Sinking Foundation

A sinking foundation is a frequent form of structural damage within your house. Learning the underlying causes and warning signs can help you avoid more extensive structural damage in the future.

Deep crack and misalignment in foundation, a sign of sinking foundation that needs sinking foundation repair in Northern Virginia.

Sinking Foundation Repair in Northern Virginia, Shenandoah Valley, North Central Virginia, and West Virginia

A sinking foundation is a silent threat that can lead to significant structural damage in your home. It occurs when the foundation settles into the earth unevenly, resulting in differential settlement. This happens when the soil supporting the foundation fails to evenly bear the weight of the building.

 

The early signs of this issue might not be very noticeable, but knowing what to look for can help you take corrective action before it’s too late.  Recognizing symptoms can guide you toward an effective solution. 

 

At LUX Foundation Solutions, we specialize in diagnosing and providing long-lasting solutions for foundation sinking problems. With our engineered products and team of experts, we are dedicated to protecting your home in Northern Virginia, Shenandoah Valley, North Central Virginia, West Virginia, or nearby areas.

Do These Sinking Foundation Signs Seem Familiar?

The symptoms

The signs of a sinking foundation may not be apparent from the early stages, and unfortunately, many homeowners may not notice the signs for many years, and at that point, the damage can be extensive. 

 

You might not notice it immediately, so watch for common indications of sinking foundations.

 

  • Uneven or sloping floors
  • Doors and windows that stick or don’t close properly
  • Gaps between walls and window frames
  • Leaning or tilting the chimney
  • Cracked or bowing basement walls
  • Water leaks or standing water in the basement

If you’re worried about your home’s foundation settling, contact the experts at LUX Foundation Solutions for a free estimate. We’ll check for damage and suggest the best foundation repair solutions for you.

What Causes Sinking Foundation?

As a homeowner, staying vigilant and taking preemptive measures against any issues can save you both time and costly repairs. When facing a suspected sinking foundation, it’s crucial to identify the root cause for proper treatment. Common causes include:

A foundation with pieces of soil eroding, soil erosion near the foundation that can cause a sinking foundation in Warrenton, VA

Soil Erosion

Poor drainage or excessive water can wash away the soil beneath your foundation, leading to settlement. Heavy rainfall and floods can soak the soil around your foundation. 

 

When the ground is not graded and drained correctly, it can create underground streams that wash away the soil under your foundation. This causes it to sink or settle into the gaps. Similarly, droughts or long periods without rain can make the soil crumble and erode away, which can also cause foundation settlement.

An illustration of expansive soils below foundation, showing expansive soils as cause of sinking foundation in Charles Town, WV

Expansive Soils

Clay-rich soils expand and contract with changes in moisture content, causing the foundation to shift. Expansive soil shrinks when dry and expands when wet. Without proper drainage, homes built on this soil can suffer constant movement. 

 

Wet soil expands, causing hydrostatic pressure, and can eventually wash out, while dry soil crumbles and dries out. This can lead to erosion and shifting, leaving empty spaces.

Improper and poor construction practices in constructing a house foundation cause a sinking foundation in Linden, VA.

Poor Construction

Inadequate foundation design or construction can lead to instability and sinking over time. Factors that contribute to poor construction include inadequate support, low-quality materials, and shoddy workmanship. Unfortunately, you may not notice foundation problems in the early stages, leading to extensive damage and costly repairs.

A bursting plumbing pipe, signifying plumbing leaks as the cause of a sinking foundation in Linden, VA.

Plumbing Leaks

Undetected or untreated plumbing leaks can cause water to accumulate around the foundation. Over time, this can lead to soil erosion, hydrostatic pressure, or weakening of the foundation’s stability, resulting in sinking or settling.

 

As the foundation moves, it can result in structural issues, including cracks in walls and floors, as well as doors and windows that may no longer align correctly.

A large tree near the house foundation, with tree roots identified as the cause of a sinking foundation in Gainesville, VA.

Tree Roots

Large trees near your home can draw moisture from the soil, leading to soil shrinkage and foundation settlement. As tree roots grow toward the water, they can wrap around underground pipes, causing them to move and shift. When this happens, the soil beneath the foundation can become unstable, causing foundation damage.

Our Solutions

An illustration of an installed push pier in Reston, VA, as a solution to address and stabilize the sinking foundation problem.

Push Piers

An illustration of an installed helical pier in Front Royal, VA, as a solution to stabilize the sinking foundation problem.

Helical pier

A house with installed exterior waterproofing in Harpers Ferry, WV, an effective solution to address sinking foundation problems.

Exterior Waterproofing

A basement with installed interior waterproofing in Stephens City, VA, an effective solution to sinking foundation problems.

Interior Waterproofing

What to do when my house foundation sinks?

If your house foundation is sinking, push piers are one of the solutions. Push piers are installed underneath the foundation to provide extra support and stability. They work by transferring the weight of the foundation to more stable soil layers. This process avoids the need for foundation replacement, which is both expensive and time-consuming. Moreover, push piers can effectively stabilize your home’s foundation for life.

