The city of Oakland is prone to foundation settling caused by the soil it sits on, though that isn’t the only cause behind common foundation problems in the area. The city commonly experiences storms and homeowners may find themselves dealing with foundation issues caused by untreated plumbing complications. Foundation issues may arise due to broken or leaking pipes, drainage issues, trees, and more.
Common foundation problems in the city include but are not limited to:
Sometimes it’s as simple as poor landscaping and grading surrounding your home. This can cause water to pool around areas that slope towards your house and could lead to water damage or flooding, especially during the rainy season from December to February when rainfall in the city is up to 100x higher than in drier summer months. Poor landscaping can also cause internal damage to the structure of your home, damaging supportive beams, and causing walls to loosen, lean, or separate from their frames.
Changes in Soil Conditions
The soil throughout Oakland is made up of various types of minerals mixed with clay, which can be hazardous for homes as it expands and contracts. During wet, rainy winters in Oakland, soil may shrink and expand causing little support for foundations. This may lead to cracks, leaks, and flooding that cause structural wood to rot, and many more foundation errors. In dry seasons, the soil may not be able to retain its moisture due to trees close by needing nutrients. As trees become dehydrated in the summer, this may cause them to lose strength and they could fall during strong winds, which could cause major foundation problems.
We all hate to admit that we make errors, but nobody is perfect. It’s not too uncommon for man-made materials and human error to be at fault for foundation issues. If the concrete poured beneath your home wasn’t done right or not allowed to cure for the necessary time, this may leave your foundation weaker and cause cracks in its flooring or walls with soil movements.
Typically, leaks caused in your home won’t immediately cause damage to your foundation, but if they’ve been sitting for a while you may find yourself in a sticky situation. When high quantities of moisture get trapped in your basement it can rot away support beams, jeopardizing structural support throughout your home. This may lead to leaning walls, cracks in the foundation, and foul smells.
Leaks are common in Oakland because of the earthquake activity in the area that can shift and crack pipes. The added water underground can contribute to sinking foundations, cracks, and general instability.
Causes in foundation problems aren’t singular and often run hand in hand with each other. You may only begin noticing the signs of damage, but it’s likely that the culprit is a mixture of the causes above. For example, changes in soil can alter the landscape around your house, leaving you at risk for flooding. If at any moment you believe you may be dealing with potential foundation damage, call our professionals to come out and inspect your property rather than letting potential problems be left untreated.