What Causes Foundation Failure?
Every homeowner dreads hearing that they have foundation issues. Foundations can be costly to repair and be the source of significant frustration. While some foundation damage can be mitigated or prevented in its entirety, sometimes it’s out of the homeowner’s control. No matter the cause of your foundation settlement issues, it’s a good idea to become familiar with some of the most common signs of foundation problems. Knowing the symptoms of foundation failure can help you recognize any possible trouble areas in your own home early on, before they become more costly and damaging.
A variety of circumstances can cause foundation settlement and lead to foundation failure. Below, you’ll find a brief overview of some of the most common factors. If your home’s foundation has suffered any of the following causes of foundation failure, reach out to Virginia Foundation Solutions right away for a free inspection. If you catch problems early enough, you can take preventative steps to help protect your foundation and the structural integrity of your home.
Poor Soil Conditions
Deficient soil conditions can have a detrimental impact on the stability of your home’s foundation. If the soil below your house is of poor quality, with weak or expansive properties, your foundation could start to settle as the soil beneath it shifts or erodes.
Soil can also weaken over time through drought or a process called transpiration. Transpiration occurs when trees and shrubs mature, and their growing need for water leads to the soil becoming dehydrated. Conversely, when soil becomes saturated, it expands and can cause hydrostatic pressure that can push in on your basement walls. Cycles of wet and dry soils over time with the changing seasons can cause significant movement of the soil around your home, leading to foundation damage.
Drainage Problems and Plumbing Leaks
Drainage problems can result from several factors, such as improperly installed drain pipes or poor grading of your property. If left unchecked, water can build up and cause foundation settlement issues. Plumbing leaks can also cause foundation problems. When excess water collects in your crawl space or the surrounding soil around your foundation, the soil can expand or wash away. When the soil washes away, it leaves voids under your foundation and can no longer support the weight of your home. Expansive soils can cause hydrostatic pressure to press in on your foundation walls.
Before a house is built, the soil on the job site must be properly prepped and compacted before the foundation is constructed. Improper planning or site preparation before construction can lead to the soil beneath your foundation to settle or erode, which allows your foundation to settle. When the foundation settles, it can cause cracks in your basement walls and in the interior of your home.
While foundation failure may result from factors outside your control, there are some preventative measures you can take to recognize the signs of foundation problems early and protect the stability of your home. Remember, the earlier you address signs of foundation damage, the better. To schedule a free inspection or learn more about what you can do to protect your family and your investment, contact Virginia Foundation Solutions.