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3 Ways Your Home’s Foundation Can Be Damaged

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Every person’s home should be their castle.

While this often envokes a sense of grandeur, it also reflects the secure nature of what should be the most special and safe place we spend our time. Yet, at times, that sense of security can be breached by the very structure itself. 

If you have found foundation cracks or any damage to the foundation of your home then you will no doubt take swift action to solve the problem. But even before you need to seek foundation repair in Austin it may be possible to prevent things ever getting that far, by understanding why they happen in the first place.  

Our rundown of the 3 most common reasons for damage to home foundations will help you to keep ahead of any potential problems you may have as a homeowner.

Expansive Soils

Perhaps one of the most common reasons for people to seek foundation repair in Austin is down to an overload of water in the soil.

Under normal circumstances, sufficient drainage means that the average home shouldn’t have much to worry about when it comes to damage to foundations if constructed properly. However, the natural result of heavy rainfall or a flash flood is standing water. When this happens the soil will swell, leading to expansive soils.

Why is this a problem?

Well as the soil expands, it will push up the foundation of the building, which can cause foundation cracks. Over time this can affect not only your walls but also your ceilings, and even cause your floors to slope to one side.

One of the major danger signs to look out for is horizontal cracks in your walls. This sign of water damage needs the hands of a professional, as it could lead to a foundation failure. If after a thorough assessment professionals deem it to be the case, teams like ours at Foundation Support Specialist would seek to reinforce your walls and work to prevent any future water leakage.

One way to prevent this from happening in the first place is to ensure your home has proper drainage. French drains are particularly effective at this. 

You should also be conscious of making sure that any gutters remain unblocked and pay attention to how the water flows after rainfall in your home. If you note regular standing water then it may be time to take action.

Dry Soil 

In contrast to having too much water in the soil, the reverse can also be true. 

While we all appreciate good weather, an absence of rainfall over a long period of time can cause the land around your home to dry up. When this gets severe, it results in you having to seek foundation repair in Austin. 

After reading the previous reason for damage to foundations, you may be mistaken into believing that water is the enemy of a sturdy home. But that’s not true. 

In reality, a home’s foundation is supported by the land around it. Just as you need to wet the soil around a recently planted tree for it to stand, the right amount of moisture in the soil sets the home firmly in its place. Therefore when the soil dries up, it can start to pull away from the home. 

The danger of this is that it begins to create gaps around the walls of the basement, leading to the deeper soil getting dryer and dryer. Your soil then begins to stop doing its job in providing the home with stability leading to stress cracks in your walls or concrete slabs if your home was built on clay soil. Gaps also allow for rainwater to trickle into these areas which could lead to basement water intrusion.

So what is the answer to this major issue?

Regular watering of your yard is key and the most effective way of making sure that this does not become a big problem, especially during dry seasons. You want to water the area around your home’s foundation evenly, however, avoid watering directly into any gaps. A distance of 1 to 2 feet away is approximately the best range to prevent causing any further issues.

Settlement Issues

The last reason that may cause you to call in for foundation repair in Austin is down to how your home was built. 

We assume when buying a property that all the necessary due diligence has been done to ensure that remains stable, however, lazy research or even time itself can lead to problems. 

When a house has been constructed, they compact the soil around and underneath it to support the weight of the home. Machines push out water and air from the soil, resulting in the soil particles squeezing together.

Before this happens though, a building engineer should study the soil to see whether if any additional treatment is needed to make sure it won’t suffer from secondary compaction over time. This is when the weight of the home causes it to sink over time. 

In areas where clay soil is common, builders should take much care to solidify it. Clay produces one the most expansive soils as well as easily shrinking when dry, meaning it has the potential to cause a variety of damage to foundations. Chemical grout is regularly used to solidify this type of ground. 

Problems can also happen if a home is built over land that has different types of soil underneath, leading to the home sloping on one side. 

If you have noticed that your foundation has begun to subside, act now to prevent major problems in the future. Foundation specialists are experts at making sure that these issues quickly become things of the past.

Only One Answer to Quality Foundation Repair in Austin

We hope our insight into the biggest dangers to your home’s foundation has been enough for you to feel confident about knowing how to keep an eye on your home.

With good maintenance and an eagle eye, it is often possible to prevent these issues. But following our counsel, if you think you have a problem or you are not sure about it and think you may need a foundation repair in Austin then take advantage of our free estimates today!

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