More often than not, foundation settlement is caused by soil behavior. Sometimes, the soil has been in place for thousands or millions of years. However, sometimes the soil has been placed by a builder to give the home a level foundation. The quality of the soil may make a difference.
Damage related to foundation settlement usually takes place over time, rather than being a sudden problem. Settlement or heaving can lead to structural and cosmetic damage. Read on to learn more about what leads to settling and how these issues are fixed.
Weather-Related Issues With the Soil
If the area should ever have drought conditions, this may lead to your soil drying out. Dried-out soil can shrink considerably, leading to foundation movement. Soil drying out during dry weather is a sign that your property has expansive soil, which is clay-based.
Expansive soil is also an issue when there is excessive moisture around your home. Instead of shrinking, the soil starts absorbing the water and expanding. Clogged gutters or poor grading are some of the most common culprits in these situations.
One situation that you need to be aware of in the Kansas City area because of the snowy winters is excessive snowfall. When the snow starts to melt, the soil will absorb much of the water. Your yard’s grading may also contribute to excessive amounts of moisture.
Foundation Settlement and Soil Fill Issues
Foundation settlement can also be due to soil fills. Contractors often need to use soil fill when a foundation is initially laid. However, a common problem is that the soil is looser than what is already present at the site.
Responsible builders will compact the soil properly so the foundation stays stable. However, some builders, unfortunately, neglect this step, leading to settling. When the soil is weak, consolidation may lead to settlement-related problems.
Can Trees Contribute to Settlement?
In short, yes, because tree root systems are often larger and deeper than they appear. The larger the trees are, the greater the chances that at least some of the root system is under your house. When trees stand fairly close to your house, this is also a possible problem.
Large tree roots can easily absorb hundreds of gallons of water daily! As this process happens, the soil shrinks in response to the lost water, resulting in issues with the settlement. Depending on the amount of water involved, the effects might be dramatic.
What Role Do Pipe Leaks Play in Settlement Issues?
Plumbing or irrigation system leaks can cause major problems with your foundation. When these leaks have gone unnoticed for any time, this increases the chances of more serious damage. Sometimes these issues aren’t discovered until it’s an issue of having to repair a leak and correct significant structural damage.
In many cases, the effects of water leaks are similar to excess moisture from rain or snow. When the soil becomes saturated, the load-bearing capacity can weaken, leading to foundation issues. The trouble with your foundation can lead to structural damage, so you want to stay on top of this.
Putting Foundation Settlement Issues to Rest for Good
When you’ve had issues with the settlement, foundation repair specialists are in the best position to help. Any of the issues commonly associated with settlement should involve an assessment from a specialist, even if they appear relatively minor. You might save yourself a lot of needless expense and heartache by taking care of this situation promptly.
KC Pier is ready and willing to help with any issues related to your foundation, whether your job will be big or small. If you’re ready to get to the bottom of your foundation settlement issues, contact us today so we can help you.