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Foundation Settlement in Your Home

Foundation settlement happens very regularly in homes. What do you need to do to make foundation settlement easier to manage in your own home?

Hand in between horizontal foundation crack.

Foundation Settlement Can Affect Your Foundation’s Stability

Foundation settlement is one of the scarier things you can experience in a home. When your foundation is settling, it means your home is essentially sinking into the ground. A small amount of settling can be normal, especially in the first year or two after you’ve built the home, but when that settling becomes significant, it’s important to look at it through the lens of a problem. Here’s what you need to know about foundation settlement.

What Are the Biggest Signs of a Foundation Settlement Problem?

A foundation settlement problem won’t just show up out of the blue. There are many things that will herald a foundation settlement problem. These are some of the biggest and most prominent signs of a foundation settlement issue.

  • Cracked Walls and Floors 

If you’re experiencing cracked walls and floors, you at the very least need to have a foundation repair expert come and take a look at what’s going on. These cracked walls and floors often indicate a very serious foundation problem. It’s especially bad if you notice cracks in the corners of the walls, often moving out diagonally from there. This typically indicates very serious structural problems.

However, no matter what types, sizes, or locations of cracks you have in your walls and floors, it’s important that you take cracked walls and floors seriously. That way, you’ll be able to manage the issues with your home’s foundation as seriously as possible. Cracks tend to be the first things to indicate foundation problems.

  • Gaps and Cracks in the Windows and Walls 

The windows and walls in your home should match up perfectly with each other. For example, in a living room, the walls of the home should match up with the floor and with the doors that lead off into different rooms. What happens if that’s not the case and there are gaps and cracks that occur when the windows and the walls try to meet? The answer is that there are probably issues with foundation settlement.

Specifically, it’s common for the problem to be that one side of the foundation is settling more rapidly than the other side. That can cause one side of the home to be taking on more weight than the other side, which can lead to all sorts of concerns, including gaps and cracks in the windows and walls in your home.

  • Cracks in the Basement Walls

What about the basement walls specifically? Do you ever take the time to inspect your basement walls? If you have exposed walls in the basement, it’s a hugely important way to maintain not only your basement’s health but also the health of your entire home. That’s because cracks in the basement walls can indicate a problem with your home as a whole.

These cracks typically indicate serious concerns with hydrostatic pressure around the outside of the basement, especially if the cracks have a relationship with bowing basement walls. That may be because of issues with the soil outside of the basement, but it can also occur if the foundation has started to settle in a unique way that applies too much pressure to the basement walls.

Common Causes of Foundation Problems

How Do I Fix Foundation Settlement in My Home?

Fixing foundation settlement in your home doesn’t have to be that difficult. If you’re experiencing foundation settlement, there are a number of solutions, often having to do with the basic reason for the settlement you’re experiencing.

  • Concrete Lifting Processes 

Foundation settlement may benefit from some concrete lifting, especially if you’ve never really considered this process in the past. Concrete lifting comes in all shapes and sizes, but Groundworks mostly uses polyurethane foam injections. With polyurethane foam injections, you can lift concrete and get back to your life within a few minutes, making it preferable to mudjacking or slabjacking.

It’s also important to remember that concrete lifting doesn’t just stop at making the problem stop. With concrete lifting, you want to move the concrete back to its initial position. Polyurethane foam injections allow you to lift the concrete back into its initial position, which is something mudjacking or slabjacking never really offers.

  • Deeper Foundation Support 
Crew picking up helical pier outside of home

In some instances, foundation settlement can occur just because the soil it’s sitting on isn’t fit for the foundation you have. It might be too exposed, not exposed enough, too deep, not deep enough, or any other mix of reasons. Ways you might be able to fix it include push piers, helical piers, and other pier systems.

With a pier system, you’ll be able to maintain your home’s structural stability because you’re no longer relying on the relatively weak top layer of the soil. Instead, it’s relying near-exclusively on the lower levels of the soil, which typically includes bedrock. That makes it an effective way to keep your home’s structural stability high.

  • Targeted Support for Specific Issues

There are many foundation settlement concerns that may arise without you realizing these are foundation problems. However, you don’t have to know exactly why something’s happening if you want to fix the problem. You can do what you can to tackle the overarching problem while supporting specific problems if you know how to do it.

