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Sinking Foundation

Your home’s foundation is integral to the entire structure, ensuring its safety and stability, as well as your family’s safety.  

Signs of a sinking foundation, such as foundation wall cracks or doors that stick, should raise immediate concern. Ensuring the integrity of a sinking foundation requires the appropriate foundation repair solutions. 

Ohio Basement Authority can do just that. We have been repairing and protecting homes throughout Ohio and Northern Kentucky for almost 15 years. Homeowners trust our commitment to excellence, attention to detail, exceptional customer care, and reliable repair solutions. 

By the end of this page, you’ll understand foundation sinking, the significance of early intervention, and how Ohio Basement Authority can help. 

What Is a Sinking Foundation? 

A sinking foundation occurs when the foundation of a structure settles into the ground, which may happen uniformly or in an irregular manner. Uneven movement, also referred to as differential settlement, happens when the underlying soil beneath the foundation can’t uniformly support the weight of the structure. 

Key indicators of a sinking foundation include: 

Ignoring these symptoms can result in substantial structural damage and safety risks. 

At times, the indicators of foundation issues suggest or co-occur with other problems, making them challenging to differentiate. A professional foundation inspection takes the guesswork out of what’s going on in your home. 

What Causes a Sinking Foundation? 

Many factors can contribute to a sinking foundation in your home, with several of them originating from the soil on your property.  

Weather  

Ohio and Northern Kentucky communities experience a variety of weather patterns throughout the year. Generally, these regions have a humid continental climate characterized by four distinct seasons. This diverse climate brings its own challenges and considerations for homeowners. 

  • Snow: We typically don’t see much snow during the winter, usually 15 to 20 inches on average. But when we do get a significant amount of snow, it can take a while for the ground to absorb the water.  
  • Rain: Cities like Columbus and Cincinnati get more than 40 inches of rain per year, which is above average. Most of this rain falls during the spring, fall, and humid summer months. As depicted in this image, this can be a lot of water for the soil to manage, especially following dry spells. 
  • Natural Disasters: Flooding can quickly occur in areas with high water tables or within floodplains. This can take a toll on your foundation in many ways. Additionally, while they may be rare in our region, earthquakes can destabilize your home’s foundation and lead to sinking and other damage. 

Soil Types and Conditions  

The soil underneath your home’s foundation is the most significant contributing factor to foundation sinking. How the soil interacts with precipitation is also key.  

Ohio and Northern Kentucky soils vary in their composition and drainage properties. However, many areas, like Cincinnati and Columbus, have expansive soils containing significant amounts of silt and clay. Silt is prone to erosion, and clay is highly expansive and holds onto water.  

When the soil is unstable, from too much or too little moisture, it cannot adequately support your home’s foundation. This instability causes the structure to experience foundation damage.  

Here are other common soil issues that lead to a sinking foundation:  

  • Drying and Shrinking: As seen here, a lack of moisture causes the soil to dry up. The particles then shrink and leave voids in the ground. Homes built on shaky ground may have such gaps below, which can cause settling and sinking.  
  • Wetting and Softening: Conversely, abundant precipitation leads to saturated soil that cannot manage excess water. As a result, the ground becomes softer and cannot provide the foundation with solid support. Rainfall may also wash some dirt away, leaving gaps in the earth.  
  • Poorly Compacted Soil: Some soil types are not properly compacted, and as a result, they contract under the weight of the building. Excavation, filling, and leveling of the soil at the construction site are necessary before the construction of a house. Well-compacted soil should prevent foundation sinking and settlement.  

Can a Sinking Foundation Be Fixed? 

Absolutely, a sinking foundation is repairable! The solution lies in applying proven foundation repair techniques before the situation worsens. 

While DIY methods might seem appealing, they offer only temporary fixes and could worsen the problem. Proper foundation repair is not a job for amateurs. 

How to Repair a Sinking Foundation 

Sinking foundation repair is a complex project you should not take on yourself. While their intentions are good, DIY fixes only cover up cosmetic symptoms.  

You and your home will benefit from professional inspections and foundation repair methods. Our team at Ohio Basement Authority can help fix a sinking foundation through various permanent solutions, depending on the cause and severity of the issue. We’ll work with you to determine the best method for your particular situation.  

Foundation Piers  

Pier systems, also known as underpinning methods, are the most effective way to fix a sinking foundation. These piers are installed deep in the ground, bypassing unstable soil, and down to more stable soil or loadbearing strata to permanently stabilize your home. They can also potentially lift sections of your sinking foundation.  

Depending on your home’s foundation type, the extent of the damage, and your property’s soil, we can use a variety of pier systems, including: 

  • Push Piers: Push piers, also known as resistance piers, are comprised of metal tubes hydraulically driven down into the ground and attached to the footing with a heavy-duty bracket. They depend on the structure’s weight to push them into the ground and are ideal for heavy, multi-level buildings. 
  • Helical Piers: Helical piers are similar but feature helix blades resembling screws and are used to “bite into the ground.” This makes them more suited for problem soils that are unstable deep below the frost line and for use under lighter structures. They are also more adaptable and can be installed at an angle.  
  • Slab Piers: Slab piers function and are installed similarly, but they are made particularly for homes with slab foundations. In this case, brackets are fastened to the underside of the concrete slab rather than the footing.  

Why Address Sinking Foundations Now? 

Immediate action is crucial for several reasons: 

  • Avoid escalating repair costs 
  • Restore your home’s structural integrity 
  • Mitigate the risk of further damage 
  • Prevent safety hazards 
  • Enhance your property value 

Don’t delay—reach out to the experts at Ohio Basement Authority for a free inspection and estimate. Secure peace of mind by ensuring your foundation is stable. 

Contact Ohio Basement Authority for Sinking Foundation Solutions 

A sinking foundation is a serious structural issue that requires immediate repair. If you suspect your home’s foundation is compromised or sinking, contact Ohio Basement Authority as soon as possible. Our expert team will provide a thorough inspection and recommend sustainable solutions. 

Foundation repairs may seem daunting, but we make the process easier with flexible financing options. With nearly 15 years in the business, we offer reliable, warranted repairs. Schedule your free inspection and estimate today! 

FAQs

It’s common for your foundation to sink into the ground shortly after the home was built. However, continued sinking beyond the first few years of your home’s construction is not considered normal or safe. Contact Ohio Basement Authority for a free inspection and repair estimate to ensure your home’s stability. 

Since moisture and unstable soils contribute to foundation sinking, here are actions you can take to manage the moisture levels around your home: 

  • Clean out your gutters seasonally 
  • Position your downspouts away from your home 
  • Invest in extended and buried downspouts 
  • Ensure your landscaping is graded correctly 
  • Regularly clean and clear basement window wells 
  • Invest in quality waterproofing solutions 
  • Maintain your sump pump 

Although soil and weather are the primary culprits for issues with a sinking foundation, additional factors may also come into play. These include: 

  • Design flaws 
  • Improper construction 
  • Defects in concrete 
  • Poor drainage or grading 
  • Plumbing leaks or water damage 

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1270 Hillsmith Dr.
Cincinnati, OH 45215

Cleveland Office

7950 Bavaria Rd.
Twinsburg, OH 44087

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2421 McGaw Rd.
Obetz, OH 43207

Dayton Office

70 Birch Alley, Suite 240
Beavercreek, OH, 45440

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5650 Blazer Memorial Pkwy, #124
Dublin, OH 43017

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429 Portage Blvd
Kent, OH 44240