Foundations are arguably the most important part of a home. For that reason, any issues with a foundation can lead to problems with your house. One of the biggest causes for foundation issues is unsupportive soil that cannot support the weight of a heavy foundation.
In this article, we’ll outline why a house starts sinking in the first place, and then go over the solution to the problem – our various pier systems. Read on to find out more about how Dry Pro can help you with a professional house lifting project.
What Causes a Home to Sink?
As mentioned before, a sunken or uneven home is a result of foundation settlement. Again, foundation settlement occurs when the soil beneath a home becomes too weak to support the structure.
Soil becomes weakened for a few reasons: it becomes too dry, too wet, or is poorly compacted. Each reason affects the soil differently, but they all lead to the same result. Let’s quickly outline how each of these soil problems occur.
Dry and Shrinking Soil
One way soil becomes weak is through drying out. Normally, dry soil is caused by drought. However, large tree roots can also be to blame as they suck moisture from the soil surrounding your home.
When there isn’t enough moisture in a section of the ground, the dirt becomes brittle. When a heavy foundation is resting on top of dry soil, sinking is bound to happen. Concrete or other building materials crush the brittle soil and cause it to break down even further.
Also, dry soil shrinks in volume. While normal soil rests directly below your home’s foundation, dry and shrunken soil causes a gap to form between the ground and the foundation.
When soil shrinks, the gap below your home becomes bigger and deeper. Due to gravity, your foundation has no choice but to collapse and your entire house becomes uneven.
Wet and Oversaturated Soil
Another way soil becomes weak is when it becomes too wet. Heavy rainfall and high humidity are the most common reasons for this soil issue.
Wet soil becomes muddy and soft over time. Eventually, the weight of a home will sink into the weakened soil. If a region experiences a high amount of rainfall, this problem can become especially prevalent.
North Carolina receives about 48 inches of rain every year, almost 10 more inches than the national average. Don’t worry, our team is always here to help NC homeowners with a sinking foundation. Even though you can’t prevent the rain, you can control its effects on your home.
Poorly Compacted Fill Soil
During the construction of a new home, land is filled with additional soils often sourced from separate locations. Sometimes, this soil is not compacted properly during construction.
In other words, the soil is not pressed together tightly enough. As a result, the fill soil does not provide adequate support for the newly built structures.
When soil is not compacted tightly enough, there are small gaps between the soil particles. Even these small gaps can lead to major problems as the new foundation causes the soil to collapse in on itself, leading to a sunken home.
Weak Soil and Foundation Settlement Leads to Other Problems
When your home sinks into the soil, other issues can arise as well. If your foundation is experiencing settlement, look out for these problems:
- Uneven floors
- Wall cracks (indoor and outdoor)
- Stuck doors and windows
- Tilting chimney
All of these indicate foundation settlement and can occur as a result of weak soil. Rest assured, Dry Pro’s goal is to fix all problems associated with foundation repair.
The Solution for Foundation Settlement
While soil issues may seem out of your control, our team is committed to helping you remedy your sinking house. Furthermore, our solutions are designed to prevent these issues from happening in the future.
Dry Pro uses various pier systems to reinforce a sinking home. Piers are a form of underpinning, a process that involves using an external tool to strengthen weak soil and support a foundation.
Piers accomplish this task by being extended deep into the ground and inserted into a load-bearing soil such as bedrock. Using this technique, piers redistribute the weight of a foundation and raise a house back to its original position.
Plus, load-bearing soils are tightly packed and are not affected by external forces such as rain and drought. For this reason, piers provide a long-lasting solution with minimal disruption to your living space.
Dry Pro offers a few different pier systems specialized for your specific house raising needs. Piers come in three varieties:
Push piers have a simple, straight base that is inserted deep below the ground. Using special brackets, push piers are attached to your home’s existing foundation.
Once the brackets are in place and the pier is deep enough, your home is well-supported. You won’t have to worry about problems related to foundation settlement anymore.
Helical piers differ slightly from push piers. Push piers have a straight base, but helical piers have blades (also called helical blades) attached to their base. Helical blades allow this type of pier to be “screwed” into the soil and provide additional support when the pier is deep below the ground.
While helical piers contain a different base than push piers, they are attached in a similar fashion. With special brackets, helical piers are connected to your foundation and redistribute the weight of your home in a safe manner.
As their name implies, slab piers are designed specifically for concrete slab foundations. One of our foundation experts will be able to fit the pier below your concrete slab with specialized tools. Due to this pier’s unique design, the installation will be nearly invisible once completed.
As with all the other pier designs, slab piers are driven deep below the ground and lift your concrete slab foundation back into place. Once again, these piers offer the same lifting process as other slabs by redistributing your home’s weight.
Hire a Professional Foundation Specialist
We care about the safety of you and your home. For that reason, we strongly recommend steering clear of DIY house lifting and concrete piers.
DIY house lifting projects rarely work because foundation solutions require special tools that the vast majority of homeowners cannot find or operate. Our goal is to keep you and your home safe, and DIY options don’t provide that safety.
Concrete piers are simply counterintuitive. If your concrete foundation is settling because of weak soil, concrete piers will do the same. They’re made of the same material and are just as heavy. They will only add to the problem and raise lifting costs.
For the most effective solution, contact Dry Pro Foundation and Crawlspace Specialists. Our team is dedicated to solving foundation issues affecting your home. Contact us to learn more about how our pier systems can protect you for years to come!