Minor settling is to be expected. Unless there is another reason, such as erosion, old homes have typically settled as much as they will ever settle. It does, however, occur. He mended the cracks with the other work, assuming the house, which was roughly 60 years old, had done sinking. When more cracks appeared, he worried about damage from rising water or a falling tree.
Older houses can also display additional stress points due to changes in code requirements and construction techniques over time. As a result, older houses may appear to be sinking when measured against a benchmark established before the foundation was modified. Such modifications include adding extra space for a garage or moving the driveway to accommodate growth on the property.
If an older home appears to be settling, contact your local building official's office to find out what needs to be done. Some municipalities require inspections of major improvements like these that could affect how much weight a structure can support. Other possible causes of settlement include inadequate soil under the foundation, problems with drainage, incorrect grading, environmental conditions, and structural defects. A professional inspection of your home's foundation will tell you if there are any underlying issues causing it to sink.
Settlement is the relative movement of different parts of a structure toward or away from each other. Structures tend to move toward their natural state of gravity, which is downward in most cases.
House settling is not necessarily risky. If it happens gradually over time, you might not even notice. You should be concerned when house settling occurs fast and causes foundation damage. That can lead to more serious problems down the road.
If you've ever seen a building materials store, you know they are loaded with products that help reduce or eliminate house settling. There are three main types: internal, external, and hydraulic. Internal systems use weighty objects, such as cinder blocks or heavy furniture, to prevent movement during high winds. External systems employ steel beams or columns placed outside the building envelope (the exterior wall covering roof) to provide stability. Hydraulic systems pump water into underground chambers where it expands and pushes against soil under the house to stabilize it.
All of these methods can be used to control house settling. It depends on your budget and what type of protection you want to buy. For example, if you already have an external system in place, you don't need additional equipment. However, if you're planning to move into this house in the future, you should consider getting internal or hydraulic systems installed to minimize risk further down the road. The experts at Your Home Warranty will be able to recommend the best course of action for your situation.
Overall, house settling is not dangerous.
Here are several indications of settling:
Houses, in fact, settle. When they begin to fall, joints and flooring might creak, which explains the strange sounds of settling homes (no ghosts). The noise is actually the result of water expanding as it freezes; as the ice crystals form, they create small cracks in the concrete or mortar. Over time, these cracks grow wide enough for sound to travel through.
The cracking noise you hear when you walk across a frozen yard is caused by each foot hitting an uneven spot in the surface. As your weight forces the air out of its cavity, the crystal begins to fill up with more ice, causing the crack to get wider.
The reason you never hear this activity mentioned when talking about houses settling after a big storm is because it happens so slowly that you wouldn't notice it until it's finished. During a severe weather event, such as an earthquake or hurricane, all the loose dirt, rocks, and debris allow the energy from the storm to be transmitted into the home through the roof or walls. This sudden burst of power can cause parts of the house to collapse, but over time the energy dissipates and the house returns to its original state.
There are several factors that determine how much a house will settle over time. The type of building material used to construct the house affects how much it will move.