Sometimes, the signs of foundation failure in your home are obvious, such as when large cracks form, the foundation starts to settle unevenly, or there are large gaps and spaces between the walls and the floor or ceiling. These are all quite obvious signs that indicate a foundation problem. Other time, however, the symptoms of foundation failure are much more subtle. This is why it is a good idea to take some time to regularly examine your home and check for telltale signs of foundation failure, no matter how small. One of these more subtle signs is misaligned trim and molding.
If the trim and molding in your home are misaligned, there may be other signs of foundation failure that you can spot if you look. Some of the symptoms that often accompany misaligned trim or molding include:
These signs indicate that your foundation has started to shift or settle. This can lead to several issues, and is usually the result of changes in the moisture content or position of the soil around your home. For example, if the soil around your foundation absorbs more water than normal, the hydrostatic pressure will increase as the soil expands. The pressure in the ground then pushes on the foundation until the concrete starts to crack and shift. Soil that was not compacted enough when the foundation was laid may settle over time. This soil settlement causes the foundation that rests on the soil to settle as well, leading to various issues, such as misaligned trim or molding.
To fix this misaligned trim, you have to go straight to the source of the problem – the foundation. Because this problem is often the result of a sinking foundation, the best solution is to install helical piers or steel push piers. Steel piers are driven into the ground deep below the foundation to provide stability for the structure. Once stabilized, the foundation can be lifted to reverse settlement. Helical piers also stabilize and lift the foundation, but these piers are screwed into the ground, and the threads on the shaft of the piers provide a bit of extra security for the home.
If the foundation has started to shift, it can be readjusted and pulled back into place using helical tiebacks. These devices are a laterally installed version of the helical piers that is inserted through the shifting basement wall into the yard to anchor the foundation and counteract pressure on the wall. The wall is pulled straight by the pressure that the tieback provides.
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