The Misconceptions About Foundation Repair
Most people think that buildings are permanent. They believe that the home is just stuck in the ground and that is the way it is going to be forever. The fact of the matter is that a home is fluid and moving. You may have noticed some cracks in your walls from the house as it settles into the ground. Homes can settle for decades; creaking and cracking the entire time.
In fact, the ground underneath the home is not stable. Soil constantly moves like a really slow motion wave in the water. It can take decades or centuries to actually see the movement, but the fact still remains – the ground underneath your feet and your home is constantly moving. This is especially true for wet soil with a lot of groundwater influence.
This is particularly bad news for one part of the home. The foundation is literally stuck into this slow motion wave and is susceptible to its whims, undertows and tidal waves. This means that the concrete slabs that make of the basement are being tossed around, day and night. This can obviously result in cracks and the degradation of the foundation.
A simple way to see if your foundation is under a lot of stress is to take a stroll around the house. If the earth is significantly higher on one side of the home than the other side, the builder put the home into a grade. A grade is when the ground raises or lowers at a certain angle, like the side of a hill. Grades are the slow motion wave caught in action, and grades are never good for a home’s foundation.
That brings us to the biggest misconceptions about foundation repair. With a firm understanding of the forces constantly pulling on the home, it is easy to understand the first misconception:
1. The home does not have a foundation problem. This brings a sigh of relief to a lot of people when they hear that. But the look turns to confusion when that is followed with the fact that they have a soil problem, which is just as bad. Foundations are built firm and will not crack without the immense pressure of the ground moving around it. It is not the foundation’s fault. It is the ground’s fault.
2. Precipitation and water have a big influence in the movement of the home. The ground around the home is just like anything else – it expands when it is wet and it contracts when it is dry. This can put extreme pressures on the foundation of the home.
3. You cannot fix the movement of the house by putting more earth around it. The foundation has a grid of heavy steel beams that keep it in place and all the weight rests on those beams.
4. A crack in the foundation will not lead you to the problem. The pressure comes from all sides, so the weakest part of the foundation cracks first but will not tell you where the most pressure is coming from.