Repairing Damaged Foundations

Stair-step foundation cracks, buckling walls and sagging floors can greatly decrease your home’s value and influence the way you feel about your home and the way it looks.

In most cases, foundation repair usually takes less than a week – and can often be completed in one day or less.

If your house is exhibiting bowing or leaning foundation walls or has developed cracks in the brick, masonry or drywall, your home may require a foundation repair system that will restore the full value of your home and give you peace of mind.

B.L. Bennett Construction uses proven, patented foundation repair products designed to stabilize and permanently rejuvenate the materials that support your home. Repairing damaged foundations is a specialized line of work and should be handled by trained and expert installers. The team at B.L. Bennett Construction work with these situations and tools every day, so you can rest assured that our experts can fix your home’s foundation problem right the first time.

 

How Does Foundation Settlement Damage Happen?

Every building rests on several separate layers of soil – and every one is different! Each layer has its own thickness, density, and ability to bear weight. Some soils have been in place for generations – naturally placed by wind, water or glacier movement. Other soil layers are new…deposited by contractors and landscapers during the construction of the building. Settlement of the soil occurs when the layers of earth under the foundation of the building cannot support the weight of the structure. There are three general categories of soil change:

  • Drying and Shrinking Soil
  • Moistening and Softening Soil
  • Lack of Compaction of Fill Soil

In the first scenario, foundation soils will dry and shrink. Usually this happens during periods of drought, or with the interference of trees.

Drought: During extended periods of dry weather, the soil surrounding your home may begin to lose moisture. Clay soils, especially, will shrink considerably when they become dry. If this occurs under a foundation, it has the same result as the soil settling. Your foundation will press downward, and as it does so, it can lead to structural damage.

Mature Trees: The root system of a mature tree can be up to twice as large as the tree you see in your yard. If you have a tree arching over your home, there’s a good chance that the roots are under your house as well. For the tree to survive, the roots must draw up enormous amounts of water each day. As the trees drink, the surrounding soil will become dry, shrinking significantly.

There are three common reasons for soils to become too wet and soften, causing a lack of support to the foundation of your home.

Heavy Rain or Flooding: Like any absorbent substance, when soil contacts water, it will hold on to it and become softer and more pliable. Soft soil is not ideal for supporting the weight of a building, as its flexibility and “squishy” characteristics severely reduce its ability to bear a heavy load.

Poor Drainage: If water tends to “puddle” around the home due to insufficient soil grading, clogged gutters or other factors, the soil can absorb the additional water. Clay soils, especially, will soften and the home vulnerable to settling.

Plumbing Leaks or Breached Water Lines: If unnoticed or left unrepaired, plumbing leaks in the area around a home can cause the soil around a home to become saturated and potentially weaken its load-bearing capacity.

Fill Soil Imperfections: To achieve a level surface where a foundation can be laid, builders often import loose soil from other areas, using it to enhance hollow or depressed areas. The recently excavated “fill” soil is lighter and has more air in it, causing it to be much looser and less sturdy than a dense, hard-packed virgin soil native to the site. To even the playing field, the builder must compress this fill soil completely before placing a foundation on the site. If this compaction is not completed, or is not completed properly, the weight of the building could cause the soil to settle, causing foundation integrity issues.

 

Damage to Your Home…Caused by Foundation Settlement

If your foundation shifts or settles, portions of the construction will shift unevenly, which can cause the formation of cracks. As time goes by, the affected areas of the foundation will begin to drift, or “rotate”. This causes existing cracks to widen and alignment to shift. Symptoms of a compromised foundation include tilting chimneys, jamming doors, windows that will not open or close easily or moisture leaking through cracks or openings. Insects and vermin often find their way through the cracks, causing unhealthy infestations in your home. The inside of the home may show symptoms of foundation problems as well. It is not unusual to see warped or cracked drywall, stucco, or other construction elements. The damage will not reverse itself without intervention – and will in fact worsen as time goes by!

 

Foundation Settlement Problems Are Our Specialty!

If you are experiencing a foundation problem, it doesn’t matter what the cause is…we can help you eliminate it! Trust your local foundation repair experts to conduct a thorough evaluation of your foundation. BL Bennett Construction has been answering to the needs of the local community for decades, and we’re ready to help you too!

We’ll advise you as to which methods can be used to permanently stabilize your foundation and restore full market value to your home, while ensuring your peace of mind. Please call or e-mail us today to schedule a FREE foundation repair evaluation!