Boulder Horizontal Foundation Movement
Understanding Horizontal Foundation Movement
A crucial component of soil expansion that is key to understand is that it expands in every direction. When it does this, it leads to horizontal movement in a foundation. This expansion creates the domino effect of moving a foundation, which then causes walls to start leaning out of plumb, bowing in the middle, cracking, and ultimately failing. This is why it is so important that horizontal movement be corrected as soon as possible. If you’re noticing any of the following signs of horizontal foundation movement on your Boulder property, contact our team of foundation repair experts at Van Matre Construction right away.
Signs of Horizontal Movement
- The wall itself will begin to crack, often in a long and horizontal manner. Once it reaches the foundation corners, the crack will often turn downward.
- The foundation will lean inward. More commonly with older homes, the foundation, wall, and the floor diaphragm are weakly connected, which ultimately forces the wall to lean inward as opposed to cracking.
- In finished basements, cracks in the drywall might occur where the ceiling and the walls meet, or possibly even in the wall’s center. It is common to see these interior walls pushed and moved on the horizontal plane.
- In homes with brick veneers, signs may include overhanging brick that is flush with the foundation’s corners.
Soil and clay expand in every direction. This characteristic sets up a scenario for foundation walls to be pushed horizontally when water is added to the equation.
In unfinished basements, it is easy to determine whether there is any leaning by using a level. If there is, that is cause for concern. In finished basements, a crack where the wall meets the ceiling is a possible indicator of movement. Another method for checking is to look at the outside of your house and see if there is any overhanging of brick where the brick and foundation connect. If so, then that is a strong indicator that the wall has been horizontally pushed toward the inside of your home. Action should be taken as soon as movement in a wall or foundation has been recognized in order to minimize the costs associated with repairing that wall.
How We Fix It
In order to stop damage on the horizontal plane, we often utilize one of two types of braces: steel or carbon fiber. The type depends on how severe the incline is. Piers are also used in order to reassume the wall’s vertical positioning. Other methods regarding wall repair can also be used, depending on the damage. Reach out to the experts at Van Matre Construction to learn how we can help you today with a free estimate.