“Is my foundation sinking?” is an unsettling question that many homeowners ask when they spot a random crack on their wall or have a door that takes way too much effort to shut. Unfortunately, the answer is probably yes. But why is it sinking? It’s likely a result of two ancient, but common influences: water and heat. Usually these are the main reasons why foundations sink.
Effect water has on foundations
The Earth does not sit still; therefore, the soil beneath your home naturally moves or shifts over time, but at a very gradual rate. It’s weather that expedites the shift and makes the shift more significant. Specifically, consistent rain can be harmful to a foundation. Rain will be absorbed by soil and cause the soil to expand. In some cases, extreme amounts of rain can even cause a foundation to heave, or rise up, rather than sink. However, typical amounts of rain will not result in immediate foundation changes. Instead, the foundation will be affected over the course of many years. Though, problems do arise more rapidly when consistent rain is followed by extended periods of dry heat.
Effect heat has on foundations
In contrast to water, heat forces soil to contract, or shrink. Homes in Dallas, TX are often prone to foundations sinking because of rainy springs that are followed by dry summers. April through May is rainy season in Texas, but the next three months see only sporadic rain, and are filled with 100° days. If foundations sink could be at an imbalance. Too little absorption and too much contraction, or too little contraction and too much absorption, can lead to foundation issues. The soil inconsistencies come with the territory when you live in the great state of Texas.
How to repair a sinking foundation
If you catch the problem early then you should avoid any major repair costs. You’ll want to have a foundation expert come to your home to inspect the foundation and write a repair estimate. Again, you are getting an assessment based on a crack or a door jam. There’s always the possibility that nothing is wrong with your foundation. Regardless, it’s important to have an expert inspect it, just in case. The last thing you want is to ignore a poor foundation symptom just to pay for it (literally) later on.
The common fix to a sinking foundation is of course raising the foundation. This process involves the installation of piers beneath your home. Basically, a professional foundation repairman will fixate a specific number (depending on the home’s size and the severity of the sink) of concrete or steel piers and have them raised through the use of hydraulics. Piering can be relatively expensive, though, the procedure will be well worth it in the long run. Costs will only increase the longer a foundation issue is neglected. Plus, a foundation issue will be a huge hindrance on selling your home, if and when you choose to do so.
If you are concerned about your foundation, know that Structured Foundation Repairs is just a phone call away. We offer a free evaluation and you’ll be blown away by our service and knowledge.