Every responsible homeowner knows that they cannot have a healthy home without a healthy foundation. While a foundation can keep your home strong and stable, it can also compromise its stability. A lot of problems that can affect your home originate in the foundation. For example, a foundation damaged by water can become a home for various pests. It can also harbor mold, which is a huge problem because mold airborne spores can contaminate the air you breathe and lead to health issues. In addition, increased moisture levels lead to rot, which is a problem since your home is most likely supported by wooden beams.
Unfortunately, keeping your foundation in the best possible shape is not an easy task. After all, there are so many things that could impact it and cause defects. The tricky thing about these defects is that they require your immediate attention. Ignoring the problem will just make things worse. If you wonder what the most common foundation defects in Denver, CO are and how to deal with them, this article is for you.
The Most Common Causes of Foundation Defects
One of the best things you can do for your foundation is learn the telltale signs that something is wrong with it. This way you will be able to detect foundation problems while they are still in the early stage and fix them before they escalate. Tilting chimneys, bowing walls, foundation cracks, and jamming doors and windows are just some of the signs that your foundation requires your immediate attention. Foundation defects can cost a pretty penny to fix and can be potentially disastrous for the property.
Loosely speaking, there are two causes of foundation defects. One of them is improper construction. If the builders use cheap materials or the architect doesn’t take into consideration the weight of the house or the type of soil while calculating foundation proportions, foundation defects can occur. Another cause of these defects is damage. Damage can be caused by numerous factors, from soil saturation, excess hydrostatic pressure, and soil dehydration/shrinkage, to frost heave, flooding, and natural disasters.
While the summers in Denver, CO can be hot, the winters are the time when the temperatures significantly drop. Due to these changes, the soil in this area can contract and expand several times a year. But don’t architects take that into account when making calculations? Of course they do. However, if a home does not have any waterproofing measures or appropriate drainage in place, these shifts in the ground can become dramatic. When this happens, the soil underneath the structure will no longer supports it and foundation defects occur.
Hydrostatic pressure can also damage your foundation. During the rainy days or warm days when the snow begins to melt, water tends to saturate the soil around your foundation. As a result, hydrostatic pressure increases and forces your walls to bow or crack.
3 Common Foundation Defects
Homeowners in Denver, CO can come across three foundation defects – settlement, sinking, and heaving. Each of these problems is caused by a different set of circumstances and requires a unique solution.
Settlement happens when a part of your home sinks into gaps in the soil beneath your home. This usually occurs during droughts when all the moisture from the ground has evaporated. As a result, particles in the soil shrink and leave cracks in the ground. When these cracks become large enough, a part of your foundation can settle into them. This causes foundation cracks, which are a serious problem since they can let water and pests into your home.
While settlement occurs during droughts, sinking happens during the rainy period. As mentioned, when a large volume of rain falls onto the ground, it soaks the soil around your foundation. As a result, the soil stops being capable of supporting the property’s weight and starts to sink, dragging your home along with it. Unfortunately, this problem can also happen if your home was built on unstable soil. In either case, contacting contractors as quickly as possible is the best thing you can do. Most homes do now sink evenly. Instead, one part sinks faster, which can put a strain on the building and even cause it to collapse.
Smaller, lighter homes and those with thinner foundations can be affected by heave. Heaving occurs during the winter when the ground freezes. When this happens, the soil begins to heave upward and pushes against your foundation. While larger, heavier buildings are not affected by it, lighter ones will end up with their foundations and floors heaving or bulging upward. This is when the cracks in your foundation will appear. As mentioned, water can leak into your home through these cracks and cause more damage.
As you can see, these problems cannot be ignored.
Do you wish to learn more about foundation defects? Are you worried that your foundation is cracking? Or maybe you wish to learn how to protect your home from damage? Whatever the case, we are here to help. Here at Complete Basement Systems, we offer a free inspection and quote. Therefore, if you are worried about the health of your home, contact us and our inspector will take a closer look at your foundation. After determining the cause of the problems, they will suggest suitable solutions and tell you all about them so you can make an informed decision.