While every structural component of a home is important, the foundation can truly make or break a house. If your roof or siding becomes unstable, the damage will likely be relatively confined, but foundation issues can destabilize the entire house and require extensive repairs to many other elements of the structure. This is why it’s essential that you understand the types of risks that Kansas City, MO homes face, as well as how these problems can be remediated with the help of an expert foundation repair company. Today, we’ll explore what environmental factors pose a risk to Missouri homes, what measures a foundation repair company can use to protect your home, and how the repair process works.
Foundations in every region of the world face different problems: some locations have very dry soil that cracks easily, while others have dense, waterlogged soil that is sensitive to changes in moisture levels. Unfortunately, foundations are mostly made of the same materials all over, regardless of the specific soil conditions, which means that they are likely to experience issues over time when the surrounding area responds to environmental shifts.
Kansas City, MO is known for having heavy, clay-filled soil thanks to its location in the Midwest and at the confluence of several rivers; in addition, it has a high water table, which experiences strong seasonal fluctuations. Silt is a very fine material composed of sand and soil, and it shifts easily, while the clay is highly vulnerable to moisture fluctuations, shrinking or expanding depending on whether the weather has been wet or dry. Together, these make very difficult materials upon which to build foundations, which is why Kansas City homes often experience moisture-related foundation damage.
Seasonal floods or droughts can cause the clay to expand or contract, which will pull on a foundation and cause cracks in the concrete. In 2022, thousands of KC homes experienced severe foundation damage due to the dry weather conditions; concrete is not a very flexible material, and so it shifted dramatically when the clay shrunk. Likewise, wet seasons cause the clay to expand, and this pushes up on foundations and can lead to other damage. Hot summers and cold winters affect the soil as well, leading to thawing and freezing, which can also make the concrete buckle.
Fortunately, a Kansas City foundation repair company has a variety of techniques they can utilize to get your home back on its feet. First, they will assess exactly what has caused the problem and then determine which solution will work best; the tools differ depending on whether the damage is caused by water or by unstable soil.
If the issues are from water damage, the company will use waterproofing measures to make the foundation material more impervious to water intrusion; this can include pumps to draw water away, moisture barriers, and drains. They may also correct grading issues with the soil that are allowing water to sit and soak into the foundation, which will direct moisture away from the home and down a slope.
Any cracks that have occurred so far will need to be repaired, which can be achieved by the application of several different materials. They may inject the cracks with epoxy or polyurethane foam, or they may reinforce the concrete with carbon fiber; it’s also possible to use a mixture of these methods depending on the length and depth of the crack. These will help prevent further water damage, and they will also ensure that the foundation is level and will not shift further.
For those problems caused by weak or loose soil, the foundation repair company will drill anchors deeper into the ground to give the foundation a better footing; this is common for siltier soils, which shift more easily than heavy, clay-sodden earth.
A comprehensive consultation with a foundation repair professional is the best way to protect your home
Like most other problems with homes, the longer that you allow foundation issues to fester, the more expensive and difficult the repair will be. It’s best to remain proactive with foundation issues and contact the right foundation repair contractor as soon as you notice issues such as uneven floors, hairline cracks along walls, and sticking doors or windows. A foundation expert will take a look at your foundation, assess any current damage, and then make a repair plan based on the soil conditions, the extent of the issue, and the cause for the problems.
Kansas City, MO, is a beautiful city, but its geological factors can be very rough on homes; that’s why it’s essential that you pay close attention to how your home is handling weather fluctuations and get in touch with a foundation repair business whenever you start to suspect something may be amiss underground.