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Recognizing The Signs Of Foundation Problems Vancouver, WA

When a concrete foundation is poured, small cracks can appear as the cement dries and shrinks. Shrinkage cracks are vertical and extremely small. They typically appear on foundation walls, but do not affect the structural integrity of the home. Settlement cracks are a more serious problem. Unlike shrinkage cracks, they will often extend into the structure, weakening the building. As seen in crawl space encapsulation Vancouver Washington Most houses experience some degree of settlement (downward movement) after they have been built. Additional and more severe sinking can occur if the home was constructed on poorly compacted soil, or when the building’s weight compresses the soil beneath it. crawl space encapsulation Vancouver Washington

Foundation settlement Vancouver, WA can also be caused by frequent or dramatic changes in the soil’s moisture content. When soil becomes wet, it expands. As it dries, it contracts and loses its volume, creating more space for the foundation to drop further into the ground. These moisture issues often come about from plumbing leaks, excessive rain and poor drainage.

Settlement can also take place when the roots from trees and foliage planted near the home absorb too much water from the soil. A poorly designed house or foundation can result in too much settlement as well.

If the settlement is uneven or extensive, the foundation will become stressed and start to crack. Large cracks generally appear due to continuing motion that occurs over a long period of time. Foundation cracks will not only weaken the structure, they make it easier for water to enter the building. Water seepage can further damage the home, in addition to causing potentially serious health issues due to mold and mildew buildup.

Water that seeps into the building from rain, sprinkler systems and other sources of moisture is often one of the main causes of foundation damage. When water is unable to drain properly, it will accumulate in puddles near the structure. Water can also collect on rooftops when there are insufficient or clogged drain spouts. Certain types of soil will also expand when wet and contract when dry, leaving a void for the foundation to settle into. Tree and shrub roots can also drain water from the soil, creating a similar affect. Another common cause of settlement is soil that wasn’t compacted properly under and around the building.

There are several methods that can be used to repair foundation cracks, including filling the cracks with bonding agents that create a waterproof seal. When addressing the problem, it is also important to discover what is causing the cracking. Correcting the underlying issue will prevent the situation from reoccurring.

An experienced foundation repair expert Vancouver, WA can inspect your home for cracks and determine if there are any foundation problems that need to be addressed. In earthquake zones, regular foundation inspections and maintenance are essential. During a quake, a structure that has been weakened by cracks and water seepage can cause building walls to crumble or even the entire home to collapse. Keeping your foundation in good condition will prevent further damage and the need for more costly repairs. It will also help maintain the value of your home.