A firm foundation is essential for so many things in life—your home included! So, whenever the ground beneath your home moves, you could end up down the road with serious and costly structural concerns. To prevent these problems, you first have to understand why they happen. Let’s take a closer look at the three big “bad guys” that cause the ground beneath your home to shift and become unlevel or uneven—leading to structural concerns. Find out the foundation solutions we offer at Edens Structural Solutions!
Culprit #1: Weather-Sensitive Soil
Your foundation is rooted in the soil where your home is built. Whenever the soil shifts, it can either put excessive pressure on your house or pull away, resulting in insufficient support for your home’s weight. This soil movement is more common with certain types of dirt—such as Oklahoma’s moisture-sensitive clay soil, which dramatically expands and contracts with the changing weather. Here’s why.
Dry, hot periods
A round of hot, dry weather pulls moisture out of soil, which causes the dirt around your home to shrink and pull away from your foundation. When that support vanishes, your foundation can shift more than normal. This movement can lead to sloped floors and other issues.
Heavy rain, snow melt, and flooding can cause the ground around your home to get water-soaked—which is a common issue with Oklahoma’s clay soil. When our ground is overly moist, it expands and puts pressure on your foundation. This movement can crack your slab, as well as cause cracks in walls and even your chimney.
Culprit #2: Excess Moisture
Water is a great enemy of a sure foundation. When moisture pools underneath or next to your home, it can oversaturate the soil, causing it to push against your home’s slab. In addition, dampness can also sneak into small cracks within concrete and make those cracks bigger. While you can’t control the weather, you can make sure to maintain the systems in and around your home that involve water. Here’s what to look at.
Faulty gutter system
Your home’s drainage is key to ensuring water doesn’t remain around your foundation to cause soil problems. If gutters and downspouts are broken or misaligned, water won’t drain away. Your ground will stay too wet, expanding and pushing against your foundation.
Improperly sloped landscape
Your landscaping should slope gently away from your home, so moisture will drain safely away. If your land slopes toward your house instead, water can pool by your walls, oversaturating the soil. You could also have issues if a neighbor’s land slopes down toward yours, causing water to drain toward your home instead of away.
Plumbing leaks are a major cause for structural issues. Unfortunately, these leaks can stay hidden from view in your basement or crawl space. Excess water can get into the soil around your home, making it expand. If you have a concrete slab with cracks, the moisture from a leak can make the cracks worse, weakening your foundation.
Culprit #3: Other Forms of Ground Movement
Beyond moisture-sensitive soil and faulty drainage, there can be other reasons that your foundation moves more than it should. Ultimately, as the ground shifts, it either presses too much against your foundation, or it leaves pockets of weak soil that can’t support your slab. The most common issues here are as follows.
If your home has mature trees, your foundation can be at risk. Sadly, those beautiful branches and leaves that give you shade are supported by a massive root system that can reach under your slab and press against it, cracking it. Plus, tree roots drink in a lot of water, making soil dry up and pull away from your home, which fosters foundation damage over time.
Big earthquakes are an obvious problem for anyone—but small ones like we get in Oklahoma can also affect your home. Over time, those “minor” earth movements begin to add up, and they can make the ground beneath your home uneven.
Get Lasting Foundation Solutions for Your Oklahoma Home
Whether you are concerned you have foundation issues or are considering pre-construction piers for a new home build, it’s important to ensure your house is safe and sound. If you don’t need our services, we’ll tell you so. But if you do, Edens Structural Solutions will deliver foundation repairs you can count on.
Learn more about the different foundation piers we use, and remember, we’re here to answer your questions anytime!