The Common Signs You Have Foundation Issues
With the unique climate, soil and seismic activity of our region, foundation issues can be found in 1 out of every 4 properties the Los Angeles area.
- Stair Steps Cracks in Brick
- Cracked or Tilted chimney
- Doors or Windows Won’t Shut/Open
- Cracked, Uneven Concrete Slabs in Garage
- Sinking or Cracked Driveway or Patio
- Uneven or Bouncy Floors above Crawl Space
- Wall Cracks Near Windows & Doors
- Bulging or Bowing Walls
- Cracking or Lifting Floor Tiles
- Warping Hardwood Floors
- Sunken or Cracked Exterior Precast Stairway
- Standing Water Near or Around House
What Causes These Foundation Issues!
If you’ve been watching the news lately about all the recent earthquakes in California, the old adage about building a home on a solid foundation doesn’t ring true here. “We’re all on shaky ground”, and there is nothing we can do about that. When the big one comes, all our foundations will be rocked….but, did you know that seismic activity, (earthquakes), aren’t the number one reason for foundation failures in Los Angeles? Water is!
Too much or too little. Water can and will cause your home or just about any structure attached to the ground via a concrete foundation to heave or settle depending on the amount of water in the soil. When water seeps into the soil beneath your foundation, the soil begins to swell. In the instance of non-swelling soil types like sand or decomposed rock, water fills in the voids and lifts your foundation like it did in this extreme example of an in-ground pool lifted due to excessive ground water. If it happens directly under your home, this swelling will eventually “lift” and buckle the concrete foundation and cause cracks and eventual failure.
In dryer conditions, similar to the unprecedented California drought in 2014, the soil beneath your home begins to shrink away like a sponge left on the sink to dry. Eventually the sponge is half of what it was wet. The soil under your foundation does exactly the same thing, leaving your foundation to settle and fall right along with the ground beneath it. Cracks and other signs soon ensue. If left unchecked, the settlement will cause eventual foundation failure.
What can cause an abundance or absence of water? It could be anything from irrigation or the lack thereof, leaky pipes, a drought, neighbors watering their yard, living at the bottom of the water runoff, or even El Nino- if and when it ever comes back. Water isn’t the only culprit. If there was poor compaction at the time of construction, settlement is inevitable.
Tree Roots & Other Vegetation
Tree roots or other vegetation can cause a variety foundation failures. Just removing the tree is a good start but what happens when the root finally dies? Collapse of the foundation under the decaying root.
Are You the Next Victim?
The U.S.G.S. reported recently that each year, foundation damage causes more dollars lost than both Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy combined. One in four homes in America will experience foundation damage that will cause thousands of dollars of repair costs. Left unchecked, the costs skyrocket.
Don’t let yourself be the next victim
Have your foundation checked by a professional. Call (661) 294-1313 today