Climate Change and its Effects on Foundations for Structures
As the earth warms up, sea levels rise because warm water expands and takes up more room than cold water. A process known as thermal expansion.
The melting of glaciers accelerate this problem by providing the ocean with more water.
The sea levels have risen between 4 to 8 inches in the past 100 years. Sea level rise could rise between 4 to 36 inches in the next 100 years at the current rates.
The rise in sea levels puts stress on sea walls, causing erosion of the structures affecting the foundations and stability.
Localized climate variations also pose a threat to foundations. Drought followed by unusually high precipitation can affect the stability of foundations in Florida.
It is particularly important to inspect for cracks and settling at regular intervals and to identify areas of unstable soils. It is important to take corrective action before major structural damage occurs.