FOUNDATION PROBLEMS, SYMPTOMS & CAUSES

FOUNDATION PROBLEMS, SYMPTOMS & CAUSES 2017-07-19T15:48:46+00:00

SAGGING FLOOR STRUCTURE

sagging

Symptoms:

  • Baseboard & crown molding pulling away from the walls
  • Cabinets & countertops not flush with the wall
  • Bouncing & sagging floors

 

The Problem: Often it is easy to detect an improperly supported floor structure by the sag you feel when you walk across the floor. Cracks in your floors, walls or ceilings are another good indication as is the bounce in the floor that causes your glasses to rattle in the cabinet. If the problem is severe enough then doors and windows may stick.

The Solution: We thoroughly inspect and diagram your crawlspace to determine exactly where repairs are necessary and charge only for the repairs we make. With solutions from installation of individual or continuous poured footers and concrete masonry columns to rebuilding your floor structure and everything in between, CNT will tailor fit a solution specifically for you and your home.

FOUNDATION WALL CRACKS

foundationcrack

Symptoms:

  • Significant cracks in floors
  • Walls and ceilings
  • Doors and windows that bind
  • Cracks inside and outside the home in or close to the same location

The Problem: Foundation wall cracks vary in degree from minor, less serious cracks to major foundation cracks that are in need of immediate structural repair. These cracks in the exterior foundation wall create gaps that allow water and insect entry to the homes interior wood structure causing further damage and the need for additional costly repairs.

The Solution: Allow CNT Foundations to provide a thorough evaluation of your homes foundation to determine which of our products is the best solution to correct your foundation repair problems. From helical piers and Concrete Masonry Units (CMU’s) to repairing damage to your floor structure, CNT has the right solution for you.

SETTLEMENT SINKING

sinking

Symptoms:

  • Cracks in your brick exterior
  • Gaps developing around exterior doors and windows
  • Leaning or bowing walls

The Problem: Soil is a major component of a building site. Soil is stratified, meaning it has many layers that each have their own characteristics. When a large weight such as a house is placed on top of the soil it will settle according to the stratified layers which means it can settle unevenly. This happen faster depending on whether the soil’s load strength is exceeded.

The Solution: In most cases a helical pier system is the best method to repair settlement sinking. The ability of the helices to bear a load through weak soils to stronger soils with a higher weight capacity makes them the perfect solution. After a thorough evaluation of your homes symptoms, CNT Foundations will diagram where each of the helical piers should be placed to provide optimal support to the homes foundation. Our professional team of installers will install the piers and brackets to meet specifications.

FLOOR CRACK & FOUNDATION HEAVE

crack

Symptoms:

  • Large cracks in the floor
  • Bowed walls
  • Uneven surfaces
  • Doors and windows that bind

The Problem: Structural cracks in concrete floors are the result of soil underneath either getting washed out and no longer providing support or heaving upward. Soil can exert powerful forces on a foundation causing considerable damage. Different soil types, weather conditions, and geographic location can all play a part in how the soil under the concrete reacts. Even though floor cracks are the main problem with foundation settlement, the repercussions can extend to the partition walls of a building when the foundation is being heaved upwards.

The Solution: While most of the time a foundation will sink and the best solution would be to shore it up using helical piers, a foundation that is being heaved upwards has a tougher solution. Your qualified professionals at CNT Foundations can properly diagnose your floor cracks to determine the root cause and design a solution that best suits your individual problem.

SINKING OUTDOOR CONCRETE

concrete crack

Symptoms:

  • Cracked driveway, walkway, or pool deck
  • Leaning porch, patio, or stairs
  • Underside of concrete slab is visible at points

The Problem: Outdoor auxiliary structures such as patios, pool decks, and porches, are more vulnerable to settling than your homes foundation because of their exposure to the elements. Driveways, large patios, porches, and other outdoor structures place large amounts of weight on the soils beneath them. They are also subject to erosion from rain and wind which can remove soil that is critical for support. Failing outdoor concrete is problematic in itself, however can also affect any adjacent or main structures they are attached to.

