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2020 – The year you get to know your home

Why not make a new year’s resolution where you get to know more about your home?  It is after all one of the most, if not the most valuable asset you own.

In this issue we will help you learn more about your home’s foundation and what may lead to its foundation problems.

What Causes Foundation Problems?

Foundation problems/damage can result from many different things, ranging from its original construction to Mother Nature. If you’ve experienced any of these causes of foundation problems/damage, make sure you call Atlas Master Co, the foundation repair expert on your side.

The likely culprits of foundation issues:

Snow Melt

Its winter….so snow can happen.  This accumulated snow will melt resulting in wet soils around your home and yard. Thus resulting in possible water intrusion. If your foundation has any cracks or leaks water will find its way into your home.

Drought

When the moisture is removed from the soil, it shrinks pulling away from your foundation creating a gap which allows for foundation movement. If your foundation is not supported properly then it will shift into the space and cracks may appear.

Type of Soil

The type of soil your home is built on makes a big difference in your foundation’s stability. Expansive soils, like clay soil, experience the most dramatic changes when there’s too much moisture. When there’s too much moisture, the clay soil expands causing the soil to push up on your foundation creating too much pressure and cracking it.  Then when it dries out it will shrink then pull away and leave the foundation unsupported and cracking.  Likewise, a rocky soil will also leave gaps where your foundation is unsupported as the rocks begin to settle into each other more over the years.

Rainy Weather

Rainy weather, hurricanes, and Nor’easters can wreak havoc on your home’s foundation. Flooding and heavy rains can force soil to expand, pressing against your foundation and causing cracks.

Plumbing Leaks

While a small leak may go unnoticed for a while.  If that leak small or big is near your crawl space foundation, then that will cause the soil to expand and push your foundation. Whether the leak is internal to the home or external from city lines.  Water pressure is the same regardless and the soil will react leading to foundation damage.

Poor Soil Preparation during Construction

Before building your home, the ground where your foundation is now located was excavated and prepared. If the soil was not properly prepared, compacted and backfilled well, then as your home weighs down on this soil, it will begin to settle causing your home’s foundation to not have proper support and suffer damage. Some settlement is expected and normal.  But when you begin to see deep cracks, uneven floors, cannot close doors or windows properly, then you need to call an expert.

Poor Drainage

Mother Nature, plumbing leaks, poor grading or can lead to poor drainage around your home’s foundation.  This can in turn lead to hydrostatic pressure becomes that is too strong against your foundation, causing foundation damage.  You can help some of this by keeping your gutters clear and pointing the downspouts away from your home. However, when that is not enough you will need more expansive solutions before the problem grows and you have more costly damage.

Large Trees Next To Your Home

A large tree growing next to your home could be the source of some of your house settlement problems. If the roots extend under or next to your foundation as they grow they push on your foundation or the soil that supports your foundation.  Conversely, if you cut down said tree, its roots will die and shrink causing soil gaps also leaving your foundation unsupported.

Now that you know, what should you do?

First and foremost, keep an eye on your home.  Look for signs of foundation issues such as cracking on the brick, drywall, nail pops, uneven floors, doors or windows that stick.  If you see any, call Atlas Master Co and one of our experts on your side will be glad to perform a free inspection for you.

  • AMC911 Foundation & Waterproofing Systems, Foundation Repair & House Leveling, Norfolk, VA
  • Atlas Structural Solutions, Inc. - Best of HomeAdvisor Award Winner

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