Foundation failure can have serious consequences on a home’s stability and safety. A house foundation is the primary support of a structure and should not be taken lightly, as it carries the weight of the entire building and any occupants within it.
Therefore, it is essential to recognize when there may be signs of foundation failure and understand what may have caused them. To help you better understand these causes, here are six common causes of house foundation failure:
1. Poor Soil Conditions:
Foundations must be built on solid soil in order to remain stable and secure. Conversely, poor soil conditions such as expansive soils (which swell when moist) or poorly compacted fill soils can lead to foundation settlement or other structural issues which can cause foundation damage over time. Therefore, proper site preparation and soil testing are important to ensure that the soil conditions meet the necessary requirements for a strong foundation.
2. Poor Drainage:
Poor drainage can lead to water seeping in or around the foundation walls, which will cause them to weaken over time due to moisture damage and erosion of materials. Excess moisture not only weakens the foundation but can also cause mold growth inside the structure, leading to further health risks for those living within it. Therefore, ensuring proper gutter maintenance, grading away from your home’s exterior walls, and adequate waterproofing measures are essential for avoiding such issues.
3. Improper Foundation Design:
Improper design of a foundation can lead to structural issues such as settlement and cracking. It is essential to consult a professional engineer who can assess the soil conditions and design the foundation accordingly to prevent this. The design should also consider any loads that may be placed on the structure to ensure its stability over time.
Termites can cause serious damage to a home’s foundation and structure if left unchecked. Termites feed on wood, so any wooden components of the foundation, such as piers or joists, are particularly vulnerable to their attacks. To prevent this, it is important to hire termite control professionals to inspect your home and treat any affected areas.
5. Improper Construction:
Incorrect construction of a foundation can cause significant issues if not caught in time. Poorly poured concrete, faulty installation of materials, and lack of proper bracing are all common problems that lead to structural failure over time. If this is the case then hiring experienced contractors with the necessary expertise and knowledge to build the foundation correctly is essential.
6. Earthquake Activity:
Earthquakes can cause massive damage to a home’s foundation if the structure is not correctly designed and engineered for seismic activity. Foundation failure due to earthquakes can be avoided by hiring an experienced engineer who can assess the soil conditions and design the foundation accordingly. Additionally, retrofitting your home with additional bracing or anchors may also help protect it from any potential damage caused by an earthquake.
Foundation failure can have severe consequences on a home’s stability and safety, which is why it is essential to identify common causes of house foundation failure to prevent such issues from occurring.