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  • WHAT CAUSES FOUNDATION DAMAGE? Date:2018/7/12 Read:2184

    For the vast majority of foundation issues, water is the primary culprit. Variations in moisture cause components of the soil to swell or shrink, leading to movement beneath your foundation.

    Your property may be more susceptible to foundation damage if:

    · It was built on expansive clay

    · It was built on improperly compacted fill soils

    · The area around the foundation has poor drainage

    · You live in an area with extreme seasonal changes

    · You experienced a plumbing leak below your home

    · Tree roots are growing too close to your home

    · An earthquake, flood or drought compromised the structure

    Those soils highest in clay content are generally more susceptible while those lowest in clay content are the least affected. In some areas the movement is insignificant; in others, it is quite pronounced.

    When unstable soils are used as a base for a foundation, the movement is transferred to the foundation. Since soil movement is rarely uniform, the foundation is subjected to a differential or upheaval. The problem shows up in both slab, and pier and beam type foundations.

    If all the soil beneath a foundation swells uniformly, there usually is no problem. Issues occur, however, when only part of the home settles. Then, the differential movement causes cracks or other damages.

    Problems resulting from foundation settlement:

    · Damage to the structure

    · Loss of real estate value

    · Tripping hazards

    · Unsightly cracks

    · Equipment malfunctions

    Whatever the cause, settlement can destroy the value of your home and even render it unsafe. If you see signs of foundation failure, don't delay in getting the problem solved. The longer you wait, the more your foundation will sink, causing further costly damage.