Cracked Foundation Woes? The Differences Between Settling and Shifting
Building construction is a fascinating topic when it comes to the support at its base. A foundation is basically hardened concrete supported by forms, rebar and compacted soil. Thousands of pounds rest on this concrete pad. It makes sense that some anomalies might occur over time. Take a moment to learn about normal settling and serious shifting when it comes to a cracked foundation.
The Water Factor
A telltale sign that indicates a shifted foundation is water around the home’s perimeter. If there are any crawlspaces, water might puddle here too. This moisture might come from cracked pipes within the foundation. There could also be a natural reservoir being infringed upon by the shifting concrete.
If you notice any unexplained water around your San Antonio property, focus on its cause. Leaving water in and around the property will only lead to further erosion. This scenario is considered a serious, shifting problem if it goes overlooked.
Cracked foundation professionals will classify your property as settling if narrow fissures are present. In general, cracks that are narrower than one-quarter of an inch aren’t cause for concern. Concrete doesn’t automatically cure after being poured. It takes months and sometimes years to entirely harden. The ground shifts along with the structure. It’s natural to have some small cracks as indicators of settling over the years.
Keep an eye on any cracks that are moving, however. Harmless cracks remain the same size. Growing cracks may be the beginning of a shifting scenario. Foundation contractors must evaluate this situation before it escalates.
Pitched Floors and Staircases
Contact foundation contractors when your home seems to have a sudden angle to its walking spaces. Your staircase may not be perfectly attached to the wall or upper floor anymore. Look at the floor. It may be warped on the ground level.
Any of these scenarios indicate a severe movement at the foundation’s level. Trusted contractors may be able to pinpoint the cause and develop a repair plan. Most foundations can be repaired when they’re serviced as soon as the issue develops.
If you’ve ever replaced your carpet on the ground floor, you may have caught a glimpse of cracks previously sealed by other owners. There’s no harm in sealing cracks that are narrow fissures. The seals should still be intact if the foundation is normally settling.
When you observe cracks that are expanding outward from the sealed areas, you need to request a professional evaluation. What started out as normal settling can now be a shift that may harm the structure. Your soil might have expansion and contraction issues that are now extreme from frigid temperatures or sudden heat waves.
Ceiling and Wall Misalignment from a Cracked Foundation
Listening to your house throughout a given day offers you a festival of sounds. Wood, drywall, and concrete are constantly moving in minute amounts. This scenario is normal. There shouldn’t be any observable shifts in the wall-and-ceiling connections, however.
Take a look at these structural corners. Ideally, they should reflect 90-degree angles. Materials at an angle or pulling away from each other should be taken seriously. The foundation is moving enough that it’s impacting your structure several feet away.
Contact the Arredondo Group if you have any questions about your property. These San Antonio foundation contractors can survey your home and concrete pad for any problems. A cracked foundation isn’t the end of the world. You simply need to deal with it in a timely manner.