The last type of foundation problem arises simply from poor construction planning. Typically, this doesn’t fall on the homeowner’s shoulders. You probably purchased the house from someone else, not knowing how much planning and thought went into the home’s construction.
However, the home’s construction requires a variety of extremely important checks and balances. If the construction crew or planning team cut corners at all, you may run into serious problems. That can include foundation problems that may not even show up for many years.
You probably don’t know how extensive the process of preparing to construct a house is. If you want to construct a house that will actually stand the test of time, you’re going to need to put a lot of thought and energy into the construction. Poor processing of that construction will create a problematic end result.
Did the construction crew use high-quality materials? Did the planning team create a foundation that would actually hold thousands of pounds of weight on top of it? Did every team go through the necessary steps without cutting corners? If any team skipped any steps, your foundation could have problems both now and in the future.
Poor Soil Preparation
Preparing the soil is an extremely important part of maintaining a strong foundation for your home. The builders need to test the soil, compact the soil properly, and design a foundation that will hold up to the soil around it.
If the builders didn’t properly test the soil or cut corners when compacting it, those problems will start to show up pretty quickly. You’ll start to see cracks in the foundation as the shoddy work shines through, as it eventually will.
Another problem can arise if your home rests on a type of soil that just inherently tends to exert pressure on a home’s foundation. The two main types of potentially problematic soil are expansive and consolidating soil.
Expansive soil, also sometimes called heaving soil, experiences extreme changes when introduced to too much moisture. This type of soil will expand much more if there’s a flood, rain, or other moisture issues. If your home rests on expansive soil, you’re going to have issues with upheaval and hydrostatic pressure, which can cause your home to bow in on itself.
Consolidating soil is the opposite of expansive soil. That means it tends to experience extreme changes when introduced to dryness; it shrinks much more than other types of soil. Where expansive soil can exert a lot of pressure on a foundation, consolidating soil can start to pull away from the foundation. That can lead to home settling, causing foundation cracks.
Your home needs to be able to drain off water properly. Otherwise, that water will just collect around your foundation, and that’s much more likely to lead to foundation problems both now and in the future. Homes built without robust drainage systems can end up with water problems that wouldn’t even make an impact on a home with proper drainage.
If you have good drainage built-in, just make sure you’re using it properly. That means keeping your gutters clear and pointing downspouts away from the home. Otherwise, you may need a foundation repair expert to discuss additional options for building drainage systems onto your home.