Lateral foundation settlement, when walls start to bow or buckle gradually, is caused by soil on either side placing extreme pressure on the perimeter of your basement. Under pressure, walls start to bow and buckle. There could be several causes for this build up of soil pressure.
Uncontrolled or unexpected sources of water often contribute to lateral foundation settlement. When soil absorbs water, it becomes denser and expands. This normally isn’t a problem during rainstorms or other natural forms of precipitation because the soil retains and expels water evenly. But when one part of the foundation receives higher volumes of water than the other, this process is disturbed. Underground water leaks and even excessive watering may be to blame. This problem is especially evident for foundations built on clay, a type of soil that easily expands when saturated.
Fill soils are brought in during the foundation building process for both residential and commercial projects. However, sometimes construction crews can go overboard with the fill-soil compaction process, packing too much dense soil into one area. Over time, this leads to a lateral settlement problem because the density and strength of the overly-compacted soil is too strong for the basement wall to handle.
If you have a basement, the builder of your home should have taken that into account when building your foundation. A basement usually sits below soil level. Therefore, the foundation around it must exert an appropriate amount of pressure against the walls so that they don’t start to settle laterally.
Call United Structural Systems to find out what’s causing your lateral settlement and fix it. We’re experienced in successfully implementing several solutions, including I-beams, tie-backs, core-fillings, and carbon fiber strips. Contact us to realign your basement walls, repair your foundation, and add waterproof features to your home’s soil. Call our Nashville office at (615) 227-2275 today.