The Solution: More often than not the soil that has eroded away can be replaced and the concrete supported to get the structure back to its original position. Sometimes additional support needs to be installed. Our professional staff and CNT Foundations can evaluate your sinking concrete concerns and develop an effective solution.

BOWING WALLS

bowing-wall

Symptoms:

  • Pictures not hanging on a wall correctly.
  • Cabinets or furniture not sitting flush with a wall.
  • Door frames that look uneven.

The Problem: Bowing walls are the result of outside pressure on a wall exceeding the wall’s own strength. As the wall starts to fail under the pressure, one of three things happen; cracks will form as walls buckle inward towards the middle, or the wall could tilt inward at the top, or the wall may slide inward near the bottom.

The Solution: CNT Foundations experience has taught us that fixing bowing walls is all about counterpressure. By adding pressure to the walls by installing anchors inside of the affected walls, inward movement can be stalled and even reversed. In some cases, bowed walls can even be straightened back to their original position.

COLLAPSING RETAINING WALL

wall-separation

Symptoms:

  • A noticeable lean to a retaining wall
  • Cracking or bowing at the center of a retaining wall
  • Offset cracks at the corners or edges of a retaining wall

The Problem: Retaining walls can fail when the weight limit of the retaining wall is exceeded by any adjacent structure, poor grading causes static pressure to build up on along the wall, or their foundation footing or the structure they are attached to are designed poorly. Retaining walls, depending on their structure, can have weak points because of poorly mixed concrete, inadequate re-bar, or poor soil bases. These factors can all lead to possible collapse which could adversely affect any adjoining structures.

The Solution: CNT Foundations can address the retaining wall installation and determine what factors are at play causing the failure. Depending on the situation an anchor system could be installed to provide additional strength and a permanent solution to your problem.

TILTING CHIMNEY

Tilting-Chimney

Symptoms:

  • Gap developing between the house and chimney, usually larger at the top than the bottom
  • A noticeable lean or bow in the chimney

The Problem: Generally chimneys are built on a separate foundation from the structure they accompany. These heavy structures are placed on a smaller foundation causing the weight to be distributed less evenly over the soil which can accelerate foundation settlement. Leaning chimneys become less stable the more the lean and are subject to collapse during periods of high wind due to their compromised structure.

The Solution: CNT Foundations can install a helical pier system that will transfer the weight of the chimney deeper into the earth to providing the necessary support.

CAUSES OF FOUNDATION FAILURES

Many homes that show signs of foundation failure are in reality suffering from improper framing. Over spanned joists and girders along with undersized framing lumber can project the same signs as foundation failure. This condition is actually the cause of more than half of the “foundation failures” CNT observes.
Trees and large shrubbery along with their root structures located near the foundation often cause damage. Soils under housing slabs and foundations can weaken and compromise needed support, and larger roots can grow and cause concrete to crack and heave. Damage can be caused to the foundation, slab, interior framing, floor structure as well as cracks in floors and drywall.

Leaking water supply, drain, waste, and vent pipes and improperly discharging condensate drain pipes in or near structures can saturate the soil in load bearing areas. As a result reduced capacity of the soil supporting the homes foundation can lead to considerable structural damage.

Different types of soils behave differently under different moisture conditions causing some types of soils to experience stability in drier times yet become unstable during wet periods of time. Soils that experience these conditions can project reduced load and weight bearing capacities when subjected to wet conditions. These conditions may influence isolated areas within the foundation or the entire foundations structure as a whole.

Soils used as fill in order to provide a level building site should be compacted in layers under the supervision of a geotechnical engineer and based on laboratory testing of the soil. Not following basic procedural techniques can lead to a foundation which may be supported by improperly compacted fill allowing for undesired settlement of the foundation/slab.

Foundations constructed on wet expansive clay or other similar soils will settle once the soils begin to lose moisture through their natural evaporative processes. Damage from this type of movement can develop over a period of several years or more.
Foundations constructed on dry expansive clay soils are subject to uplift as the underlying support soils take on moisture. This movement is usually caused by slow moisture migration and often continues for a period lasting between 5 to 10 years in some circumstances.
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