This year, Americans are expected spend more than $400 billion on home upgrades and renovations. These projects are meant to make the home more comfortable and safe.
One home project that can help make your home safer is foundation repair. Throughout its life, every foundation experiences various issues, some of which are potentially dangerous.
Foundation problems cost approximately $4,645 per incident to repair. However, dealing with the early signs of foundation problems can cost you much less, depending on the issue. Even better, knowing what causes these problems can help you take proactive action and avert a large foundation repair cost.
Today’s post outlines seven of the top foundation problem causes.
Poor Foundation Design
Poor foundation design is a common cause of foundation problems for all types of foundations, including the Pier and Beam Foundation.
This often occurs when builders fail to consider the specific needs and challenges of the site, resulting in sub-optimal layouts that place undue pressure on the underlying support structure.
One possible solution to this problem is to take a more holistic approach to foundation design and identify any potential issues before construction begins.
By taking the necessary time and care to build a strong foundation from the ground up, you can help ensure long-term stability and prevent costly repairs down the road.
Sometimes, it’s not the design that’s the problem but the actual construction of the foundation.
Inferior materials and cutting corners during construction can lead to a weak foundation. Such a foundation is more susceptible to damage.
Sometimes, homeowners opt to use nonprofessional builders to build the foundation. These builders are less likely to follow building code requirements, further weakening the foundation.
As a result, it is important to use a reputable builder when constructing a new foundation or repairing an existing one. Reputable foundation companies will use high-quality materials.
In addition, they’ll follow all building code requirements. This helps ensure you have a strong and durable foundation.
When water does not drain properly from the soil around your foundation, it can lead to a number of serious issues. The first is hydrostatic pressure. This occurs when the water in the soil puts pressure on your foundation walls, causing them to crack or shift.
Poor drainage can also lead to mold and mildew growth. If you suspect that your foundation has poor drainage, it is important to take action immediately.
There are several ways to improve drainage, including installing a French drain or regrading the land around your home.
Expansive soils are made up of layers that contain large amounts of water.
The water leads to a significant expansion and contraction when the ground freezes and thaws. As a result, expansive soils can cause cracking in foundation walls and slabs.
These soils can also cause extensive damage to floors, making them difficult and expensive to repair.
So, how do you manage expansive soils and prevent them from causing costly foundation problems?
One option is to use deep foundations or geotextile materials like fabric or membranes. These materials help keep soil separated from structural parts and reduce overall movement.
Another strategy is to install drainage systems beneath buildings that allow excess water to flow away easily. These systems also create proper moisture barriers between the soil and building materials.
The foundation requires proper maintenance to remain in good shape. Unfortunately, many people ignore foundation maintenance until there’s a problem.
Try to schedule annual inspections of your foundation to prevent problems from occurring. Don’t forget to address any issues found during the inspections promptly. This way, you get to prevent these issues from escalating.
Be sure to waterproof your foundation walls and keep trees and shrubs well-trimmed.
When water leaks from pipes into the soil around your foundation, it can slowly erode the soil. This creates voids that can weaken the foundation and cause cracking.
Water can also seep through cracks in the foundation, causing further damage. If left unchecked, plumbing leaks can ruin an otherwise good foundation. The best way to fix this problem is to address the leaks as soon as they are discovered.
This may require hiring a professional plumber to repair or replace damaged pipes. Once the leaks have been fixed, you may also need to have the foundation repaired by a professional.
Excessive Foundation Loading
Too much weight on your foundation can cause big problems. The extra load can stress and crack the concrete, causing the foundation to settle unevenly. This can lead to doors and windows that no longer open and close properly, cracks in walls, and other issues.
If you think your foundation might be under too much strain, take action right away. Have a professional from FCS foundation repair evaluate the situation.
In some cases, the problem can be resolved by simply removing some of the weight from the foundation. In other cases, more extensive repairs may be necessary. Either way, it’s important to fix the problem as soon as possible to avoid further damage to your home.
Deal With the Causes of Foundation Problems Early Enough
Every foundation experiences repair issues from time to time. By knowing what causes these foundation problems, you can implement good planning and careful execution. This way, you get to enjoy sturdy, reliable foundations for years to come.
Is your foundation giving you problems? Get in touch with us today to schedule a consultation.