Water, expanding soils, and even shrinking soils aren’t the only threats to your home’s foundation. Substandard building materials and poor foundation preparation too can set the stage for future foundation problems.
Florida tends to get quite hot in the summer, and it’s not you who takes the heat. Your home, and particularly the foundation, is vulnerable. The soil loses moisture and shrinks. When this happens, the foundation can crumble. And this can lead to foundation problems like settlement and cracks that can make your home unsafe.
Major Signs of Foundation Problems
Whatever happens in the foundation won’t stay down there. Typical of homes with foundation issues, signs will start appearing throughout your house.
- Foundation cracks: We’re not talking about cosmetic cracks, but jagged cracks that run the entire length of the foundation. Cracks form when parts of the wall tilt apart. Act fast, as they can widen and cost you a lot of money in repairs.
- Leaning chimneys: If you have a standalone chimney that’s leaning on its side, the foundation could be unstable or settling.
- Gaps around doors and windows: Settling will separate doors and windows from their frames, causing gaps. As a result, opening and closing them becomes a problem.
What’s Causing the Foundation Issues?
A number of things can cause foundation issues that can affect your home. Major culprits include:
- Poor soil compaction. Typical of foundation constructions, excavated soil is backfilled around the walls. These soils are often loose and fluffy, not dense like the adjacent undisturbed soil some feet away. When it rains, water collects in the soil near the home, creating a “clay bowl.” The soil gets saturated and starts exerting pressure on the foundation walls. When this pressure becomes intense, the walls will give in. Cracks will form and allow water to seep through into your home.
- Poor foundation design. If the builder doesn’t do proper preparation, uses substandard material, or fails to install piers in weak soils, the foundation will ultimately crumble.
- Soil Settlement. It’s normal for foundation soil to settle over time. But as it does, the settlement can happen at an angle. Uneven settling can lead to uneven foundation settlement and ultimately floors that are out of level.
Foundation Repair Products
Preventing further settlement and restoring uneven floors should be your number one priority. Once the home has been inspected, a trusted foundation repair contractor like Alpha Foundations may recommend any of the following solutions. Note: Where necessary, you will have to obtain a structural engineer’s report before we undertake repairs.
- Foundation piers. These act like legs. As well as stabilizing your foundation, the pier products enhance the ability of the foundation to bear load above. We use them to resolve foundation issues in homes with weak or unstable soils.
- The IntelliJack™ It’s the perfect antidote for uneven floors or bouncy ones. What this crawl space stabilizer does is level floor joists and girders. Once firmly in place, your floors will become more stable than before.
- Wall anchors. We use these rust-free anchors embedded in stable soil away from the home to straighten and stabilize bowing foundation walls.
Just because you don’t see signs doesn’t mean you’re safe. Keep inspecting your foundation for cracks, gaps, and settlement, as these usually compromise the health and the strength of your foundation. Pay attention to cracks. While most start small, they can widen and cause problems.
If you’re concerned about foundation issues or damage, we encourage you to request a free foundation inspection and repair quote. Our experts will inspect your foundation as well as your crawl space and diagnose the cause of your problems. We have the expertise and experience to do a flawless job.