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Top 7 Reasons Your Home Needs Foundation Repair in San Antonio

April 22, 2019

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Even the most well-constructed home might need eventual foundation repair, including minor patching of a few small cracks or actual underpinning, to add stability to the foundation concrete. While it’s not unusual for homes to shift and settle and then suffer foundation damage in San Antonio, as a homeowner, it’s good for you to learn the top reasons a home might need eventual foundation repair. You can then do everything possible to avoid this damage and ensure your home is always in good condition!

Top reasons for San Antonio foundation damage include:

  1. Hot weather
  2. Tree roots
  3. Plumbing leaks
  4. Poor drainage
  5. Clogged gutters
  6. Soil expansion or contraction
  7. Poor foundation construction

Note some details about each of these causes of foundation damage, so you can avoid otherwise unnecessary foundation repair in San Antonio and the expense that goes along with it!

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1. How Hot Weather Leads to Needed Foundation Repair

Consider how overly hot weather often leads to the need for foundation repairs in San Antonio in particular:

  • Hot weather causes moisture in the soil to evaporate.
  • As moisture in your property’s soil evaporates, that soil tends to shrink and then become dry and crumbly.
  • As soil gets dry and shrinks, it doesn’t provide proper support for a home’s foundation.
  • A foundation without proper support tends to shift, settle, and then crack.

Watering your lawn regularly keeps soil moist and avoids soil shrinkage and foundation damage of your San Antonio area home.

2. Tree Roots and Moisture Evaporation

Overly large trees or lots of mature trees on your property can also pull moisture from the soil, leading to soil becoming dry and then shrinking and pulling away from your home’s foundation. As with hot weather, the foundation then lacks proper support so it shifts and settles and develops cracks and leaks. Removing trees or trimming back branches and roots can ensure proper soil conditions for supporting your San Antonio home’s foundation.

3. Plumbing Leaks Lead to Needed Foundation Repair

Plumbing leaks lead to moisture collecting around basements and crawlspaces so the water is absorbed by the home’s foundation. A foundation’s concrete then softens and cracks. Note a few tips for avoiding plumbing leaks in your home:

  • Monitor your home’s water bill. If you notice a sudden increase without explanation, have the home checked for plumbing leaks.
  • Have the plumbing inspected on a regular basis for signs of leaks or to note if the pipes and connectors are getting old and corroded and need replacement.
  • A plumbing cleanout by a professional will reduce the risk of clogs and resultant leaks.
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4. Poor Drainage and Foundation Cracks

Poor drainage in a residential yard allows water to collect around a foundation, softening the concrete and leading to cracks and leaks. Every yard should be graded or sloped toward a street or drainage ditch, to allow water to run away from the home; if you notice standing water, overly moist soil, or muddy areas around your yard, have a landscaping engineer check its overall grading or slope.

5. Clogged Gutters and Foundation Water Damage

A home’s gutters are meant to capture rainwater running off the roof and then direct that water to attached downspouts. The downspouts direct the water away from the home and toward the street or a drainage ditch. When gutters are clogged, rainwater washes over their sides and then collects along the foundation, leading to damage. To keep gutters clean and avoid foundation damage for a San Antonio home:

  • Invest in professional gutter cleaning every year rather than managing this job on your own. A professional power washing or gutter cleanout will remove more mud, silt, grime, and other debris than you can wash away with a garden hose!
  • Install a leaf guard over the top of the gutters. A leaf guard is a screen that blocks leaves, twigs, seeds, acorns, and other solid debris from settling into the gutters, so they’re less likely to clog. You can then wipe down the leaf guard easily, as needed.
  • Trim tree branches that hang over the home’s roof. Trimming or pruning branches reduces the amount of leaves, twigs, seeds, acorns, bird droppings, sap, and pine needles that would otherwise wind up on a roof.
  • If your home’s gutters are always clean but rainwater still washes over their sides, ask a home improvement expert if your home needs wider or larger gutters to accommodate your area’s average rainfall.

6. Soil Expansion and Contraction

While poor drainage and clogged gutters can lead to overly moist soil on your property, some types of soil expand and contract on their own. Clay, for example, absorbs moisture very readily and then dries out quickly. In turn, soil containing a high amount of clay will expand and contract often throughout the year.

As soil expands, it pushes moisture against your house, leading to foundation damage of a San Antonio home. As soil contracts, it pulls away from the home, leaving the foundation without adequate support. Treating your property’s soil with additives or mixing in certain treatments will stabilize the soil and avoid this expansion and contraction cycle.

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7. Poor Construction Leads to Foundation Damage

Concrete used for residential foundations is made and poured onsite and includes a mixture of sand, gravel, cement, water, and other such materials. A poor combination of these substances or the use of other inferior building materials leads to a weak foundation that will crack, spall, and otherwise leak or suffer damage over time.

While there isn’t much you can do to prevent damage from occurring if your home is built on a poorly-constructed foundation, you might consider the overall foundation construction when buying a new home. Check for signs of cracks and leaks, peeling, chipping, and other defects that might indicate low-quality concrete and the risk of future foundation damage for a San Antonio home.

If you believe your home or property have any of these issues that might lead to needed foundation repairs in San Antonio, call a foundation contractor at once. He or she can check the condition of a foundation and note signs of damage as well as its overall strength and durability. You can then also decide on your best option for foundation underpinning or other forms of foundation repair, to keep your home strong and stable and free of damage.

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