Foundation settlement repair, otherwise known as vertical foundation movements (or VFI), is a very real possibility today when soil and or other conditions cause the foundation’s underlying structure to move. For example, heavy rains can cause roads and highways to swell, which then push up and over soil and rocks causing movement. At times, these movements may even cause the foundation to move in different directions – sometimes it can be very shallow and other times it can be very steep. Any combination of these movements can create a foundation “crack” or movement which can eventually result in foundation failure.
When it comes to soil movement and soil shifting/settling, most people focus on what causes the actual movement itself. Most often that is where the movement is found; however, when it comes to sinking or settling foundations, it is the signs or symptoms that are most important and require attention. Common signs of VFI include buckled, slipping or sliding floors, wall cracks, sagging chimneys, and cracked or lowered foundation walls. Noting the above signs can give you an early warning sign of possible VFI. Foundation settlement repair professionals are trained to notice and recognize these signs as well as the tell-tale signs of potential other foundation problems as well. In addition, a thorough inspection and repair of your home’s foundation by a reputable foundation settlement repair service can prevent further problems. Visiting Atlas Piers can be of great help to you in identifying and fixing foundation problems.
As mentioned above, one of the best ways to tell if your house settling or moving is due to soil shifting or VFI is to look at the signs of damage. The first sign of potential damage is usually cracks or holes in the foundation walls. If you have noticed these small cracks or holes, you should get them sealed by a professional immediately. Small cracks can be filled in with mortar very easily, but larger holes or cracks need to be sealed with a professional sump pump to keep water from accumulating in the basement or on the upper floors of your house. Foundation settlement repair services will be able to give you a quote for this simple process. Any cracks or holes in your walls which appear to be growing or leaking may require the services of a structural engineer.
Small cracks or holes in the walls may not always be caused by structural issues related to soil shifting, but these issues should still be looked at. A professional settlement contractor will be able to thoroughly inspect your house for any signs of these issues. After he or she has found problems related to soil shifting or structural damage, he or she will be able to give you an estimate on how much your house may be worth. Foundation problems which appear to be growing or leaking may also need the services of a structural engineer.
Another sign of possible foundation problems which may require the services of a foundation settlement repair contractor is the presence of excess weight on the outside walls. A lot of houses experience significant weight gain during the construction process, and excess weight is often caused by soil shifting. The weight gain can result in cracks and leaks, which in turn can lead to foundation damage or more structural damage over time. Professional services will usually be able to help you determine if your house has excess weight and determine how it can be addressed.
In many cases, there is actually no need to worry about foundation problems which appear on the surface. However, older homes may have cracked and unstable soil due to a combination of age, excess weight, soil movement and more. Clay particles can be difficult to remove unless a professional soil engineer performs a structural impact analysis. In cases where clay is found in the soil, the homeowner may wish to consider an alternative to soil such as clay crack supplementing compounds or a clay bar which can help relieve existing cracked soil.