Problems with a sinking foundation are caused when the soil your home rests on is not stable enough to support the weight of the structure. This results in uneven settlement and sinking, and can have many causes, including:
- Soil incorrectly prepared during construction
- Soil volume loss due to drought
- Clay soil expansion and contraction due to water saturation
- Voids (empty spaces) created by water drainage problems
Signs of a sinking foundation include:
- Sloping or uneven floors
- Cracked or bowed walls
- Gaps between walls and floor/ceiling
- Crooked/sticking doors and windows
- Cracks in foundation (often stair step cracks)
- Cracks in concrete floors (basement, garage)
- Cracks between bricks
- Tilting chimneys
- Water leaking into basement
- Separation of an addition from main structure
It is important to correct foundation problems as soon as possible or they will only get worse, causing increasingly expensive interior damage and lowering your property value.
Sinking Foundation Repair Options
There are two ways to address your sinking foundation:
The decision is often based on homeowner preference, but our consulting engineer will offer guidance if a particular option is strongly recommended for your home.
Both raising and stabilizing are achieved with compaction grouting. Compaction Grouting is a state-of-the-art, cost effective technique that injects stiff grout into the ground beneath your home. This makes the soil more dense, which increases its ability to support the structure. Compaction grouting has many advantages over conventional pier or piling methods. Most importantly, it solves the problem at the source and prevents it from recurring.
This technique is ideal for repairing cast-in-place concrete and concrete block foundations commonly used in the construction of modern homes. However if you live in an older home, we also have extensive experience repairing stone foundations in historic structures.
Stabilize A Sinking Foundation
Stabilizing a sinking foundation means correcting the soil problem so it becomes strong enough to support the home. The foundation will remain at the current level and not sink any farther.
Stabilizing a sinking home is often preferable to raising it. As the home sinks over time, changes in the structure impact the interior, and many homeowners remodel to correct these problems.
Raising the home often results in structural changes that can impact interior and framing elements such as floors, windows and doors that may have already been repaired to work at the existing (sunken) level. This can also crack newly remodeled finishes such as paint, plaster and drywall.
The need to avoid damage to interior remodeling is a deciding factor for many homeowners when choosing to either raise or stabilize their home. Another important consideration is that stabilizing a foundation is not as costly as raising one.
Raise A Sinking Foundation
Raising a home with a sinking foundation includes two stages:
- Correcting the soil problem so it becomes strong enough to support the structure
- Raising the structure to the original level
When a home is raised, the grout continues to be slowly and carefully pumped after soil has been compacted and stabilized. The "bulb" of grout, which is strategically placed some distance from the foundation, causes the ground to displace and heave upwards. The newly compacted soil is in direct contact with the foundation, providing uniform support which allows it to be raised in a safe, controlled manner.
Foundation Crack Repair
After your foundation has been properly raised or stabilized, it is important to address any cracks in the foundation walls caused by the sinking to stop existing leaks and prevent new water infiltration.
The Lincoln team repairs these cracks using epoxy injection, which is a fast, effective, affordable and permanent solution backed by our 15 year warranty.