What Are the Main Causes of Foundation Damage?

Posted Aug 7th 2018


What Are the Main Causes of Foundation Damage?

Foundation damage can be caused by multiple difference sources, so it's tough to know exactly what to be on the lookout for. But preparation is key to preventing most foundation problems. Here are some of the most common causes of foundation damage, brought to you by our foundation repair experts.

Changes in Soil Moisture

Any increase or decrease of moisture in the soil around and underneath your home can have disastrous consequences for your foundation. Too much moisture and the soil will expand, upheaving and pushing your foundation up. Too little and it will contract and pull away from the foundation, causing it to sink and settle in the empty space left behind. Take precaution during heavy rains, droughts, hot summers, and storms to prevent water buildup or loss affecting your foundation.

Plumbing Leaks

Plumbing leaks create or add to the problem of expansive soil, and are a common cause of foundation problems. It's sneaky too; you may not even know you have a leak until it's too late and the damage has been done. Until the leak has been found and repaired, the foundation will continue to deteriorate.

Faulty Construction

A solid construction job is vital to the longevity and stability of your foundation. If quality building materials are not used, or important steps in the construction process are skipped, the entire foundation will be structurally unsafe and more easily susceptible to problems.

Poor Ground Prep

Similar to faulty construction, poor ground preparation is a big contributor to foundation damage. Before the foundation is laid, the ground needs to be properly prepared. Soil testing and compaction need to be done, or your home will start to settle.


When the ground shakes your foundation has no choice but to move with it. This can lead to some big problems, and that doesn't just mean the big tremors. While most of us think we're not in an area that often sees earthquakes, the earth is constantly shifting even if we can't feel it. Little shakes can cause just as much damage over time as big earthquakes. If your area has experienced any sort of tremors lately, take a look at your foundation for cracks or loose areas.

Tree Roots

Another dangerous consequence of plumbing leaks is tree root infiltration. Trees in search of moisture can discover the leaking area even as it continues to erode your foundation. The tree roots follow the water source and could slowly integrate their way into the cracks of the foundation, worsening the situation even more. Roots also cause a problem if the trees around your home aren't properly watered. They can take all the water from the ground, causing the soil to shrink from the foundation.

Foundation damage is a scary and costly problem, and it can take you by surprise if you don't know what can lead to it. Knowing what causes foundation problems will help you be prepared and take the proper precautions to avoid them.

Do you have any questions about foundation repair? Contact Interwest's foundation specialists today to discuss any cracks that appear in your walls, we're happy to help!