Settling Foundations

Settling Foundations

Many foundation problems start out with usually a small crack in an exterior veneer wall such as brick.  Chimneys, porches, steps, basement walls, and other exterior structures are areas that typically show problems before anywhere else.  There are many causes to settling foundations but the main one is unstable soil.   Usually unstable soil is caused by uncompacted fill dirt, negative slope of soil that brings water to the foundations, severe droughts, and even trash pits.  These are the most typical situations causing most settling foundations in the Atlanta area.

Common Questions

Settling

How do I know if I have a foundation problem?

The most cost effective and permanent solution is to install soil anchors (piers) to stabilize the settling problem.   Piers are places along the footing/foundation with structural steel pressed through the unstable soil to a “bedrock type” base soil. The piers are then covered up.

Settling Foundations - Before & After

What happens if the settling isn’t addressed and the problem continues?

Walls can continue to settle as the dirt moves causing additional cracks, sinking, and even leaning/buckling foundation walls.   If the problem is corrected quickly the foundations can be repaired in a way that may never show a problem ever existed.  If it continues settling, it can get to the point that rebuilding is the only option.

Settling Foundation

How do you fix a settling foundation problem?

Look for abnormal cracks in sheetrock, sticking or unlevel doors and floors, caulk cracks around exterior windows, and stair step cracks in mortar joints.  There are many more signs but these are the most obvious signs.