What Causes Foundation Heaving?
Tree roots, expansive soil or upward movement of the soil can result in heaving.
The root system of a tree is about as wide as the canopy. So if you have large trees with limbs that hang over your home, then the roots are growing under your foundation.
As the roots extend under your home or patio, they can push up the concrete. Over time this creates safety hazards and foundation problems.
Clay is an expansive soil and is common in North Carolina. Just like the name implies, expansive soil expands when it’s wet. As the soil absorbs water and expands it pushes up against your foundation. Something has to give, and most of the time it’s your foundation, which means you’ll end up with basement floor cracks, cracked bricks or other areas of foundation heaving.
On the opposite end, when expansive soil dries it shrinks which causes house settling. All of this movement will not only damage your foundation but will also weaken and damage the other structural supports in your home.
Earthquakes, plumbing leaks or long periods of heavy rain can all cause upward movement in the soil. While they are infrequent, an earthquake can create problems for your foundation. The sudden movement can cause your foundation to heave or settle. Both of which can create a serious structural problem.
But you're more likely to experience upward movement in the soil due to excess water since earthquakes are uncommon in North Carolina. Heavy rains experienced during hurricane season or plumbing leaks will create problems with expansive soil.