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Foundation Repair Causes

If you have damage to your foundation, understanding the cause of the problem can make all the difference. Here are the most common causes of foundation damage.

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Your home is only as good as the foundation it rests on. We’ve all heard that before, but it is true through and through. Foundation damage can be devastating to your home and property. All homeowners can benefit from understanding what causes foundation damage and staying on top of foundation issues before they get worse.  

Common Foundation Repair Causes 

Foundation damage usually occurs because of problematic soil which may become damaged by weather, climate, and other external forces. Generally, soil is damaged in three ways – becoming too wet, becoming too dry, or through poor compaction. In this section, we’ll go into detail about each of these circumstances.  

soil washout and erosion

Soil Washout

Soil washout refers to erosion that takes place when heavy rains wash away or soften the ground. Your foundation relies on the strength of the soil to support it. When water makes the soil muddy on a regular basis, it can’t hold the heavy materials used for foundations. Over time, your foundation will start to sink into the ground and cause tilting and cracking. North Carolina receives about 50 inches of rain on average every year, so homeowners should regularly monitor their soil. 

However, soil washout can be caused by more than just heavy rain. Any form of precipitation can cause the soil to soften. Snow and hail eventually melt into the ground and saturate the dirt with water. Downspouts and faulty gutters can also deliver too much water to your soil and cause the same issues, so keep an eye on these areas of your home as well.  

dry soil tar heel basement systems

Drought and Dry Soil

While North Carolina tends to be a rainy state, the area is no stranger to sunshine and heat. Hot days can also cause damage to soil, especially if rain has not fallen in a while. Whereas rain makes soil muddy and soft, heat makes soil dry, shrunken, and brittle. Dry soil can also be caused by tree roots that suck moisture from the soil. Dry soil loses volume, so a gap opens between your foundation and the ground. Once again, the soil is unable to support the weight of your foundation, and damage occurs.  

Poor Compaction

During the construction of a new home, the land must be filled in to provide ground for the new foundation. Sometimes, this soil is brought in from a separate location and contractors do their best to press it together and create a sturdy ground for the new building. Unfortunately, this process doesn’t always go to plan, and small pockets of air form within the fill soil. When this happens, the poorly compacted soil is at risk of collapsing in on itself, making it unable to support the weight of your foundation. As with other soil issues, foundation damage eventually takes place.  


Don’t Let Foundation Damage Get Worse. Tar Heel Basement Systems Can Help! 

No matter the cause of your foundation damage, Tar Heel Basement Systems has the best experience, skills, and solutions to keep your home safe. We have a variety of tools specialized for foundation repair such as piers, wall anchors, and crawl space supports, all of which can be tailored to your specific needs.  

We’re proud to serve homeowners across the state of North Carolina in Northern North Carolina, the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill metro area, Wilmington, and the Winston-Salem/Greensboro/High Point metro area. If you want to learn more about foundation repair or receive a free estimate, contact us today! 


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    Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill Location

    3333 Air Park Road
    Fuquay-Varina, NC 27526

    Winston-Salem/High Point Location

    2910 Griffith Rd
    Winston-Salem, NC 27103