The foundation of your Tuscaloosa, AL home is the bedrock of everything you possess throughout the rest of the house. The walls, the roof, the doors, windows … even the safety of your family all rest on the foundation. If your home’s foundation is flawed, wearing out, cracked, bowed, leaking, or has other serious structural issues, it’s only a matter of time before it affects everything else in the house.
There are numerous reasons why a slab, crawl space or basement foundation in Tuscaloosa, AL could need repair, and we highlight three below. Remember, the sooner you address and fix these foundation repair issues, the sooner you establish a better future for your home, possessions, and family.
Reason #1: Soil Shrinkage.
Because the climate here in Alabama is so hot and humid, it can cause the ground (soil) to dry out. The humidity is intense throughout the summer, but that moisture remains in the air and only during the late overnight hours will it transfer to the upper layer of the ground in the form of dew.
As soil dries out, it can ‘draw back’ or create pockets and voids under and around the foundation. When that occurs, the support of the foundation can weaken over time. This can eventually cause the foundation to drop (or sink) and settle, leading to cracks.
Not all foundation cracks are readily visible. Many of them occur along the outside and present themselves hidden in crawl spaces, behind an oil tank, furnace, or other structures. The more pronounced these cracks are, the more susceptible to leaks they are and the weaker the entire structure becomes.
Keep in mind that in most circumstances, a cracked foundation from minimal sinking and settling will not cause the house to collapse (HomeAdvisor), but water damage that results could lead to just as severe a problem as that.
Reason #2: Erosion.
Alabama residents are quite familiar with dry spells and torrential downpours. The flooding that comes with these deluges run along the road surfaces, wash out streets, flood basements, and cause havoc from time to time. They can also damage foundations, thus requiring repair for homes throughout Tuscaloosa, AL and the surrounding regions.
What happens after an extended dry spell when we finally get much-needed relief in the form of heavy rain and the water seeks somewhere to go? When soil shrinkage has occurred (which you won’t know about except for depressions around the house), the downpouring rain flows into these gaps. The powerful force of water then washes even more dirt away from the foundation, creating bigger voids and providing the foundation more room in which to sink and settle.
Reason #3: Hydrostatic Pressure.
When we have periods of heavy rain over an extended stretch of time, that can lead to water buildup (if the water has nowhere to go, hydrostatic pressure builds on basement walls). This places more pressure in the ground and pushes against the foundation walls.
This increased pressure can cause the foundation to shift (up, to the side, down) and crack. It also leads to leaky basements walls, windows and even wet floors.
Don’t Delay Foundation Repair in Tuscaloosa, AL
Whatever the cause of potential foundation problems, it’s important to realize how essential it is to get this fixed as soon as possible. Crawling around under the house, walking through a full basement, or spotting a crack along the outside of the home might appear to be a minor issue, especially if you don’t see immediate signs of water seeping in or other damage, but it’s often a clear indication of a problem in the making.
Foundation shifting, sinking, or settling can lead to leaks, windows and doors suddenly becoming more difficult to open and close, uneven floors, cracks in the walls throughout the house, and more. Some of this may seem cosmetic or minor, but over time it often leads to major expenses trying to level, repair, remove mold, etc. (Angie’s List)
Make sure that if you need foundation repair for your home in Tuscaloosa, AL or elsewhere that you call on the experts at Olshan with 85 years of experience.