The most common cause of foundation failure in our region is the fluctuation in moisture around and under foundations. Clay soils will expand with moisture and contract when dry. This is why doors will sometimes stick, and other times won't. Cracks will also open and close as the weather changes. This movement puts major stress on a foundation. Over time it will lead to more problems and damage. Moisture levels should be kept as consistent as possible.
What causes fluctuation in moisture?
There are a few main reasons why moisture levels will drastically differ around your foundation. Poor drainage tends to be the most common. Excess water can swell soils and cause upheaval. It can also cause erosion over time and create a void under a foundation. It is a good idea to have plumbing checked for leaks.
If large trees or shrubs are close to your home, they should be removed, or a root barrier system should be installed. Their roots can drink lots of water and draw moisture from under your foundation, causing loss of elevation in some areas.