Skip to Main Content
Crew on jobsite cutting boards

Everything You Should Know About Foundation Defects

Foundation defects can occur at any time, and when they do, they require your immediate attention.

Schedule Free Inspection

Unfortunately, a lot of homeowners decide to look the other way when they realize that their foundation is in trouble. This makes sense since foundation repair can cost a pretty penny. However, ignoring the problem only makes it worse. Unlike fixing a creaking window, repairing foundation damage is not something that can wait. Over time, the problem will only escalate, and in the end, your entire home could collapse.  

Also, foundation cracks can let the water into your home. When the moisture levels in your home rise, your wooden elements will begin to rot and mold will spread all over your place. The problem with mold is that it releases airborne spores that contaminate the air you breathe and lead to respiratory problems. Although repairing foundation damage might seem expensive, it is nothing compared to what the repairs will cost if you don’t fix things on time.

Another problem with foundation defects is that they can occur at any time. However, whenever they happen, you need to be ready. They are serious and require your immediate attention. Sometimes they are caused by improper construction, sometimes by damage, but in either case, they should not be ignored. In this post, we will address the most common foundation defects, factors that cause them, and ways to deal with them.

foundation crack

The Most Common Causes of House Foundation Defects

Foundation defects are expensive to fix and can be disastrous for your property. If they are not treated on time, they lead to moisture, compromised structural stability, mold growth, and other issues. Therefore, it is recommended that you look for recognizable signs of foundation damage such as tilting chimneys, bowing walls, cracks in the foundation walls, and jamming windows and doors. Detecting these signs on time and immediately calling your local contractor in Minneapolis, MN can save you a lot of trouble, as well as time and money.

There are two main causes of home foundation defects. The first one is improper construction. This can happen if the builders used materials that are below the standard. However, improper construction can also be a result of miscalculations. For example, if the architect doesn’t take into consideration the weight of the property or type of soil, foundation defects could occur.

The second one is damage. Damage can happen because of various reasons, from soil saturation, excess hydrostatic pressure, and soil dehydration/shrinkage, to frost heave, flooding, and natural disasters.

The winters in Minneapolis, MN can be cold and harsh, but during the summers, temperatures rise and there are plenty of dry, sunny days. Because of these temperature changes, the soil expands and shrinks several times a year. Of course, architects consider this when they design homes. However, if a structure does not have appropriate drainage and waterproofing solutions in place, the shifting in the ground can intensify. Dramatic shifts in the ground lead to a lack of support for the structure and that is when foundation defects occur.

Hydrostatic pressure happens when the soil around your foundation becomes overly saturated. This force causes the foundation walls to bow and crack, which compromises the home’s stability.

3 Common Foundation Defects

There are three most common foundation defects you need to know about. Each of them is different and requires a unique approach and solution.


During droughts, when the soil is left without any moisture in it, soil particles shrink. This causes the ground to crack. When these cracks become large enough, the property’s foundation begins to settle into them. This is already bad enough on its own, but keep in mind that when the rain comes, these cracks will let water into your home.


On the other hand, when the ground beneath your home becomes overly saturated, it is no longer able to properly support your property. Therefore, your home will begin to sink

This can also happen if your home was built on unstable soil. The biggest problem with sinking is that most structures do not sink evenly. Most of the time, one part of the building sinks much faster. This puts an incredible strain on the house, and causes serious issues.

If you have noticed that your home is slowly sinking into the ground, contact Innovative Basement Authority as quickly as possible, and have them assess the damage and fix the problem.


While it is a problem when the ground begins to sink, it is also a problem when the ground begins to heave upward. Heaving usually happens during the winter, when the ground freezes quickly. Since the soil begins to heave upward, it pushes against the foundation. While heavier structures are usually not affected by this, lighter, smaller homes or properties with thinner foundations can experience a problem. Heaving causes the foundation and the floor to bulge upward. This change in the foundation results in cracks that let water into your home.

Many homeowners like to fix as many problems as possible by themselves. However, this is not a project you should tackle by yourself. One wrong move and you can hurt yourself or compromise your home’s stability. 

Have you noticed some signs of foundation problems? Or maybe you wish to be preventative about this sort of thing and see whether everything is in order down there? Whatever the case, we are here to help. Contact expert contractors at Innovative Basement Authority and schedule a free estimate and quote. We will find a solution that suits not only your home but your wallet as well.

Publish Date:

Last Modified Date:

Innovative Basement Authority Service Map

We service Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Eastern Montana for basement waterproofing and crawl space repair.

Fargo, ND

1330 41st St. N
Fargo, ND 58102

Minneapolis, MN

6265 Carmen Ave.
Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076

Rush City, MN

1325 S Frandsen Ave
Rush City, MN 55069

Sioux Falls, SD

101 S. Reid Street, Suite 307
Sioux Falls, SD 57103