Environmental Effects on Your Foundation

Foundation cracking

Have you ever wondered what causes foundation damage? If you are concerned you have foundation issues or want peace of mind before winter comes to ensure that you don’t have foundation issues, contact us!

Freezing and Thawing

A common issue that causes cracks in the foundation is the freezing and thawing of water in the soil around your home. Concrete foundation is a porous material and when water or snow freezes in the pores of your concrete foundation it will expand.  When the ice and snow melt into the pores, it will contract. This can cause your foundation to deteriorate overtime by creating small cracks and crevices, which eventually grow larger as time passes.

Excess Soil Moisture

Excess soil moisture is also a culprit of foundation damage which can creep into the pores of your concrete foundation. Even if the moisture from the soil does not seep into your foundation, it can still cause foundation problems. When excess moisture builds up in the soil, it causes the soil to expand. If this expansion is concentrated on one area of your foundation and not the entire foundation, then problems can occur.

The expansion of the soil will cause movement that likely results in cracks in your foundation. Furthermore, during the winter months, melting snow and ice can creep into those cracks causing additional problems. The water then is then able to freeze and thaw inside those cracks as described above. So although excess soil moisture is a problem on its own, the freezing and thawing can exasperate the problem even further.

Loss of Soil Moisture

When soil around your property’s foundation loses moisture, it can cause the foundation to settle. The shrinking of the soil causes shifts in the foundation. Melting snow and ice or drought can cause this issue. Many believe that a loss of soil moisture is only common in the summer months; however, this is not the case. Soil can lose moisture any time of year and when this happens, it can cause problems with your foundation. If you see gaps or cracks in your soil, that is an indication that the soil is dry. You can prevent loss of moisture by watering your lawn. If you water your lawn, do not overwater as this could cause excess moisture buildup.

Checking Your Foundation

Freezing and thawing of your actual foundation walls or the soil beneath is a concern. Older homes are especially susceptible due to less restrictions during the time the home was built. In addition, poor construction techniques are also to blame, such as building the foundation on unstable soil, (too wet or too dry) use of inexpensive concrete, or concrete that was mixed incorrectly.

We specialize in foundation repair and can inspect your foundation for issues caused by freezing and thawing or loss of soil. Contact Advanced Basement today to have your foundation inspected.