By Julian De La Torre

Foundation problems and damage is often caused by water. The water can originate from numerous internal sources, such as stopped up sinks, toilets and broken pipes. External water sources, such as rain and water from sprinkler systems, can also become a problem when it enters your home through breaks or crevices in windows or entryways.

In both cases, the water will can make its way down to the foundation, causing cracks and other issues.

Water can also make soil extend and contract. When there is an excessive amount of dampness, the soil will start to swell and press against foundation walls. The pressure will cause the walls to bow and crack. As the soil dries, it will pull away from the foundation leaving spaces that can cause uneven settlement. This is usually a sign of poor drainage.

Water can also accumulate in the soil that was used to cover the holes around your house after the foundation was constructed. Backfill soil is typically looser than the compacted soil the house was built on.

Some homes have also been built on soil with high moisture content. Over time, the soil will start to dry, which can hasten foundation settlement. Too much settlement will eventually damage the structural integrity of your home.

There are many ways to prevent water problems, including proper grading, making sure drainage pipes or systems slope away from the house, and fixing broken pipes or leaking appliances.

It is important that any water problems are found and fixed as soon as possible. The longer you wait to address an issue, the more costly the foundation repair will be. If you wait too long, you may need to replace your entire foundation. During an earthquake, unhandled problems like these can also lead to extensive damage and even building collapse.

Julian De La Torre, expert foundation contractors in Los Angeles, house leveling & foundation repair Los Angeles and founder of Julian Construction (, has inspected over 15,000 structures, working with engineering firms & local departments of building & safety. The company has done more home foundation inspection and foundation repair (Los Angeles) than any other company in the area over the last five years ( Julian Construction owns its own company and is a “no middlemen” model–no salesmen or subcontractors–you get the principals of the company & its workers under your home. Learn more about Julian Construction at
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