Settlement occurs when the soil below a home is unstable, causing it to expand and contract, resulting in a sinking movement, or settling, of the house’s foundation. This leads to cracks in interior and exterior surfaces, most often on the foundation or on walls and ceilings.
Foundation settlement can be caused by:
- Evaporation. Hot and dry conditions may cause soil to pull away from the foundation. Settlement due to this moisture imbalance can cause cracks to appear throughout the structure.
- Transpiration. Tree roots can dehydrate the soil beneath a home causing soil shrinkage.
- Plumbing Leaks. Water from leaky plumbing is often a major contributor to foundation and settlement problems including heaving.
- Drainage. Improper drainage will lead to excess moisture buildup, which can erode or consolidate soils. Excessive moisture may cause heaving and expansive soils.
- Site Preparation. Cut and fill situations, where soil is removed from part of the building site and stacked on another, need proper soil stabilization before a structure is built; otherwise, unexpected movements of the soil beneath the foundation may occur.
Epp Concrete uses two solutions for foundation settlement problems: