While hydrostatic pressure tends to have the greatest effect on your home’s structural integrity, it isn’t the only force that can put your foundation at risk. Errors made while your home was under construction can also put your foundation’s structural integrity in question.
Intrinsic Threats to Your Foundation
While all construction teams have to meet state and city codes when building a home, they can still make mistakes while on the job. Some of the most common mistakes to result in foundation damage later in a home’s life include:
- Uneven slabs – It isn’t always easy to control the rate at which concrete pours. On occasion, a construction team can improperly pour a foundation slab, causing it to harden with one side higher than the other. Uneven slabs tend to disrupt the placement of all your home’s structural supports. In turn, an uneven slab is more prone to damage, as is the rest of the home that it supports.
- Inappropriately treated concrete – Concrete is more fickle than many may believe. Construction teams may not treat the concrete that they’re pouring appropriately, and it may not cure as it’s supposed to. Concrete that cures too quickly can become brittle and crack more easily than properly cured concrete. Similarly, concrete can be cut before it is cured and suffer structural damage.
- Hollows – When a construction team first begins to build your home, all parties involved have to dig out your foundation. Doing so disrupts the stability of the soil. When your foundation is poured and cured, that instability remains. As such, hollows in the dirt can form more easily beneath your home. Your foundation, in response, can sink into those hollows once it’s forced to take on the weight of the rest of your home. That sinkage can result in foundation cracks, flooding throughout your basement or crawl space, and structural damage throughout the upper levels of your home.
- Inadequate building materials – The team that first constructed your home needs to have built your home up to code. However, that team can make mistakes with its materials while still upholding the requirements of your city or state. For example, if it rains while a team is building your home, the wood put into your foundation may be too wet to safely support your home. As mentioned, the concrete used to make up your slab may be too brittle for appropriate use.
Symptoms of Foundation Failure
It’s not always easy to determine when foundation damage may be plaguing your home. After all, you may have to excavate some of your foundation to determine what kind of damage it may have taken over the years. However, a damaged foundation does tend to give itself away via symptoms that can be seen throughout your home. Some of the most common signs of a damaged foundation include but are not limited to:
- Foundation and drywall cracks
- Sticking door and window frames
- High levels of humidity and visible dampness throughout your home
- A leaning chimney
- Sinkage throughout your home
- Sinking concrete structures, including your patio, pool deck, or garage
Unfortunately, the signs that give away foundation damage can also indicate flooding in your basement or crawl space. If you’re having trouble determining why something seems off in your home, you’ll want to reach out to area professionals. Together you can walk through your home and trace damage symptoms back to their source. Professionals can also make it easier for you to excavate your foundation, meaning that you’ll have a better idea of what kind of trouble you’re contending with.
Note that you should not try to contend with foundation damage without professional guidance. Mold, in particular, can pop up in a home that’s facing foundation damage, and removing it without professional guidance can put your health at risk. Reach out to mold remediation professionals as soon as you suspect something may be wrong in your home, and you’ll have a better chance of restoring your property’s value safely.
Repairing a Sinking Foundation
The professional contractors serving Birmingham, AL, want to help keep you and your family safe from any avoidable foundation damage. If you think that the team that built your home may have made a mistake during the construction process, you can reach out for waterproofing and repair services at any time. Professionals with AFS serving your area will complete a thorough evaluation of your home and provide you with a free quote on the means you need to bring your home back up to snuff.