Whether you bought a brand new fixer-upper with work to be done, or you’ve started to notice some changes after years of living in your home, you should be aware of what house settling is, what is considered normal settling, and what potential damage could occur if this problem is left untouched.
Keep an eye out for signs of your drywall cracking, windows sticking, or doors that feel stiff or difficult to close. These are all signs of house settling and foundation issues, and they could all potentially cause long-term harm to your structure.
What is House Settling?
Settling is the process by which a home gradually sinks into the ground over time. It’s normal for any house to sink over time, and when it happens, the soil beneath the foundation begins to shift.
House settling, on its own, is not necessarily a cause for alarm. Every construction project is subject to settling. A few inches of settlement are typically not considered problematic, provided the settlement distributes evenly across the structure. House settling will be more significant depending on the weather and environment.
Serious foundational issues can occur if left untreated:
- Permanent damage to the structure
- Tripping hazards
- Unsightly cracks
- Equipment malfunctions
- Loss of real estate value
House settling doesn’t happen overnight. Typically, structural issues tend to start slowly and gradually worsen over time. The amount of settlement and movement will be limited if you live in a suitable environment and have a solid foundation.
Generally, it might take around two years internally before the building settles. In most cases, a house should finish settling after a year. As it progresses through the different seasons and varying levels of humidity, it will eventually stabilize.
What the Foundation Repair Process Looks Like
You may be wondering if you can DIY your way out of a structural issue before it becomes catastrophic, which we don’t recommend. There are ways to repair the foundation without having to tear it out and start from scratch, but this requires a bit more knowledge than you can learn from HGTV shows alone.
Foundation experts can stabilize the sinking portions of your foundation with high-quality tools not accessible to everyone. There are a couple tried-and-true techniques Kent Foundation Repair uses for our clients, depending on their home’s specific issues.
Some of the most common repair methods are:
- Foundation Leveling
Foundation leveling is the process of leveling and stabilizing a home to reduce further settlement. Typically, the foundation starts to settle and become uneven over time. Foundation leveling is one of the most convenient solutions to resolve this issue. Simply put, we drive steel piers into the load-bearing soils beneath the home.
2. Foundation Repair with Helical and Push Piers
Piers are often used to secure and redistribute weight. There are two types: helical piers and push piers. Helical piers are foundation solutions used to secure new or existing foundations. They have curved steel plates which transfer the weight of the home to the pier. Usually, they act as an anchor and are favorable for softer surface soils. Push piers are the best choice for denser soil. The foundation experts drive them into the ground using a hydraulic ram. Major foundation problems may occur ss a result of house settlement. If you’ve noticed changes to your home indicating structural issues are taking place, don’t wait. You’ll want to amend this problem as quickly as possible and reach out to the experts at Kent Foundation Repair.