Settlement is the movement that your home experiences when the soil below can no longer support its weight. Your response might be to ask what changed because when my home was built it was nice and stable? The reply is that it’s the soil that changed with time. Here in the Peach State, we must contend with specific soil and weather conditions, and the more we educate ourselves about this, the better equipped we are to make the right decisions as homeowners.
The red-clay soil Georgia residents have come to know so well expands in size when it is wet, and when it dries the clay-soil shrinks and reduces in size. Imagine how dramatic this expansion and contraction is when it surrounds the entire belly beneath your home! (2x clay soil photos)
There are three common changes in the soil that lead to settlement:
- Drying and shrinking of soil – drought and tree roots feeding on wet soil shrinks clay
- Wetting and Softening of soil – wet clay becomes soft, weak and squishy causing sinking
- Poorly compacted fill soil at the time of construction
The constant wet and dry Seasonal cycles cause voids in the soil and settlement occurs. (pic of the seasonal tree). There is only one way to put a stop to settlement and, and that is to find a solution that permanently ensures your home’s stability is NOT dependent on unstable soils.
We know that some options don’t work, such as total foundation replacement (see gallery). If a contractor advises you to do this, they clearly do not understand the underlying causes of foundation settlement. It’s not the foundation that is broken, but rather the voided soils around the home that are causing the foundation to weaken and fail.
Here are some visuals that will alert you to foundation failure:
- Before: Stair Step Crack in exterior wall – Wall Failure (photo)
- Before: Sagging Window from the exterior (photo)
- Before: Sagging Floors interior (photo)
- Before: Vertical Brick Crack Exterior (photo)
AquaGuard Foundation Solutions have built their business on being a trustworthy, specialized contractor providing many custom-designed piering solutions to fix your specific foundation issues. Options that work are steel push piers, helical piers, SmartJacks plus the CarbonAmor lock systems. Contact us at 770-419-9111 and schedule a diagnosis so we can get your home back on solid ground!