Prevent a Settling Foundation


There are many reasons that your foundation may be settling. A sinking foundation can cause cracks, uneven floors, and other structural problems. When you suspect that you have a sinking foundation, you should have a trusted contractor take a look and determine the cause and the best solution.

Prevent Your Foundation From Sinking

foundation repair can fix settling homes in San Diego, CaliforniaThere are some steps you can take around your San Diego property to help prevent your foundation from settling. Your foundation is probably the most important part of your home, so it must be strong and stable.

Foundations in California may deal with a variety of issues that can cause them to settle. Torrential rains, seismic events, landslides, and problems can negatively impact the foundation of your home.

As much as we would love your business, we would much rather you have a stable house. Here are some tips that we’ve gathered over the years that we think can help you keep your foundation strong and level.

Drain Water Away

As we have experienced lately, we can get a lot of rain in the San Diego area. The rainwater must be drained away from the home. Oversaturated soil can place tremendous pressure on foundations and pooling water can enter your home.

A good drainage system can move water away from the house, preventing it from impacting the structure.

An important part of the drainage system is the downspout. The water should run off your roof, into clear gutters, and then through the downspouts. We recommend the downspouts discharge the water no less than 5 feet away and preferably 10 feet away from the foundation.

Another option is to bury the downspout to drain into a storm drain or other location on the property.

While walking around your property, make sure that the lawn slopes away from your foundation. If the soil is flat or sloping towards your home, the water can pool against the foundation walls, causing problems in the soil and the concrete. The general rule of thumb is a slope of 6 inches per 10 feet. If you are unable to grade the earth, you may want to invest in installing French drains to help with drainage.

Droughts Can Cause Problems, Too

Even though the San Diego area can have heavy rains, the pattern for the last few years has been drought conditions. When the soil dries out, it will shrink or contract, causing the foundation to lose its support. The foundation walls can crack or settle.

A sprinkler system can help, but you can also install French drains. A French drain can allow water to more deeply penetrate the soil. Use a rain barrel to collect and reuse the rain when we do get it.

Place Concrete Properly

When designing your property, make sure that concrete surfaces such as patios, sidewalks, and driveways are constructed in such a way that the water drains away from the home. Also, one side of the house shouldn’t have a large concrete surface and the other side a garden that is watered regularly. The imbalance in moisture content can cause your home to begin tilting, causing structural problems.

Foundation Settling Solutions

If your home does begin to exhibit foundation problems, a trusted contractor like FOUNDATIONS ON THE LEVEL can help fix the cause and repair the damage that has occurred. A reputable foundation company will provide you with a free inspection of your property. This inspection will determine not only what needs to be done to reverse the damage, but also how to prevent it from recurring.

If the foundation is sinking, resistance piers or helical piers may be installed to raise and level your home. There is a difference in quality between piers, so make sure your contractor is using something you can rely on. FOUNDATIONS ON THE LEVEL only uses piers from ECP, the leader in the industry.

The theory behind each pier is the same. The resistance piers are driven into the soil until they reach soil that can support the home. The foundation is lifted onto the piers and then hydraulically lifted to level or to the height that is desired.  Helical piers work the same way but are “screwed” into the ground until they reach the desired depth. Both offer a strong base for the foundation and an experienced contractor will be able to determine which method is best for each situation.

Contact a trusted local contractor to help you with your sinking foundation before your home starts developing serious structural damage.