As the years go by, seismic events and the weather elements can result in the shifting of the ground on which a house stands, structurally weakening and destabilising its foundation. The repair process for damaged house foundations depends on the type of foundation involved.
If your house is built on a concrete slab foundation, you may require underpinning service at some point during the lifespan of the home. House underpinning is a form of foundation repair that is exclusively carried out on houses with a slab foundation. It involves reinforcing an existing building's slab foundation with new material to enhance its strength and stability.
How can you know if your house needs underpinning?
Signs of slab foundation damage can show in many different ways. Pay attention to the following warning signs to know when to enlist the services of a residential underpinning professional.
Cracks in the walls
Even though not all cracking in building walls is unsafe, crack formation is one of the most obvious signs of house shifting. If you spot large cracks, especially in the basement walls of your house, this may be a warning sign that your house is settling and needs underpinning.
If your living room floor is sagging towards the centre of the house, interior doors are jamming or floors crack, you may have sinking floors. This problem is usually caused by settling in the foundation of the house.
House visibly leans towards one side
In extreme situations, you may notice that the walls of your house are no longer straight both up and down and from left to right. This is not just an aesthetic concern but also an indication of major structural damage to your house.
A house that leans to the left or right may eventually collapse if prompt action isn't taken to address the underlying foundation problem.
Gaps appearing around doors and windows
This is one of the less noticeable signs of house settlement and may be accompanied by difficulty in opening and closing doors and windows. Inspect the corners around your door and window frames periodically and after major seismic events to see if you can spot any gaps that may point to foundation damage.
A weak and unstable house foundation is a serious safety hazard for families. If you spot any of these warning signs of damage to your slab foundation, you should have your house assessed by a dedicated foundation contractor. If damage is found, they will help you fix it before it results in bigger and potentially costly problems down the line.