Weak Bearing Soils

foundation settelingSome soils are simply not capable of supporting the weight or bearing pressure exerted by a building’s foundation. As a result, the footings press or sink into the soft soils, similar in theory to how a person standing in the mud sinks into soft, wet clay.

In such cases, footings may be designed to spread the load over the weak soils, thereby reducing potential foundation settlement. However, the majority of settlement problems caused by weak bearing soils occur in residential construction, where the footings are designed based upon general guidelines and not site-specific soil information.

Your Soil Can Make A Difference

The ground your home is built on plays a critical role in your foundation’s stability. Your home could be at risk if the soil wasn’t prepared properly when your home was built, there isn’t an adequate drainage system installed, or you live in an area that experiences a lot of rain or drought.

Like a sponge, soil responds to change in moister. When it rains, the soil expands, pressing against your home’s foundation. Continued pressure can result in cracked or bowed walls, uneven floors and even chimney separation. And just like a sponge, when the soil dries it shrinks: pulling away from your foundation, creating gaps where your foundation can lean or settle.



Bad Drainage and Water Runoff

wp1Bad drainage is the leading cause to foundation settlement. If water continually flows in one spot, it begins saturating the ground and soil around and under your foundation. This saturation causes the soil to become weak. A structures foundation relies on the soul around it for stability. Once this stability is broken by wet soil, gravity will run its course, breaking and cracking your foundation. Under pressure and the amount of heavy weight a structure has, this leads to foundation settlement. So what really causes  foundation settlement? Water. Rain water and bad drainage. What can you do to prevent this problem from ever happening to you? By rerouting any water that may put your home at any potential risk of foundation problems before it is an issue.


Can I Fix Foundation Settlement Problems Myself?

Foundation Settlement repair is not a do-it-yourself project. Filling the problem area with dirt or gravel isn’t going to solve the real problem. Adding concrete under your foundations footing is never recommended and will only create more weight causing the structure to settle more rapidly. And if it’s a moisture problem due to poor drainage, the solution will require much more than cleaning out your gutters. Foundation problems, like foundation settlement, require a professional inspection, evaluation, and may require underpinning or a piering solution to level and stabilize your home. Our advice, don’t let this problem happen to you. Speak to a Pro Seal specialist today for a free home inspection.

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