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Home Foundations: What Causes Foundation Problems?

Home Foundations: What Causes Foundation Problems

Moisture, Soils, And How to Protect Your Home’s Foundation From Both

From bad soils to improper drainage, there are a number of reasons you might encounter structural problems in your home’s foundation. Here are some of the most common causes of home foundation issues, plus information about how you can protect your new home from these culprits.

Inadequate drainage away from the home

Water is a foundation’s worst nightmare — it can seep into a home’s structure and cause damage. Rain damage to your home’s foundation, in particular, can be one of the costliest repairs.

How can you avoid moisture-related problems? Make sure water flows away from the home’s foundation, clean your gutters regularly so they can do their job, check your roof regularly, and take care of any standing water in your lawn immediately.

Why is water so problematic? One reason is that it can saturate the soils near your foundation. This can lead to erosion, plus problematic shrinking and swelling, which exerts more pressure on the base of the foundation. Clay soils are particularly problematic, which leads us to our next common cause of foundation problems and failures.

Poor soils lead to foundation problems and failures

More than 80% of all structural defects are caused by soil movement under the foundation. Poor soils are the leading cause of foundation issues in homes, which is something most homeowners have little control over.

For example, hydro-collapsible soils collapse in the presence of water. This means the soil underneath the home can’t support the load of the home, which can lead to extensive structural damage.

If you’re curious about the damage soils can cause, you might find this article on soils and soil movement interesting.

Not having a structural warranty can make foundation problems even worse

A structural warranty provides a written agreement between the home builder and the homeowner that clearly defines the builder’s work-product obligations related to construction quality and continuing obligations.

Essentially, if you have a structural warranty for your new construction home, it can save your finances from the costs of foundation repairs. This protection doesn’t lead to foundation problems per se, but not having it can make the repair of future issues far more stressful than it should be.

25% of all U.S.-built homes will experience some form of structural distress. On average, the major repairs needed to save the home will cost the homeowner:

● $42,500 in low risk states with more favorable soil conditions
● $113,000 in higher risk states with less ideal soil conditions

These are high-end figures, however being on the receiving end of a costly repair is more common than many homeowners realize. According to HomeAdvisor, major foundation repairs that require hydraulic piers can often cost $10,000 or more, while repairs to minor cracks ca as low as $500. On average, most homeowners will pay around $3,980 to repair foundation issues.

Whether the issue is moisture, poor soils, or other unforeseen foundation problems, a structural warranty is a useful tool that can save homeowners like you from costly financial surprises.

Once you’re certain your home is safe from the most common culprits that lead to foundation failures, consider protecting your home and its appliances with an affordable Home Warranty Service Agreement. Find out how a Service Agreement can protect you from financial surprises at home.