A house is only as strong as its foundation. Unfortunately, even the strongest foundations can’t last forever. Age affects foundations just like it affects everything else. As your home’s foundation ages, it willsuccumb to the stresses caused by seasonal expansion and contraction of the soil on which it sits.
Darrel Ford is the co-owner and CEO of one of the leading residential foundation repair companies in Fort Worth. According to him, how quickly your foundation ages will depend on a number of factors including:
One of the most common risk factors is plumbing leaks, particularly if there is a problem with the main line. Leaking plumbing can seriously affect your foundation. A sizeable leak will seep into the soil around the foundation and can cause the foundation to shift.
Tree root invasion
Nothing adds curb appeal to your home like mature trees. But having large trees too close to the house could also affect the soil around the foundation causing the structure to shift. Through both transpiration (evaporation of water from plants) and overgrowth, tree roots can dehydrate and shrivel the soil surrounding your foundation, causing it to settle and weaken the foundation.
Another common cause of foundation failure, poor drainage can single handedly bring your house on its knees. If you don’t have gutters or if your downspouts are pointing in the wrong direction, during the rainy season, there will be too much water around the foundation. This can cause any foundation to become unstable within just months.
Quality of construction also play a role in the rate of foundation decline. Every homeowner hopes that the contractor who built the house followed proper building codes, but sometimes it turns out not to be the case. In a bid to raise their profits, some contractors cut corners, purchasing inferior material and hurrying through the building process. The result – weak foundation that shift pretty fast!
Beautiful landscaping is essential for a home. It improves curb appeal and increases property value. However, shrubs and plants close to the house can cause soil beneath the home to dehydrate and shrivel.
Finally, seasonal temperature changes are a major accelerator of foundation aging. The freezing and thawing cycles that destroy roads, sidewalks, and parking lots are just as bad for your foundation. When rigid foundations are subjected to the continuous flexing and contraction of the earth, damage is inevitable.
There are many other factors that contribute to foundation aging, including poor soil conditions, carelessly planned remodels, and unprepared grounds. Combine two or more of these factors and your foundation can age even faster!