Fort Worth Foundation Settlement
What it Means for Your Home
Are you unsure whether or not your home is dealing with foundation settling? If you have moved into a home that was built more than 10 years ago, it probably has already undergone a good deal of settlement. Your foundation may or may not have related issues depending upon the types of foundation settlement it has undergone and how severe the settlement cracks in your foundation are. If you have just had your home built, you can expect it to “bed down” over the course of the next decade.
If you have further questions about foundation settlement in Fort Worth, contact G.L. Hunt Foundation Repair today.
What Causes Foundation Settlement?
Your foundation settling relates back to the soil your home has been built on. To a lesser extent, the type of foundation your home is built on also plays a part. Soil that is too dry, too wet, or rapidly shifting from wet to dry can cause foundation settlement. A good deal of the soil types across the country are considered expansive soils, meaning they are prone to this cycle of expanding when soaked with water and then shrinking when dry.
Types of Foundation Settlement
When it comes to foundation settlement and how that can affect your home, you can categorize the settlement into two varieties: Uniform settlement and differential settlement. The different types of foundation settlement lead to different kinds of settlement cracks. The good news is that even if you do notice some house settling cracks, it does not necessarily mean you will need foundation settling repair.
Uniform Settlement of Foundations
As you can guess from the name, uniform settlement is when your home’s foundation settles at a constant rate. Each point of the structure sinks into the soil or bedrock at the same time and the same rate. This typically happens when your home has been built on a uniform type of soil with the same level of support and compaction around it as well as adequate drainage. Uniform settlement generally does not create major problems for your home’s foundation. There may be some very minor cracking that will not affect your home’s stability.
Differential Settlement of Foundations
Contrasting with uniform settlement is differential settlement. Homes that undergo differential settlement have different points of the foundation sinking at different rates. Some areas may remain stable while others begin to sink into the soil. This is most often caused by the fact that structures tend to be built on slightly different soils - differences that can be exacerbated by the digging and compaction that accompanies the construction process. Another factor in differential settlement is the fact that throughout a structure such as your home the load and structural systems are going to vary. Differential settlement leads to more serious foundation cracks as well as cracks in your interior walls and basement floors. Pier and beam foundations settle differently than slab foundations, so this will have an effect on your unique situation as well.
How Can Foundation Settlement Be Prevented?
Overwhelmingly you will not be able to prevent foundation settlement. However, there are certain steps you can take to encourage your home to undergo uniform settlement instead of differential settlement, which causes the need for foundation settlement repair.
Because the water content of your soil plays such a major role in foundation settlement, you can encourage uniform settlement by controlling the amount of water in your soil with a foundation irrigation system. This simply allows you to ensure your soil has an appropriate moisture content during dry weather.
Adequate Yard Drainage
While foundation irrigation systems can help the moisture content of your soil in dry periods, you may be feeling helpless if you find yourself in a deluge of rain that just won’t stop. Soil being oversaturated with water is just as dangerous to your foundation as soil that is too dry. The only way to keep your soil from becoming oversaturated during times of heavy rainfall is to make sure you have proper grading in your yard so that the water is draining away from your foundation. There are many types of drainage systems that can be put in place to make sure you have adequate yard drainage.
Placement of Trees And Shrubs
You may be surprised at how much of an effect the roots in trees and shrubs can have on the moisture content of your soil. You want to make sure the plants in your yard are working with you and not against you. If they are too close to your foundation, they can strip moisture from the soil. This will decrease the volume of the soil and put more weight on parts of your foundation, leading to differential settlement and house settling cracks.
If your home has undergone differential settlement that has led to major foundation cracks or other issues, call the pros at (817) 438-2052 for a free estimate on what it would take to get your foundation stabilized.