4 Common Causes of Concrete Foundation Settlement and How Lifting Can Help
To maintain the structural integrity of a home or building, a stable and level foundation is crucial. While structures typically start out with a stable foundation, it can experience settlement issues over time. These issues can lead to uneven floors, cracks in the walls and other structural problems. It’s important to fix settlement issues as they don’t get better on their own.
Understanding the common causes of foundation settlement can be helpful for property owners, as it allows them to take proactive measures to address these issues, plus be on alert for certain signs. Let’s cover some common causes of concrete foundation settlement and discuss how concrete foundation lifting in Starkville MS can help restore stability.
Problem #1: Soil Shrinkage and Swelling
Changes in soil moisture content are a primary cause of foundation settlement. Soil that is prone to shrinkage and swelling, such as expansive clay like Yazoo Clay, can contract during dry periods and expand when saturated with water. This cycle of moisture fluctuation causes the soil to shift and settle, putting uneven pressure on the foundation. Eventually, this can lead to cracks and structural instability.
Lifting Solution: Polyurethane Foam Injection
Polyurethane foam injection, also known as poly foam lifting, is a popular method used to lift and stabilize settled foundations. The expanding foam fills voids in the soil, provides support and raises the foundation to its original position. This process is non-intrusive, cost-effective and long lasting.
Problem #2: Poor Soil Compaction
During the construction of a building, it’s important to compact the soil beneath the foundation to ensure stability. Inadequate soil compaction can lead to voids and weak spots, which can cause the foundation to settle unevenly. Factors such as improper site preparation, inadequate moisture control or the presence of organic materials in the soil can contribute to poor compaction.
Lifting Solution: Compaction Grouting
Compaction grouting is an effective technique used to densify and stabilize loose or weak soil beneath a foundation. High-strength grout material is injected into the ground, compacting the soil and filling voids. This process improves soil stability and provides support to the foundation, preventing further settlement.
Problem #3: Plumbing Leaks or Drainage Issues
Water leaks from plumbing systems or improper drainage can have a significant impact on foundation stability. Excess moisture can saturate the soil, causing it to weaken and settle unevenly. This is particularly common in areas with improper grading, insufficient waterproofing or damaged drainage systems.
Lifting Solution: Addressing Underlying Leaks or Drainage Issues
To address this problem, you’ll need to address underlying plumbing leaks or drainage issues to prevent further foundation settlement. Once the source of moisture is resolved, techniques like polyurethane foam lifting can be used to lift and stabilize the foundation quickly, efficiently and affordably.
Problem #4: Poor Foundation Design or Construction
In some cases, foundation settlement issues can be attributed to poor design or construction practices. Insufficient reinforcement, inadequate foundation depth or the use of low-quality materials can all contribute to settlement problems over time.
Lifting Solution: Helical Piers
In situations where the foundation design or construction is the root cause of settlement, more extensive repairs may be required. This can involve underpinning methods such as helical piers or steel push piers, which provide deep foundation support and lift the settled areas to their original position.
Schedule Concrete Foundation Lifting in Starkville MS
Concrete foundation settlement can lead to a range of problems for homeowners, including structural damage, uneven floors and compromised stability. By understanding the common causes of settlement, you can take proactive steps to address the issue and prevent further damage.
If you believe your property is experiencing settlement, contact Foremost Foundations and Construction. We’ll be happy to assess your property and determine the best solutions for your needs and budget. Thanks to advancements in technology, there are many quick, cost-effective ways to repair foundations.