When is the last time you looked at the foundation that your home sits on? Many related issues can be prevented altogether if you act today. If moisture problems have already started developing, professional repairs completed promptly can minimize the extent of the damage.
The Impact of Moisture on Your Home’s Foundation
A quick visual inspection of the soil surrounding the perimeter of your home and the foundation that your home sits on can be revealing. When the soil remains wet for an extended period, erosion around the base of the house can be extensive. On the other hand, when the soil goes through a frequent cycle of being wet and dry, the soil will frequently expand and contract.
In both scenarios, the concrete base that the home sits on can weaken and crack. The entire slab can also move, such as by sinking lower in the ground in some areas. When this happens, the house’s structural frame shifts and serious damage throughout the building can occur.
Factors That Worsen or Contribute to Moisture-Related Foundation Damage
Weather conditions are one of the most significant factors that cause moisture-related foundation damage. This may include heavy showers from the tropical storms and hurricanes that frequently pass over Florida. It may also include extended dry periods in between these wet periods. Some of the other factors that can contribute to sagging, shifting, and cracked concrete slabs include:
- Poor drainage through the landscaping design
- Plumbing issues, such as leaking pipes
- Poor foundation construction techniques
- Tree roots close to the foundation
Issues Caused by Foundation Movement
Your home’s foundation holds the structural frame, the plumbing system, and other important features in place. Even modest foundation damage can create problems throughout the property. This begins on the exterior of the home. When the concrete shifts, the soil close to the house can shift. This can create pools of water and drainage issues that were not present before.
Problems on the home’s exterior can develop. These include seemingly superficial issues, such as cracks in the chimney and on the visible portion of the foundation. Cracks and fissures may also be visible on the brick or stucco exterior façade.
Inside, cracks may also be visible in the drywall. Doors and windows may stick. If the damage is severe, the floor will be noticeably angled. In some cases, foundation repairs can improve these issues. However, when the damage is severe, the homeowner generally will have to make many expensive structural repairs as well as foundation repairs. Because of this, the time to identify and deal with foundation problems as soon as possible.
Signs That Your Home’s Foundation Is Damaged
Are you wondering if your home in Orlando or other Florida cities has foundation issues? The best way to determine this with certainty is to order a professional inspection from a licensed professional. By the time that you notice visible signs of damage, the home’s structure may have already been impacted. These advanced signs of damage include:
- Doors and windows that do not open or close easily
- Cracks or other visible signs of damage to the interior and exterior walls
- Visible damage to the concrete slab
- Damage to the chimney
- Worsening drainage issues around the home’s perimeter
- Plumbing issues
How to Prevent Moisture-Related Issues
While foundation damage caused by moisture is common and serious, the risk to your home can be dramatically reduced when you take steps to moderate the foundation’s exposure to moisture. Various steps prove to be consistently effective. Consider combining these measures to yield the most comprehensive results.
Remove Tree Roots
When tree roots reach a concrete slab foundation, they will exert an increasing among of pressure on the slab as they grow. Identify tree root systems that are approaching the foundation and remove them as soon as possible.
Install Gutters and Diverters
If your home does not currently have a full gutter system or if the gutters are not clean and in excellent condition, now is the time to schedule installation or repair services. The gutters and diverters should effectively collect rainwater and carry it away from the foundation strategically. The system should not simply collect the water and deposit it in a few large puddles close to the concrete slab.
Improve the Landscape Design
Identify issues with your landscape design that may cause the soil around the foundation to remain excessively moist. This could include poor drainage, thick foliage near the slab, and more. Improve these issues so that the ground and concrete can dry out more easily after a storm.
Request an Inspection Today
Has moisture created visible signs of damage to your home’s foundation? When you can see the signs of a problem, the issue may be more extensive than you realize. Even if you have not yet noticed signs of a problem, an issue may be developing. Identifying and correcting these developing issues before they cause serious damage is important. Helicon provides foundation inspections and repair services to residents in Naples, Orlando, Tampa, and other areas throughout Florida. To learn more about the condition of your home’s foundation, contact Helicon today.