There’s just no way of getting around it – all homes are going to settle over time.
Some homes are going to settle less than others, but eventually every property is going to be pulled a little deeper into the earth than when they were first built.
Unfortunately, many homes are going to settle so much that the home itself becomes unlevel. And that’s when the problems start to pile up.
Thankfully, though, it’s easier today (and more affordable, too) than ever before to fix these problems quickly and (for the most part) permanently.
Let’s jump right in, shall we?
Why Do Homes Settle?
Like we mentioned a moment ago, every home on the planet – every structure, really – is eventually going to settle into the earth.
A lot of different factors come into play with determining just how much your home is going to settle, though.
Water and weather are two of the biggest culprits responsible for settling.
Water is inevitably going to cause erosion and compaction issues underneath your home and your foundation. Combine that with extreme temperatures (both hot and cold) and you could be dealing with freezing, heaving, and then big pockets being created when that water rushes away.
Your soil composition is also going to have a big role to play as far as how much settling you have to deal with is concerned.
Some soils are particularly sandy and allow for fantastic drainage and compaction, preventing homes from shifting or settling all that much.
Other soils are rich in clay, which has a nasty tendency of swelling, expanding, and then contracting over time – causing settling issues to accelerate.
Finally, how your home was built, how big your home is (and how heavy it is), and the type of foundation chosen all have an impact on settling, too.
At the end of the day, though, every home is going to shift and every home is going to settle at least a little bit.
How to Know If My Home Needs House Settling Interventions
There are some telltale signs you’ll want to be on the lookout for to determine whether or not your home needs to be leveled in the first place.
Some of these signs and symptoms start off pretty subtle where others are a lot more overt and obvious.
As long as you are regularly inspecting different areas of your home to knock out preventative maintenance before things become a serious emergency you should catch settling and leveling issues in time with ease.
Here are just a few of the most common signs of your home settling so much that leveling is likely necessary:
- Large cracks and splinters in your walls, your ceilings, and your floors
- Doors and windows that don’t want to shut or open
- Floors that are obviously uneven
- Walls that are bulging or bowing
- Gaps between your ceiling/floors and your walls
- Cracks in exterior/interior masonry or brickwork
Popular and Effective Home Levelling Solutions
The general idea behind home leveling is to implement a variety of solutions that will permanently raise up and read level your property – no matter what happens underneath your soil or your foundation.
Different interventions are used at different times (and for different reasons). We breakdown the most common home leveling solutions below.
Pier and Beam Levelling
Pier and beam leveling solutions are some of the most popular options available today.
Resistance (sometimes called push) and helical pier options are different ways to get the same results, with the general idea being to drive these piers deeper into the ground around your foundation until solid “anchor material” is hit.
From there the home is raised and leveled and that attached to these piers to sort of “float”. The foundation material (usually a concrete foundation) is backfilled to seal any gaps and weatherproof your property.
Concrete Slab Levelling
Concrete slab leveling is another option, usually involving a practice known as “mud jacking” or the use of slab lifting foam.
The idea here is to get down underneath the concrete slab and then backfill the area underneath that foundation, overloading the sections that have settled and sagged to bring the property back to level.
A lot of people like this approach because of how fast and inexpensive it is. Unfortunately, though, depending on a variety of different factors – soil composition, amount of releveling necessary, etc. – it may or may not be a solution you can use to get back to level.
Foundation underpinning solutions can sometimes involve a “soil injection” or a “urethane injection” approach.
Soil injections usually involve introducing a chemical stabilizer into your soil about 6 to 10 feet underneath your foundation. This chemical transforms the makeup of the clay inside your soil, turning it into an inert material that no longer responds to moisture changes.
Urethane injections are a more modern form of mud jacking, using a two-part urethane material that first raises up the concrete foundation and then fills in all of the gaps to create a solid “bubble” that the foundation floats on.
Home Levelling is Not a DIY Project
Regardless of the home leveling approach you decide to go with, it’s important for you to hire out this kind of work to experts in the area.
Home leveling is not a DIY project that homeowners are going to want to undertake all on their own.
Professionals in your community are going to have a fantastic understanding of soil composition issues that plague your area specifically, home settling problems unique to your area, as well as a mountain of experience to draw from to get your home level again.
The last thing homeowners want to do is start poking and prodding around a foundation that is already settling to the point where leveling is required.
Lean on experts to use the right solution to fix your problem once and for all.
You’ll get better results, faster results, and you won’t have to worry about your home leveling project going sideways and causing even more problems for you to fix!