The foundation of a building is vital for its solidity. Unfortunately, foundation issues can arise as the soil underneath the building begins to shift or collapse. Monitoring the stability of a building’s foundation is essential for its protection. Building owners need to be aware of the dangers of foundation problems so they will be able to protect their property and prevent damages.
Why Do Building Foundations Sink?
A sinking foundation can lead to massive damages in a building. This process is very gradual and can culminate in major damages occurring over the years. There are two main reasons that lead to a foundation sinking and they are weather and the soil.
As changes occur in weather, the soil expands and contracts, leading to shifting. It is not uncommon for a building to settle up to an inch when it is first built. As soil changes occur, they can lead to increasing shifts and sinking.
Heavy rains and improper drainage can also lead to problems with a foundation. When water continuously pools around a foundation, this will lead to heaving which pushes the foundation up and can lead to damages just like sinking causes.
4 Potential Dangers of Neglecting the Quality of a Building Foundation
If you are a commercial building owner, inspecting the foundation should be a fundamental part of building maintenance. An unstable foundation can lead to many problems for building owners. The following provides information on four potential dangers you can expect.
1. One of the biggest dangers of neglecting a building’s foundation is structural damage. When a foundation has become weakened, it produces a chain of events that can lead to catastrophic and expensive damages. Different types of foundations can experience damage greater than others.
2. Once cracks and other types of damage begin to occur to the foundation; water damage is likely. Any wooden structures in the building can become vulnerable to water damage. The longer the foundation is left unstable, the greater the damages.
3. Many commercial building owners experience a range of plumbing problems when foundation issues erupt. The plumbing pipes under the ground can become subjected to major damages when the soil becomes compacted and damaged.
4. Another major danger of a compromised foundation is mold and mildew growth. According to the CDC, mold exposure can cause serious health complications. Prompt foundation repairs` can lead to a lessened risk of mold growth.
How to Inspect a Foundation
Checking the foundation of a building is essential for ensuring damage is not occurring. An inspection should be carried out a few times a year and once a year by the professionals. If any of the following is noticed, prompt repairs must be carried out.
• Cracks in the foundation, walls, or flooring
• Bowed walls
• Water pooling
• Gaps in the walls and flooring
• Sloped floors
While some foundation settling and shifting is normal, major sinking is something building owners should be concerned over. When building foundation issues are ignored, pronounced damages can begin to occur that become expensive to repair.
Regular inspections of a building’s foundation will allow minor problems to be repaired before they become major issues. Prompt intervention will protect the solidity of the foundation and secure the building’s structural stability.