Mother Nature's Affect on Your Foundation

Over the years, your home will likely begin to show signs of settling. This is pretty normal, but you should always keep an eye out for any red flag indicators of bigger foundation problems. While houses go through some settling over the years, there are some natural factors that can cause real foundation damage. And although some of these aren't very common for Missouri, it's still good to know how different forces of mother nature can affect your foundation. So, let's take a look at some of the major natural factors:

While earthquake occurrences aren't very common in Missouri, they're not completely unheard of. Minor tremors are especially common near the bootheel area. Fortunately, the magnitude of an earthquake typically has to reach a level 3 before it causes structural damage, and most of the recent Missouri earthquakes have rated between 1-2.7. Earthquakes cause the soil beneath the foundation to shift. When the movement in the earth is strong or repetitive, earthquake foundation damage occurs, and the tremors it creates can cause your foundation to break apart, and cease to be level.

During periods of prolonged dryness, the soil surrounding your home may shrink, which can cause foundation issues. If it's not addressed, it can grow into even bigger problems over time. Cracks will first form in basement walls, which may be overlooked by many homeowners. Eventually, when your foundation settles and cracks form, your home becomes vulnerable to anything that can enter through those cracks, including water.

Foundation damage from flooding comes from the impact of rapid moving waters to your home. Flooding pushes the sides of your home, weakening your house’s structure and at times separating it from your foundation. Additionally, flooding penetrates deep into the earth causing severe damage. Foundation pilings that aren’t penetrating load-bearing strata can move, break, and shift due to flooding, causing intense foundational and structural damage.

Cold weather can have a major impact on concrete foundations. A cracked concrete foundation can result in leaks, wall cracks, and other structural damage. Freezing temperatures can damage your structure in two ways. Cold temperatures cause ice to freeze beneath the concrete foundation producing frost heave. Frost heaving is the movement of the soil due to the formation of ice lenses. Ice lenses are long crystals formed by layers of ice within the ground. The other way is the ground collapsing which is caused by thawing ice lenses.

Now that you know how each of these forces of nature can affect your home's foundation, you can be prepared in the event that any of these happen near your home. Check out our blog "Tips for Identifying Foundation Issues" to make sure you know what signs to look for when checking for foundation damage. If you do notice any damage in your foundation, make sure to hire a St. Louis foundation repair professional to handle any and all of your foundation repair needs. With over 30 years experience, we're the trusted choice for foundation repairs and concrete contract work in St. Louis. For all your foundation repair needs, give Benz & Associates a call at 314-393-8813. We'll be happy to provide you with a free estimate!

Benz & Associates, LLC is Your St. Louis Trusted Concrete Company!

Benz & Associates, LLC
12804 Weber Hill Road
Saint Louis, MO 63127
Phone: (314) 393-8813
Fax: (314) 843-6427


  1. These cracks occur thanks to shrinkage, thermal flows and moisture seepage. The cracks can widen with time and present major problems within the structural stability of the building.
    Foundation Repair St. Louis


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