Have you noticed that the foundation of your home has cracks? Perhaps the walls have cracks as well or the windows and doors tend to stick. If you have any of these issues, as well as sloping floors, the foundation of your home has most likely settled. Several conditions can attribute to settling and repairs may be needed to ensure the integrity of your home. Read on to learn the four common reasons why your foundation is settling and what might need to be done to avoid any damage to your home in the future.
Frost Heave from Ice Expansion
During the winter months, the frost heave can cause ice expansion within the ground. This can lead to settling of the foundation if the home was not constructed based on codes. Building codes require the footing depth of a building be at least 30 inches so that the frost heave can be resisted. This can be one common reason why your home may have settled if the required footing depth was not met.
Type of Soil
The type of soil under your home can also play a factor in settling of the foundation. There are soil types of expansive clay, that will change in volume when moisture is added. The soil will then shrink during certain times of the year which can cause issues with the foundation. Cracks can occur, which can cause foundation problems.
Foundation Depth Varies
When a foundation is supported by various soil depths, then the soil will settle in different ways. This often occurs when a shallow foundation is created on a sloping lot or when a basement foundation is created at a deeper level than the rest of the home. This can cause settling to occur over time.
Another common issue behind foundation settling is water leaks. In an older home, piping can be located underneath the home that can crack or break which will lead to water under the home. The water can gather along the footing of the foundation which will soften the soil. This can cause the foundation to settle differently, which creates sloping floors and windows and doors that stick.
A foundation that has settled can be repaired. The type of repair service needed will depend on the type of issue your home is subject to. Underpinning might need to be repaired, which can include a foundation pier system installation. A professional will be able to evaluate your foundation and determine the issue as well as provide a solution for repair needs. It is important to have the foundation evaluated and a review provided of what needs to be done. You may be provided with a variety of options or only one or two that will solve your problem. Consider your options carefully and choose the best repair method that will provide longevity for your home. Your foundation is what supports your entire home and it’s critical to take proper care of it.