Monday , 19 November 2018
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Foundation failure: The costly problem with umpteen causes

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For those not involved in the construction industry, the foundations may seemingly be quite a minor part of a project. However, if we were to reveal that they make up a significant part of a project’s budget, it soon becomes clear that they aren’t just merely “trenches in the ground”.

The above is one of the reasons the likes of Reddy Kancharla is sought after so much in the construction trade. Foundations aren’t just expensive, they are absolutely crucial for a building’s integrity. Over the years there have been plenty of building failures which have directly linked to the foundations, which is why Kancharla and other similar professionals are in such demand.

If we breach the above topic a little more, we’re now about to look at some of the ways in which foundations can fail. Suffice to say, there are plenty of reasons out there and we’ll now mull over some of the most common.

There isn’t enough moisture in the soil

This is a problem that is only like to occur in places which are susceptible to droughts, but a lack of moisture in the soil has still been credited with countless building failures over the years.

To explain this issue further, if soil has less moisture than it initially had, it has ultimately shrunk in volume. The upshot of this is that the soil starts to part from the foundation walls and the consequences are fairly obvious. The walls start to move outwards and over time, the walls above ground level will do the same. Cracking will occur and the problem will gradually worsen until the foundations are strengthened again.

Transpiration

In truth, we could have listed this alongside the issue we have just spoken about, although transpiration occurs for a slightly different reason.

Once again, it’s all about the moisture being removed from soil. This time, it’s because of plants and tree roots drawing it away though. If a tree is planted nearby, and grows to a substantial size, the roots will start to attract moisture and ultimately take it away from the surrounding soil.

The end result? The soil shrinks again and causes all of the problems we have already spoken about.

Concrete shrinkage

Staying on the topic of shrinkage, we’ll now look at what happens when concrete shrinks. Concrete reacts in the same way as most other substances; it will get smaller if it dries.

Unfortunately, if a concrete hasn’t been mixed appropriately, the substance can start to dry. It may also start to dry because of the weather or other external factors but again the end result is a compromised foundation. This time, cracks will start in the concrete and spread further above ground level if the problem is not treated.

The opposite problem: poor drainage

So far, we’ve spoken a lot about shrinkage and how this affects foundations. On the other side of the coin, if the soil is subjected to too much moisture, it can expand and swell. This is particularly the case with clay soils and will result in the walls swaying inward (rather than outwards, as per the other issue).

The reasons behind this problem can be aplenty; it could be because of bad gutters, storms or even if a neighboring building has been constructed at a higher level and therefore sends water down towards your building.