Why Do I Have Foundation Cracks?

Some people worry about their foundation cracks because they often seem like they came from nowhere. Is there something you’re doing wrong? Are these foundation cracks just supposed to be there?

The good news is, there are reasons for foundation cracks. These are some of the most common reasons: 

Poor Drainage and Grading

Your home needs to have an acceptable drainage system. If you don’t have the right drainage system in place — a drainage system that removes water around your foundation and directs it to the appropriate areas — you’re going to have a difficult time with foundation stability as a whole.

These issues can arise from multiple areas. It’s very common for people to have issues with draining after a flood, and that problem may largely arise from issues with the downspouts and associated drainage. If you don’t have proper drainage systems set up throughout your entire home, not only in your basement or crawl space, you’ll tend to have water damage problems. 

Natural Disasters

This water damage can come from natural disasters; hurricanes, for example, can cause a significant amount of rain in a very short period. This often leads to flooding as the ground has a difficult time soaking up the water, and the drains may not be designed for that much water.

There are other types of natural disasters that can cause serious foundation problems as well. For example, earthquakes and tornadoes can lead to serious problems across the entirety of your home. If you’ve recently been through a very significant natural disaster, especially one that caused damage to the upper part of your home, talk to an expert about an inspection to make sure your foundation is okay. 

Excess Rain or Drought

Another natural reason for foundation cracks is brought on by issues that aren’t necessarily natural disasters. If you’re experiencing seasons with more rain or more drought than usual, you can end up with excessive house settling. That can seriously impact your foundation, and it’s an important thing to pay attention to.

The problem with this is that it’s usually less easy to recognize. A natural disaster is easy to notice as it causes lots of damage to all parts of your home. However, it’s easy not to recognize excess rain or drought. This is one reason you should have an expert inspect your home’s foundation every so often just to check for problems. 

Plumbing Leaks

You might think that most water damage comes from natural water outside your home. However, water damage can occur on the inside of the home as well. For example, when plumbing leaks occur they impact the inside of your home as well and can have a direct link to your crawl space.

If you’ve experienced a plumbing leak in the general space of your home, you need to think about whether or not water may have entered your crawl space. Additionally, if you’re having signs of a minor plumbing leak, like low water pressure and higher water bills, but you’re not seeing symptoms, consider looking into your crawl space to see whether there is water in there. 

Flooding

There are many potential reasons for flooding. You may start to notice flooding after a natural disaster, during which water can start to sink into your home. If the area around you is flooding, it’s likely that your crawl space will flood if you have open crawl space vents or other entrances for water.

Flooding in your crawl space can cause all kinds of problems, no matter the reason for the flooding. You need to get the water out, dehumidify the space, and make sure the water can’t come back in again. This can be a tall order, but if you get the right expert to help you with the flooding problems, you can do it.

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