The foundation of a building is the most important part of the structure. Without it, the structure will not be able to stand.
Ironically, it is also the most hidden part. Because of this, it is easy to take for granted the maintenance of the foundation. Neglecting the need for foundation repair may result in massive and costly damage.
CAUSES OF FOUNDATION DAMAGE
To be able to diagnose foundation issues accurately, one must have a basic understanding of the causes of foundation damage. Following are the most common causes of foundation damage.
- POOR CONSTRUCTION
Poor construction is a surefire way to have a damaged foundation. The foundation may not have enough number of steel or rebars. The effect of poor construction may not be visible at first but it will, sooner or later, take its toll on the whole building.
- SHRINKING DUE TO EVAPORATION
Evaporation takes the water content out of the soil beneath the foundation. This shrinks the soil and affects the foundation. If the shrinking is uniform throughout the foundation area, it is unlikely to cause issues. However, heaving or settling of only a part of the foundation will cause cracks to the structure.
Transpiration is the process of plants or trees carrying the moisture from the soil and releasing it back to the atmosphere. Transpiration also causes shrinking of the soil beneath the foundation. Avoid planting trees or shrubs near the foundation.
- PLUMBING LEAKS
Plumbing leaks can damage the foundation by adding pressure into it caused by the moisture seeping into the soil. The excess water from the leak can also sweep away the soil beneath the foundation. This can create void large enough to damage the foundation.
- DRAINAGE PROBLEM
Drainage issues can cause heaving of the foundation. If water does not drain properly around the foundation, the soil will be saturated. This causes excessive swelling to the soaked soil. The drainage problem must be resolved first before the foundation repair.
- IMPROPER SOIL TYPE/POOR SOIL QUALITY
The soil type and quality must be carefully considered even before constructing the foundation. Different foundations are suitable for different types of soil.
A soil with good quality must have a bearing capacity enough to carry the whole structure.
- POOR SOIL PREPARATION
Soil preparation plays a crucial role in the health of the foundation and the whole structure.
The soil where the foundation is to be built must be compacted enough to eliminate future damage as much void as possible.
WAYS TO MAINTAIN THE QUALITY OF FOUNDATIONS
Here are some keys to maintain the quality of foundations.
- WATER REGULARLY
Water the foundation for about two times a day especially during dry seasons and the soil where it stands is clayey. Dry clayey soil contract as it dries. This may cause the foundation to sink.
- HAVE A GOOD DRAINAGE SYSTEM AROUND THE HOUSE
It is important to always keep excessive water away from the foundation. Excessive water will expand the soil putting stress into the foundation. It is a good idea to install in-ground drains. Also, downspouts will help direct rainwater away from the foundation.
- PLANT TREES AWAY FROM THE STRUCTURE
Aside from stealing moisture from the foundation through transpiration, roots of trees and shrubs may also damage the foundation over time.
The minimum distance of trees from a house depends on their size. The larger a tree is, the further it should be planted from the foundation.
- MAINTAIN THE LEVEL OF MOISTURE
A great way to do this is to keep the foundation embedded at least 2 inches into the soil. This will help retain the moisture content. Mulch can also be used in maintaining the moisture.
Installing rock beds will help to direct the water into the deepest parts of the foundation.
If ever there is damage to the foundation, contact Level Pro Foundation Repair Inc. in Sugar Land, Texas today. Investing for a high-quality foundation repair service is well worth it – a decision that will save more time, money, and peace of mind.