Signs of Foundation Settlement
The word foundation is defined as the groundwork or basis of anything and that includes the one for your home. It is the groundwork for not only your home, but for your life. It is your home where everything that is important to you happens, so if something is showing signs that it needs to be fixed, it is crucial that you do so. There are may signs that indicate if your home is experiencing foundation settlement. These signs can be seen both inside and outside of your home. Do any of these symptoms look familiar?
Signs from Outside:
Stair-step cracking is a typical sign of foundation settlement and is usually found in brick and concrete block walls. As you home continues to settle further, cracks may widen, indicating that your home is rotating outward.
One of the most dramatic signs of settlement is a chimney separating away from the rest of the home. If chimneys are built on a foundation that is not connected to the rest of the home, it will be at more risk of separating.
Windows and Doors
Wherever opening occur, such as windows and doors, is the weakest point in a wall. Therefore, it can be the first area that shows signs of settlement. Common observations of weak points include doors out of square, the separation of windows/doors form the frame, and cracks extending from the corners. Also, new caulking will not fix the issue as most homeowners think, so its it better to professionally repair it rather than cover it up.
Signs from Inside:
Cracks in the drywall around the house are a good indicator of settlement and can be more obvious in the upper levels of your house. Some common signs are cracks coming off of widows/doors, cracks that follow drywall seams, and drywall tape buckling or pulling.
Doors and Windows Stick
Another good indicator is doors and windows sticking when trying to open or close them. Trying to fix the issue by planning across the top of doors or replacing locking mechanisms will only work temporarily, so it is better to repair it right the first time.
Solutions for Settling foundations:
Push piers are made of steel and are driven into bedrock to stabilize the home. They can be installed in the interior or exterior of the home and can often move your home back to its original position.
First, soil is removed from where the pier will be installed. Then a heavy-duty bracket is installed against the foundation footing. Steel pier sections are hydraulically driven through the bracket and into stable soil. The weight of the home is transferred to the piers, lifting the home. Lastly, the area gets backfilled with soil and the project is complete.
Helical piers are similar to push piers, but there are a few differences. For starters, the first section that is advanced into the soil has one or more helix shaped blades welded onto the shaft. They can be effective in closing cracks caused by settlement and improving the operation of doors and windows. Otherwise, they are installed the same as push piers and provide the same stability.