Updated: Feb 1, 2022
Your house is an important investment that you will need to maintain. It’s a place where you seek shelter from the intense sun, torrid rains, gushing winds, etc. These are all things that your house is exposed to day-in and day-out. As a result, cracks and other structural defects are bound to show up after a few years. The structural damage may manifest faster if your location faces a natural disaster like a storm, earthquake, hurricane, etc.
Any damage should be repaired as soon it’s noticed.
If not, the structure of your house can be vulnerable to further damage. The structural integrity can be restored effortlessly if you hire credible and professional foundation repair contractors like Continental Foundation Restoration, who operate in Houston, Texas and surrounding areas.
Selecting the right foundation system for a particular structure is dependent on several factors. The most important factors that must be considered are:
The functionality of a foundation is to resist all loads from the earth and transfer its load of the whole house to the earth. The load includes both dead load and imposed load. A higher number of floors equates to a higher load and thus you would require a more robust foundation that can take the load effortlessly.
The location of a building is another important criterion that cannot be ignored. We know specific zones of the earth are more prone to natural disasters like floods, earthquakes, cyclones, volcanic eruptions, etc. All these have a destructive impact on the foundation of any building. If your area falls under these sensitive zones; it’s best to choose foundations that will have minimal damage due to the forces of nature.
A building is built with a certain utility in mind. It could be residential, industrial, commercial, school, hospital, etc. The foundation would vary according to the utility. For instance, an industrial and public utility building like a hospital would require a far stronger foundation than a residential home.
The soil present in the area also plays a vital role in deciding the appropriate foundation. Various soils like sandy soil, expansive soil, clayey soil, etc. have different natures, water-absorbing capacity, etc. All this creates different Soil Bearing Capacity (SBC) that is defined as the capacity of a soil to safely bear the pressure placed on it from any engineering structure without any shear failure.
● Water Table Type
The depth of the water table of any location is another prime factor to consider. Ideally, the foundation must always lie either on completely dry or wet soil.
Let’s walk through some of the major factors that threaten the foundation of any building.
● Tree Root Invasion
A beautiful landscape helps to increase the curb appeal as well as the value of a house. But trees can also pose a serious threat to any structure. Overgrowth and transpiration of its root can shrivel and dehydrate the soil that can make the structure settle and shift. To avoid it, trees must be planted at least five feet away from any building. Furthermore, the tree roots must always be kept well-watered and their overgrowth checked and eliminated regularly.
Plumbing leaks become sizeable gradually and can cause over watering of the soil and shift of the foundation. Unfortunately, one is unable to locate a leak of plumbing lines and especially the sewer line until too late. Getting it inspected periodically is the best way to deal with it.
● Improper Drainage
Poor drainage is one of the top causes of foundation failure. A slope in the direction of the foundation, downspouts pointing in the wrong direction, lack of gutters can all lead to the shift in the foundation. It is critical to ensure a smooth and leak-free drainage system for any structure.
● Weather Changes
Climatic changes from dry to wet and vice versa are often dramatic and cause a serious threat to the foundation of any building. The soil underneath the building can easily swell and shrivel and make the foundation shift. The best way out of this uncontrollable factor is to get the foundation inspected by verified foundation repair contractors after every season change.
● Improper Ground Leveling
For a solid foundation, proper compaction of the building pad is a must before any construction starts. A dependable and solid top-soil layer is a must to support the house structure. Any defect here will cause the structure to crumble.
Recognizing signs that it’s time to repair your foundation
Now that we know what can cause foundation problems; let’s get smarter in recognizing the signs that your building foundation needs your care and attention.
Detecting and repairing them early on can eliminate serious risks and costly repairs in the future.
● Cracks in The Drywall/Exterior Wall
Cracks in your drywall can be attributed to many factors. For instance, high moisture in high humidity location can cause it. Similarly, water leakage from the roof can be the guilty party. But if your house gutter is in top condition, attic insulation is perfect and humidity is not a cause of concern; then you can surmise that your building’s foundation does not need any repairs. Generally, cracks caused by foundation issues are wider at the top than the bottom and grow longer and wider over time. They should not be filled but left for professionals like Continental Foundation Restoration for the perfect foundation repair.
Other Signs Include:
It’s not possible to eliminate all the pests and bugs completely from your house. But if you notice an abnormally high number of bugs in your house; it could be because of a foundation issue. Bugs like centipedes, earwigs, carpenter ants, etc. thrive in moist areas. Their high number is a strong indication of your foundation cracking.
● Sagging Floors
A foundation shift is almost always accompanied with a floor shift. If you throw a ball and notice your floor getting warped and soft in certain spots; you can safely deem it as a telltale sign of a foundation problem. Monitoring your home’s slope periodically using a level can also be a strong indicator. A continual change in one direction shouts out the need for a professional.
● Sticking Doors And Windows
High moisture expands the wood in the frames, doors, and windows and makes them jammed and tough to operate. But if your doors and windows are getting difficult to latch and close without any high humidity; it could be because of foundation issues that distort the shape of their frames. It needs to be inspected and rectified.
● Damp Basement
A home basement is probably the first place to reveal signs of a foundation problem. If your basement has a damp and musty smell and wet and leaky walls; it’s best to get your foundation inspected on a priority basis.
Dangers of a Poor Foundation
Foundation issues are not clearly visible to our eyes. So, it’s easy for us not to pay any attention to their repair and maintenance. But a foundation problem triggers several other problems that can cause your building to collapse. Let’s see how even a small foundation problem can be dangerous.
● Compromised Structural Integrity
A cracked foundation expands to a fracture that can easily cause the affected area to crumble. This can expand fast to other areas and pose a threat to the entire building. If not fixed on time, it would mean a serious threat to life and property and will equate to costly repairs. Moreover, the pest population will rise dramatically which can trigger serious health problems.
● Water Hazards
Cracks in the foundation allow the water to seep inside the house and cause its basement and walls to go damp. In severe conditions, it can cause flooding inside the house. Additionally, it invites all molds and mildews to thrive in the house. This not only creates a bad smell but easily damages all your household items like furniture, food, clothing, etc. It is also incredibly hazardous to your health.
What makes Continental Foundation your one-stop solution for all foundation woes?
By now, you know how serious a foundation problem can be. It’s also not a problem that you can fix yourself. Moreover, with the risks involved, it is natural that you would want assurance for the repair work executed.
Continental Foundation understands all the challenges and concerns of all home and business owners. Foremost, we offer extremely cost-effective and affordable pricing that very few can match.
But being budget-friendly does not mean any compromise on our service and the quality of work delivered.
Be it any kind of foundation repair and fixing issues, from minor to major; Continental Foundation has you covered. We are insured and offer a lifetime warranty on our services. This warranty is even transferable. Very few can match this level of assurance and quality.