5 Common Foundation Issues for Illinois Homes

June 30, 2023

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Foundation issues in Illinois homes are not uncommon. The good news is that they’re also not as expensive to fix as you might assume!

However, the first step in addressing foundation damage is knowing what causes it in the first place. Check out 5 common foundation damage risks so you better understand your home’s condition and then need for potential foundation repairs for your property.

What Causes Foundation Problems for Illinois Homes?

Reason #1: Poor Soil Conditions

Check out how poor soil conditions risk foundation damage to Illinois homes:

  • Expansive soil absorbs water and then expands. The soil then shrinks as it dries. This process exerts pressure on the foundation, leading to cracks and other damage.
  • On the other hand, shallow soil risks foundation damage as well! Foundations rely on soil for support. In turn, when there’s not enough soil around a foundation, it can sink and crack.
  • Additionally, poorly compacted or eroding soil doesn’t provide needed support for a foundation. Inadequate compaction during construction or moisture in the soil can risk it crumbling. Consequently, the foundation might then settle and shift.

Lastly, note that certain soil chemicals can damage foundation concrete or piers and beams as well.

foundation problems for an illinois home

Reason #2: Water Intrusion

Most contractors will tell you that water is the #1 enemy of residential foundations. First, water breaks down binders in cement, risking crumbling concrete. Second, hydrostatic pressure or the force exerted by water, can cause cracks in the foundation walls.

Additionally, excess soil moisture risks the conditions mentioned above. The soil will expand as it absorbs moisture and then contracts. Also, moisture risks crumbling soil. These issues can then mean eventual foundation damage.

Reason #3: Poor-Quality Construction

As with any other part of residential construction, poor-quality foundation pouring risks eventual cracks and other damage. For example, shallow footings cannot support the weight of a structure properly. In turn, you might soon notice foundation settling, cracks, and unevenness.

Additionally, foundations require proper reinforcement to remain strong and prevent cracking. A contractor not using enough reinforcement can increase the risk of concrete weakness. Moreover, poorly reinforced concrete is more susceptible to ground movement.

Also, note that using quality concrete mixes for foundation construction is crucial. Improper ingredient ratios or not letting the material cure properly means weakened concrete prone to cracking, crumbling, and deterioration.

Reason #4: Age and General Wear and Tear

All building materials wear down eventually, including concrete. Over time, the weight of a home above it simply weakens the material so that cracks form. Also, surrounding soil, shifting soil, and moisture break down cement binders and weaken foundation materials.

Conditions surrounding the foundation can also shorten its lifespan. For example, floodwaters put pressure on that material and hold water against it. In turn, foundations in flood zones might have far shorter lifespans than those in other areas.

Reason #5: Tree Roots vs. Your Foundation

Mature trees enhance a property, providing needed shade, soil stability, and fresh air. However, large trees too close to your home can wreak havoc on its foundation!

  • Tree roots actively seek out moisture, pulling a significant amount of water from soil surrounding the foundation. As they do, soil around the foundation may dry out, causing it to shrink and settle.
  • As tree roots grow and spread, they exert pressure on the soil surrounding the foundation. This pressure can cause the soil to shift or move, leading to foundation settlement or heaving.
  • Additionally, roots physically push against the foundation walls, causing cracks or structural damage.
  • Lastly, note that tree roots might also wrap around underground plumbing pipes. As they do, this risks cracks and resultant leaks. These leaks also mean excess moisture around the foundation concrete, which risks damage.

How to Avoid Foundation Damages

Every homeowner can typically avoid foundation damage with just a few simple steps, including:

  • Ensure proper site preparation and grading during construction.
  • Maintain good drainage systems to redirect water away from the foundation.
  • Regularly inspect and repair plumbing leaks to prevent water infiltration.
  • Avoid planting large trees or shrubs near the foundation.
  • Monitor and control soil moisture levels around the foundation.
  • Address any signs of foundation issues promptly.
  • Conduct regular inspections and maintenance to identify and address potential problems early on.

Bloomington Foundation Repair Experts is happy to help explain common reasons for foundation issues in Illinois homes. Hopefully, you found this information useful! Be sure to visit our blog for even more great tips. Also, call our Bloomington foundation repair contractors when you’re ready for expert services. We’ll perform a FREE inspection and ensure quality repairs, guaranteed in writing. To get your property started, call now!


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