Skip to Main Content

Home Settling: How Much is Too Much?

A home naturally settles over time due to weather and soil conditions. However, there comes a point when this settling can negatively affect a home’s structural integrity. But how much settling is too much?  

At Groundworks, we understand the stress this can bring to homeowners and are here to help you understand the signs of home settling, why it happens, and when to take action to preserve your home.  

Why a Home Settles 

Home settling happens over time due to various factors, including: 

  • Soil Compression: The soil beneath a home can compress or shift due to changes in moisture content, the type of soil, and natural processes such as erosion or settling. 
  • Foundation Movement: Foundations may settle unevenly or shift slightly due to the weight of the structure, changes in soil conditions, or inadequate construction techniques. 
  • Environmental Factors: Extreme weather conditions, such as droughts or heavy rainfall, can affect soil stability and contribute to home settling. Additionally, seismic activity in earthquake-prone areas can cause foundation movement. 
  • Construction Materials and Techniques: Poor construction practices, inadequate site preparation, or the use of low-quality materials can contribute to accelerated settling of a home. 

Understanding how the soil, construction materials, and weather conditions can affect your foundation is essential to identify home settling issues early. 

How Much Home Settling is Too Much 

Determining the acceptable amount of home settling depends on various factors, including the age and construction of the home, soil conditions, and regional climate. A home is even often expected to take two years to “settle in.” Minor settling, characterized by small cracks in walls or foundation and minimal changes in floor elevation, is common and often not cause for concern.  

However, if it continues to settle after this period and shows signs of excessive settling, it’s essential to contact foundation repair experts like those at Groundworks to schedule a free inspection.  

Signs of Excessive Home Settlement 

While some settling is normal and expected, certain signs indicate potential problems that warrant attention:  

  • Cracks in Walls or Foundation: Diagonal or stair-step cracks in walls, especially near windows and doors, and cracks in the foundation are common signs of home settling. Large or widening cracks may indicate significant structural issues. 
  • Uneven Floors: Floors that slope or feel uneven when walking on them can indicate foundation settlement or structural instability. 
  • Doors and Windows Sticking or Jamming: Difficulty opening or closing doors and windows, or gaps around door frames, may be caused by shifts in the foundation. 
  • Visible Gaps or Spaces: Gaps between walls, ceilings, or floors, and separations between exterior siding or brickwork, can indicate settling or structural movement. 

It’s essential to regularly inspect your home for signs of settling and address any issues promptly to prevent further damage and maintain the structural integrity of the property.  

How to Stop Home Settling 

At Groundworks, we employ a variety of foundation repair techniques and technologies to address home settling issues effectively. While our process varies depending on the damage, these are some ways we approach home settling: 

  • Pier Systems: Driving helical or push piers into the ground to provide support and potentially lift settled foundation sections. 
  • Water Management & Waterproofing: Installing drainage systems and other waterproofing solutions to manage water runoff and prevent moisture-related issues that contribute to settling. 

By utilizing advanced techniques and customized solutions, Groundworks can help you effectively address home settling issues and safeguard your home. 

Trust Groundworks to Safeguard Your Home 

Dealing with home settling can be stressful for homeowners. If you suspect your home is experiencing excessive settling, reach out today and schedule a free inspection. Our foundation repair experts are committed to guiding you through every step of the process of securing your home. 

Leah Leitow

Leah Leitow

Content Writer

Leah is a Content Writer for Groundworks with nearly ten years of experience working in the foundation repair industry. Her experience ranges from working with homeowners to find the right solution to training inspectors and staff. In her background as a Michigan journalist, she gained invaluable insight into people's lives throughout our state. Leah lives in metro Detroit with her husband and two sons.