What is Foundation Settlement?

One of the top reasons that home buyers choose new homes is the assumption that they’ll have far less repairs and maintenance to complete compared to an older home.  Consumer Reports noted that 15% of new homes have structural problems!  That’s scary, considering a new home seems to come with a little peace of mind that repairs are a distant concern.

It pays to be aware of certain structural issues that face all homes, like settlement. Settlement happens when the soil around your home can’t support your home’s weight.  This can be due to:

  • Drought and the shrinking of soil
  • Excess moisture & the softening of soil
  • Poorly compacted fill soil (look out NEW HOMES!)

As settlement occurs and the soil can no longer support your home, subtle shifts and movement take place.  These shifts cause foundation damage and affect your home’s value.  Author Larry Janesky notes that, “The constant cycle of wet and dry periods [of weather] indicate that settlement in a home may never be over.”   The most prepared homeowner is familiar with the signs of foundation damage and asks for help rather than masking the problem with quick fixes like caulk.

Contact AFS for a free visual inspection if you have concerns.

Source: Janesky, L. “Foundation Repair Science”


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