Slab Foundation Problems - Identify Causes to Create Maintenance Plans What causes foundation problems? Three main reasons account for 90% of all foundation problems. AdvancedFoundationRepair.com's explaination helps you identify the issues helping you can create the right foundation maintenance plan.
Hi I'm Fred Marshall from Advanced Foundation Repair.
We're frequently asked "Why do foundations move?" Foundations that rest on the ground move because the ground moves. The 3 main reasons the ground moves in order of importance are because:
1. shrinking and swelling of clay soils
2. The compaction of soil that may happen to loosen during the construction process. The soil will move as it settles and so will your foundation.
3. Finally the erosion, slumping and sliding of homes built on hillsides or above retaining walls.
By far the most common problem in Texas is the shrinking and swelling of expansive clays. This probably causes 90% of the problems.
I have two blocks of clay taken from the same site. One has been allowed to dry out. As you can see the dry block has shrunk enormously. That is only for 12 inches of clay. Look at the cracks.
But when you add water, expansive clays act like sponges and swell pushing up with thousands of pounds of pressure per square foot, more than enough to lift your home and give your foundation fits. This is why it is so important to have good drainage around your home.
The drier, hotter and windier the weather there is, the more plants there are, the faster the soil will dry out. Trees because of their size use more water than any other plants and over time the tree can extend it roots into the soil under a home. Changing weather and growing plants are two of the most common reasons why a home might suddenly have foundation problems years after it was it was built.
Conditions around a foundation change constantly which is why foundation watering and drainage are important. If you keep the clay soil under your home moist then they won't shrink and your home won't move.