Your house is probably one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make, so it pays to protect it. While most foundation issues are due to extreme weather, soil conditions, or poor drainage, the repercussions take many years to show. If foundation problems are manifesting in your newly built home, poor construction preparation could be the cause. You should address the specific issues quickly to prevent further damage to your structure.
Common Construction Mistakes
Here are three major construction mistakes that could damage your home’s foundation.
Curing Concrete Too Fast
The secret to having a strong concrete slab is water. Water triggers a chemical reaction that causes the mixture to bond and strengthen the concrete. If the concrete slab is not kept adequately moist throughout the curing process, it dries up too quickly. This makes the concrete too brittle to hold the weight of the entire house. As a result, your concrete may end up with cracks while still relatively new.
The soil beneath your home’s foundation supports the structure above and keeps it stable. Unfortunately, some builders use subpar construction techniques while others construct foundations on poorly compacted soils.
Building a foundation on loose soil is a recipe for home settlement. Such soils become unpredictable the first time they get wet. So, the possibility of soil shifts remains high. Take action the moment soil shifts, as it means your foundation is sinking or settling.
When building a new structure, the slab needs to be perfectly level or match the grade of the landscape. If the contractors do not give due diligence to the leveling of the slab, your home may suffer unpredicted settling over time.
Unfortunately, there is little you can do about the construction mistakes that result in a settling foundation. Your only recourse is to take action before they turn into serious problems.
Early Signs of Foundation Issues
You can’t spot foundation problems right off the bat. This makes it difficult for new homeowners to determine whether they are dealing with genuine foundation problems or mere cosmetic issues.
Knowing the signs of trouble with your foundation is important to maintaining the structural integrity and stability of your property.
Premature Foundation Settling
If your foundation is set on an uneven slab, you may notice that one side of your house is lower than the other or its center is sinking. In this case, you will have to lift the foundation. This exercise requires the installation of foundation piers.
Foundation Cracks and Gaps
Cracks and gaps on the exterior of your home are other signs of underlying foundation problems. These cracks tend to occur around areas that hold up a lot of stress, such as the external brick of your home, chimney, and patio.
Sagging or Uneven Floors
When the construction of concrete slabs is subpar, the floors tend to squeak or even sag. If you notice that your floors are uneven or appear to be sagging, settling could be underway.
Gaps Around Your Door and Window Frames
Another common sign of a settling foundation is gaps around your exterior doors and window frames. A shifting foundation will separate your doors and windows from their frames. Doors will no longer latch as they used to before.
If you suspect trouble with your home’s foundation, contact the experts at Foundation Repair of Western Colorado to schedule a free foundation repair inspection and quote. Our professionals will be able to do a thorough assessment of your home, tell you what’s ailing it, and recommend lasting fixes to your problems.