What Causes a Foundation to Settle in San Francisco?

A settling foundation can wreak havoc. Here are some reasons foundations settle and what you can do about it.

Bay Area foundation drilling, Bay Area soil drilling, foundation piers Bay Area

Foundations Settle, Here’s Why

For most people, a home is their most expensive and valuable possession. So, foundation settlement can be a serious problem. Foundation settlement can result in damage to the structure and its contents, unsightly cracks, and loss of real estate value. To remedy serious problems when they arise, or to prevent damage from foundation settlement, call a professional Bay Area foundation drilling company.

What Are the Warning Signs of Foundation Settlement?

The warning signs of foundation settlement include:

  • Doors or windows start to stick, or they fail to open or close properly.
  • Gaps appear around windows and exterior doors.
  • Counters and cabinets start to separate from the wall and cease to be level.
  • Floors are uneven or sagging.
  • Interior moldings pop off the walls. Window and door trim pulls away from exterior walls.
  • “Step cracks” start to appear in exterior brick or stonework.
  • The chimney shows cracks or is tilted off-center.
  • Cracks appear in basement concrete walls.
  • Water is seeping into the basement.
  • Cracks appear in the drywall.

What are the Causes of Foundation Settlement?

Foundation settlement can be caused by:

  • Poor construction of the foundation, meaning that the foundation didn’t have proper reinforcements.
  • Changing weather conditions like droughts, followed by heavy rains.
  • Poor drainage.
  • Improper compaction of the soil.
  • Expansive soil materials, like clay, that respond poorly to water conditions in the soil.
  • Nearby trees that draw moisture from the soil causing soil shrinkage.
  • Major plumbing leaks.

An experienced Bay Area soil drilling company can professionally address these issues.

How Can Foundation Settlement Problems Be Fixed?

A professional Bay Area foundation drilling company has the knowledge, skills, and equipment to address these problems. Two major solutions involve the use of foundation push piers and helical piers. Both are used to connect footings and walls to solid, load-bearing materials deep beneath the structure. Piers are shafts that are driven into the soil. Helical piers have shafts with helical blades that are essentially screwed into the soil. Then, the piers are attached to the foundation so that the piers transfer the structure’s weight to the bedrock. The home can be lifted and leveled back to its normal position or lifted and stabilized.

The advantages of using piers, installed by Bay Area foundation piers experts, are that they offer:

  • Year-round installation.
  • Minimal soil and environmental disturbance.
  • Minimal noise.
  • Installation from either the inside or outside of a structure.
  • Substantial strength to stabilize light and heavy structures.
  • Built with corrosion-resistant galvanized steel and have high bending resistance.
  • A below-grade solution is not visible after installation.
  • A warrantied solution to settlement problems.

Choose an Expert Bay Area Soil Drilling Company

Contact Lassiter Excavating, your Bay Area helical pier professionals. We are experts in retaining wall drilling, construction, pool removal, excavation, trenching, and pier drilling since 1989. We provide exceptional service for both residential and commercial customers.