Common causes of foundation damage

Some houses are built on crawl space foundations. Other houses have basement foundations or slab foundations. Many houses feature more than one type of foundation. No matter what combination of foundation types are found in a particular house, it’s important for homeowners to be on the lookout for foundation damage that requires the expertise of a foundation repair contractor.

Foundation damage is much more common than many people think. Telltale signs include doors and windows that are difficult to operate, cracks in walls or slabs that recur after patching repairs are made, and walls or slabs that have shifted or tilted from their original positions.   

The building boom is a contributing factor in Iowa foundation repair.

For at least two decades beginning in the mid-1980s, many parts of the country experienced a building boom –including certain parts of Iowa. Responding to the high demand for new homes, builders and developers acquired land and erected houses at a staggering pace. Strong development pressure in many areas had an unfortunate result: Some new homes were built on weak or unstable soil. When this happens, the weight of the completed structure exceeds the soil’s load-bearing capability, and soil compaction or settlement occurs. This in turn causes parts of a foundation to crack, tilt and settle.

Drainage problems and trees can damage older foundations.

Older houses that have had solid, stable foundations for many years can sustain “sudden” foundation damage. However, such damage usually occurs gradually rather than suddenly. For example, a downspout that deposits roof runoff close to a foundation wall will eventually cause enough soil erosion or hydrostatic pressure to create foundation settlement or cracking. A tree located close to the house will have no impact on the foundation when it’s small. But as the tree grows its root system dries out the soil, causing soil shrinkage and settlement. Tree roots can also work their way into joints in a stone foundation, causing leaks and weakened foundation walls.  

Extreme weather puts foundations under pressure.

The link between foundation damage and global climate change has to do with the moisture content of the soil. Heavy rain storms can saturate the soil and increase the pressure on foundation walls. Small cracks in a foundation wall become larger, and the amount of water leaking into a basement increases. Problems also occur during prolonged dry periods. If the soil around a foundation has a high clay content, dry weather will cause this soil to shrink and crack. Soil settlement can occur, increasing the likelihood of foundation damage. And when the rain eventually comes, deep cracks can increase water penetration and pressure against the foundation.

Expert Iowa foundation repair can solve foundation problems

Foundation damage affects the overall structural integrity of a building, impacting safety as well as property value. If you notice a crack or even a small degree of displacement or shifting in a slab or foundation wall, your best bet is to contact a foundation repair specialist in Iowa. A locally based foundation repair contractor will be familiar with foundation problems in your area. Correcting these problems sooner rather than later will save you money and help to preserve your home’s value and safety.  

MidAmerica Basement Systems is your local foundation repair contractor in Iowa.  They are proud to serve customers with a wide range of services including basement waterproofing, crawl space repair, foundation repair, sump pump installation, egress window installation, and mold remediation.  MidAmerica Basement Systems provides these services to customers in Iowa and Illinois including Waterloo, Cedar Rapids, IA City, Monmouth, Peoria, and the surrounding areas.  Contact them today for more information or a free estimate.