What causes a problem foundation?

A sinking foundation or bowing walls is a worrisome dilemma. While builders attempt to anticipate these problems in the design process, sometimes homes are still prone to sinking foundations or bowing walls. What causes these drastic changes in your home to take place? Two causes of structural problems are expansive soils and drawn out periods of drought.

Expansive Soils

Clay-based soils are known for retaining water and expanding more than others. If a clay-based soil beneath your home absorbs too much moisture, it can begin to expand and exert pressure on the foundation above. The lateral pressure can result in cracks and bowing in your walls, along with a myriad of other problems.

Climate / Seasonal Weather

One reason foundations sink is that the soil beneath may become saturated or desaturated, over time, causing uneven pressure on the foundation above. The changing soil density causes undue stress for the foundation, forming cracks due to the immense weight of your home.

Ineffective Drainage

Clogged gutters or downspouts or a poorly graded yard are just a couple examples of drainage problems. While these are things one would assume a builder considers before construction, that may not always be the case. Whether it’s a lack of water or excess water, either can cause foundations to settle as a result of poor drainage.

Tree Roots

Hopefully you would notice tree roots affecting your home before it became an issue. However, many don’t. Trees can do just as much damage as water if they are planted within close proximity of your foundation. As roots expand outward, they may break up concrete and cause structural problems. Fortunately, this is resolvable.

Plumbing Problems

The inconvenience of a broken pipe can turn into much more if it sits beneath the concrete foundation that supports your home. As water seeps into the soil, it can cause hydrostatic pressure that presses unevenly on the foundation your home rests on, impacting the entire structure. Don’t let a leaky pipe ruin the value of your home.

The symptoms of a home in need of foundation repair are numerous. Whether your home is showing signs of bowed walls or an uneven foundation, be sure to get the opinion of a qualified professional. Stealth Foundation offers no-commitment, free inspections and has served Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky for over thirty years. Our work comes with a promise: a fully transferable warranty for the life of the home, allowing you to rest knowing your foundation is secure.