Why is My Foundation Settling and Not My Neighbor’s?

Why are foundation problems occurring in my home and not all of my neighbors are having the same issues?

There are many possible causes of foundation settlement. Some of those causes may affect entire neighborhoods, while others can be site specific. Some examples that might be site specific are poor drainage, poorly compacted fill placed directly under the home’s foundation, different levels of moisture from irrigation, run-off or plumbing leaks, vegetation planted near the foundation, inadequate structural design, etc.

Often, the building distress may be the result of several conditions, and cannot be explained with 100 percent certainty. A thorough geotechnical evaluation with soil borings may help identify the cause, but does nothing to mitigation the symptoms. The FSI push pier can stablize the structure regardless of the cause.

If my house has settled 1 1/2 inches, construction monitoring why am I not seeing more interior damage?

There are a couple of possible reasons for this. The most common is that the wood framing and interior finishes are made of materials that are more flexible and forgiving than the rigid concrete foundation. Also, when a house settles the wood framed portion will often not settle as quickly as the foundation. In other words, the house hasn’t caught up with the foundation yet and is slightly suspended above the foundation. The framing will eventually sag and catch up the foundation movement.

Understanding the underlying causes of foundation settlement is an important step for every engineer to design an appropriate solution for the home. A good resource to get started on educating yourself about foundation repair is a book called Foundation Technology, A Guide to What Goes on Under Your Feet, which has sections dedicated to soil conditions present along the Front Range, as well as helpful checklists, solution sections, and soil mapping.

 

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