Everyone knows that older homes tend to settle. If you don’t make an effort to care for a newer home, the creaking and uneven floors that indicate settling can impact your quality of life sooner than you might anticipate.
Your home’s foundation becomes more likely to settle when it is exposed to an unwelcoming, damp, or unstable environment. You can work with the professionals in your area, however, to protect your home and prevent the damage that comes with unanticipated settling.
All About Foundation Settling
It’s not just older homes that can start to settle. If the soil beneath your home starts to shift, there may be gaps left behind for gravity to force your foundation into. Similarly, if your home is exposed to hydrostatic pressure for an extended period of time, the structural supports helping your foundation stay in place may begin to fail. In turn, your foundation may crack, and you may be faced with substantial damage, including permanently uneven basement floors or internal moisture.
Caring for your foundation isn’t always easy, but it’s often more cost-effective to seek out preventive measures as opposed to repairs. By taking steps to protect your home, you can save up to 30 percent of your home’s market value, not to mention eliminate the stress that would come with dealing with a sinking or settling foundation.
Signs of a Settling Foundation
Your home will let you know when something’s gone amiss with your foundation. The most common signs of damage that you can identify in your home without the help of a professional include:
- Bowing walls
- Shifting floors
- Gaps near the joints of your foundation
- Sticking doors
- Foggy windows
- Water damage that’s impacted your belongings, carpet, or furniture
Note that you’ll also be able to look outside of your home for signs of damage. If you let your foundation go unchecked for an extended period of time, you may find yourself noticing:
- Vertical wall cracks
- Broken chimneys
- Horizontal foundation cracks
- Disrupted landscaping
These external signs indicate more severe foundation sinking than internal signs. If you think you’ve found yourself dealing with a substantial problem, you’ll want to reach out to the professional foundation and basement repair professionals working in the Indianapolis, IN, area. After a home inspection, these professionals can provide you with a free quote on any repair services you may need. Alternatively, you can discuss what waterproofing options may help you protect your home from damage in the future.
Preventing Foundation Settling
Looking to get ahead of foundation settling? There are steps you can take to eliminate the primary sources of damage: hydrostatic pressure and root pressure. These steps include:
- Moisten your lawn – Home irrigation systems don’t actually add to the amount of water that comes into contact with an unprotected foundation. Instead, if you consistently keep the dirt around your home’s perimeter moist, you’ll ensure it’s healthy enough to combat rainwater that would otherwise negatively impact your home.
- Take care of your landscaping – When landscaping your home, you’ll want to make sure that all larger trees and hedges are planted at least 20 feet away from the perimeter of your house. With that amount of room to grow, a tree’s root systems won’t come into contact with your home, thereby limiting the amount of shifting the soil underneath your foundation will have to endure.
- Clear out your gutters – It may seem like a pain to clear out your gutters, but the chore has its benefits. When you work to keep your gutters clean, you make sure rainwater doesn’t rush straight for your foundation. Rainwater that has to contend with obstacles in your gutters will spill over the sides willy-nilly. By cleaning your gutters, you can help your downspouts direct water back out into your yard, where it can do less harm than it would if it came directly into contact with the perimeter of your home.
- Waterproofing your foundation – Finally, you can always discuss available waterproofing options with the professionals in your area. When you use drainage measures or otherwise encapsulate areas of your home like the crawl space, you can keep water from reaching the structural supports that you need to stay in place.
New and old homes alike can all suffer from foundation settling. If you want to get ahead of the problem, or if you want to discuss repairs, you can reach out to the team of professional foundation and basement repair contractors working in the Indianapolis, IN, area.