Foundation Settlement Repair
Foundation settlement is a structural problem that is caused by the soil surrounding your home or building being unable to support the weight of the structure. Over time, the soil will expand and contract as moisture levels increase and decrease during rains or in the spring when snow melts. As the soil changes, it can create voids or empty space where your foundation can sink, or settle, into which can cause cracks to form. If left alone, the foundation can eventually sink so much that it can no longer support your home in certain areas which can cause permanent damage and will result in the need for expensive foundation repair or even to rebuild or replace the foundation.
Foundation Settlement Warning Signs
If you are worried that you have a foundation settlement problem, some of the warning signs are very obvious and probably things you would notice every day including:
- Cracks at the corners of windows and doors
- Doors or windows get stuck or are difficult to open or close
- Chimney leaning away from the home
- A corner or side of the home appears to be sinking into the ground
- Stair-step cracks in brickwork or along walls
If you've got any of these signs, it is important to reach out to an expert to have your foundation evaluated for any problems.
What Causes Foundation Settlement?
A common misconception about foundation settlement is that it takes a long time to occur. This is not true. It can happen with new homes or could not happen for many years after a home has been finished. The causes of foundation settlement are varied and will differ from home to home. It is also regularly associated with basement waterproofing issues but they are not always hand in hand. Some of the most common problems we come across are:
- Improper Drainage - If the drainage around your home is not sufficient, it can increase the amount of water in the soil which puts unnecessary pressure on the foundation
- Soil Conditions - Clay rich soils expand and contract more than other soils and this can cause voids to be created under the building
- Building Site Preparation - During construction, improperly compacted fill soil can ultimately lead to unstable soil and settlement issues
- Transpiration - The presence of tree roots can remove moisture from the soil which causes it to contract and form voids
- Evaporation - Extreme temperature conditions can cause soil to expand and contract, which also causes voids to form
The best method for repairing a sinking or settling foundation is through the use of foundation piers. These are strong steel tubes that are driven deep into the soil until they reach stable strata or bedrock and are attached to the foundation. The weight of the structure is transferred to the piers which will prevent any future settlement issues. We use Stabil-Loc® brand foundation piers for the following reasons:
- Piers are installed directly under the load - no offset loading
- Able to be installed via the interior or exterior of the structure
- Unique interlocking high-strength steel system
- Footing is kept intact - no breaking or usage of brackets or bolts
- Deepest driven pier on the market
Foundation Pier Installation Process
The piers are installed directly below the wall that is to be lifted using the steps below.
Pier is driven to bedrock under center of wall being lifted.
Pier is readied for head assembly.
Structure is carefully stabilized to eliminate further settlement.
Work area is filled in with new concrete.
If you have foundation settlement problems at your home or business, do not hesitate to reach out to us and have a member of our team provide you with a foundation inspection. Please take a moment to fill out our contact form below or give us a call today. We look forward to speaking with you and helping you with your foundation settlement problem.