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Horizontal and vertical cracks in foundation.

Things Every Homeowner Should Know About Common Foundation Defects

Your home sits on the foundation, so find out what the most common foundation defects are and how to detect them.

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Homeowners can agree that keeping a home in top shape is not the easiest task in the world. It seems like every day something gets broken or damaged.  

foundation defects

However, some maintenance tasks such as painting the walls or fixing creaking doors can wait. Nothing will happen if you do not immediately address those things. Foundation defects, on the other hand, should be repaired as quickly as possible. If not fixed on time, they can escalate and compromise the stability of the entire structure. Unfortunately, there is no way to foresee when these defects will occur. Sometimes homeowners don’t even detect them until it is too late and their home needs to undergo major reparations.

Regardless of whether the cause of the foundation defect is improper construction or damage, you must contact the professional at Mount Valley Foundation Services to repair it. Foundation problems should not be ignored and require immediate attention. In this post, we will take a closer look at the most common foundation defects that homes in Charlotte, NC are likely to face. Continue reading to find out what causes them and how to deal with them.

The Most Common Causes of House Foundation Defects

There are telltale signs that your foundation has been damaged, such as jamming windows and doors, tilting chimneys, foundation cracks, and bowing walls. Unfortunately, a lot of homeowners are not aware of what these signs are telling them and they fail to address the foundation problem. When it escalates, it can be expensive to fix and can cause serious damage.

There are two reasons why foundation defects occur. The first one is improper construction. There are so many things architects need to take into consideration when calculating foundation proportions. If they make just one small error, the foundation won’t be as stable as it should be. Also, builders who use materials that are below standard are to blame for improper construction.

On the other hand, damage can be caused in various ways. The most common causes are soil saturation, excess hydrostatic pressure, soil shrinkage, frost heave, and flooding. Of course, natural disasters such as earthquakes are also responsible for foundation defects.

Charlotte, NC has all four seasons. It has hot, sunny days in the summer and occasional freezing temperatures in the wintertime. Due to this, the soil particles expand and shrink several times a year. While structures are built with this problem in mind, homes can suffer from damage if appropriate drainage and moisture management solutions are not installed. When the soil underneath your home drastically shifts, it leaves gaps in the ground. It no longer supports your home, which leads to foundation defects.

As mentioned, hydrostatic pressure can also lead to foundation damage. When the soil around your foundation becomes oversaturated, hydrostatic pressure increases and leads to cracks and bowing.

3 Common Foundation Defects

Three most common foundation defects often give homeowners in Charlotte, NC headaches. Each of them is caused by different circumstances and requires a unique solution.


During a drought, all the moisture from the soil evaporates. When soil particles lose moisture, they automatically shrink. As they shrink, the earth begins to crack. If these cracks become large enough, the foundation can settle into them. While this is a huge problem, it is not the worst thing that could happen. A cracked foundation can let water into your home. Water can ruin your possessions and cause rot and mold growth. This is why you should repair the damage caused by settlement as soon as it occurs. 


During heavy rains or snowmelt, the soil underneath your home becomes oversaturated. Due to this, it becomes incapable of providing the required support to your property. As a result, your home begins to sink. On the other hand, sinking can also be a result of unstable soil under your home. In either case, this is a very serious issue. Your home, like most homes, probably won’t sink evenly. One part of the structure will sink faster than the other one, which will put a strain on the whole building. If this problem is not fixed, unfortunately, the whole structure could collapse.


Foundation heave can affect smaller, lighter homes and those with a foundation that is too thin. Heaving happens mostly during the winter when the ground is prone to sudden freezing. When this happens, the soil under the property can heave upward. While heavier, bigger structures will mostly not be affected by this, lighter ones will suffer. The foundation and floors of a property will begin to heave or bulge upward. Just like settlement, foundation heave can cause cracks in the foundation which can let water into your home.

If you notice that your foundation has been damaged in some way, do not try to repair the problem by yourself. Although there are many issues you can solve alone, this type of problem requires a specific set of skills, tools, and experience. When it comes to these things, one wrong step and your entire home could be compromised.

If you are concerned that something is wrong with your home’s foundation, do not hesitate to contact experts at Mount Valley Foundation Services and schedule a free inspection and quote. We will thoroughly inspect your foundation, detect the problem and recommend solutions that will restore your home to its previous glory.

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