Technical Papers

Signs of a Settling Foundation

Monday, August 5th, 2013 by Valyn Daconto

Foundation settlement is something that plagues many buildings of businesses and homeowners in Southern California. Much of the concern is caused by the clay soil that most of these structures are commonly built on. The characteristics of clay soil do not make it ideal for supporting concrete foundations and slabs. This is because clay soil drastically expands and contracts due to the amount of moisture and water content retained at the time. When the soil shifts, the concrete on top of the clay is not flexible so it will likely crack and cause major structural damage.

Clear Signs of Foundation Settlement

If you think your house is built on clay soil, it’s important to keep an eye out for some major signs of a settling foundation.  Here are a few to look out for: 

  • A chimney that’s tilting, leaning or pulling away from the house- This could mean that the ground below your chimney or even the entire house is shifting and causing damage.
  • Windows & doors that jam and stick- If you have trouble opening or closing windows and doors, this could mean that your foundation is settling and throwing off the alignment of these openings.
  • Cracks in a concrete slab floor- A clear sign that you have a settling foundation is cracks in your concrete floor slab because of ground heaving.
  • Concrete block or brick foundation walls with stair-step cracks- Foundation settlement shifts foundation walls and begins to separate blocks or bricks from the grout that holds your foundation together and in place.
  • Drywall cracks- Cracks in the drywall throughout your home are a sure indicator of a settling foundation. These cracks often appear at the corners of windows and doors, or along drywall seams.

Signs of a Settling Foundation - Image 1As soon as you notice one of these major signs, it’s important to contact your local foundation repair contractor as soon as possible. They will have all the tools and training to properly identify the source of your settling foundation and determine a course of action. 

Total Foundation Replacement?

Many people think that foundation settlement, or any foundation damage for that matter, requires a total foundation replacement- false!  Foundation replacement is not only extremely expensive and disruptive to your home and landscape, but it doesn’t actually address the source of the problem- the soil surrounding your structure.  Be sure to weigh all of your options and get a quality, reputable contractor to address the situation before jumping to the conclusion that you need to completely replace your foundation.

Local Foundation Repair Contractor

For more information about foundation settlement and repair methods in Southern California, contact Saber Foundation Repair. Their team of foundation experts are fully trained and certified to survey and develop a complete plan for any foundation problem you are experiencing. If you live in San Diego, Santa Ana, Riverside, Oceanside, Fontana, Huntington Beach, or the surrounding area, they are the foundation repair company to call.  Don’t let a shifting or settling foundation get you down- there’s a foundation repair solution for you today!  

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Vista, CA 92081
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