspected for signs of damage from seismic pressures.
Extreme Seasonal Changes
If your home is located in an area that experiences extreme seasonal changes across the year, you may have to deal with foundation issues. For example, foundation problems are common in areas with expansive clay soils where months of heavy rain are superseded by lengthy dry spells. During the wet season, soil with a high clay content retains more water than other soils. As a result, the wet soil expands and pushes upwards against the foundation of the house. When the dry season sets in, the soil loses its wetness (water content) and shrinks, causing the foundation to settle. This ultimately results in foundation problems.
Poor Drainage Around the Foundation of Your House
Your home should have a drainage system that directs water away from the foundation of the building. Without properly functioning gutters and downspouts, stormwater runoff from your roof will instead drain near or around the foundation of your house. This can cause the soil to become over-saturated and washing some of it away. The over-saturated soil will expand and exert damaging pressure on your foundation. The washed-away soil may also cause your foundation to lose its stability.
Leaks from Plumbing Running Below Your Home
If your home sits on a slab foundation, it's likely that you have water pipes running underneath the concrete. If the pipes develop cracks, water leaks from broken pipes can trigger foundation problems.
Foundation problems are one of the most serious house repair issues you may face as a homeowner. They should be addressed at the earliest signs of foundation damage in order to restore the safety of your home and avoid extensive damage. Contact residential foundation repair companies to learn more.