Everything good in life requires one thing: a solid foundation. Whether it’s a career in tech, sports, medicine, art or you’re just picking up a new hobby/skill – having the proper foundation determines the success and longevity of your work. Flying by the seat of your pants so to speak may get you a quick fix, but the results often don’t last (like fad dieting; it just doesn’t work in the long haul). There’s no matter of life in which foundation isn’t important – this remains true a thousand fold for the foundation of you house. But what exactly affects your foundation? Let’s take a gander at the finer facts about foundation.

Location and Ingredients
Are we cooking? Traveling? Neither. But the area in which you build and the soil surrounding that area will affect the foundation of your house. The State Soil of California happens to be San Joaquin soil, but that soil has more to do with gardening. The typical type of soil found and used in California is Loamy soil, which is a combination of sand and clay. The type of soil affects foundation in how it responds to moisture. Moisture causes the soil to expand and a lack of moisture causes it to dry up and contract. This constant shifting affects your foundation over time. Clay soils are very dense and retain a lot of moisture, making them less than ideal for foundation. Sandy soil is very porous and water can travel through it easily (think of a beach) and rather than expanding when wet, it’s able to maintain density and bear the weight of a structure which means less shifting for your foundation. However, it’s not always common to the area. But with a mix of clay and sand (Loamy) you can have the best of both worlds and create a very solid base and backfill for your foundation.

Indicator Lights For Your Home
If you didn’t build your home from the foundation up, you may or may not know whether or not you have the best materials holding up your home. You can however, keep your eyes peeled for the simple indicators that you might have foundational problems. The first and most obvious sign of foundation problems are cracks in your walls/ceilings. Another useful and easy test is checking your doors and windows and how easily they open/close. Test your foundation by opening your swinging storm door and letting it fall closed. If it shuts perfectly nestled into its jamb without an issue, then you’re in the clear. But if you have to finagle and finesse it back into its frame, you’ve most likely got a foundational issue.

Deceptive Signs
Termites. Ugh. Those less than attractive little bitey creatures can wreak havoc on a home. They eat away at your floor joist and framing which can mimic foundation issues. Yes, they affect the foundation, but it’s not caused by sinking in the foundation itself.

Preventative Measures
If you’re not experiencing termites or cracks in the ceiling and funky closing doors, you may think you’re in the clear. But just like it’s better to spend a little money on replacing the brake pads in your car now to avoid having to replace the whole system at once in the future, scheduling regular checks to your foundation by a structural engineer can save you money and hassle in the future. The sooner you detect a problem the easier it is to diagnose and fix.