Anything that burrows under or along your foundation has the power to create problems with that foundation. From tunnels to chipping away at loose concrete, sharp teeth and claws create holes, widen cracks, and shift the soil around your home, which are reasons enough to want destructive animals to go away.

The Damage They Do

Mice, voles, moles, woodchucks, and other tunneling creatures are doing what comes naturally to stay safe and warm. However, those goals usually don’t mesh with human goals — which is to keep your home intact and free of animal-borne diseases. Crawl spaces especially are susceptible to animal invasion as they do not go as deep as basements and creatures don’t have as far to dig to get into them. Even birds can find a way to fly in via vents or ductwork.

The biggest issue is with burrowing animals such as groundhogs that are clearing spaces for dens. As they go under a foundation, they clear out a significant amount of soil. This means there are air pockets into which the foundation can shift. Shifting soil under a home is not good as it causes the foundation to move as well.

A shifting foundation can cause cracks, bowed basement walls, waterproofing issues, cracked windows and ceilings, sagging floors, and an unlevel home. What you might think are small or insignificant cracks are perfect for mice and chipmunks to squeeze through.

What to Look For

Check around the outside perimeter of your home for signs of animals digging and disturbed dirt. Patches of grass may be torn from the ground. If you step on the lawn and sink a bit, it’s likely tunnels; these may or may not make it under the foundation, but you’ll know that at least one animal is present and may be a problem. Most animals above and below ground want to eat whatever you grow in your garden, but burrowing animals also will go for what grows underground, such as flower bulbs.

Look for fecal matter inside your basement or crawl space. If you see any, an animal has made its way into your home — likely through a gap in the foundation — and is living with you. You might think a mouse or two hanging out in the basement isn’t a big deal as long as you don’t touch their fecal matter with your hands or play with the rodents, but if a mouse is in the basement, it’s everywhere. It can climb through the walls and enter any point in the house that might have a gap – or even just climb the stairs and wander into the kitchen for a snack.

What to Do

Be kind and look for a pest removal service that practices humane critter extraction. Once the company has taken care of the situation, you need to find where the animal came in and repair it. You could stuff steel wool into any holes, but that is only a temporary solution.

Look into basement and foundation repair experts in your area. They should know what animals frequent your geographical area. Get all cracks repaired and if needed, have expandable material injected under the foundation to fill any holes left by larger burrowing animals.

To keep animals from thinking your home is the perfect bed and breakfast, keep lids tight on garbage cans (this may mean weighing down the lids), clean up around bird feeders, keep pet food stored away and fence your garden. Never leave out food for wild animals. Don’t worry — Mother Nature will find a way to feed them.

Acculevel Is Your Foundation Repair Expert

If you’re looking into fixing a foundation and live in the Midwest, look no further. At Acculevel, our staff has the expertise and experience you’re looking for to repair foundation damage created by wild animals. We have specialized in foundation and basement repair since 1996 and offer free at-home estimates. To set up an appointment with our helpful staff, give us a call at (866) 669-3349 or email us at [email protected]. We look forward to hearing from you.

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