All foundations, regardless of their type, have similar causes of deterioration. Having enough knowledge about the common foundation issues can not only save you time and money but also the stress and fear that comes with living with an unstable foundation. In this article, you are about to discover the most common foundation problems and the best ways to deal with them.Soil composition and moisture content
First, you need to understand that the soil beneath your foundation is as important as the foundation itself. Also, different kinds of soils have different properties; hence, they crumble or expand differently depending on the weather conditions. For that reason, knowing which kind of soil you have beneath your structure can help you better prevent the common foundation problems. Here is a quick look at how soil composition affects the foundation of your home:
- Rock. Rock soils tend to contract and expand as the weather changes. So, building your home on slopes can lead to a significant sliding if the soil beneath has a high density of shale. In this regard, you may want to brace your home for extra stability.
- Sand. Unlike rock soils, sand soils do not expand or contract as the weather changes. However, their drainage tends to be poor. A foundation laid on sand soil is therefore prone to erosion as a result of poor drainage.
- Clay. Clay soil tends to expand when saturated with water and contract when dry, a property that can lead to unstable foundation.
Apart from soil ,temperature and water, foundation damage can result from roots. As roots grow, they can swell against the foundation of your house, causing cracks. Moreover, they can work their way into cracks and move underneath the foundation and cause the house to settle poorly. By choosing to lay your home ‘s foundation a formidable distance away from trees, you can succeed in preventing this.
It is common though to encounter foundation problems, especially if you’ve built your house on clay soil, in an area experiencing moisture variations. If you are facing these problems or just require simple house foundation fixes in Carrolton Texas, contact a professional to help you out.Temperature
Secondly, keep in mind that the soil upon which your home’s foundation is laid is porous. During summer, dry weather can cause soil to shrink whereas during winter, the water in the soil can freeze and expand, causing the soil to expand too. Temperature changes also affect concrete structures. Like soil beneath your foundation, concrete will expand and contract with temperature changes; this can lead to cracks in your foundation. Additionally, when it rains, water can flow into your basement via these cracks, further weakening the foundation and boosting the likelihood of flooding.
However, as overwhelming as this may sound, you can counter this problem by installing French drains in your home. In case you are not familiar with French drains, they are sloped trenches filled with pipes and gravel that divert any water away from the foundation to a safe distance from your home.External pressure
This is the third way through which water can damage the foundation of your home. Brought about by poor drainage, external pressure causes the ground surrounding the house to swell and excrete significant pressure against the walls of the foundation. With time, this pressure causes cracks, gaps and the seepage of water into the basement. Choosing a well-drained ground for your foundation is a great way to mitigate this foundation problem.Water
As harmless as liquid water may look against a slab of concrete, given enough time and under the right conditions, water can affect the foundation in a number of ways.
Here are some of them:
- Pooling. Pooling refers to a situation where water collects around the perimeter of your house, eventually degrading the concrete. The most frequent cause of pooling is landscaping that slopes towards the house and the use of short downspouts. To avoid this, according to Building America Solution Center, you should ensure that your landscaping slopes away from the house and your downspouts are long enough. This will prevent discharge from flowing back to the house.
- Rising groundwater. This is common where the water table rises near the surface, pushing against the underside of the foundation. Though it’s not likely to lift the foundation of the ground, its hydrostatic pressure can infiltrate water through cracks and joints and end up permeating the solid concrete. To correct or prevent this from happening, you should consider installing a sump pump in the basement or a tile drainage system to divert groundwater away.
Before deciding on where to build your home, it is recommended that you pay attention to where and how you lay your foundation. Doing so will help you avoid these and other similar problems.