Root Causes of Foundation Issues

At Atlas Piers, we’re here for more than just rote foundation repair. While we’ll indeed help you address foundation settling issues with the highest-quality services around, we’ll also assist you with everything from recognizing common foundation warning signs to preventing further issues, even years into the future. 

A part of this involves helping our clients understand the root causes for foundation issues. You may think these have happened to by chance, but that’s not the case – foundation settlement problems take hold over a period of years in most cases, often due to a few possible outside factors. Let’s look at each of these.

causes foundation issues

Drainage Issues

All homes have drainage systems for rain and other moisture, and these have to be configured correctly for several reasons – foundation issues among them. If the draining system isn’t working properly, water may form outside your foundation. The longer it sits, the more it will be able to seep into the soil that makes up your foundation. A little water here is fine, but too much can directly cause foundation settling.

To stop this from happening, ensure your roof is properly sloped in all areas so moisture is filtered toward gutters. Ensure gutters have no blockages at any point, plus that their downspouts are pointed firmly away from the home’s foundation with enough distance that puddling isn’t an issue. 

Soil Conditions

In other cases, the same kinds of moisture concerns may take place in and around your foundation even if your drains and gutters are working properly. This is a particular risk during the current fall period; a very dry summer has led to soil that shrinks, but as soon as rain and snow begins falling, the soil will re-expand. This conversion can lead to settling issues. 

In other cases, certain quadrants of the foundation will have less soil than others. This may cause only certain parts of the foundation to settle while others don’t.

Thirsty Trees or Plants

Trees and various plants get their sustenance through moisture, and if they don’t have enough of it, their roots will reach out into soil in search of more. If these elements grow close to your foundation, their roots may seep into the foundation and dry certain areas of soil too quickly. This will lead to partial settling risks. Luckily, you can avoid this by simply watering all plants and trees properly – if they aren’t thirsty, there won’t be any reason for them to invade your foundation. 

Plumbing Issues

Another source of major unexpected moisture is various plumbing issues, including leaks or cracks. Many plumbing leaks don’t show visible signs until it’s far too late, and moisture may have already seeped into soil. This happening for a long enough period of time can lead to foundation settling problems.

To learn more about the root causes of foundation settling, or for information on any of our foundation repair services, speak to the staff at Atlas Piers today. 

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