What’s the Main Cause of Foundation Problems in California?

What’s the Main Cause of Foundation Problems in California?

If you live in Southern California, you know you’re living on shaky ground, and there’s not much you can do about that. When an earthquake hits, a lot more than your foundation will be rocked—that’s for sure. If real life is anything like the movies, we can assume most of our homes, including the foundations they sit on, will experience considerable damage. But did you know that seismic activity isn’t the number one reason for foundation failure in Los Angeles? So, what is the main cause of foundation problems in California? Read on to find out.

What’s the Main Cause of Foundation Problems in CA?

Water is the main cause of foundation problems in parched, drought-stricken Southern California! Too much or too little in the soil can cause your home to settle or heave, with the severity depending on the amount of water and the type of soil your home is built on.

What Does Water Do to Foundations?

Unlike the soil beneath your foundation, water doesn’t compress. When water seeps into the ground beneath your home, any soil with a moderate amount of clay content will swell. This condition is known as “expansive soils.” Though Southern California doesn’t experience the same extreme expansive conditions as other parts of the country, there are areas where the clay content is high enough to cause considerable damage when excessive water is present. With non-swelling soil types, like sand or decomposed rock, an overabundance of water can fill the small voids between the sand and rock particles and cause movement. In dry conditions, expansive clay soils begin to shrink and settle under your foundation.

For a good example of how your soil can behave when it dries out, just look at that sponge you left on the sink to dry. Eventually, the sponge is half the size of what it was when wet. The soil under your foundation does the same thing, leaving your foundation to settle and fall right along with the ground beneath it. If left unchecked, the settlement will eventually cause severe and often irreversible foundation and structural damage.

What’s the Main Source of the Water?

In LA, leaking sewer pipes are a top cause of water-related foundation damage. Remember, we live in an active earthquake zone. The ground beneath our homes is always on the move. So are our pipes. If the ground moves, so do the sewer lines. Tree roots can also cause sewer lines to break.

Think about it. If just 20 gallons per day were leaking under your home, how wet do you think the ground could get over a two-year period? Pour that amount into your garden, step into the mud, and see what happens. Your house is heavier and will sink even more substantially.

Water isn’t the only cause of foundation issues in California, but it is one of the main ones. Don’t let your foundation fall victim! Have it checked by one of our professionals. If you are looking for qualified foundation repair contractors to help you, let our team of experts at Foundation Technologylocate the source of your foundation woes and repair it so problems don’t reoccur. We’ll come up with an affordable solution that works for you and back it up with a 25-year warranty for peace of mind.