Uh-oh! You’re noticing cracks growing on your walls that weren’t there when you bought your house. Maybe your basement smells moldy or wet, but you know your house isn’t leaking. Something is wrong, and it is putting your house at risk. As soon as you notice this, it may be a sign that you need some foundation repair work done in your home.
Seasonal Weather Changes
The weather can go from extremely wet to dry from one season to the next. This can be one cause of foundation problems in homes like yours. As the soil dries after the wet weather has ended, it contracts.
In turn, the soil under your home does the same thing. It dries and shrinks, which means your home’s foundation has just lost some physical support, so it will begin to settle.
The moisture in the soil under and around your home will evaporate, especially if the area is experiencing hot, dry weather conditions. When you add a hot wind to this equation, the evaporation happens much more quickly.
Just as it does when the weather changes from wet to dry, your home’s foundation will begin to shift and settle. Some of the cracks that develop in your home may be under the tile and carpet that have been laid in your home. The only way to find these cracks is to pull up the tile and carpets—and who wants to do that? Nobody, but it may be necessary to determine whether you need to pay for foundation repair work.
When it gets wetter than normal, the soil gets saturated. This is a big problem because it causes the soil under and around your home to actually swell. As this happens, it affects the foundation of your home.
Your plumber may mention “bowed walls” when he talks to you. Go downstairs with him as he inspects your basement. This happens because the soil has swollen up and gotten heavier. It’s also dangerous because if the necessary foundation repair work isn’t done, your basement walls could suffer so much damage that they may collapse.
Next on the list of problems that endanger the foundation of your home is poor drainage. If the moisture that accumulates isn’t allowed to drain away, the soil can compact or squeeze down. As that happens, support for the foundation of your home vanishes at that spot.
Poor drainage can also wash away the soil that helps to support your home—or an erosion problem. If either one of these conditions exists in or under your home, then you’re going to see those ugly cracks on your home’s walls. If you have a basement, you’ll notice leaks there.
Under Watering Trees
You may think you’re being a smart homeowner by conserving water and not watering your trees regularly. Big mistake! Water evaporates from the leaves of your trees. This takes water away from the roots of your trees. If those trees are planted anywhere close to your home, the roots will take moisture from the soil surrounding them—which can lead to foundation problems. So water those trees!
Shoddy Pre-Construction of House Building Pad
This is when you want to know your home has been well constructed. The builder should have compacted the soil under your house so well that it will bear the weight of your home. If not, the soil shifts, leading to foundation problems.
If different soils support your home’s weight, they will settle differently, leading to foundation issues as well. Your plumber can help diagnose any foundation problems as he inspects your home.