The Causes of Foundation Damage in Richmond
Nothing lasts forever, not even concrete, though it’s been used as a primary construction material for more than three millennia. While concrete is exceptional in its ability to carry a load, it has relatively weak tensile strength and takes only a little bit of earth and water and a little movement of both to create enough lateral pressure to cause foundation damage to your Richmond home.
Foundation repair is not a subject many homeowners want to think about, but it’s important to be aware of what causes foundation damage in Richmond and the surrounding area so that when you see it, you contact the experts at Stable Foundations before the problem gets worse and becomes more expensive to fix.
Major Causes of Foundation Damage in Richmond
The foundation of your home rests on soil, which is rarely stable. Expansive soil, which is rich in clay, will expand as it absorbs water in wet seasons, and will shrink as the water percolates out and evaporates during the drier months. Over the years, that natural expand-contract soil movement process in the Richmond area causes the soil that surrounds and supports your foundation (ultimately your entire home) to shift. The foundation of your home settles, and always unevenly.
That lopsided movement creates a torsional irregularity (increased lateral pressure) that stresses the concrete. If the pressure is greater than the tensile strength of the concrete, the foundation will bow or crack. Too much water content in the surrounding soil will also stress your foundation with excessive lateral force (hydrostatic pressure).
But water damage is not the only factor Richmond homeowners need to worry about compromising their foundation. Air pockets in the soil can also collapse, causing soil movement that may crack the concrete. Subsidence, which is downward vertical movement of the soil and can be caused by a sinkhole or material loss, may also happen when materials that were once beneath your foundation are removed—water, natural gas, or oil.
Symptoms of foundation problems include:
- Stair-step or diagonal cracks in your concrete or masonry
- Cracks in your drywall and in the corners of rooms
- Sticking doors and windows that are hard to open and close
- Buckles in the floorboards and wall trim
- Sagging, creaking, and uneven floors
- Bowed basement or foundation walls
- Gaps where the foundation no longer touches the ground
Stable Foundations has been the foremost leader in Richmond for foundation repair, crawl space repair and encapsulation, and basement wall repair since 1992. Our expertise, commitment to superior quality, and our dedication to every client is unsurpassed. We’re a third-generation, family-owned Virginia company, with a penchant for ensuring the homes of our Richmond neighbors stand on secure, stable footing. If you’ve noticed signs of water damage or soil movement in your Richmond home, reach out to us today to schedule your free consultation.