DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum

DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum (
-   Framing and Foundation (
-   -   House Sinking? (

ybrody 03-01-2011 12:30 PM

House Sinking?
Hello all, great forum you got here thanks for reading my issue. Quick background on the situation. The house is 12 years old I am second owner for almost 3 years now. The house is on a slab, no crawl space, small 1500 sq' cookie ranch.

Over the past year I have noticed a space forming between the wood floor and the molding in the entrance way. The space has grown and spread left into kitchen. I cannot find any cracks in the foundation outside. The opposite side of the wall in the pictures is the garage. I now noticed a few cracks in the walls which could be unrelated, but coincidental non the less.

Honestly my wife and I are worried. We contacted the insurance company and they have nothing to do with it. My next step was trying to find any information which led me here to seek helpful advice. I appreciate any help you guys can provide.

Thanks all

inspectorD 03-01-2011 04:33 PM

Ok, looks like a sinking slab under the wall areas. Your going to either need an engineer to come in and give you an idea of what your soils and water drainage is like. And they will recommend a good company.
Or save the money and go straight to a "reputable " company that is in the concrete slab fix it right relm.:D
This means doin lots of homework and reference checking on anyone you hire. They will most likely do a core drilling to see what the thicknesses are , and mud jack it up from there. They may also have you fix gutters and drainage around the house, as these may cause the settlement issues.

CyFree 03-02-2011 08:11 AM

I agree with InspectorD.
It does look like you have sinking slab problem, which is unfortunate, specially since you've only owned the home for 3 years!
But you shouldn't be alarmed at this point. It can be fixed, and the sooner you do it. the less expensive it will be.
Foundation settlement, as you noticed, tend to get worse overtime.

Besides "mud jacking", there are also slab pier systems that can not only permanently stabilize the foundation, but also have the potential to lift the slab back into its original position, leveling your floors and partition walls.

These piers can be installed less disruptively and will usually outlast mud jacking because they will support the structure past the problem soil that caused the foundation to sink in the first place.

This is what they look like:

Call a few good foundation repair companies in your area. Many good companies perform free inspections and this way you will have expert opinions and a few options to chose from. Check their references, their standing with the local BBB. Make an informed decision.

ybrody 03-02-2011 08:46 AM

Thanks guys you have been a huge help. I think it is party due to the fact that 2 cars are now parked behind that wall in my garage (directly on that slab) and I know for a fact the previous owners didn't park in the garage. Any idea of a ballpark cost to repair something like this? If its 10$-20$ K + Then I think this house is for sale immediately. Once again thanks for your help.

Speedbump 03-02-2011 09:05 AM

If you were in Florida, I would say you have a sinkhole opening up and your insurance should cover it.

Years ago, builders used to dig a hole and bury their scraps, left overs etc. Today it's not legal, but that doesn't mean it didn't happen before they built the home in that spot.

inspectorD 03-02-2011 11:49 AM

Not even a clue as to what the costs will be, until you find out what the problem is and what is causing it.
You need an expert in there to tell you what you have going on, then go from there.
Or sell it as is, because whatever you find, you will need to disclose when you sell.

CyFree 03-02-2011 01:35 PM

Even if you plan to sell the house "as is" it is a good idea to get a professional written estimate. For a number of reasons:

- As InspectorD said, you will have to disclose it and if you do not you will be liable for any damages incurred for failure to disclose.

- It would be very hard to sell the house too, because foundation problems scare prospective buyers. If they fail to notice it, the home inspector most likely won't.

- Anyone buying the home "as is" , with a sinking slab, will want a significant discount on the asking price. Usually much more than you would pay to fix the problem to begin with.

- You might be able to finance the repairs and keep your home.

- Even if you sell the property, it is much better to have an idea of what the problem is and how much it cost to fix, this way you will make an informed decision when negotiating.

As I mentioned before, some good foundation repair companies will inspect the problem and give you an estimate for free.

ybrody 03-02-2011 01:45 PM

Great guys thank you very much for all your help. We will begin the process of having this looked at by a professional this weekend.

ybrody 03-19-2011 02:37 PM

Hello all I just wanted to put some closure on this thread.

I took everyones advice and had several foundation company's come out and asses the situation. End result is the slab is sinking. We have a floating slab I was told. So the foundation and walls are just fine. Seems like just that portion of the house has an issue. It could be many things, but most likely debris or vegetation that had been decaying for a decade. We are going to have it fixed next week. We have to rip up the hard woods unfortunately, but thats ok cause we wanted to replace them anyways. They are going to come in and drill holes and pump in a gravel mixture that will raise the slab back up. Price for everything should be less then $1500.

Once again thanks everyone for your advice and input. I am glad we are getting this fixed the right way =).


inspectorD 03-19-2011 02:46 PM

Glad we could help.:):)

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:45 AM.