Nothing is quite the same as realizing your foundation is having issues. Your foundation is, quite literally, what your entire house and its value is relying on. If your foundation fails, you could lose everything.
So what do you do when you find cracks appearing in your foundation? The quick answer is to call a professional immediately. But while you wait for them to arrive, you should know what’s going on!
One of the main causes of cracks and damage to a foundation is water. It seems so harmless most of the time that it’s hard to believe water could cost so much in damages. But after a while, water will always do something to remind you of it’s hidden power.
- Water under the ground will cause soil to expand, only to contract again later when it’s dried. That is, if it dries. One of two things will happen.
- The water will leave and return regularly and cause a pattern of expanding and contracting. This is detrimental to your foundation and you should seek professional help getting supports added to it.
The water will settle under your foundation and stay there. In this case, it might still be worth the investment to get some foundational supports put in. However, the most important response to this kind of situation is installing a pump. A sump pump and a below floor drain system would work well to combat the water you’re putting up with.
There is also the possibility that you’ve sustained a sewage leak below your home and it’s making the soil shift and expand. This is an even bigger fish to fry and would require emergency plumbing help. In either scenario, it’s best to act quickly to avoid your home getting damaged to a point of no repair.
Of course, not all causes of foundational damage are due to plumbing issues. Sometimes it’s something as simple as tree roots or as extensive as earthquake damage. In the case of the former, you’ll have to consider intervening, though it might be at the expense of the tree causing problems. Earthquake damage should be assessed by someone who can determine the outlook of your foundation.