Signs & Causes of Foundation Failure


Foundation settlement can manifest itself in many different ways. Some issues are easy to recognize and determine as results of structural damage, whereas other problems may appear to be only cosmetic. As a home or business owner, it’s important to know the warning signs of settlement and causes of foundation failure before the damages have a chance to get worse.

Warning Signs

  • Cracks in interior drywall or sheetrock
  • Cracks in exterior vinyl, siding, stucco or brick
  • Sloping, sagging floors or cracked tiles
  • Gaps in chimney and exterior walls of home
  • Cracks in the slab or foundation
  • Doors and windows that are difficult to open or close

If you see any of these or similar issues, your foundation could be at risk. Contact Ram Jack North today and set up an estimate with professional elevations of your property.

Causes of Foundation Failure

Foundation failure can result from many different factors. Soils, weather conditions and even construction practices can all affect foundations negatively. But here are the most common causes of settlement.

Temperature Changes

Changes in temperature and moisture can cause changes to the soil beneath your home. During colder times, moisture in soils can freeze, causing soil swelling. This puts a lot of pressure on foundations.


Because foundations need solid support, fluctuations in soil density can cause problems. Heat in summer, along with dry winds, can cause the soils beneath your foundation to shrink, leaving the foundation with little support.


If tree roots are close enough, especially during drier times, they can steal all of the moisture from soils beneath your foundation. This causes dehydration of soils and can lead to structural problems.

Plumbing Leaks

Plumbing leaks can cause foundation damage due to over-saturation of the soil. Water leaks from pipes can go on for years without being noticed, causing soils to swell and put significant pressure on foundations.


If water pools around your foundation after storms, foundation problems may already exist. Improper drainage and soil grades prevent water from dispersing as it should. Over time, stagnant water can cause soil swelling and even seep into basements.

Inferior Soil Preparation

Inferior building practices or improper soil preparation before laying the foundation can lead to foundation damage.

Inferior Soil Preparation

Not located in the Fargo, North Dakota area? Find your local Ram Jack foundation repair experts.

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