Signs & Symptoms

Residential Guide

Causes of foundation failure

Diagram of the causes of foundation failure

  1. 1. Evaporation Hot dry wind and intense heat will often cause the soil to shrink beneath the foundation. This settlement may cause cracks to appear throughout the structure.
  2. 2. Transpiration Tree roots may desiccate the soil beneath a home causing the soil to shrink and the home to settle.
  3. 3. Plumbing leaks Water from plumbing leaks is often a cause of foundation problems.
  4. 4. Drainage Improper drainage is one of the leading causes of foundation failure. Excess moisture will erode or consolidate soils and cause settlement.
  1. 5. Inferior foundation construction Insufficient steel and inferior concrete will contribute to movement in the slab.
  2. 6. Inferior ground preparation Soft, low density soils and/or improperly compacted soil beneath a home is the leading cause of foundation failure. Cut and fill situations should be properlyprepared before the soil is ready to support a structure.
  3. 7. Poor soil conditions Poor soil and its expansion and/or contraction contribute to foundation failure.

Signs of foundation failure

Picture of foundation failure occuring inside

Inside

Signs on the inside of the house that indicate foundation problems may include:

  1. 1. Doors and windows that are misaligned
  2. 2. Cracks in the sheetrock
  3. 3. Doors and windows that are sticking
  4. 4. Sloping of the floor
  5. 5. Cracks in the floor or tile

Picture of foundation failure occuring outside

Outside

Signs on the outside of the house that indicate foundation problems may include:

  1. 6. Cracks in the brick
  2. 7. Gaps around the doors and windows
  3. 8. Cracks in the foundation
  4. 9. Fascia board pulling away

Picture of foundation failure occuring in a garage

Garage

Signs in the garage that indicate foundation problems may include:

  1. 10. Separation from door
  2. 11. Wall rotating out
  3. 12. Cracked brick

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