Sinking Foundation

Sinking or settling foundations are usually due to bad drainage, ground movement, subsidence or poor construction, which causes your foundation to shift or settle. Your foundation repair problem will usually be noticed by sticking doors or windows, or drywall cracks. Incomplete or failed waterproofing around and under basement walls and floors is a significant cause of sinking or settling foundation problems.

Sings of Sinking or Settling Foundation:

  • Leaning Home – Damaged foundation often, can’t support the weight of the entire structure, resulting in it leaning to one side or the other.
  • Settling Foundation – when the foundation sinks a few inches into the top soil.
  • Garage Column Cracks – A settling foundation can put stress on your garage columns, resulting in cracks.
  • Leaning Chimney – When your home settles the chimney might pull away from the structure and lean outwards.
  • Bowing and leaning wall – These are most often the result of lateral expansive soil pressure or foundation settlement.

Keep on the lookout for things like windows and doors becoming stuck or misaligned. Watch for cracks in basements, slabs, and on walls in the living areas of the house. Water puddles that form around the base of your home may also indicate a sinking or settling foundation, as can upheaval of floors or floors that gradually become sloped or badly cracked.

Upper level soils, typically 6 to 8 feet below ground level, go through wet and dry cycles due to seasonal moisture and temperature changes. When there are drastic changes like a heavy rain fall right after a drought, water moves through the soil at greater rates than normal. This water looks for the path of least resistance, if this path is through or under your foundation, settlement and crack will start to appear.

Soils with heavy concentrations of water can double in weight causing hydrostatic pressure to press against your foundation, or consolidate soils. This consolidation can cause your foundation to sink due to the lack of support.

How to fix a sinking or setting foundation

  • Steel push piers – designed to give new support to structures that have lost their original supporting soils. Like stilts, these underpinning products will not only stabilize a sinking foundation but they also can lift and hold the structure at it’s originally designed elevation.
  • Helical Piers – Perform the same task as push piers but they have threads like a screw, resulting in a more stable end result.
  • Helical Tieback Anchors – used when walls are in need of more support. They help combat bowing and leaning walls. Often used on retaining walls.
  • Wall Plate KCPlate Anchors – Primary use for bowing and leaning indoor basement walls.
  • Hydraulic Lift Slab Piers – Ideal for basement and garage slabs that have began to crack and sink into the soil. These automated piers will lift your slab back to its original designated elevation.

If you’re experiencing a sinking or settling foundation, call in a foundation expert to analyze the problem. Foundation repair contractors work directly with foundation engineers to carry out the plan the engineer developed to keep the foundation from sinking or settling.