Foundation Repairs: Understanding the Factors Leading to Structural Failure
The foundation provides structural support for the entire residential building. If this component fails, you might lose your home. Therefore, you must ensure that the base of your building is in good condition through regular inspection and maintenance. Also, if you notice any signs of damage such as foundational cracks and movement of the house, you should commission immediate repairs. Additionally, you should strive to understand the causes of foundation problems in your home. Recurrent failures can be expensive; you can save significantly by knowing the causative factors.
The composition of the soil can influence the occurrence of foundation failures in your home. For instance, if your residential structure is built on clay, you will experience more problems than dwellings constructed on other substrates. In general, when clay is wet, it will expand, and in the absence of water, the material will shrink. If this is the type of ground around your foundation, you will experience problems because the building will shift with the changes in the soil. The shifting pressure will cause cracks in the walls and floors, and the movement of the building base will cause general instabilities. You should consult your contractor for an assessment of the soil composition if you have noticed chronic failures.
The foundation of your building can fail during dry seasons. Typically, the soil, regardless of the composition, loses moisture during a dry spell in the local region. When the moisture evaporates, the soil will shrink and pull away from the foundation. This shift will leave a significant gap between the base structure and the surrounding soil, and the foundation will lose support. As a result, the entire weight of the building will only be held up by the base of the foundation. The high stress will cause cracks. This problem can be avoided by laying the foundation on a level where shrinkage from moisture loss does not occur. Also, the soil must be compacted properly to avoid unnecessary shifts.
Finally, you should note that poor drainage around your house could be the cause of repeated foundation failures. If water from snowmelt, storms or rain is allowed to pool around the house, it will penetrate into the surrounding soil. Over time, the surrounding area will experience soil expansion and shrinkage, leading to cracks. Also, the water might penetrate the concrete slabs, and the freeze-thaw cycles will cause damage. You should redesign your landscape for better drainage to prevent continued foundational stress.
For more information about foundations or underpinning, contact a local professional.