Causes of Foundation Problems
When most people first buy a house, they go in with a list of decorating or home improvement ideas. They’re thinking about ways they can transform that structure from a house into their home. Plus, a home inspection should have revealed any serious potential problems, right?
Well, that’s mostly right. A home inspection is a very good way of discovering existing problems and obvious near-term problems, like an old roof. Something they can’t predict nearly so well is future foundation problems. It’s tricky business to spot the signs if problems don’t already exist.
So, you might wonder, what does cause foundation problems? Keep reading for a breakdown of the most causes.
When you build in a location, you typically see uniform kinds of soil or material across the whole work area. If the soil is loose and sandy in one part, it’s generally loose and sandy all the way around.
In some cases, though, a house goes up where you get different kinds of soils of materials. For example, maybe part of the foundation sits over rock and the rest over soil. You might also see cases where part of the foundation sits on dense clay-heavy soil and part of it over loose soil.
Parts of the house may settle at different rates when that happens, which can cause pressure and cracks. Once you see those cracks, you’ll need foundation repair services.
Some kinds of soils soak up water better than others. Clay soils, for example, do an excellent job of soaking up water. The problem is that all of that water causes swelling in the soil and something called hydrostatic pressure.
You can think of hydrostatic pressure as the pressure all that water puts on your foundation. All of that swelling and pressure can eventually crack foundations or buckle foundation walls.
While the ground does a fairly good job of removing surface water, it still requires some effort to create appropriate drainage conditions. For example, you must grade the soil away from your home.
If the soil isn’t graded properly or you have bad gutters, the water can accumulate around the base of your home. This pooled water saturates the soil around your foundation too much, which degrades the soil. That means that the soil provides less support for your foundation.
Without uniform, stable support from the soil, your foundation can lose stability.
Dealing with Foundation Problems
There aren’t a lot of ways for homeowners to predict foundation problems. Once you spot foundation problems like cracks in the walls, it becomes a matter of what you should do.
No matter how leveled-up your DIY skills, foundation repairs are not a DIY home improvement project. You will need professional help from a business that has the equipment and training to do the job right.
Foundation Support Specialists offer commercial and residential foundation repairs in the San Antonio and Austin areas. If you’ve spotted what looks like foundation problems, contact Foundation Supports Specialists for more information or a free estimate.Here’s What Foundation Repair Experts Look For » « What Is Interior Waterproofing and Do I Need It?