If you’re noticing cracks in your walls or doors that won’t close properly, you may be wondering if your house is sinking or settling. Read on to learn the difference between the two, and how to tell if your home is in danger.
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Most people have heard of sinking and settling homes, but often don’t know the difference between the two. There are actually quite a few differences, and knowing which one is happening to your home is important in order to determine the best course of action.
Sinking homes are a serious matter, and settling homes while annoying can often be easily remedied. To help you figure out which one is happening to your home, we’ve put together this guide with all the information you need to know about both problems.
Causes of Sinking or Settling
Sinking or settling foundations are often caused by one or a combination of the following:
* Poorly compacted fill dirt during construction
* Poor drainage around the foundation
* Water leaks in the basement or crawlspace
* Shrinkage of clay soil during periods of drought
* Tree roots growing close to the foundation
* Improperly compacted backfill around utility lines
How to Tell if Your House is Sinking or Settling
If you’re concerned that your home may be sinking or settling, there are a few things you can look for:
– cracks in your foundation or walls
– doors or windows that no longer open and close properly
– gaps between your floors and walls
– cracks in your ceilings
– tilting or leaning chimneys
If you see any of these signs, it’s important to have a professional assess the situation as soon as possible. Left unchecked, sinking or settling can cause serious structural damage to your home.
Repairing Sinking or Settling
If your house is sinking or settling, you may need to have it repaired. The type of repair that you need will depend on the severity of the problem and the cause. For example, if your foundation is settling, you may need to have it reinforced or replaced. If your house is sinking because of soil erosion, you may need to have the soil around your foundation replaced.
If you have a sinkhole on your property, you will need to have it filled in and the area around it repaired. Sinkholes can be dangerous, so it is important to have them repaired as soon as possible.
If you are not sure whether your house is sinking or settling, you should contact a professional for an inspection.
Preventing Sinking or Settling
Determining whether your home is sinking or settling can be a tricky proposition. If you see cracks in your foundation, doors and windows that no longer line up properly, or gaps between your chimney and roof, it’s likely that your home is settling. However, if you notice these problems after a heavy rain, your home may be sinking.
There are several things you can do to prevent your home from sinking or settling. First, ensure that your gutters are clean and in good repair. Clogged gutters can cause water to build up around your foundation, which can lead to sinking. Second, have your soil tested periodically to ensure that it is of adequate density. Soil that is too loose or too dense can lead tosettling. Finally, make sure that any trees on your property are well-maintained. Dead or dying trees can fall on your home, causing it to sink.
There are a few telltale signs that may help you determine if your house is sinking or settling.
If you see cracks in your walls, particularly if they’re larger at the top of the wall than at the bottom, it’s likely that your house is settling. If the cracking is accompanied by a leaning or bowing of the wall, that’s another sign that settlement is occurring.
Settling cracks will usually be horizontal, while those from other causes will tend to be vertical. If you see stair-step cracking in brick walls, or diagonal cracks that run from corners, those are signs of foundation movement and indicate that your house is sinking.
Another clue that your house is sinking is if doors or windows start to stick or jam because the frames have become misaligned.
If you’re not sure what’s causing the damage to your home, it’s best to consult with a professional – they will be able to give you a definitive answer as to whether your house is sinking or settling.