Serving Mid, Western and Northern Michigan,
Kalamazoo, Lansing, Grand Rapids, Traverse City
Wednesday, October 24th, 2018 by Amanda Waldmann
Foundation problems are scary. It can be difficult to wrap your mind around “your house is sinking” and believe that there’s a solution other than “tear it down and start over.” But that’s what we explain to people every time we’re called out to inspect a failing home.
First, let’s talk about why foundations settle. When a house is built, a concrete slab is often poured before the footer (if you have a monolithic foundation, this is all one massive poured piece). The foundation walls are then built, and the house, and so on and so forth. But it’s all resting on that slab, and the soil beneath the slab. If the soil isn’t stable - maybe it’s loose, maybe it’s sandy, or maybe there’s just a ton of water movement in the soil - it can erode
Second, let’s go over some of the telltale signs of foundation issues. Sticking doors and windows are one of the major signs, as well as slanting or sloping floors. Have a desk chair that just won’t stay pushed in? Your foundation might be to blame. You may also notice gaps in the baseboards, cracks emanating from door frames, or even an off-kilter porch railing.
All of these things happen because, when a foundation settles, it creates a chain reaction. Some parts of the house settle with the foundation, and others are caught in limbo with no support from below and weight bearing down from above. The key to righting the rest of the house is providing support for the slab and foundation. That’s where piering comes in.
When soil is loose, washed out, or otherwise unstable, the key is that there will be a depth where the soil is stable. Our job is to determine that depth and then get there. After excavation,, steel helical and push piers are drilled to a predetermined depth and anchored in stable soil. They’re then bracketed to the slab and can potentially lift the foundation to its original position.
The weight of the home is transferred from the unstable soil to the steel pier, preventing further sinking and settling. This makes your home stable and safe.
Foundation issues can be alarming and, unchecked, can be dangerous. Keep your home and family safe and call us to schedule your free inspection.