How to Spot the Most Prevalent Causes of Foundation Failure

Home inspector looking at foundation failure.

If you begin to notice cracks in the concrete and brickwork along the exterior of your home or in the walls inside your home, you could be on the road to foundation failure. Although the signs of foundation failure are easy to spot, the causes are much less easy to discern.

Moisture is most often the culprit behind issues with your foundation, but it is important to pinpoint what is creating the change in moisture levels around your home. Both too much water and too little water in the soil around your home can lead to major damage in the future. Fortunately, there are options to deal with foundation failure early on.

Too Much Moisture Causes Foundation Failure

A break in your water line can leak extra moisture into the soil around your home, which causes the ground to shift. Once this shift takes place, the foundation of your home is likely to shift as well. These plumbing problems can originate in the ground outside or from the pipes inside.

When moisture in the ground freezes, it produces ice that displaces the soil around your foundation. This causes an effect in which an upward movement of soil changes its elevation and is known as ground heaving. Ground heaving is more prevalent in northern cities like Detroit and Lansing, MI where colder air temperatures penetrate the ground.

Too Little Moisture Causes Foundation Failure

Roots from surrounding trees and shrubs that grow toward your home can absorb the moisture from the soil and leave it extremely dry. Once the ground around your foundation is too dry, it begins to crack and separate from the foundation, no longer girding the home’s perimeter. The foundation can then move to fill the space left by the dried-out soil.

There are several other prominent causes of foundation failure as well. When a builder is in a hurry and does not allow the soil to stabilize following the site prep work, movement can occur after construction of the home or building is finished. Also, soil can turn bad over time even if all the necessary precautions are followed along the way, leading to problems with your foundation.

Whatever the cause of your foundation issues, an experienced repair company like Tom’s Basement Waterproofing can provide a permanent solution through foundation piering and even guarantee the work. Call Tom’s Basement Waterproofing at (586) 949-7826 or use our online contact form to schedule a free estimate.