A home that is sinking at one end has foundation problems—house leveling may help. Foundation erosion, structural damage, soil condition issues, under-slab plumbing leaks, poor exterior drainage and intrusive tree roots all can contribute to foundation problems, which must be addressed before house leveling is performed.
Why do foundations heave or settle? Water and soil are the main culprits. When combined, the two can be a force that causes foundation cracks as well as movement, including settling. Foundation movement can occur in slab foundations, pier and beam foundations and in homes with full basements. A house foundation that experiences excessive heaving or settling eventually will shift and crack. House leveling may be the solution.
In addition to house leveling, the problems that caused the foundation shifts need to be considered. Expansive clay soils contribute to foundation movement. As the clay soil absorbs water it exerts excessive pressure on the foundation, heaving it upward. The soil dries, shrinks and the foundation settles, moving downward. Poor exterior drainage is a contributor to the excessive water in the soil underneath the foundation.
Water from plumbing leaks under a slab foundation or from excessive flowerbed watering also can seep under the foundation, over-saturating soil. Likewise, foundation soil can become over-saturated from water that drains back towards the foundation from improperly graded driveways, walks and patios.
Soil also shifts when it becomes too dry. Sometimes large trees have roots that extend underneath the foundation. These roots can absorb as much as 100 gallons of water daily from the soil. As soil loses moisture it shrinks. Soil shrinkage contributes to foundation movement, in particular differential movement. Differential movement happens when one area of the foundation has moved while other areas have not. Your foundation may develop stair-shaped cracks when it is affected by differential movement. House leveling can help reset the foundation and help prevent future cracks and problems.
House leveling costs vary depending on the foundation’s condition and other variables. Olshan offers a Hybrid Piling System that combines both steel and concrete components for best foundation support. For a foundation repair estimate, contact a certified repair specialist.