Causes of Foundation Movement
Common Causes of Foundation Movement include the following:
The most common cause of foundation movement is the seaonal shrinking and swelling of expansive soils. During dryer months when moisture decreases, soils shrink allowing foundations to settle. During wetter months as moisture increases, soils expand and push up on foundations. At times, the soil will swell enough to raise foundations higher than their original elevation; this is referred to as heaving.
The most common cause of foundation movement is the seasonal shrinking and swelling of expansive soils. The degree of soil movement is determined by the amount of expansive material in that soil and the variation of its moisture content. When the moisture content of expansive soil increases, the soil swells. During the drier months when the moisture decreases, the soil shrinks and achieves its lowest moisture content, allowing foundations to settle. During the wetter months, foundations return to their desired elevation. At times, the soil will swell enough to raise foundations higher than their desired elevation, which is referred to as heaval.
Poor site drainage is a common cause of foundation movement. Surface and subsurface moisture should be diverted away form the home or building in order to preserve the strength and desired elevation of the foundation system. Good site drainage is very important to prolong the life of a structure. Another cause of foundation movement is building on improperly compacted fill. Improperly compacted fill will consolidate or pack down under the load of a home or building. Moisture problems will contribute to consolidation of non-compacted fill.
Plumbing leaks are another common cause of foundation movement. these problems are often created during the initial construction of a home or building; however, leaks may not occur for many years. Our experience has been that plumbing leaks, whether they are in supply lines or in waste lines, always cause foundation and/or floor movement. If major foundation movement exists, plumbing tests are often recommended to check for plumbing leaks.
Poor construction is also a major cause of foundation movement. This problem often begins during the initial design of a home or building. Some foundation systems simply are not adequate for the areas and soil conditions in which they are used.
POWER Lift offers a wide variety of structural repair services to help you with your foundation needs.