Top 4 Causes of Foundation Failure

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Any structure is only as strong as its foundation. A strong foundation is vital when it comes to your home because a crack in the foundation can lead to severe damage to your home and even make it unlivable. The most important thing to remember when it comes to foundation failure damage is knowing what signs to look for that could indicate a foundation problem.

1. Poor Workmanship

Poor workmanship with substandard materials is one reason why many foundations fail. Unfortunately, not all contractors are honest or use quality materials when building a home. Substandard or improperly mixed concrete will be weak and can crack and break over time. This is more of a problem when it comes to older homes since there are regulations to prevent these issues.

Before purchasing an older home, it’s ideal to evaluate the foundation to make sure there aren’t any foundation issues. Look for cracks in walls and drywall, uneven spots in floors, and torn or misaligned molding around floors and ceilings.

2. Soil Erosion Due to Poor Drainage

If the drainage around your home is poor, it could lead to the soil eroding around and beneath the foundation. As the soil erodes, your home’s foundation could become unstable. An unstable foundation can lead to walls buckling or your home tilting. Foundation damage can be very subtle and can go for years without being detected.

Companies like Atlas Master Co are experts at detecting and repairing foundation damage. It’s always best to use a professional to determine if you have foundation damage and make the repairs. Additionally, some areas such as homes on the side of mountains may be at a higher risk of soil erosion and mudslides. If you’re concerned about that, you can typically find that information about those types of issues online or you can talk to someone in the city who is responsible for building permits and infrastructure.

3. Changes in Temperatures

When temperatures go from freezing to hot, your home’s foundation can suffer damage. These same forces work on your home’s foundation and basement underground and out of sight. Temperature changes can cause the water and soil around your foundation walls to expand and contract, which can cause cracking and breaking.

Once cracks occur, if water gets into the cracks, then the weather will affect your foundation even more. For example, the water can freeze and increase the crack size. Other signs of foundation damage include gaps around doors and windows, cracks in the bricks, fascia board pulling away, and chimneys tilting or leaning.

4. Excessive Water Absorption Beneath Foundation

If the soil beneath your home’s foundation becomes too wet, the water can swell and enlarge over time and force the foundation upward, which will lead to cracks in floors, walls, ceilings, and other damage as well.

A cracked foundation can lead to a disaster if left unchecked. You should always hire a professional to inspect your foundation for cracks and other damage. Repairing a foundation is a complex job and should never be attempted DIY. The best way to prevent severe damage to your home caused by a damaged foundation is early detection and swift repair.

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