 

The push piers solution involves drilling through the foundation until they reach the more stable soil layer. Each pier is then attached to the foundation and driven into the soil using hydraulic pressure. The push-pier system uses the weight of the house to push the piers deep into the ground and secure them in place. When all piers are installed, they are adjusted to help lift the foundation back to its original position. Finally, the holes on top of the foundation are refilled and sealed, and the work area is cleaned up. Push piers also have the added benefits of reducing the risk of future foundation issues and improving the resale value of your house.

Could foundation sinking be a sign of other underlying problems with my home's infrastructure, such as water damage or plumbing issues?

Yes, a foundation sinking could be a sign of underlying problems with your home’s infrastructure. One possible cause could be water damage, which can weaken the soil and cause the foundation to settle unevenly. Another possible cause could be plumbing issues, such as leaks or broken pipes, which can also lead to soil erosion and foundation problems.

 

To resolve these issues, exterior and interior waterproofing can be done. This involves sealing any cracks or gaps in the foundation to prevent water from seeping in and causing damage. Interior waterproofing involves installing a drainage system, such as a sump pump, to redirect water away from the foundation. By addressing these underlying issues, the foundation can be stabilized and prevent further sinking.

My house's foundation is sinking severely and has cracks in the walls. What solution is needed to prevent further damage?

If your house’s foundation is sinking severely with cracks in the walls, LUX Foundation Solutions recommends using helical piers to prevent further damage. Helical piers offer a long-lasting and effective solution for foundation problems caused by soil settlement or unstable ground conditions. They are steel shafts with helical plates screwed into the ground to lift, provide strong anchoring, and prevent further settlement. 

 

Helical piers can be easily installed with minimal excavation and can be used to lift and level existing structures, providing permanent stability. With this solution, you can ensure that your foundation will remain strong and stable for many years to come. 

How to Fix a Sinking Foundation? Trust LUX Foundation Solutions!

If you notice signs of a sinking foundation, you should contact a foundation repair specialist right away. 

 

At LUX Foundation Solutions, we use best-engineered products backed by long-term and lifetime warranties. We specialize in fixing foundation sinking issues by installing steel push piers and helical piers. These durable piers extend beneath your foundation and establish contact with strong supporting soils, ensuring a permanent stabilization of your structure.


Don’t let foundation issues ruin your peace of mind. As your trusted local expert for all types of foundation repair services, LUX Foundation Solutions is here to assist you, ensuring a solid and stable foundation for your home and family. Contact us today for a free estimate! We proudly serve homeowners in Northern Virginia, Shenandoah Valley, North Central Virginia, West Virginia, and the surrounding areas.

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FAQ's

What should I do when my house has signs of foundation sinking?

When signs of foundation sinking become apparent in your house, it’s crucial to take immediate action to prevent further damage. First, consult a professional foundation repair like LUX Foundation Solutions, which can accurately assess the extent of the sinking and determine the underlying cause. They will recommend the appropriate course of action, which may involve installing foundation piers or underpinning to stabilize and lift the foundation. 

 

It’s important not to ignore the issue, as untreated foundation sinking can lead to severe structural problems, such as cracked walls, uneven floors, and doors or windows that no longer open or close properly. By addressing the issue promptly, you can protect your home’s integrity and avoid costly repairs down the line.

Can I fix a sinking foundation myself?

It is not recommended to fix a sinking foundation yourself. 

 

Foundation repair is a complex process that requires expertise and specialized equipment. Attempting to repair it yourself may lead to more damage and even make it dangerous for your family. 

 

A professional foundation repair contractor can evaluate the problem, recommend the best solution, and ensure it is done correctly, saving you time and money in the long run. Don’t take any risks with your home’s foundation – leave it to the professionals.

How do I know my foundation is sinking?

A sinking foundation is a serious issue that can lead to further damage and expensive repairs if left unaddressed. Some common signs of a sinking foundation include cracks in walls, floors, or ceilings, uneven floors or doors and windows that won’t close properly, and a visibly uneven foundation. In some cases, homeowners may also notice water damage or soil erosion around the foundation. 

 

If you suspect your foundation is sinking, it’s essential to contact a qualified foundation specialist to assess the extent of the damage and provide recommendations for repair. Don’t wait – the longer you wait to address a sinking foundation, the more costly and time-consuming the repairs will be.

Is foundation sinking normal?

Although all buildings go through a certain degree of settling, it is essential to note that if your foundation appears to be sinking into the ground, it is not a normal occurrence. Regular settling happens gradually and is hardly noticeable. However, when your foundation sinks too quickly into the soil, it can cause damage to the foundation itself and give rise to various issues in your home. 

 

It is crucial not to mistake the signs of a sinking foundation for the usual settling patterns. To ensure the safety of your home and prevent any potential disasters in the future, it is advisable to take measures to protect it from sinking. Removing the possibility of damage is highly valuable for homeowners, and LUX Foundation Solutions offers solutions that can assist you in achieving this goal.