Recognizing the Signs of Foundation Problems
Recognizing the signs of foundation damage can mean the difference between a lower repair costs and the incredibly expensive foundation for replacement and/or concrete foundation for repair. Therefore, an inspection made by a qualified expert foundation repair or expert foundation contractor is the best manner to troubleshoot such potential problems.
At the point when the foundation is poured, small cracks can appear as the concrete dries and cures. Shrinkage cracks are vertical and small. They typically appear on foundation walls, but do not affect the structural integrity of the home. Settlement cracks are a more serious problem. Unlike shrinkage cracks, they will often extend into the structure, weakening the entire building.
There are lots of reasons for such soil compaction, like the soil which were not properly compacted first. Moisture can also cause settlement. When soil gets wet it expands. And when it dries out again, it shrinks. Certain kinds of soil, such as clay, may expand and/or contract compared to others. This means the type of soil the home is built on can influence the amount and rate of settlement. Trees that are looking for more water underneath your home may also cause for soil disruption which will lead to settlement.
Foundation settlement can also be caused by frequent or dramatic changes in the soil’s moisture content. When soil becomes wet, it expands. As it dries, it contracts and loses its volume, creating more space for the foundation to drop further into the ground. These moisture issues often come about from plumbing leaks, excessive rain, and poor drainage.
Settlement can also take place when the roots from trees and foliage planted near the home absorb too much water from the soil. A poorly designed house or foundation can result in too much settlement as well.
Most houses experience some degree of settlement (downward movement) after they have been built. Additional and more severe sinking can occur if the home was constructed on poorly compacted soil or when the building’s weight compresses the soil beneath it.
If the settlement is uneven or extensive, the foundation will become stressed and start to crack. Large cracks generally appear due to continuing motion that occurs over a long period of time. Foundation cracks will not only weaken the structure, they make it easier for water to enter the building. Water seepage can further damage the home, in addition to causing potentially serious health issues due to mold and mildew buildup.
An experienced foundation repair expert can inspect your home for cracks and determine if there are any foundation problems that need to be addressed. In earthquake zones, regular foundation inspections and maintenance are essential. During a quake, a structure that has been weakened by cracks and water seepage can cause building walls to crumble or even the entire home to collapse. Keeping your foundation in good condition will prevent further damage and the need for more costly repairs. It will also help to maintain the value of your home.