You have probably heard the phrase “the house is just settling.” Usually, people use this phrase when they hear creaks or groans inside a home. Hearing some creaks in your house is natural. But make sure you aren’t in danger of foundation settlement problems.
What is Foundation Settlement?
Foundation settlement occurs when the earth under or around your foundation begins to shift. This creates gaps in the soil that could cause your home to sink, tilt, or become unbalanced.
When building any foundation, some settlement is always expected. Foundation contractors work with this in mind, allowing for some shifting to occur without putting your home at risk.
Many outside factors can increase the shifting of the earth, which is what creates the potential for damage.
What Causes Foundation Settlement?
Settlement in your foundation is not something always caused by human error. It is a natural result of soil shifting and adjusting to the addition of your home’s foundation.
As such, the causes of serious foundation settlement can be:
Seasonal weather contributes greatly to foundation settlement. Foundations constructed during rainy seasons might experience unexpected settlement once the earth has a chance to dry throughout. Conversely, foundations built during dry, summer months will undergo more pressure from the soil when it swells with moisture.
In Austin, there are several types of soil that might affect your foundation after construction. Some soils settle differently than others and are affected differently by moisture. Foundation contractors are experienced in building to the soil needs of your home and take the unique qualities of each type into account.
The longer your home has been in place, the less foundation settlement will occur. Newer houses are at the highest risk for foundation settlement. However, plants also have longer to grow, which might encroach on your foundation.
Tree or Plant Growth
Trees are truly forces of nature. As roots spread deeper and wider in the earth, they displace the soil around them. This may directly affect your foundation, or might create gaps in the soil, which would cause your foundation to shift as well.
What to Look Out For
If you encounter any of the following, you might want to hire a foundation inspector to check for foundation settlement:
• Doors are sticking, or swinging open/closed by themselves
• Drywall or ceiling cracks
• Uneven or unlevel floors
• Wobbly furniture (this is often a sign of uneven floors)
If your foundation feels unsteady or you’re concerned that you’ve had improper foundation settlement and you live in Austin, contact Done Right Foundation Repair to send an expert foundation contractor to your home.