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Foundation Settlement

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of foundation settlement is the first step to protecting the integrity of your home.

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Recognizing the signs and symptoms of foundation settlement is the first step to protecting the integrity of your home.

Foundation Settlement Repair in Virginia, Maryland, DC

Identifying & Repairing Issues Related To Foundation Settlement Damage

Do These Foundation Problems Look Familiar?

Foundation Settlement Problem Signs

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of foundation settlement is the first step to protecting the integrity of your home.

Cracked Drywall

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 the 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.

Cracks in blocks and bricks, bowing walls, gaps between your floors and walls, sticking windows and doors, and cracks in drywall around window and door openings are some common signs your foundation is in trouble.


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, the 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.

Foundation Settlement FAQ

The foundation is the most important aspect of your home.

Drying & Shrinking Soils

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

Wetting And 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

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.

It’s not the best idea to try and fix a settling foundation on your own. As your foundation succumbs to damage, it can become dangerous for you to move throughout your basement or crawl space, let alone try and take on the damage without help. Not only do you put yourself in danger when you try to fix your foundation on your own, but the work may be too much for one person to bear on his or her own. 

Missing Tools and Protective Materials 

Consider this: The process of fixing a settling foundation often involves full-exterior excavation. To even start fixing your home, you’d have to spend weeks to months digging out your foundation in the face of the elements, not to mention your other responsibilities. 

Implementing the kinds of solutions you might need to bring your home back up to snuff often requires power tools you may not have access to. When trying to stop your home from settling, for example, you may need to invest in underpinning or piering solutions. While there are some piering solutions, for example, that are more affordable than others, it is extremely difficult to dig down below your foundation to the point where you can safely install these solutions in a way that’ll ensure they work in the long run. 

Making Mistakes on the Job 

Furthermore, fixing your foundation on your own can cause significant problems for you down the line. If you try to implement a DIY solution to stave off settlement or other forms of water damage, it is possible that you may do more damage to your foundation than good. In fact, you can often make the damage done to your foundation worse than it was before you acted at all. Should you have to call a professional later on, you may wind up spending more money on your eventual solution than you would have had you reached out for guidance sooner. 

Professional contractors contending with a DIY job will first have to remove the solution you attempted to implement. Only when that solution is out of the way will they be able to go about the process of fixing your foundation properly. If you want to save money repairing your foundation, then reach out to a professional contractor in your area for an inspection and evaluation.

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.

Our Experts are Here to Help

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Service Areas


8361 Town Center Ct
Nottingham, MD 21236


311 Central Rd.
Suite 2-02
Fredericksburg, VA 22401

Hampton Roads & NE NC

2569 Quality Ct
Virginia Beach, VA 23454

Northern VA & DC

7940 Gainsford Ct.
Bristow, VA 20136


309 Quarles Rd
Ashland, VA 23005

Southwest Virginia / Roanoke

2033 Cook Dr.
Salem, VA 24153

Western Virginia

456 Old Courthouse Rd
Appomattox, VA 24522


45 W Boscawen St,
Winchester, VA 22601