There may be things you’re doing on a regular basis, or even things you’re completely unaware of, that are causing damage to your home’s foundation. Foundation repairs are no joke, and can be very costly depending on the severity. The first step in preventing foundational issues is to become familiar with the things that threaten your home’s structural integrity. Some of the most common risk factors we see are:
- Plumbing leaks. Plumbing issues can be detrimental to your foundation, especially if there’s a leak in the main line. A major leak can seep into the soil surrounding your home, eventually causing it to swell and your foundation to shift. Unfortunately, it can be hard to detect a leak in your plumbing until you start noticing its effects on your foundation, like cracked walls. However, there are a few telltale signs of a major leak in your plumbing, including the sound of constantly running water, floors that feel damp or spongy, unpleasant odors, and unexpected spikes in your water bill.
- Thirsty tree roots. As we mentioned in our last blog, tree roots that are too close to your home can soak up most of the available groundwater, causing the soil near your foundation to become too dry. This causes shrinkage and eventual shifting of your foundation. If you have trees in your yard or close to your home, make sure you are watering them sufficiently.
- Overwatering. It’s easy to overdo it when it comes to watering your yard. The more water, the greener the grass, right? Wrong. Too much water causes soil to expand and puts excess pressure on your foundation. This can lead to structural damage that requires expensive repairs, so it’s best to pay close attention to your watering schedule and precipitation levels.
- Poorly installed swimming pools. Swimming pools, both indoor and outdoor, can cause seepage into the soil surrounding your foundation if installed incorrectly. Like overwatering, this causes the soil to expand, and then deflate when it dries out again. This movement in soil can lead to both cracks in your interior walls, cracks in the concrete surrounding your pool, and further structural damage.
- Inferior construction. It’s everyone homebuyer/homeowner’s biggest nightmare, but unfortunately, it happens. Some contractors cut corners when building homes for their own personal benefit, and the result is a home that is of overall poor quality. The use of insufficient steel, concrete, and other materials weakens the structure of a home and makes it more susceptible to foundation issues. If your home seems to be experiencing problem after problem, it may be worthwhile to look into the contractor who built it.
Assessing your home and habits for these foundation risk factors is a good way to discover and more importantly, prevent foundation issues from happening. If you feel like one of these (or something else we didn’t mention) is affecting to structure of your home, allow Epp Concrete to investigate and solve the problem!