Many homeowners blame themselves whenever they notice foundation cracks around their home. While it’s true that there are some recommended ways to prevent these cracks, it’s not always possible to prevent them all. Many changes in the environment lead to foundation shifting. Here are some instances that may lead to structural damage in your home:
- Dry weather conditions
- Any changes in the soil may upset your foundation. When the weather is dry for an extended period of time, the soil may actually begin to harden and shrink. If the drought goes on long enough, your home may begin to shift and foundation cracks may begin to form.
- When the weather is dry, it is recommended that you keep the soil around your foundation as damp as possible. Even if you are careful to water your foundation during a drought, the water may not actually be properly absorbed by the soil.
- Wet weather patterns
- On the other hand, when the weather is constantly rainy and humid, it can also have a traumatic effect on your home’s foundation. When the soil is saturated, it becomes very soft and actually begins to expand. This can wreak havoc on your foundation. When the soil expands, your foundation will shift with it.
- If you live in a humid area or are expecting more wet weather than usual, then waterproofing your foundation is a must. You can install French drains to direct the water away from your foundation. Re-grading your land may also prevent water from saturating your foundation.
- Shifting land
- It’s also possible for the earth’s plates to shift, causing disruption to the land. This normally happens during an earthquake, but it can also gradually occur without you being the wiser. Whenever the ground that your foundation has been built upon moves, you are more likely to experience foundation damage. If an earthquake has been reported in your area, be sure to have your foundation inspected.
As a homeowner, you can only do so much to prevent foundation cracks from forming around your property. Even if you do everything right, certain forces of nature may have something else in store for you.
If you suspect your foundation may have experienced trauma due to recent environmental changes, then it’s time to arrange a full inspection by a professional. Most small cracks can be repaired without incident, but larger ones may need more serious intervention to prevent structural damage to your property.