3 Home Design Issues That May Explain Frequent Foundation Damage

Posted on: 20 September 2017


Some homes may sustain periodic foundation problems that keep recurring despite frequent repairs being undertaken. Such homes may have been designed in a way that makes them prone to foundation damage. This article discusses some of the design elements that may explain why your home may be susceptible to foundation damage. Use this information to discuss the best foundation repair method with your chosen contractor.

Deep Foundations

Many homeowners prefer to construct homes with deep foundations so that the basements can have high ceilings. Those high ceilings make the basements better suited to habitation. However, that deep foundation can also make the home more prone to foundation problems. Deeper foundation walls are more likely to crack or move laterally due to the immense pressure exerted upon them by the surrounding soil. Compare this scenario to how easy it may be for you to break a long pencil as compared to breaking a shorter pencil in half. Thus, the foundation repair method that the contractor selects should address the excessive forces acting on those deep foundation walls.

Wood Frame Construction

Wood framing is popular among homeowners because of the many advantages, such as shorter construction project durations, which it offers. However, that style of building could be contributing to the frequent foundation issues that your home is having. This is because timber frame structures exert a limited downward force on the foundation due to their limited weight. Why is a downward force important? A heavy structure, such as one made from masonry, exerts such a heavy downward force on the foundation that it will be hard for that foundation to move laterally as a result of the weight of the soil around it. Any foundation repair that doesn't seek to address this wood frame limitation will therefore have short-term results since the root cause is still present.

The Size and Number of Windows

Bigger windows allow plenty of natural light into the home. They also facilitate sufficient ventilation of the home. The downside of having many windows (or large windows) is that it reduces the weight of the structure that is sitting on the foundation. Consequently, the helpful downward pressure exerted on the foundation (as earlier explained) will be lacking. Foundation damage will therefore be likely to happen at a greater frequency than what a home with fewer windows is likely to experience.

As you can see, lasting results can only be obtained when foundation repair not only addresses the damage but also pays attention to the root causes of the damage. The best way to select a foundation repair method that addresses all related factors is by hiring a structural engineer to conduct a detailed inspection of the entire home. He or she will then recommend a foundation repair method that is best suited to the home design factors that could have played a role in creating opportunities for the foundation damage to occur.