Foundation Settlement Repair in Virginia, Maryland, DC
Identifying & Repairing Issues Related To Foundation Settlement Damage
Foundation Settlement Problem Signs
Recognizing the signs and symptoms of foundation settlement is the first step to protecting the integrity of your home.
Cracks appearing around door frames, in the ceiling, in corners, and along the wall indicate your foundation is in trouble. These cracks often mean that the soil your house is built on is shifting, creating house settling and causing foundation problems.
Window Gaps & Cracks
This is a telltale sign of foundation settlement, due to the soil shifting underneath your home’s foundation. Shifting soil happens when soil has either absorbed water and expanded, dried out and shrunken, or an inadequate soil practice was used when preparing your home’s foundation.
Stair-Step Basement Wall Cracks
Indicate your foundation is settling. Nine times out of ten, these cracks continue to grow, becoming more expensive to repair and causing you more stress. When in doubt have a foundation repair contractor come out for a free inspection.
What Causes Foundation Settlement?
Drying & Shrinking Soils
Foundation soils usually shrink and dry due to Drought: During prolonged dry periods, the soils around your home may begin to dry out. As clay soils dry out, they will shrink considerably. When this happens under a foundation, it’s the same as the soil settling. Your foundation will settle downwards as it does so, possibly leading to structural damage. Maturing Trees: A mature tree’s root system can be up to twice the size of its visible part. If the trees extend over your home, that’s a good sign that they’re under your house as well. As they draw up hundreds of gallons of water each day, the soils will shrink significantly.
Wetting & Softening Of Soil
Foundation soils usually wet and soften in three scenarios:
Heavy Rain & Flooding: When clay soils contact water, they hold on to it and become very soft. This soft soils is not good load-bearing soil, and heavy objects will sink down into it.
Poor Drainage: If water is allowed to “pond” next to the home due to poor soil grading, clogged gutters, or some other factor, the soils will absorb the water. If the soils around the home are clay, then they will soften, and the home may sink.
Plumbing Leaks & Broken Water Lines: Plumbing leaks under or around a home can also saturate the soils around a home, and potentially weaken their load-bearing capacity.
Poorly Compacted Fill Soil
To make a level surface where your foundation can be built, builders will sometimes bring in loose soil from another location, using it to fill in hollow or depressed areas. This recently excavated “fill” soil is fluffed, and will be much looser and lighter than the dense, hard-packed virgin soils already present. To compensate, the builder will need to compact the fill soil thoroughly before placing a foundation on top. If this compaction is not done, or is improperly done, then the weight of your home may cause the soil to compress, leading to foundation settlement issues.
Can I Fix Foundation Settlement Problems Myself?
Foundation Settlement repair is not a do-it-yourself project. Filling the problem area with dirt or gravel isn’t going to solve the real problem. And if it’s a moisture problem due to poor drainage, the solution will require much more than cleaning out your gutters. Foundation problems, like foundation settlement, require a professional inspection, evaluation, and may require underpinning or a piering solution to level and stabilize your home.
What Do I Do Now?
If you think your home may be experiencing foundation settlement, it’s important to find out. JES offers free, no obligation inspections by our professionally trained inspectors. Call us today at 757-301-4820 to schedule! We’ll find the source of your foundation problems and provide you with the best solution for your home.
Foundation Settlement Solutions
We’re Known Best for Being Better because we only use the best products, and recommend custom solutions designed for your home’s foundation repair needs. We want to ensure that your home’s foundation problems are fixed for life – giving you the peace of mind knowing that your home’s foundation is safe and strong.
Some of the foundation repair solutions we recommend include JES Helical Piers, JES Push Piers, and JES Slab Piers. Remember that everyone’s foundation repair needs are different based on several factors including the ground your home is built on, type of foundation, and the severity of the problem. Our professional foundation repair experts will work with you, every step of the way, to find and design the best foundation repair solution for your home.
Get Your Free Homeowner’s Guide to Foundation Repair
Have you ever wondered about your sinking foundation and what causes it? Or if that drywall crack is a sign that you have a bigger problem? Our Homeowner’s Guide to Foundation Repair is your resource for learning about foundation problems, causes and solutions. Request your free foundation repair inspection and receive your own copy of the e-book, as our thanks for putting your trust in JES.