A construction site showing the foundation of new homes in progress.

Foundation Problems: Common Causes and Solutions

Have you ever experienced waking up and noticing a crack in your wall? You examine the crack and assume that something may have hit the wall to produce such damages. However, after a while, you notice that the cracks get bigger. You are confused about what is going on. You may wonder if something is scratching your walls and causing the cracks to expand. The chances are that what you are experiencing are foundation problems, and nothing is scratching your walls.

A house is no better than the foundation on which it sits; Likewise, a foundation is no better than the soil under it. Therefore, several structural issues can plague a home without a proper foundation, costing you scads of cash in repairs. When planning a construction, homeowners and builders have the option to prevent foundation problems by ensuring that the conditions of the soil can hold the foundation. This means that soil testing has to be conducted before any construction commences.

What are foundation issues?

A foundation problem may occur when a significant settlement or other structural issues compromise the integrity of your home’s foundation. For example, some problems may arise when extreme or uneven settling happens over a short distance. Additionally, foundation damage is a huge headache for homeowners because it is often expensive and time-consuming to repair.

Signs of foundation problems

Spotting a foundation issue early enough will help you reduce the damage, saving you some money. The question is, what are the signs of a foundation issue? Let’s take a look at a few of them:

  • Cracks in the wall

It is common for one to dismiss this, especially if it is just a small crack. Cracks in walls caused by natural settlement are usually harmless. Often, plaster and paint can easily fix these minor cracks. However, more severe wall cracks are early signs of foundation issues.

  • Tile/floor cracks

Although tiles fired at high temperatures are pretty hard, they are also very brittle. Therefore, several things can cause tiles to crack. However, if there are too many tile cracks in the bathroom, kitchen, or elsewhere, this might be an early sign of foundation trouble.

  • Expansion joint separation

 An expansion joint is installed in a building to compensate for movement caused by the earth’s shifting, changes in temperature, wind, and other events. These joints may expand and separate when the foundation is failing.

  • Uneven floors

 In most cases, the floor slope direction likely shows where the foundation damage lies. The signs of unlevel ground may include a dip in the middle of the room, squeaky boards, or buckling floors.

Causes of foundation failure

Now that you know what signs to look at, it will also help to understand what causes a foundation to fail.

  • Poor soil condition

 Not all soil types are appropriate for a solid foundation. Some soil types like clay expand during the rainy season, and in the dry season, it contacts. This fluctuation can cause immense stress to the building’s foundation.

  • Poor drainage and stagnant water

If you notice water pools around your home after heavy rain, you may need to pay attention to your drainage system. A building’s foundation is significantly affected by the soil it sits on. When the soil is wet, expansion and compression occur, which causes anything on it to shift up and down, including the building. Foundation problems begin when the soil underneath the building moves, causing the house to sink.

  • Poor construction

Buildings on soil without adequate compaction around the foundation eventually face foundation failure. Thus, most towns and cities now require soil testing and engineer certification before and during the building process; therefore, poor construction is becoming less the cause of foundation failure.

How to fix foundation problems

Regarding foundation problems, it is best not to take the DIY approach. Therefore the best method to fix foundation issues once it is noticed is to consult a professional. 

In conclusion

A foundation is considered one of the most critical components of a building. It is the first part of any construction. They are instrumental to the durability and integrity of a building. If not completed correctly, they can affect the resilience and strength of the building and even lead to a total collapse. In short, without a stable foundation, a building will not be reliable to stand the test of time.

When you detect one or two signs of foundation problems, you must immediately investigate and hire a reputable foundation repair company to assess your foundation and repair it if needed. Our professional team at Dry Jersey can help you carry out an inspection and get expert advice on the solution.