Wichita, the largest city in the state, is located on the Arkansas River in south-central Kansas. Wichita began as a trading post on the Chisholm Trail in the 1860s and was incorporated as a city in the 1870s. Over time, it became a destination for cattle drives traveling north from Texas to Kansas, earning itself the nickname “Cowtown”. Today, the area is known as an industrial hub, acting as a regional center for media, trade, and culture.
Although Wichita is a great place to live and visit, it is not without its problems, especially when it comes to foundation issues that the Wichita homeowners often have to deal with. Yet, even though there are a variety of circumstances that can cause a house to experience significant foundation issues and failures, in Wichita, some of the more common problems that tend to occur include the following:
Improper Drainage Systems
If a drainage system is not correctly installed, it can become a huge problem that often leads to foundation failure. This is because the excess moisture that occurs from the inadequate drainage will often erode or consolidate the soils around the foundation and cause the foundation to settle.
In Wichita, this can become a massive issue during the state’s rainy season, which occurs in late spring, with May and June being the rainiest months of the year. During this time, flash flooding can cause ordinarily dry washes to swell with rapidly moving water and result in flooding. If a home does not have a proper drainage system, this extra water can lead to significant foundation damage.
Poor Soil Conditions
If soil conditions are lacking, it can lead to the soil continuously shrinking and expanding. Eventually, this constant compression and expansion can cause substantial foundational issues and require expensive repair measures, such as the installation of costly piers to correct these problems. These foundation issues are especially prevalent in Wichita, where the soil contains clay, and the extreme shrinking and expansion happens quite frequently.
If your pipes are broken or have a leak, this dripping water can result in devastating shifting foundation problems. For instance, if you have a small pipe leak beneath your foundation, this leak will not only affect the soil where the foundation slab rests, but it will also cause foundation damage when the soil that supports the slab is washed away. Subsequently, as this foundation shifts, the slab foundation will crack, and the damage will become visible.
Improper Ground and Site Preparation Before Construction Begins
Usually, if the ground is not prepared properly before the foundation is put in, it can create numerous issues to the foundation. That is why it is imperative that cut and fill situations are prepared correctly to ensure that the ground is ready to support a structure.
Unsuitable Foundation Construction
If a construction project uses insufficient steel or inferior concrete, it can result in the slab moving or foundation that is extremely weak and more likely to suffer from soil movement. This can lead to costly foundation issues and expensive repairs that homeowners will have to take care of fast. This is an issue in areas where development is occurring frequently and contractors may rush to get jobs done on time, as is the case sometimes in Wichita.