What Commonly Damages A Concrete Foundation?

Foundation damage is one of the most serious and costly mistakes a homeowner can make. A few cracks, an unsteady foundation, or weak concrete can add up to costly repairs.

You’ll know if you have a foundation problem because of the damage it causes, but it’s best to avoid it completely by learning about the most common hazards to your home’s foundation. The following are the most prevalent issues that homeowners face.

1. Earthquake

When an earthquake strikes, the ground shakes, which causes your house to shake as well. Thankfully, there aren’t many earthquakes on this part of the country, but even the faintest of quivers might cause problems. Remember that if the foundation isn’t properly supported or stable, it can shift, weaken, and crack. A mild earthquake may not create new fissures, but it can exacerbate existing ones.

2. Unprepared Ground

Slab-on-grade foundations rely on the carrying capability of the highest soil layers to sustain the structure and keep the foundation stable. The foundation may settle as the supporting soil consolidates if the bearing soil was not compacted properly during grading. 

3. Drainage Issues

Improper drainage is perhaps the most common cause of foundation failure. Oversaturation of the soil occurs when a home lacks gutters or has downspouts pointing in the wrong direction, causing the foundation to become unstable. To lessen the chance of water gathering near the concrete, the landscaping surrounding your property should slope away from the foundation. Basement leaks are a huge worry when drainage is not done properly, in addition to the typical and usually inevitable settling and cracking in a home.

4. Flooding

Whether the flooding is caused by a storm, a leak, poor drainage, or something else entirely, too much water will cause damage to your concrete foundation. When the hydrostatic pressure on your home’s foundation increases too much, you’ll notice additional leaks, cracks, and difficulties.

5. Poor Soil Conditions

When building on locations with expansive clay soils that expand and desiccate as water comes and departs, this might be a problem. The Midwest is known for its clay soils. When they’re wet, they’ll swell, then shrink when they’re dry. Excessive settling and shifting of the foundation may come from this ongoing changing of the ground beneath a concrete foundation, which can obviously cause harm to your foundation.

6. Drought Or Excessive Moisture

When moisture is removed from soil, it shrinks like a sponge and pulls away from the foundation of your home, leaving a gap. The foundation can move because of this gap. When a home’s foundation isn’t adequately supported, it can shift and cracks form. As a result, if there is too much moisture, the earth that supports your home’s foundation will expand.

7. Plumbing Issues

Plumbing leaks are another huge issue that may wreak havoc on your foundation, especially if the main line is broken. A large leak will seep into the earth around your home, perhaps causing your foundation to shift. Unfortunately, detecting a leak in your main line or sanitary sewer is not always easy. Too often, homeowners are unaware that this is taking place until they see the associated structural problems.

8. Invasion Of Tree Roots

Tree roots are not directly responsible for foundation deterioration. Instead, their impact on the soil can result in serious foundational problems. Tree roots can dry and shrink the soil beneath the foundation through both transpiration (the evaporation of water from plants) and overgrowth, causing the structure to slump and shift. The remedy is to water large trees near your foundation regularly and have tree roots inspected for overgrowth on a regular basis. Your trees should not cause a soil problem as long as they receive enough water.

9. Renovations That Didn’t Go As Planned

Home improvements can sometimes impact the foundation, especially if you undertake them yourself or use an inexperienced contractor. Major renovations might cause your home’s equilibrium to alter, allowing the foundation to shift and potentially causing concrete damage.

Are You Looking for a Company to Build a Foundation for Your ADU or Building? 

If you’ve been researching building a foundation for your ADU or home, then chances are that you already know about the different types of foundations available. Depending on your goals and budget, there may be several solutions available to you. Spaulding Concrete has been the SF Bay Area’s top foundation builder for over 30 years.  We’re here to fix your home’s foundation, no matter what problem may exist. We have the specialized equipment, services and professional experience that you need to make permanent improvements to your building’s foundation.  If you have an ADU and want a new one built, then take care in finding someone who understands what is involved and who can get it done right! The qualified concrete experts at Spaulding Concrete will be on schedule, on budget and meet or exceed standards by careful planning, professional execution, and strict quality control. To schedule your free quote, contact us today! We are proud to serve Alameda and Contra Costa County, including projects in Orinda, Lafayette, Moraga, Pleasant Hill, Concord, Martinez, Pittsburg, Antioch, and Brentwood.