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Shearing WallSigns of Foundation Failure
If soil is poorly back-filled against your foundation, or excess water and clay cause soils to expand, pressure will begin to press your foundation walls inward. Shearing is one of the more dramatic--and urgent--signs of foundation failure on concrete brick foundation walls.
Are your concrete brick foundation walls shearing?
Whether it's "just a little" or a few inches, shearing is urgent. Often, there will be stair step cracking and visible water damage around the holes shearing creates in the foundation.
You may notice the block wall "shearing" near the bottom because the concrete floor in the basement is holding the bottom row of blocks in place as the rest of the wall slides inward.
How did this happen?
The soil around your home puts a lot of pressure on your foundation walls. The amount of pressure varies depending on the type of soil near the home, the amount of moisture in the soil, and how deep the foundation is under the ground. There is nothing on the inside of the basement walls pushing back, to counter this pressure.
When the soil around your house becomes saturated with water from heavy rains or water leaks, the water exerts additional pressure against the walls.
In areas with cold winter climates, frost can put pressure on a wall and cause it to fail, especially if the basement is unheated. Frost forces can be extremely powerful and can even lift shallow foundations up out of the ground, causing significant damage to the home.
Expansive clay soil
Clay is a common soil type in many areas. It expands and contracts as the amount of moisture in the ground increases or decreases. When you see dirt with cracks at the surface during a dry spell, this is what you're actually seeing - clay soil shrinks when it gets dry. When it rains and the clay soil gets wet it expands. This increase in size puts a lot of pressure on your basement walls. When the pressure is more than the wall can handle, the wall begins to push inward.
Why fix your foundation problems now and not later?
- Foundation problems only get worse over time. Hoping, praying and putting them out of your mind won't reverse the symptoms and make the situation better.
- Foundation problems will never be less expensive to fix than they are today.
- This is your home's foundation we're talking about. It supports your house and everything in it, including your family. Do you really want to let it deteriorate?
The Real Estate Seller Disclosure Act requires foundation repair needs to be disclosed to potential home buyers. Realtors tell us they are forced to discount homes with foundation structural defects 10-20% to make a sale. What is your home worth in today's market? Imagine losing that much money from your home's value by not permanently fixing your foundation!