What Causes Foundations to Fail
For many, foundation repair may not be something you’re very familiar with. But, if you live in California and you own a home, you need to be aware of what causes foundations to fail and how you can remedy these issues.
Every home foundation needs strong soil underneath in order to support the weight of the structure. Like most man-made constructions, even the strongest of foundations can degrade over time.
See several factors that cause foundations to fail:
Water leaks: Leaky plumbing systems around your home can cause moisture to seep into the property’s foundation, and into the soil, which puts added pressure on your foundation. Oftentimes, these systems can leak for years, going unnoticed by a homeowner, causing significant foundation damage.
Transpiration: In addition to soil that has become too saturated, sometimes your soil can become too dry. If your home is surrounded by plants or trees, they can consume moisture from the soil under the foundation which leaves it weak and dried out.
Evaporation: Dry soil conditions can likewise occur from dry weather – especially in warmer regions like Los Angeles — this dry, hot weather can cause the soil beneath the foundation to constrict and shrink which leaves your foundation without the proper ground support.
Poor drainage: Much like leaky pipes, drainage issues from rain gutters or older systems can saturate the soil under a building which causes it to expand, cracking the foundation above.
Soil that hasn’t been leveled: In Los Angeles, homes that were built before the 1970s, may not have been constructed with the same technology and safety codes that we have today. If the soil was not leveled and compacted before the home foundation was installed, there’s a greater chance that the soil can shift and move, which creates problems with the foundation structure.
Poorly constructed foundations: Like soil that was not properly prepared, older homes tend to lack foundations using stronger materials like steel or rebar, which means they’re not built to last.
Inadequate soil conditions: This tends to be the biggest reason for foundation issues – if the soil was not properly compacted or if the soil is lacking density, the expanding and retracting of the soil can create damage to a home’s foundation overtime.
If you have any concerns about your home foundation, schedule an appointment with Julian Construction. We’ll conduct a thorough inspection – for free – and provide you with our diagnosis and solutions for repair.
If your home has experienced foundation issues, it’s important to resolve any problems in a timely manner to ensure that you and your loves ones remain safe, to keep foundation problems from getting worse (and more expensive), to prevent future costs and to avoid losing property value.
Now more than ever it’s important to be proactive about earthquake preparation and safety. Julian De La Torre is an expert in Los Angeles foundation inspection, foundation repair and foundation replacement.
Julian’s company, Julian Construction, has inspected over 30,000 structures, working with engineering firms and local departments of building & safety. The company has done more foundation repair and earthquake retrofitting in Los Angeles than any other company in the area over the last five years.