Your house is probably the most expensive investment you’ll ever make. That’s why it pays to protect it. If you suspect that something’s wrong with your foundation, it’s wise to learn how to identify the 8 common signs of foundation problems in houses or commercial structures in most areas in New Jersey. Concrete slabs and pier and beam foundations can develop severe issues that require house foundation repair. Basements can also become severely damaged.
Foundation Problems Typically Seen in New Jersey
As rain falls downhill, it might start to carry soil with it. If the ground is saturated beyond a certain point, excessive rainwater flow may cause a layer of topsoil to slide down the slope. This can leave the foundation exposed and without support in some cases. In other instances, it results in too much pressure being applied as dirt piles up around the foundation. This unexpected shifting can cause the concrete to crack and become uneven.
Fragile Rock Slopes
Mountainous areas often feature terrain that includes a lot of rock. Although in most instances this rock is solid, sometimes it can be more delicate than it appears.
Much of the area is characterized by the ground that expands or contracts quite a bit, depending on its water content. When ground swells in wet weather, it can cause a lot of pressure on your property. The extra mass that topsoil can take on as a result of heavy rain also has the potential to lead to landslides.
Too Much Water
An onslaught of water can cause the soil to expand. Expanding soil can cause a foundation to settle, or damage the structure. This does not necessarily mean a rainy April will doom your foundation, but it is a possibility. Ultimately, your home’s drainage system will make or break your foundation. As long as the plumbing is intact and sewers are properly located, your home should be fine.
The goal is to avoid significant amounts of water from settling in a concentrated area beneath the home. If this happens, the soil will expand in the specific area, while staying in place elsewhere. Thus, the imbalance will cause foundation issues.
Too Little Water
Too little water results in droughts, and droughts only. Of course, this can be a concern in Texas, especially throughout the summer months. A lack of water causes soil to shrink. Instead of a home’s imbalance being caused by expanded soil, a home’s imbalance would be caused by shrunken soil. Either way, your home is in trouble.
The threat of shrunken soil highlights the importance of proper sprinkling. Make sure you run your sprinkler system throughout the week. You don’t want to water too often, but your soil will need some sort of hydration to avoid shrinking.
Natural Sinkhole Formation
Sinkholes are caused by water draining underground. That is, without having an external drainage outlet. When this happens, it causes subterranean soil erosion that can lead to the development of underground caverns.
Even small sinkholes can cause severe problems with your home’s foundation. So, it’s essential to be able to recognize the presence of sinkholes early. Signs of sinkhole activity include:
- Trees or other vertical structures such as poles and fence posts that are starting to tilt
- Difficulty closing doors and windows.
- Water bills that are higher than usual indicate there may be a leak in underground water supply lines.
- Areas of ground that are soft and spongy. Check especially the area around anything that’s tilting.
- Indentations and sunken areas in the lawn or under pavers.
How To Prevent Foundation Issues
Provided your home’s foundation was properly constructed, there are a few simple things you can do to prevent problems with its foundation:
- Evenly water your lawn during hot/dry weather if you live in an area with expansive soil.
- Water large trees near your home.
- Make sure water drains away from your foundation during the rainy season.
- Keep plumbing, gutters, downspouts, etc. in proper working order.
- After heavy rains, inspect your property for pooled water. If you have any drainage problems in those areas, fix them.
- Make sure underground drains and water supply lines are free from leaks.
- If you own a swimming pool, make sure the pressurized water lines don’t leak.
New Jersey Foundation Professionals
If your home has a foundation issue, Dry Master is here to help. Even if you are unsure if your home’s foundation is at risk, contact us to inspect it. We’ll complete an estimate, explain the problem, and execute the solution. Dry Master will get your foundation to stand up against the elements and last for a long time. Check out our services for additional foundation facts and tips.