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Foundation Settlement Signs and Tips

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When purchasing your home, did you ever consider your home’s foundation health? When you bought your home it stood firm, so the foundation was not a concern for you; however, since soil shifts and settles over time, your home’s foundation may also begin to settle.  Here is more insight into the causes of foundation settlement.

Dry Soil

First, settlement happens when the soil around your foundation becomes dry. For homes located in areas that do not see rainfall for months, clay soil begins to crack and shrink as it dries out. When cracking begins, empty pockets will form in the soil. The weight of your home is not supported when these empty pockets exist, thus causing foundation settlement.

Secondly, tree roots play a part in creating dry soil. Trees planted near your home will steal water from your foundation to feed their roots. This will dry out the soil as well.

Soil that is Wet

Wet soil is another cause of foundation settlement. Heavy rainfall, flooding, and poor drainage will create puddles of water around your foundation. These will soften the soil and the weight of your home will not be supported properly, causing it to sink.

Poor Compacted Soil

Builders may have used soil from hills, to create a flat surface during the time of construction.  If the builders did a poor job filling the new soil, then with time the soil will compress because of the weight of your home.   

Foundation Settlement Signs

If foundation settlement problems are occurring in your home, there will be noticeable exterior and interior warning signs.  

Exterior Warning Signs

You will notice cracks that appear around your doors or window frames. These cracks resemble a stair like pattern and as settlement continues, these cracks will grow traveling up your wall.

Your home’s most vulnerable points are where windows and doors are due to the opening in the framework. If you notice windows extracting from their frames, or pulling away from w alls, you may have foundation settlement.

Lastly, a more dramatic sign of settlement is chimney separation from the rest of your home. If your chimney was built on a separate foundation than the rest of your home and your foundation begins to settle, there is a larger possibility of chimney separation.

Interior Warning Signs

Foundation settlement will also have indoor warning signs. Doors and windows that are not opening or closing properly, may be one of the indoor warning signs of settlement. Try leveling the top of your doors and window frames or change the locks on your doors. If doors and windows still do not close or open correctly after these steps are taken, call to have a foundation inspection.

A second indoor warning sign of foundation settlement is cracking drywall. Cracks will resemble similar stair shaped pattern starting from corners of doors and windows and move up your walls. Cracks may also be seen on concrete floors in the interior of your home.

If you are experiencing any of these foundation settlement problems, call 803-220-3550 to schedule your free foundation inspection today or schedule online now.

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