A sinking house is initially a puzzle to homeowners as they don’t know what’s happening to their property when signs of a sinking house begin to manifest.
Even though a sinking house can mean a lot of things, its very important to always call a professional whenever you notice any of these signs. A sinking house can be attributed to numerous factors and there are different solutions to each.
Signs of a Sinking House
Cracks will form in certain places of the house whenever the foundation starts to sink. Cracks will form near doors or windows when a house is sinking and also on interior and exterior walls. Stair-stepping cracks are usually the first sign of a sinking foundation and need immediate attention.
Not in all cases cracks are an indication of a sinking home, in some cases earth movements or small earthquakes can cause minor cracks around the house.
Even though sloping floors are not easy to notice, they are a sure way of diagnosing a sinking house. They are not easy to notice because of how gradually slow they tend to slope, but a few techniques can be used to inspect such as placing a ball on the floor to see how fast it rolls to one side.
Sticking Doors & Windows
When a house is sinking, it’s structure changes and therefore doors and windows begin to stick and bind. Usually the doors and windows will start with squeaky sounds as they are opened or closed and then lead to sticking and binding.
Causes of a Sinking House
Drying of Soil
After experiencing long periods of drought, clay soil tends to dry out and shrink because of its expansive nature. Empty spaces are formed as a result of the shrinking soil and the house settles because of those spaces. Its advisable to maintain the same moisture content by routinely watering the soil near your foundation to prevent it from shrinking.
Wetting of Soil
Clay soils have a tendency of retaining water, so the soil easily gets soft and weak therefore enabling the house to sink. Having a good drainage system will prevent water from pooling near your house and this problem will be avoided.
Poor Construction Site Preparation
Poor site preparation is a big problem which later leads to a sinking house because poorly compacted soils will not be able to hold the weight the house over a long period of time. It’s advisable to contact a professional when you suspect that your house was built on a poorly prepared site.
Contact a foundation contractor If you think that you have a sinking house. We have Call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free foundation inspection and estimate.