A foundation is the set of structural elements whose mission is to transmit loads of the building or features supported on it to the ground, distributing them so that they do not exceed a series of maximum values of the supporting soil. Since the resistance of the soil is generally lower than that of the columns or walls it will support, the contact area between the ground and the foundation will be much larger than the elements supported (except in very coherent rocky soils).
The foundation is essential because it is the group of elements that support the superstructure. Special attention must be paid because the stability of the construction depends mainly on the type of soil.
HD Foundation Repair, Inc. experts say that the causes that can lead to a malfunction of the foundation of a building can have a very diverse origin and often cause the appearance of significant cracks or collapses in buildings, reaching in the most extreme cases to push the total or partial failure of the same.
These structural failures can originate in the interaction between the soil and the structure; the earth receives the transmitted loads and deforms under this pressure.
We know that the soil is heterogeneous, i.e., it has different components (aggregates, clays, topsoil, organic or inorganic residues, remains of constructions or old foundations, water, etc.). For this reason, in many cases, it is challenging to avoid differential settlement between different support elements since the material underlying these foundations may behave differently.
If you have identified cracks in your property, you likely have a foundation problem. Usually, cracks in the floor, cracks in the wall, and broken chimneys are also signs of foundation problems. It is usual for your structure to exhibit foundation movement over time due to a variety of conditions. When these movements occur, the foundation of your system can change, and the presence of gaps can become a severe problem. Typically the causes of this problem are expansion and contraction of soils and inclement weather.
Cracks that you may notice horizontally on the outside of brick or concrete block walls in your basement may indicate that you are experiencing a more significant amount of settlement than average. Even a ¼ ” gap can be a cause for concern.
Keep in mind that the presence of a single vertical crack may mean that your foundation is moving upward. Conversely, if you notice that your foundation is sinking or settling suddenly, your structure is likely built over a sinkhole. While this situation is rare, it does occur on several occasions and needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
Problems arise when the ground beneath the structure collapses under the weight of the structure. Therefore, if you are going to build any form, it is essential, if you wish, that you hire a soil engineer to analyze your soil and ensure that you will not have significant problems with your foundation and structure.
If your evidence that the base of the slab has moved upward, it is likely that you are experiencing foundation uplift. This is an indicator of foundation problems and may indicate that your structure is experiencing the opposite of “foundation settlement.” Usually, its impact affects the perimeter area of the concrete slab base. Still, it can even affect the interior of the structure at walkways, doorways, or other sites on some occasions.
Fortunately, 90% of foundation damage is repairable. However, for an accurate assessment of the damage and a proper repair plan, we recommend that you turn to experienced professionals such as HD Foundation Repair, Inc.