Horizontal Foundation Movement
It is important to remember that when soil expands, it expands in all directions and which can cause horizontal foundation movement, or lateral movement in the foundation. When soil expands, the expansive force is too great for your foundation, it can push your foundation walls sideways, causing them to lean out of plumb, bow in the middle, crack, and, if left uncorrected, eventually fail.
A few telltale signs of this type of failure are:
- Cracking in the wall itself, a long horizontal crack about halfway up the wall is typical. Often the horizontal crack will turn down at the foundation corners.
- Leaning of the foundation inwards, frequently with older homes the connection between the foundation wall and the floor diaphragm is poor. This allows the wall to tilt inwards, rather than crack in the middle.
- If the basement is finished, you may see drywall cracking where the wall meets the ceiling or in the middle of the walls. Often you will see interior walls that are perpendicular to the foundation walls pushed sideways.
- If you have brick veneer on your house, you may see the brick overhanging the foundation wall in the middle of a long wall and sitting flush with the edge of the foundation at the corners.
Soil doesn’t just expand in one direction. It expands everywhere and more so in some areas because of factors like weight, moisture, and foundation integrity.
When soil expands, your walls give out, and you will notice it immediately. From the outside, your walls would look like they’re slanting. An incline of two inches is severe enough to call a contractor. At Van Matre, we can correct a much larger sloping on your wall.
If the soil on which your home stands can expand, it can also contract. This leads to another telltale sign of horizontal movement: walls that are bowing in. There will be cracks in your walls, or more significantly, tilting.
Lateral Movement Repair Example
Horizontal frost pressure can be severe due to the presence of snow. Its presence in the soil provides much more force against your foundation than moisture. A good foundation can only resist frost pressure to an extent, and it will require maintenance and some repair work to ensure that it holds up to future winters.
Watch the below videos to see progress and final completion of the foundation repair for lateral movement issues on a Arvada, Colorado home.
Van Matre Construction
If your windows or doors used to open and close easily and are now tight or rubbing,you could be experiencing foundation movement.
Call Van Matre Construction for a free assessment.