We hear this all the time: what exactly does a home settling mean? As time moves on, a home will naturally sink lower in the ground, which then affects the foundation. The amount it settles and how the ground shifts around it also depends on the type of soil it’s built into, which a good builder will know when installing the foundation. Weather, such as flooding or drought, will also cause the soil to shift and move over time, so it’s simply expected that a home will have some natural settlement over time. But what is some common damage and how do you know if it’s settling or an issue that needs repair?
Cracks in the walls.
Even years after a home is built, it’s natural to see some hairline cracks in the foundation walls and even concrete floor. The house settling will put pressure on certain spots, causing that small damage. In general, it’s not a huge worry, but it never hurts to bring in the experts for an inspection if you want a second opinion. The settling cracks are also small, around 1/16 inch, so anything bigger than that with a gap will need to be checked out in case it needs repair.
Gaps between the home and ground.
Just like your home settles, so will the soil around it. If you’ve been dealing with a lot of extreme drought, for example, the soil will start to dry up and pull away from the home, and it will potentially settle a little lower than expected. After years of this, the grading around your home will start to decline, which could allow water to get in through the foundation. If you’re not sure how the grading around your home is doing, then it’s time for an inspection. Dealing with water intrusions is one sign that the grading is too low to properly direct water away from the home.
Sticking doors or windows.
As the foundation begins to gradually move, you might notice doors and windows are hard to open because they stick or become hard to close without extra force. Try to observe the frames around them to see if you can spot where the alignment is off or which direction the foundation might be sinking. This signals as issue with uneven settlement or a sinking foundation, and it will only get worse over time and needs expert repair.
Concrete & Foundation Solutions proudly serves the Twin Cities metro and addresses all of your concrete and foundation needs. Give us a call to get a free consultation set up if you’ve been seeing any of the above issues.