Understanding Foundation Damage: Common Causes and How to Protect Your Home

Your home’s foundation is its anchor, providing the necessary support for the entire structure. However, it’s not immune to various forces that can lead to damage over time. Understanding the common causes of foundation damage is the first step in protecting your home’s structural integrity. 

What causes foundation damage?

  • Soil swelling and shrinkage: One of the primary causes of foundation damage is the natural expansion and contraction of the soil around your home. Soil swells when it absorbs moisture and shrinks when it dries out. These fluctuations can exert tremendous pressure on your foundation, leading to cracks and structural issues.
  • Poor drainage: Improper drainage can contribute significantly to foundation problems. When water isn’t effectively directed away from your home’s foundation, it can accumulate in the soil, leading to increased pressure and potential damage. This is why proper gutter systems and downspout extensions are crucial for diverting rainwater away from your foundation.
  • Plumbing leaks: Undetected plumbing leaks, especially beneath your home’s foundation, can saturate the soil and cause it to expand. This expansion can lead to uneven settling and foundation damage over time. Regular plumbing inspections can help catch leaks before they become major issues.
  • Overgrown tree roots: While trees provide many benefits, their roots can pose a threat to your foundation. Large tree roots can penetrate and disturb the soil around your home, leading to foundation shifts and cracks. Proper tree maintenance, including root pruning, can help mitigate this risk.
  • Improper foundation construction: If your home’s foundation was not constructed correctly or lacks the necessary reinforcement, it may be susceptible to damage. Foundation issues can occur when the foundation isn’t designed to withstand the soil conditions in your area.
  • Extreme weather conditions: Severe weather events, such as floods, droughts, or rapid temperature changes, can affect the soil and exert pressure on your foundation. It’s essential to monitor your foundation’s condition after extreme weather events.

How to protect your foundation

To protect your foundation from these common causes of damage, consider regular foundation inspections and maintenance. If you notice any signs of foundation damage, such as cracks, settling, or uneven floors, seek professional assistance immediately.

At Missouri Basement, we specialize in foundation repair and waterproofing solutions to address and prevent foundation problems. Contact us for a professional assessment to safeguard your home’s foundation and structural integrity.