Two things that can affect the stability and condition of your foundation

Posted on: 23 August 2018

There are several things that can have a negative impact on the stability and overall condition of your foundation, and result in this area of your home needing to be repaired by a professional damage contractor. Carry on reading to learn what these things are.

A combination of clay soil and periodic bouts of heavy rain

If your house was built on clay soil and there are periodic bouts of heavy rain in the area where your property is located, it is possible that your foundation may become unstable. This is because the volume of clay soil can change quite dramatically, depending on its moisture content. As such, if it rains heavily for a period of time, the clay soil below your home's foundation may swell up. This, in and of itself, can cause problems, as the pressure this swelling places on your foundation may cause it to crack. However, further problems can arise when it stops raining and the clay soil gradually dries out, as after it dries, it will shrink quite a bit, potentially to the point where it no longer lies parallel and level to the foundation.

This can then lead to the foundation destabilising and subsequently sinking slowly downwards. It will continue to move a little further into the ground each time the clay soil goes through a period of swelling and contracting. This is a serious but fixable issue. If this happens to your home's foundation, you will need to contact a foundation repair service since this type of work requires specialist skills and experience.

They will then underpin the foundation; this underpinning process will involve the installation of a network of structural supports that will help to lift and stabilise the concrete, and ensure that even if the soil swells and contracts again in the future, the foundation will remain unaffected by these changes.

Multiple instances of flooding

If you live in an area which is prone to flooding, and your home ends up being flooded with stormwater on more than one occasion, you may end up needing to hire a damage contractor to repair your foundation since foundations are usually made from concrete. Whilst very robust, a concrete foundation is also porous and as such, can become saturated if the ground floor of a property is flooded with large quantities of rainwater (if this water is not immediately removed). If this happens, and it then becomes freezing cold (i.e. if the temperature falls below 0 degrees Celsius) the water that the concrete has absorbed may freeze and subsequently swell. This swelling could create cracks in the foundation. If these cracks are not patched up quickly by a damage contractor, structural problems may begin to develop around the rest of the house.