As you probably know, your entire home rests atop a foundation. However, your home’s foundation rests atop something that is just as important in supporting your home– the ground.
For this reason, any issues affecting the ground can also cause problems for your foundation. We’ll go over common soil issues, and how they affect your foundation in the long run. Plus, we’ll highlight our solutions to the problem so that you can defend against foundation damage.
Soil Affects the Entire Home
You can think of soil as a kind of second foundation for your home – the foundation of your foundation. With this information, you need to understand the various ways that soil can be negatively impacted.
One of the first ways soil can be weakened is through washout. Soil washout is the process by which soil is eroded as water runs over it. Soil washout occurs for a few reasons including:
- Heavy rain
- Poor drainage around your home
- Plumbing floods
- Underground water sources
All these reasons can cause the soil underneath your home to break down over time. Washout soil becomes muddy, soft, and weak. As a result, the wet ground becomes unable to support the weight of your heavy foundation which slowly sinks into the soil.
Dried out soil mostly occurs in places that experience droughts and/or dry climates. Colorado does have a rather dry climate, only experiencing an average of 17 inches of precipitation per year, so dry soil is something to look out for.
When soil becomes too dry, it can become brittle and crumbly. Plus, dry soil shrinks in volume which causes a gap to form between your foundation and the top of the soil. Inevitably, your foundation falls into this gap and sinks.
Poorly Compacted Soils
While this soil issue isn’t impacted by the environment, it can still cause a ton of damage to your home’s foundation. Essentially, this issue means that the soil below your foundation is not packed tightly enough to support its weight.
This tends to arise during a home’s construction process. Soil from an outside location is transported and used to fill in the land for a new home. Sometimes, it doesn’t become solid enough and the new home sinks after some time.
Thankfully, all three of these soil issues can be solved through the same means, our multiple pier systems.
How Pier Systems Work
All our pier systems work in a similar way. Long, galvanized steel rods are inserted below the ground into sturdy, load-bearing soils such as bedrock. These soils are unaffected by outside elements and provide a stable base for your foundation to rest on.
Once our piers are installed, the weight of your home is properly redistributed and you won’t have to worry about a sinking foundation any longer. Plus, the piers push any uneven portions of your foundation back into place, restoring your home to its proper form.
Piers come in three varieties, each with its own unique design. However, they all accomplish the same goal – stabilizing your foundation. Our piers include:
- Push piers
- Helical piers
- Slab piers
If your foundation is sinking or uneven, it’s important to call a professional is soon as possible. We care about you and your home’s safety, and leaving a sinking foundation unattended to can lead to even more problems around your home.
Side Effects of a Sinking Foundation
Beyond making your home tilt or sink into the ground, a settling foundation can cause multiple issues to arise on your property. Let’s quickly review some of these issues and how to identify them.
Stuck Doors and Windows
When your foundation becomes uneven, it can affect doors and windows throughout your home. Since both doors and windows rely on frames to stay in place, any unevenness can cause them to get stuck.
Stay aware of any doors that drag on the floor or windows that just won’t seem to open. If this is the case, you may have an uneven foundation.
When your foundation moves, it can cause minor damage to the walls in your home. Normally, these indoor cracks will shoot off from the upper corners of doorframes or windows.
If your home has a chimney, it can start to become tilted as your home becomes uneven. A gap will form between the exterior wall of your home and the chimney. This can become a hazard to you or your house, potentially allowing bricks to fall.
If your home is made of brick, this is a common side effect of an uneven foundation. As its name implies, look for a stair-step like pattern forming on exterior walls.
You will see gaps in this shape when your foundation starts to sink.
Protect Your Home and Call a Professional
At Foundation Repair of Western Colorado, our team is dedicated to keeping you and your home safe. If your foundation is sinking and you want to keep your home safe, don’t hesitate to contact us, and receive a free quote.
Our team of experts has the tools and experience to solve any foundation problem you throw at them. Keep your home steady for years to come!