July 10, 2023

What are the causes of a sinking foundation?

Learn more about the different causes of sinking foundations in your home. Don't hesitate to ask for advice on solutions adapted to your building.

What are the causes of a sinking foundation?

What are the causes of a sinking foundation?

A sinking house foundation is never to be taken lightly. Depending on the extent of the damage, you will need to undertake more or less extensive work.

Knowing the most common causes of foundation failure will help you be better prepared, even if you have yet to notice any signs of sinking in your home. If your home is particularly at risk, it's a good idea to look for warning signs of subsidence or seek expert advice to take preventive measures.

Leading Causes of Sinking Foundation

Here are some of the causes of a sinking house:

  • Unstable soil: Unstable soil is soil that can be easily compressed. It will, therefore, compress under the weight of the house. It is also soil that temperature changes will easily alter. This means that the bearing capacity of the soil can change relatively easily.
  • Liquefiable soil: This is soil that is susceptible to crushing when it becomes saturated with water. The water saturation may be due to constant vibration. In such a case, it loses all its bearing capacity. Soil liquefaction is the more extreme phenomenon that leads to landslides. Of course, this phenomenon is on a much larger scale!
  • A house on a street corner: A house on a street corner, especially on a busy street, will absorb much more vibration. Its foundations will therefore be prone to sinking more easily than those of houses at the end of a road with little traffic.
  • A house located near a school: No, it's not the fault of the children who run and jump around! The fault is instead that of the many buses that pass near the house and make the ground vibrate.
  • A change in water supply: A change in water supply, such as constructing a water pit, can lead to subsidence problems, as the soil will drain.
  • Overcrowding: The greater the population density, the greater the risk of foundation subsidence. The most influential factors are the number of vehicles, water consumption and the presence of a water system.  
  • A house near a body of water: It is nice to live near water, but it can also increase the risk of foundation failure due to soil erosion. The situation is similar if there is a water table under the house.
  • Large trees: Large trees provide shade for the summer months. However, they drink a lot of water, which can dry the soil and cause sinking.

Specific Cases

Sometimes, conditions are such that repair operations are of enormous scope. For example, piles were installed in the entire town of Saint-Amable. The soil itself was clayey, which made it particularly unstable. In addition, a lot of excavation was done to construct new houses, which led to the sinking of many older buildings.

It is also important to know that the type of foundation will impact the subsidence itself. For example, a concrete slab might only sink in one corner. A regular foundation will tend to sink completely and evenly.

Take Preventive Measures

Regardless of the sinking causes, it's essential to stabilize and level your home's foundation. By having an experienced and qualified company do this work, you can ensure that your home will be on solid ground for years to come.

Don't take the risk of ignoring the signs of a sinking foundation. Contact us today for an assessment and a customized solution.

Zachary Carbonneau

The conductor of operations: transforming chaos into a symphony of efficiency with style and a smile!

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Oops, something went wrong.