In this situation, you might want to address problems like water intrusion and cracking problems individually. Although you want to avoid settlement as a generalized concept happening to your home, sometimes it’s important to address certain issues as you’re waiting for the settlement to allow for it.

FAQs About Foundation Settlement

There is a wide variety of reasons for foundation settlement. It’s not just about a single reason the foundation might settle. Instead, you need to consider all sorts of issues with your foundation. Fixing the underlying problem is one of the most important elements of fixing foundation settlement problems, which you can easily see here.

  • A Lack of Support

Most commonly, the reason for your foundation settlement has something to do with a lack of support. The soil underneath your home might not be stable enough for you to rely on it. The area where your foundation actually lies might not be stable enough for you to put a bunch of weight on it. If you don’t have enough support, you might end up with foundation settlement concerns.

  • Different Methods of Fixing the Problem

There are many reasons you might experience foundation settlement when you own a home, but it’s important to remember that for the most part, you don’t have to worry too much because there are many different ways to combat those foundation settlement problems. Finding the best method to fix the problem is easier with an expert.

Some homeowners think they only have to handle their foundation settlement concerns once the problem becomes extremely serious. However, that’s completely incorrect. Foundation settlement doesn’t have to be that bad to be worrying. Here’s what you need to know about the right time for you to tackle your foundation settlement concerns.

  • No Need for It to Be Bad

Foundation settlement doesn’t have to be bad before you start dealing with it. It’s a common misconception that you can only manage foundation settlement once it’s started causing problems. As soon as you notice foundation settlement problems, you need to pay attention to them. That way, you’ll have the best answer early on.

  • The Argument for Handling Foundation Problems Early

According to just about everyone, it’s really important to tackle foundation settlement problems very early on. Handling foundation settlement problems early can help you reduce the time and energy it takes in the future. When you tackle these foundation problems, you’ll no longer have to worry about these issues in your own home and how they might develop into a concern at some point.

Essentially, a foundation settlement strategy is what you use to avoid ongoing foundation settlement problems. It’s a guide to concerns that can arise from foundation settlement. However, different foundation settlement strategies may need to exist for your home if you’re trying to maximize your foundation needs.

  • How to Choose Different Foundation Settlement Strategies

Choosing the right foundation settlement strategy is a crucial element of ensuring your foundation is healthy. If you choose the right strategy, you’re very likely to end up with a healthy home; if you choose the wrong strategy, you’re much more likely to have a home that has serious foundation problems that last long after your fix.

  • The Need for Personalization

A foundation settlement strategy has to be personalized for it to make any sense. You can’t just get foundation settlement strategies from anyone; you need to contact a foundation settlement expert and ask them more about your personal foundation settlement concerns. Unique answers are the only ones that will help your home.

Developing the right strategy for foundation settlement is something that’s very difficult because of all the working parts. When you’re trying to develop a strategy for foundation settlement, you need to think of a variety of elements. Here’s what you might need to think about regarding foundation settlement strategies.

  •  Issues With DIY

A DIY foundation settlement strategy is not going to work. As much as you might hope it will, a DIY foundation settlement strategy won’t get you anywhere because you’re not going to have the tools or knowledge necessary to fix the underlying problem. It’s possible that you could worsen the problem as opposed to fixing the problem.

  • A Local Expert

An expert is always going to be the best option for your foundation settlement problems. With an expert, you can make sure your foundation settlement doesn’t have any drawbacks or concerns while still learning how to care about your foundation’s tiniest concerns during the settlement process. Get in contact with a local expert from Groundworks today to learn more about your foundation settlement options.

Get an Expert’s Help With Foundation Settlement Problems in Your Home

As you can see, foundation settlement problems are extremely important to pay attention to. As a homeowner, you need to make sure you know what’s going on in and around your home. Foundation settlement in your own home can be a chilling experience, but only if you haven’t been able to alleviate the foundation settlement problems before now.

Getting an expert’s help is typically the best way to do that. Foundation settlement is one of the most frustrating issues homeowners experience, and Groundworks experts can help with your foundation settlement concerns. Talk to a foundation repair expert today to learn more about how they can help you with your foundation settlement concerns.

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