Are Homes in Illinois Prone to Foundation Issues?

August 4, 2023

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Are you worried about Illinois foundation issues for your home? If so, you’re not alone! Illinois properties are often prone to foundation issues due to the state’s expansive soil. Also, unpredictable weather and improper maintenance can risk foundation damage.

On the other hand, some preventative measures can ensure your home is protected against common Illinois foundation issues! Check out some added information about foundation damage causes in the state and how to address them. Also, don’t hesitate to call a foundation repair contractor for needed repairs.

Illinois foundation issues

What Causes Illinois Foundation Issues?

Illinois homes often experience foundation issues because of the local climate and construction practices. Some common causes of foundation issues in the state include:

  • Illinois has expansive clay soils, particularly in the northern and central parts of the state. These soils have a high clay content, so they shrink and swell with changes in moisture levels. Expansion and contraction of the soil exerts pressure on the foundation, leading to cracks and settlement issues.
  • In areas with poor drainage or high water tables, water builds up around the foundation. This pressure can force water into foundation cracks and weaken the structure over time.
  • Inadequate or improper drainage risks water pooling around the foundation. Standing water saturates the soil and causes erosion, leading to foundation settlement and cracking.
  • The state experiences significant temperature fluctuations throughout the year. During freeze-thaw cycles, water in the soil can freeze and expand, putting pressure on the foundation walls and causing cracks.
  • Improper foundation construction contributes to eventual problems. Insufficient reinforcement, poor soil compaction, and inadequate waterproofing all lead to structural issues.
  • Older buildings in Illinois may have foundations not built to current standards. Over time, these foundations can deteriorate.
  • Large trees planted too close to a building often have extensive root systems that draw moisture from the soil. This can risk soil shrinkage and foundation settlement.
  • In some areas, the soil may be weak or unstable. In turn, it’s unable to provide adequate support to the foundation.

How to Avoid Foundation Issues With Your Home

Avoiding foundation issues with your home is crucial. Maintenance can ensure long-term stability and minimize potential costly repairs. Here are some steps you can take to prevent foundation problems:

  • Ensure that your property has adequate drainage systems in place. Gutters, downspouts, and grading should direct water away from the foundation to prevent water accumulation and potential damage.
  • Plant trees and shrubs at a safe distance from the home to prevent their roots from interfering with the foundation. Use plants that require minimal watering, especially near the foundation.
  • Apply a waterproofing coating to the exterior foundation walls to protect against water infiltration. This is particularly important in areas with high rainfall or poor drainage.
  • Maintain a consistent indoor humidity level and address plumbing leaks promptly. Avoid excess moisture in the basement or crawl space, as it can weaken the foundation over time.
  • Regularly inspect your foundation for any signs of cracks, settlement, or other issues. Early detection can help prevent minor problems from escalating.
  • Ensure that your basement or crawl space is adequately ventilated to prevent excessive moisture buildup.
  • If your home has basement windows with window wells, install covers to keep water, debris, and pests away from the window area.
  • In areas prone to soil settlement or expansive soils, consider reinforcing the foundation with helical piers or push piers to provide additional support.
  • Be vigilant for signs of foundation problems, such as cracks in walls or ceilings, sticking doors or windows, or uneven floors. If you notice any of these signs, consult a structural engineer or foundation specialist for an assessment.

cracks in exterior of a brick home in Illinois

Remember, prevention is always better than cure when it comes to foundation issues. Taking proactive steps helps avoid costly repairs.

Also, if you’re in the market for a new home, ensure you have potential purchases inspected carefully. Your home inspection should include a complete foundation check. You can also use a carpenter’s level to check interior surfaces for potential sinking and settling.

If you have concerns or suspect foundation problems, consult a structural engineer for an inspection and appropriate recommendations. Their expertise ensures you make an educated decision about your potential purchase.

A Word From Our Foundation Repair Crew

Peoria Foundation Repair & Waterproofing Pros is happy to provide this information about Illinois foundation issues. Hopefully you found this blog useful! Also, if you’re near the city, call our Peoria foundation repair contractors for expert services. We’ll prepare a FREE foundation repair quote and explain your options for fixes and maintenance. To find out more, reach out today.


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