Are you concerned that your foundations are unstable? There are many common causes behind foundation repair, from excess moisture to invading tree roots and poor ventilation. Once you know the problem, an experienced foundation repair expert can rectify the problem and fix your foundations for the future. Here are the most common causes of foundation repair and the impact they may have on your property.
Texas is home to highly expansive clay soils subject to extreme changes in moisture content. In Texas, the ground is exposed to excessive heat and substantial flooding over a few short months or even weeks. This means that the soil is continually shrinking and expanding depending on its moisture content. If your home is built on a cut and fill lot, the earth may be poorly compacted, leading to loose and unstable soil. Over time, this can worsen as the soil’s water content is constantly changing, shifting the soil and reducing its stability. Cut and fill lots refer to a plot of land which needs to be leveled before constructing the foundations and subsequent property. Unstable soil can also cause foundations on cut and fill lots to settle, causing uneven foundations and tilted flooring.
Expanding and contracting earth can lead to cracks and uneven slab foundations, or shifting piers in pier and beam homes. The South and West Sides of Dallas Fort Worth experience extraordinarily high and arid temperatures during the hotter months, leading to consistently shrinking and unstable soils.
When your property was built, you may have had no neighboring trees, but over time, saplings may have been planted and developed near your foundations. Maturing trees can cause damage to your foundations in a few different ways. Roots growing near your foundations may cause moisture to be removed from the soil, causing the earth to contract, and your foundations to become uneven. Excessive root growth may also cause your land to become loose and unstable. Finally, the roots themselves may find a pathway into existing cracks in your foundations, making them worsen over time as the root system grows.
To stop roots from damaging your foundation, a foundation repair expert should come and first remove the offending roots from the affected area, then install root barriers to prevent roots from infringing again. An arborist may be required to advise if you are trying to save the tree or encountering extreme difficulty in removing the root system. The foundation expert may need to repair subsidence or the affected concrete foundations to restore your home to the correct position.
There are three leading causes of water damage that can impact your foundations. Excessive flooding, poor drainage, or leaky plumbing all have the potential to damage your property. Moisture in the soil can lead to expansion, loosening soil, and cracks appearing in concrete foundations. If you have a crawl space under your home, moisture may seep in and cause wooden beams or joists to rot, leading to sagging support and uneven flooring. Whether your concrete cracks or your wooden beams sag, both can cause uneven floors or bending or cracking of your walls, and will need to be fixed by a foundation repairs expert.
Water damage and moisture can cause dry rot or the growth of fungi in your crawlspace. This will need to be treated with antibacterial or fungicide sprays before the wood is replaced or reinforced to strengthen your foundations’ structure. They may be reinforced with steel or by stacking concrete under the beams to strengthen them.
In properties over 60 years old, many crawl spaces were built without ventilation, causing excess humidity and moisture to build up under your home. Or newer properties may have incorrectly built vents so only rising damp from the floor is filtered out, while moisture that comes through the crawlspace walls still builds up and causes wood rot and potential dry rot under the home. To fix this issue, foundation repair experts may choose to seal the crawl space by inserting a plastic liner on walls and floors. They then add a dehumidifier to the crawlspace to help regulate excess temperature and stop moisture from building up again. Contacting a foundation repair expert like Pinnacle Foundation Repair is essential if you’re concerned about your property’s structural integrity. They’ll be able to advise on everything from soil type to how to reinforce older properties with foundations showing signs of wear and tear. Find out more about our services today for expert advice on foundation repair.