When the soil below a structure can no longer bear the structure’s weight, the foundation can settle causing major damage. Soil composition can change over time or even be inadequately prepared before the structure is built.
Below are a few reasons why bad soil can cause foundation settlement and may require you to contact a foundation leveling contractor.
Native soil is weak in bearing capacity.
Soil was poorly compacted before construction.
The moisture content of the soil changes.
The breakdown of organic components.
Believe it or not, one of the most common foundation problems nationwide is foundation settlement. Here are some ways you can prevent ever needing to have your foundation leveled.
Signs Of Foundation Settlement
If you feel like you are experiencing a sinking foundation please, contact a trained professional. They will be able to tell if your home or building is, in fact, not level with specially designed tools and instruments.
Here are a few things you can look for on your own before calling a professional. Just remember that houses can present many of these symptoms and be perfectly okay! A trained eye will tell you whether they are part of a bigger problem or not:
Cracks in sheetrock.
Cracks in foundation walls
Uneven or sloped floors.
Windows or Doors that are hard to open and close.
Cracks in concrete floors or tile.
Preventing Foundation Settlement
Water is the biggest culprit when it comes to foundation settlement. Make sure that water is properly draining away from your foundation. Keep rain gutters clean and free of debris or else they can become clogged and empty out water next to your foundation.If you don’t have rain gutters,GET THEM! And lastly, make sure that downspouts are directed at least 10 feet away from your foundation. It is not uncommon for us to perform foundation stabilization for a home where the downspouts are directing water right at the foundation wall.
Interesting Fact – Did you know that extending downspouts into the yard 10 feet is a building code in some cities? Have you ever wondered why new homes that don’t have grass or landscaping yet have downspout extension pipes? You do now!
If you suspect your home or building has settled or is sinking you have a couple of options. Foundation piers can be driven below the structure to stabilize it and in some cases even lift it back into place.Helical PilesorPush Piersare two different types of foundation piers that can be used to stabilize or lift a structure. Both are common for foundation leveling and are widely recognized among engineers and contractors as a permanent solution. Each piering system has strengths and weaknesses. It is best to hire a contractor that provides both to ensure you can choose the pier that will suit your specific needs.