The roots of trees and large shrubs consume vast amounts of water. When trees and large shrubs are located close to your home, excessive moisture loss is a concern. This moisture loss will allow the soil next to the tree to contract, possibly causing the foundation in that area of your home to settle.
Although it is uncommon, tree roots can also cause foundation cracking by up heaving your home. Up-heave is a concern when a tree located close to your home has shallow roots. Tree roots that push up on tour home will often cause buckling near the bottom of the wall, and the bricks will often begin to push out of place, showing obvious signs of foundation failure.
Improper drainage often times creates localized areas of saturated soils, which over time softens the soil beneath your home and allows the foundation to begin to settle. Poor drainage can be due to clogged French drains, broken gutter down spouts, or the lack of gutters.
When drainage systems do not properly channel water away from your home, it often results in pooling or puddles around your foundation.
Plumbing leaks are also potential reasons for your foundation problem. Plumbing leaks often allow water to saturate or erode the soil under or around your home. The collection of leaking water created from this problem will eventually begin to wash away the soil beneath and around your foundation.
Mississippi is known for clay-rich soils that can be defined as “highly expansive” in nature. This type soil often times expands and contracts with the addition of moisture or the lack of moisture. When clay-rich soil becomes saturated with water, the clay soil expands and loses its strength. This situation is often times what causes the foundation of your home to sink.
When moisture is taken away from the clay soils, the soil tends to “shrink” or contract. Often times when this contraction occurs, the soils do not always lose moisture evenly, eventually causing one area to contract faster than another. When soils contract in certain areas beneath your home and not in another, your homes foundation loses needed support and therefore settles unevenly.
Do you have expansive soil beneath your home?
Expansive clays are very common in the state of Mississippi. If you live in or near Tupelo, Starkville, or Hernando cities there’s a strong likelihood your home sits on some amount of expansive soil. It is very important to watch out for signs of foundation failure in and around your home to see if your home may be sinking as a result of the unstable soils below.