The topic we are going to cover today is house and foundation settling issues. You may have asked yourself, what exactly is house settling? You may have wondered what amount of house settling is normal and what is not. We will answer these questions here today and fill you in on some signs of more extreme house settling might be trying to tell you.
House settling is a process you go through with your home. It has to do with all of the wood that was used to build your home. What comes from the forest takes time to dry out, a process that is called the kiln-dry process. Any settling that can occur from this process of moisture leaving the wood can cause a problem for your foundation. Kiln dried materials can typically shrink in a range from 13% to 19% of their original size as lumber. This natural shrinkage can eventually cause cracks or splits from the screws used in the construction, along with a host of other problems.
There is also a lot of water in the concrete that is poured for your foundation. It takes a long time for the water content to come out. As the water is coming out, there will be shrinkage, and it’s very normal for houses to settle. The concrete is basically finding where the place it is going to end up sitting.
Any movement in your home won’t typically be physically seen. The change is gradual, and through some more alarming sights may appear from the shifting, the house itself doesn’t majorly shift. More normal settling can also cause door and windows to stick. Baseboards can begin to come away from the walls due to shrinkage or shifting. Drywall cracks can so commonly accumulate that builders will oftentimes come out to the homes and do the repairs for free.
Some ways to know the difference between what is normal house settling and major foundation issues lies in the building materials and how they normally behave. Concrete, for example, is very prone to cracking and doesn’t mean there is an issue with your foundation if they are present. The magnitude of the cracking is mostly what is important.
Some large cracks that have formed at the top corners of your doors or windows can signal more serious issues. If windows are cracking or floorboards are coming up from the floor you can presume there is a deeper issue at hand. If your home is presenting some signs of more serious foundational settling issues, there are solutions that can help.
Foundation repair companies, such as Barrier Waterproofing Systems, can actually reinforce the support of the foundation of the home from the bottom up! To learn more about piering and other foundation repair services, visit our website or give us a call at (615) 257-1060 | (931) 536-1168.