The threat of a sinking foundation can be extremely intimidating. As a homeowner, the thought of the base of your home falling away under you can really keep you up at night. If sinking footers are affecting your home, don’t panic. This issue can be fixed, and we’re here to help. At Ray Arnold Masonry, we’re fully prepared to take on whatever challenges your home may be facing, and our mission is to make sure homeowners know exactly what to look for when preparing for various problems. We’re here to inform you so that you can be aware of potential threats to your home before they become too dangerous. So what causes sinking footers and how can they be fixed?
What Causes Sinking Footers?
Sinking footers are the result of a few different factors: poor compaction, erosion, and extreme weather conditions. All of these variables have different effects on your home but produce the same result. One of these factors alone is enough to cause sagging in your foundation, but a combination of them will surely induce sinking.
1. Compaction Problems
When your home was built, the construction team was supposed to make sure that the ground below your foundation was flat and solid. The soil underneath your foundation should be undisturbed soil but in the event, it wasn’t correct compacting of material is necessary to avoid settling. When your foundation and home were built on top of a compacted space, the weight of your house pushed down on the soil, squeezing the pockets of air out. As this happened, the ground shifted, causing your foundation to sink.
The same hydrostatic pressure that can cause bowing in your walls is the same force that can cause your foundation to sink. As water forces itself up against the sides of your home, it begins to pool and build up over some time. If more water begins to pool, it can seep down through the soil and make its way under your foundation. When water steadily mingles with the dirt underneath your home, it can cause that soil to soften up or wash away. If the soil below your house isn’t solid or present, your foundation will not have the support it needs and will begin to sink.
3. Extreme Weather Conditions
If your area has experienced periods of droughts, flooding, or freezing, you may be in danger of having sinking footers. When the ground freezes, it forces your foundation upwards, but when the ice in the soil melts, all that built-up pressure is released and the foundation falls downward. Additionally, when the ice from cold weather melts, the remaining water can cause flooding which can erode the soil around your home. On the other hand, if you experience a drought, the ground under your home retracts and crumbles together. This is just as dangerous, as the soil creates a gap between your foundation and the earth, leaving it exposed to sinking.
How Can Sinking Footers Be Fixed?
The good news is that there are multiple ways to fix sinking foundations. If you’re struggling with this issue, consider the following options. Be sure to get in touch with an expert to see which method is right for you and your home.
Piering is the simplest and most cost-efficient option for fixing sinking footers. This method utilizes metal or concrete posts to hold up a sinking foundation. During piering, a large pipe is drilled deep into the earth. Once it’s positioned under your home, your foundation is jacked until it has reached the proper level, at which point it is bolted into place. Piering does not require a ton of equipment to execute and is a great option for homeowners that wish to avoid disruptive work being done on their property.
If your home is built on a concrete slab, slabjacking is the option that will work best for you. In this method, holes are drilled into the area that needs to rise, and a lifting solution is poured into the holes. The solution works its way into the cracks and gaps in your foundation and expands to lift your foundation back up and prevent sinking. Once your foundation has risen, the holes are topped off with a concrete solution to restore your slab to its former glory.
If you’re dealing with sinking footers or other household problems, we’re here to assist you. At Ray Arnold Masonry, taking proper care of your home is our top priority. Our team of experts is dedicated to making sure that your home projects are handled with professionalism and efficiency. Contact Ray Arnold Masonry today for all your masonry needs – Let’s work together to get the job done right!