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Sinking Foundation

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Sinking Foundation - Sinking Front Porch
Sinking Foundation – Sinking Front Porch

Ground sinking near your home’s foundation indicates that you have a serious foundation problem. It may not be the first thing you notice so look for other common foundation problem signs like drywall cracks, stuck windows, house settling noises, and cracked bricks.

Understanding Sinking Foundation Problems in Virginia, Maryland and DC

Identifying & Repairing Issues Related To Sinking Foundations & Foundation Settlement

Do These Foundation Problems Look Familiar?

Sinking Foundation FAQ

We’re here to help you find the perfect solution for your home, and determine if the ground sinking around your foundation is causing house settling which may require foundation repair.

If you’re concerned about the cost of repairing a sinking foundation, you may want to try and fix the problem on your own time. DIY solutions, after all, have been lauded for their money-saving practicality in the past. However, trying to repair your foundation on your own time and with your own tools is more than just a challenge—it can be impossible. 

Foundation Excavation 

Consider this: More often than not, the process of repairing your foundation requires a professional to excavate some or all of your foundation. This process is long enough when you have the proper tools on hand. If you try to undertake the same task with nothing but a shovel, you may find yourself working for days as the problem with your foundation gets worse. Similarly, you may not have access to the repair measures needed to address the sinkage that’s plaguing your home. 

Making Mistakes on the Job 

A lack of materials, however, is not the only reason you should consider leaving foundation repair work to the professionals. There is always a chance that, while you’re trying to fix your foundation, you may make the problem you’re contending with worse. You may, for example, attend to a superficial problem with your foundation and come to believe your whole space has been fixed. In the meantime, your foundation might continue to crack or otherwise suffer under the strain of unrepaired damage. 

Losing Money on a DIY Project 

Finally, the cost of a DIY foundation sinkage solution can run you far more than professional services might. Not only might you have to replace materials you used, but you may have to purchase one-use tools that could cost thousands of dollars. Should something go wrong during repairs, you may have to call a professional anyway. The cost of professional repairs after you’ve attempted a DIY foundation repair solution can run high, as contractors have to remove the materials you installed before they can implement those solutions that’ll restore your home’s previous value.

When it comes to stabilizing the ground near a sinking foundation, you have a few different options available to you. In stabilizing the ground, however, note that you can combine protective measures to better hold your soil in place and redistribute the weight that may be causing trouble for your foundation. 

If you are especially concerned about the appearance of your home and landscaping, should the ground around your home start to sink, you can speak with a professional landscaper in addition to a contractor to see how best you might marry new landscaping with those tools you need to prevent additional damage to your home. 

Redirecting the Flow of Water Away From Your Home 

One of the simplest ways to keep moisture away from the perimeter of your home is to fiddle with your grading. Most yards have either a negative or a positive grade. Homes with a negative grade will direct water towards that house’s perimeter, whereas homes with a positive grade will direct moisture away from the house. You can work with area landscapers to re-grade a negative lawn and limit the amount of water that comes into contact with your foundation.

Gutters and downspouts also help you control the flow of water around your home. If you’ve had trouble keeping your gutters free of debris, you can install gutter guards around your property to limit blockages. You can also invest in underground downspouts if you’ve had trouble with your downspouts disconnecting before. Underground downspouts are also ideal for homeowners who hate to move their downspouts anytime they need to mow the lawn.

Foundation Underpinnings  

Of course, you also have the option of investing in more traditional home piers if mudjacking isn’t your style. Professional contractors can install a wide variety of piers beneath your home, first by excavating around your foundation. Some of the most common piers in use include: 

  • Slab piers – Ideal for slab foundations, these piers root beneath your home and can force your slab back into place, allowing you to seal the crack or provide additional supports for the rest of your foundation. 
  • Helical piers – Primarily used beneath lighter concrete structures. These piers are “screwed” into the ground to more stable soil like bedrock deep below your foundation for better support. 
  • Push piers – One of the most common types of piers in use, push piers take the weight of your home off your foundation while also repositioning a foundation that’s started to sink. 

Once you have piers in place, contractors will have an easier time replacing any damaged structural supports that have given way in your foundation, basement, or crawl space. This repair method doesn’t so much stabilize the ground near your foundation as it helps you prevent your foundation and home from sinking alongside that soil.

Several forces work against your foundation as it tries to keep your home in place. One of the most common reasons, for example, that your foundation may begin to sink is that it may be contending with extensive hydrostatic pressure. Hydrostatic pressure is the force water generates when it comes into contact with the structural supports you have protecting your home. 

As this water gathers in the soil around your foundation, it can force your foundation’s structural materials to rapidly change temperature. In doing so, those materials’ particles will also be forced to change in size. The colder the water the material is exposed to, the smaller the particles will become. 

Comparatively, the warmer the water is, the larger the materials will become. This fluctuation will be made more frequent if you have excessive levels of moisture in your home or if you’re actively trying to alter the temperature of your basement or crawl space. As your structural materials attempt to contend with these many changes, they can endure a significant amount of stress and eventually crack under the pressure—literally. 

Other Causes Behind Sinking Foundations 

That said, foundations can also begin to sink if they were improperly laid. Alternatively, the soil around your home may have been destabilized by long-term drought. Droughts can shrink the size of the soil particles around your home, making them incapable of absorbing water from rain or irrigation systems. Tree roots that grow too close to your foundation can cause gaps to open up in the soil. Your foundation, in turn, can start to sink into the space that’s been left behind. 

It is often in your best interest to collaborate with a professional contractor in your area to determine what might be causing your home to sink and, in turn, what solutions may help you restore your home’s original value. You can first work to raise your foundation back into its original position and then install preventive measures that can lower your home’s risk of succumbing to hydrostatic pressure in the future.

I was very happy with the whole experience working with JES. We had an addition that had begun to sink and move away from the house due to the foundation not being on solid ground. They performed all the work when they said they would, obtained all the necessary permits, and were cleaned up and out actually a little early. The foreman on the job was great and even took the time to show and explain to me the process at various points. I recommend them and would use them again.

~ Sam W., Midlothian, VA

Sinking Foundation 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.

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