As homeowners, we are bound to notice when flaws begin appearing in our residences. Aside from minor nuisances like drafts or fading paint, a more concerning issue we might see cracks in our walls and foundation. While some might think this is due to the age of their home, it is more likely because there was movement in the ground.
More commonly referred to as “soil shifting,” this phenomenon is widespread but can also mean that your home’s structure has begun to weaken. If left ignored, it could make you more vulnerable to issues like flooding or sagging roofs. However, you might be wondering how something so mundane as soil can play a role in your house’s integrity.
The following article can act as a guide to teach you more about soil shifts and why the dilemma needs to be addressed. While it cannot typically be avoided, there are plenty of ways to strengthen the quality of your soil and your homes, such as counting on Foundation Technology for services like foundation repairs or soil nailing.
What Causes Soil to Shift?
The ground in California is not the most stable, and one of its most significant issues is how vulnerable it is to earthquakes. Since the ground moves at rapid speeds, it is apparent that the soil will move around in the process.
While earthquakes may be one apparent reason the ground begins to shift, certain weather conditions can also be the culprit. Though it might not move through force, soil can expand or contract depending on how much moisture it gets.
Knowing how arid California can be at times, droughts are a common occurrence. Because the soil in the ground is not getting the water it needs to help your grass stay lush, it becomes dry, brittle, and eventually shrinks down. In contrast, too much water can also be an issue. As it soaks up heavy rain, the soil will grow heavy and widen, much like those foam toys we put in water as children.
What Makes Shifting an Issue for Your Foundation
As the foundation is the very bottom of your home, you can be sure that it is going to be affected by a change in the ground:
- When an earthquake occurs, your home’s base might weaken and eventually crack due to the constant force veering it in different directions within a short amount of time.
- When soil shrinks, the foundation has less to keep it in place, meaning it is not being supported. This can make your home sink lower into the ground.
- Expanded soil will put pressure on your home’s base, which can cause cracks but can also lead to water seeping into your basement or first-story floor. Over time, this could even mean flooding.
Typically, homebuilders look at the ground’s quality before they begin placing the foundation down, but issues are not always easy to detect. Even the most robust material can fall victim to extreme conditions.
Signs to Look For
Cracks are the most evident sign that there is a problem in your foundation, but there are other problems you can keep an eye out for:
- Water Damage: Look for any sort of discoloration, mold, or musty smells in your basement. This could be an indicator that your home is lowering into the ground.
- Stuck Windows: When the structure of your home is weakened, the framework can become warped. Your windows and doors will be much more challenging to open or shut, in turn.
- Sagging Roof: Even if you cannot tell by looking at it from the outside, you will be able to notice that your roof has lost its quality if there are drafts coming through your attic. You may also see small cracks or holes start to form.
If you begin to see the symptoms or want a second opinion, you can rely on the experts at Foundation Technology to perform an inspection of your property. Afterward, they will give you solutions that they can take on themselves.
While you might not be able to tell Mother Nature to leave you alone, you can still take the initiative in fixing the problems in your foundation and in your soil as well. Foundation Technology, for example, uses an array of modern techniques that have proved successful for other homeowners in the Southern California area.
If you are experiencing a sinking foundation, Foundation Technology’s experts can drive push and helical piers into the ground. These stakes reach deep into the earth to seek stable soil or bedrock that will keep your home from seeping lower, even when the top layers shift.
Polyurethane is a hard and sturdy plastic material that is often used for items like roofing and pipes. However, a foam version can be injected into the ground under your foundation, which will then harden. This durable element will fill in the gaps that are caused by shifting soil.
Even after your foundation is taken care of, you will want the ground itself to be at its peak, too. Foundation Technology will help by injecting a stabilizer into the soil. This is typically made of strong materials like lime or cement. Because it encases the soil, it will prevent the ground from growing or shrinking in size.
Why Trust Foundation Technology
The foundation in your home needs to be in perfect condition if you want the rest of your home to be quality, too. That is why you should only trust repairs to be taken on by experts who offer above-and-beyond services, like Foundation Technology. They have been the most trusted structural repair team in the area for over a decade.
What you see is what you get- once you collaborate with their crew on the services you want, that is precisely what they will take on. Your foundation repair cost will never be higher than what they promise you from the get-go unless you suddenly decide to tack on an extra service while they work.
While a lot of companies can just say that they are great, Foundation Technology has the backing to support their claims. Their foundation repairs have been supported by one of the industry’s pioneers, Earth Contact Products (ECP, whom they purchase most of their materials from.
Foundation Technology can handle any type of foundation, including concrete, for both residential and commercial properties. Their service list is long, and they are equipped to take on even the most minor or forgotten-about areas of your building’s structure. So why reach out to anyone else?
Soil can be great for our ecosystem but not always so great for our homes. Before one small shift turns into a giant home disaster, make sure you take charge and get your foundation to be stable once more. Call Foundation Technology today so an expert can come in and see where your home currently stands, both literally and figuratively.