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Foundation & House Settlement Repair

Prevent serious structural damage with foundation settlement repair

a wide foundation wall crack at the corner of a window

Soil that settles below a foundation often causes cracked bricks. Fortunately, foundation repair specialists have affordable engineered solutions to solve foundation settlement problems.

Is your house settling, causing issues like cracks in your foundation walls, a tilted chimney, or other foundation problems? Over time, the broken sections of the foundation will begin to drift, causing cracks to widen and become uneven. The damage will never stop -- and will worsen over time.

Foundation settlement typically occurs when soil compresses (settles), shrinks, or becomes too wet to support a home.

Telltale signs of foundation settlement

  • Tilting chimneys
  • Concrete exterior stairs that tilt or sink
  • Vertical cracks in foundation walls
  • Cracked and sunken slabs
  • Cracks in drywall around window & door openings
  • Cracked brick veneer or exterior stucco
  • Skewed openings that make doors and windows difficult to operate

If you've noticed any of these foundation settlement symptoms, contact a foundation contractor to get started on your free estimate!

Why do house foundations sink?

House movement from foundation settlement occurs when the soils under your foundation cannot support the weight of the home due to 1) dry, shrinking soils, 2) wet, softening soils, and 3) fill soil that hasn't been compacted enough. 

Drying & Shrinking Soils

Foundation soils usually dry and shrink in two scenarios:

Drought: During prolonged dry periods, the soils around your home may begin to dry out. As clay soils dry out, they will shrink considerably. When this happens under a foundation, it's the same as the soil settling. Your foundation will settle downwards as it does so, possibly leading to structural damage.

Maturing Trees: A mature tree's root system can be up to twice the size of its visible part. If the trees extend over your home, that's a good sign that they're under your house as well. As they draw up hundreds of gallons of water each day, the soils will shrink significantly.

Wetting And Softening Of Soil

Foundation soils usually wet and soften in three scenarios:

Heavy Rain & Flooding: When clay soils contact water, they hold on to it and become very soft. This soft soil is not good load-bearing soil, and heavy objects will sink down into it.

Poor Drainage: If water is allowed to "pond" next to the home due to poor soil grading, clogged gutters, or some other factor, the soils will absorb the water. If the soils around the home are clay, then they will soften, and the home may sink.

Plumbing Leaks & Broken Water Lines: Plumbing leaks under or around a home can also saturate the soils around a home, and potentially weaken their load-bearing capacity.

Poorly Compacted Fill Soil

To make a level surface where your foundation can be built, builders will sometimes bring in loose soil from another location, using it to fill in hollow or depressed areas.

This recently excavated "fill" soil is fluffed, and will be much looser and lighter than the dense, hard-packed virgin soils already present.

To compensate, the builder will need to compact the fill soil thoroughly before placing a foundation on top. If this compaction is not done, or is improperly done, then the weight of your home may cause the soil to compress, leading to foundation settlement issues.

Repair techniques for settled foundations

  • Foundation underpinning. Sometimes referred to as "piering," this technique involves driving steel piers (either helical or standard "push" piers) into the earth beneath a settled foundation until each pier reaches solid, stable soil or bedrock. A bracket at the top of each pier is connected to the foundation, enabling the installer to raise and stabilize the settled masonry. Underpinning is effective for raising settled foundation walls and slabs.
  • Polymer injection. An expanding "geotechnical" foam can be injected into loose or weak soil to consolidate and stabilize the soil while also improving its load-bearing characteristics. Polymer injection is sometimes used in combination with underpinning. By itself, it's an effective technique for raising settled sidewalks, walkways and concrete slabs.
  • Grout pumping. Sometimes referred to as mudjacking, this technique involves pumping a liquid concrete "slurry" into voids beneath settled concrete. Grout pumping can be used to raise sunken sidewalks and slabs, or to fill voids left after raising a settled foundation with piers.

We fix foundation problems & home settling!

Regardless of why you're experiencing a foundation problem in your home, a local foundation repair specialist can conduct a thorough inspection and provide a free estimate for our trusted solutions.

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