Many factors need to be considered when installing a foundation for a building or house. Obviously, the location of the building is very important. But one of the first things to consider is the soil in which the foundation will placed on. If the soil is not first examined, problems can arise causing major construction issues with the building. Here are four construction problems dealing with foundations and soil.
The first type of construction problem results from settlement of the soil after construction is complete. Settlement, or movement of the soil, occurs due to the weight of the building on top of the soil. If the settlement is too extreme, this could cause serious damage to the building such as cracks in foundations and drywall, and broken pipes. If the damage is severe enough, then the building could be uninhabitable.
The second construction problem results from “expansive soils” — soils that, due water retention, expand or contract depending upon how wet or dry the soil becomes. If the expansion and/or contraction is severe enough, this movement can cause serious problems similar to settlement. Cracks in foundations and other parts of the home could occur.
A third construction problem can arise when a retention wall fails. Retention walls are usually used in construction to hold back a vertical area of soil. If this wall fails, then the soil can move; thus creating problems for nearby buildings. For example, if a retention wall that is below a building or home fails, this may move the soil underneath the building which can cause serious damage to the foundation.
The fourth and last problem relates to the concrete used in foundations. If the concrete was not mixed properly, installed properly or the foundation was not designed properly, then a phenomenon known as “shrinkage cracking” occurs. When this happens, the foundation can crack and shrink, causing problems with the construction. This can cause flooring that is directly attached to the foundation to begin to split, warp or become deformed. Also, it could allow moisture from the soil to seep into the building, causing a host of problems such as mold and warping.
If you believe that your home or building has a construction defect due to the negligence of a contractor, please do not hesitate to contact the lawyers at The Steinberg Law Firm at (843) 720-2800. The initial consultation is free.