Just about every homeowner has had to contend with some kind of household damage at one point or another. While foundation damage can be difficult to spot, it’s also relatively common, especially if foundation waterproofing measures were not part of a home’s initial construction.
More often than not, forces like hydrostatic pressure cause the most immediate damage to a homeowner’s foundation. However, you can occasionally trace foundation problems to the work done by the team that first built your home.
Construction Errors and Your Foundation
You can’t predict every event that might damage your foundation. You can, however, get a better idea of why it is that your foundation may take on damage sometime during your tenure as a homeowner. Construction teams are not perfect. As a result, they can make mistakes while building up your home, either by using inappropriate materials or in failing to consider how the environment may destabilize the work that they’ve already done.
Some of the most common construction-based causes of foundation damage include:
- Hollows in the soil – The soil around your home isn’t tightly packed post-construction. This means there’s a greater chance for it to shift as your home settles into its new location. Hollows can form as tree roots start to maneuver around the soil near your foundation or as moisture settles across your property. Gravity can force your home to settle into these hollows, causing your floors to buckle and your basement or crawl space to start taking on water.
- Uneven slabs – A construction team may fail to pour your slab evenly, resulting in uneven floors, disproportionate sinkage, and dampness throughout your home.
- Concrete treated inappropriately – Concrete requires a specific degree of care when it’s first being poured around your home. Concrete that dries too quickly, for example, can become brittle. This means it will be more likely to crack later down the line. Likewise, concrete is able to be cut even though it’s still wet, leaving it more vulnerable to cracks when exposed to a significant degree of weight.
- Wrong building materials – There are times when a construction team may not have access to the materials it needs to safely build your home. While your home may be up to code on paper, the wood in your foundation may have been green or damp when it was put into place. Similarly, the concrete may have been improperly mixed. In these cases, the inferior materials used to build up your home may cause your foundation to take on damage much faster than it would if your home was more carefully built.
Symptoms of Foundation Failure
The one good thing about foundation failure is that it tends to give itself away. You can keep an eye out for signs of damage throughout your home and report that damage to professionals as soon as you spot it. This way, you won’t have to endure the problems that come with a sinking or otherwise damaged foundation for too long. Instead, you can quickly invest in the solutions that’ll bring your home back up to snuff and get on with the rest of your honey-do list.
Some common signs of a damaged foundation include:
- Sticking in your door and window frames
- An obvious or minor sinking porch or driveway
- Interior dampness matched to high levels of humidity
- A leaning chimney in your home
- Cracks in your foundation, as well as drywall, which will usually be close to your doors or windows
Note that these symptoms can also indicate leaks in your basement or crawl space. To distinguish between signs of foundation damage and other damage throughout your home, you’ll want to reach out to the team of foundation experts serving your area.
You should also keep an eye out for mold in homes that have started to show signs of foundation damage. While mold can help you trace the foundation damage that you’re contending with, it can also put the household’s overall health at risk.
Repairing a Damaged Foundation
You don’t have to resign yourself to a damaged home. Instead, you can reach out to the foundation professionals working in your area.
Foundation, basement, and crawl space repair professionals serving the Detroit area can walk through your home with you and determine what kind of foundation damage you may be contending with. The pros at FSM can provide you with a free quote detailing what kind of repairs or preventive measures may best help you limit the kind of damage your home might have to endure.