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Foundation Settlement

Learn how Groundworks can help you detect and prevent foundation settlement, which can lead to critical structural issues in your house.

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A corner crack next to a door frame in a home.
A crack in the drywall of a home.

The foundation of your home is the cornerstone of its entire structure. It may not be the most exciting aspect of homeownership, but it is arguably the most crucial. By recognizing the warning signs of foundation issues, you can address them early and prevent small problems from escalating into costly ones.

The foundation experts at Groundworks are here to help Alberta’s homeowners understand more about foundation problems and the necessary steps to stabilize and repair their homes. We provide a free service quote, which you can schedule online at your convenience!

What Is Foundation Settlement?

Over time, a home’s foundation can gradually and unevenly sink into the ground. This foundation settlement can affect the house’s overall stability and lead to other structural problems like bowing floors or cracks in walls. While some damage may seem superficial, it often signals a more serious issue.

Foundation settlement can occur slowly over years due to soil shifts, cycles of water evaporation and saturation, or it can be triggered suddenly by environmental factors such as drought, flooding, or minor earthquakes.

Groundworks provides a variety of foundation repair solutions to address the issue at its root. We reinforce the existing structure and implement strategies to prevent further settlement and ongoing damage. Our methods typically involve a combination of helical, push, and slab piers.

What Causes Foundation Settlement?

Your home’s foundation may settle for various reasons:

  • Soil Contraction: During droughts, groundwater evaporation causes soil to contract and the foundation to shift. Tree root systems near the foundation can also contribute as they absorb water from the ground, drying out the soil.
  • Soil Expansion: Over waterlogged soil swells, shifting the foundation. Some types of soil swell excessively during heavy rain, snowmelt after a long winter, or in flood-prone areas, applying pressure against the foundation and causing problems.
  • Erosion: Poor drainage or water runoff can erode soil from the foundation, leaving inadequate support. Over time, erosion creates voids that cause uneven house settling.
  • Inadequate Soil Compaction: If builders don’t properly compact soil during construction, the foundation may settle quickly. This can lead to severe structural problems as the house’s weight pushes down on the improperly supported foundation.

Understanding these causes can help you monitor them on your property. With the Groundworks team’s help, you can take steps to mitigate any damage.

Can You Fix Foundation Settlement?

Yes! Although it’s not a weekend DIY project, experts in foundation repair can fix it. Foundation repair specialists, such as those at Groundworks, establish a firm foundation for the house by anchoring supports strategically to more stable soil layers or bedrock. These supports can bear the weight of the house without shifting.

We offer budget-friendly, high-quality solutions for foundation problems, focusing on the least invasive solutions. Our goal is to save you time and money, while ensuring that our foundation repair will last for years, keeping your family safe.

How to Fix Foundation Settlement

The Groundworks method is simple: we carefully diagnose the cause of foundation issues, then develop a tailored solution using:

  • Push Piers: These long steel pillars are driven into the stable strata beneath the topsoil, sometimes reaching the bedrock. When correctly positioned, they evenly distribute the house’s weight and stabilize the foundation by spreading out the pressure.
  • Helical Piers: Helical piers function similarly to push piers, redistributing the weight of the house. Their difference lies in their construction; they are screwed into the ground to provide anchored support for the structure.
  • Slab Piers: For homes on a concrete slab, we use slab piers. These prop up and elevate the settled slab flooring, redistributing the pressure to stabilize the house.

We usually use a network of steel foundation piers to stabilize the foundation. Often, we can lift the settled sections, returning the house to its original level. This provides more options for repairing cosmetic and other structural damage caused by a shifting foundation.

Why Address Foundation Settlement Now?

Addressing your foundation issues now can prevent more extensive, costly repairs in the future. Foundation problems tend to worsen over time, not improve.

We advocate for early intervention at the first sign of foundation trouble for several reasons:

  • Improved Structural Integrity: Addressing foundation issues early allows us to correct the underlying cause and prevent similar problems from recurring. For instance, we might identify that your house needs better drainage to prevent future foundation issues.
  • Increased Energy Efficiency: A stable foundation prevents gaps, cracks, and fissures in the structure, which can result in heat loss from your home. During a cold Canadian winter, preventing drafts is essential and can lead to reduced energy costs.
  • Enhanced Curb Appeal: Visible cracks or gaps in your home’s foundation can be unsightly, diminishing your curb appeal. Moreover, they can deter potential buyers, as they signal potential foundation repairs.

At Groundworks, we provide comprehensive, custom solutions for even the most difficult foundation problems. We’re committed to helping Alberta’s homeowners create a safer, more stable living environment, one foundation at a time.

Contact Groundworks for Expert Foundation Settlement Solutions

Ground Works man is being welcomed at the door by happy homeowner

When it comes to repairing a settled, shifting foundation, Groundworks is your go-to solution. We bring innovative solutions and proven techniques to each job, using only top-quality tools and materials for a durable fix. We offer a free estimate for foundation repair, so don’t delay – your foundation issues won’t improve on their own. Call us today!

Foundation Settlement FAQs

Yes, depending on the type of soil your home is built on and the layout of your property, an improved drainage system can help prevent excessive water accumulation. You should avoid planting large trees close to the house to prevent the root network from absorbing too much water. Regular inspections can also help you detect settlement problems early.

While you can seal the cracks in the foundation and even the flooring, unless you address the root cause of these cracks, they will reappear and potentially get larger over time, leading to additional problems. It is also not advisable to attempt installing stabilization piers on your own. Balancing the weight of a house is a delicate task best left to professionals.

Yes, if your foundation issue is severe, we can perform foundation work even in the middle of winter. If much of the work is indoor-based, we can complete it. We’ll also take measures to keep the working area sufficiently warm.