Excessive soil moisture: This can result from many things such as inadequate drainage around the slab, and other issues like a leaking sprinkler system, a gutter downspout that isn’t routed properly, or a plumbing leak under or near the slab. These issues can cause standing water, which with time will eventually damage your foundation.
The weather cycle: drought conditions or lack of moisture causes shrinking of the soil leading to soil settlement. An increase in rain can lead to expansion of the soil causing lifting and heaving. If these two conditions combine, it could cause the foundation to settle and crack.
Expansive clay soils: Can cause major foundation problems due to the different types of clay content in different areas. Depending on the clay, it will react differently when the moisture content changes. Soils shrink and swell at different rates causing lifting and settling.
Trees and roots: Use the available moisture by pulling gallons of water per day drying out and causing shrinkage in the soil. This will also cause differential moisture content under the slab. One corner of the slab has less moisture than other corners. This causes the slab to move more in one area while the remainder of the slab stays stable, which will result in damage to that corner.
Evidence of a foundation problem:
- Cracks in the slab
- Cracks in the drywall and brick
- Doors and windows that stick
- Sloping floors
- Broken tiles
- Fascia boards and siding separated
- Cabinets pulling away from ceiling or floor
- Gaps where windows meet brick
Why repair it now?
- Plumbing can be damaged
- Rafters, purlins, and support beams can shift causing structural and cosmetic damage
- Sloping, cracked, or lowered floors
- Walls and cabinets can pull away
- Insulation can be damaged
- Cracks in sheetrock and trim
- Windows and doors will stick or not close properly
- Roof leaks
- Brick siding may crack, slope, or fall
Overall, these factors will ultimately cause a reduced value of a home.