Foundation damage is one of the costliest mishaps that can happen to a home. A few cracks, an unsettled base, or weak concrete can add to severe and expensive repairs. It is better to get in front of the situation by being mindful of these common threats to a home’s foundation damage.
In West Texas, Eastern New Mexico, and other nearby areas with unpredictable weather, it is easy to overwater. As a result, overwatering is a common reason why homes in these areas experience foundation damage. Too much water can cause the soil to expand, which puts pressure on the foundation and causes cracks in the concrete. It is best to be mindful of the weather and set up a schedule for irrigating to avoid watering too much during certain parts of the year and too little during others.
2. Plumbing Issues
Plumbing leaks are another problem that can affect a foundation, especially if there’s a problem with the mainline. A sizable leak will seep into the soil that surrounds a home, leading to the foundation shifting beyond a normal amount.
Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to detect a leak in the mainline or your sanitary sewer. Too often, homeowners don’t know of plumbing problems until they notice the resulting structural issues. However, there are a few signs that help homeowners suspect plumbing issues such as wet floors, unpleasant odors, unusual sounds, and high water bills.
3. Tree Root Growth
Tree roots cause foundation damage by their effect on the soil. Overgrowth and water transpiration from the earth can cause dehydration in the ground, which will cause the structure to settle and shift. Keeping large trees near a well-watered foundation and having tree roots inspected periodically for overgrowth will prevent the trees from creating a problem with the soil.
4. Invasive Landscaping
Beautiful landscaping is an integral part of raising property values and increasing curb appeal, but it can also damage a home’s foundation if the homeowners do not meet specific considerations. When planting trees and large bushes, it’s best to keep them at least five feet away from the structure, as larger plants may have roots that can lead to root growth below a home.
5. Inadequate Drainage
The most common form of foundation failure can be due to improper drainage. Many homes do not come equipped to properly drain the water from around a house. A home lacking gutters or with downspouts pointing in the wrong direction will create oversaturation of the soil. This will lead to the foundation becoming unstable as a result. Landscaping around a house should also slope away from the foundation to reduce the risk of water pooling near concrete.
6. Substandard Construction
Everyone hopes that the contractor who built their home followed all the proper building codes, but sometimes that is not the case. For whatever reason, some homes are not made to the same standard that the homeowner would want. Whether it is insufficient steel or inadequate concrete, these conditions can cause weakness in the foundation and shifting. It is best to find a reputable contractor through recommendation or thorough research to build a home or fix problems of this kind.
7. Unprepared Ground
It is essential to compact the building pad before construction builds a strong foundation for a home. The slab-on-grade foundation needs solid, dependable topsoil to have the ability to support a structure. A common source of settling is having an inadequate layer of topsoil.
8. Seasonal Conditions
In this area of the country, where the weather changes dramatically not only across the seasons but sometimes in one day, you can have legitimate concerns about the foundation of your home. The switch from wet to dry, hot and cold, and vice versa, can entail swelling and contraction of the soil beneath the foundation. Homeowners are encouraged to have their foundation inspected at every seasonal transition to check for premature damage.
9. Remodeling Gone Wrong
DIY can seem like a good idea, but sometimes the foundation can be affected by home renovations if a homeowner is doing it themselves or handed the work to an inexperienced contractor. Major remodeling projects can shift the balance of your house, and allow the foundation to move, which, in turn, may cause damage to the concrete. Consult a trusted and certified contractor, the blueprints, and the city before making any significant structural changes to your home.
10. Poor Soil Conditions
Building on expansive clay soils that expand and desiccate as water comes and goes is another cause of foundation issues. These types of soils swell when wet and shrink when dry. The constant shifting between expansion and contraction of the ground below a concrete foundation may cause excessive settling and shifting.
The best way to prevent damage to your home and its foundation is to monitor your home, keeping these factors in mind. If you are experiencing one or more of these issues, it may be time to reach out to a professional for help. WTX Foundation Repair has over 20 years of experience and offers foundation repair, concrete lifting and leveling, house leveling, and waterproofing services. Protect your home and contact us today for a free estimate!