Sinking Foundation and Repair | Identifying Foundation problems

Sinking Foundation | Building Construction

Foundation is the most primary component of the building on which it stands. The life of the building depends on the quality of foundation. For a good and stable foundation, the structural design of the foundation has to be done properly in a systematic way under the guidance of a structural engineer.

If the casting of foundation is not paid attention to and is not laid properly on a stable soil, the structural problems are bound to develop. Every soil has a specific bearing capacity which is very necessary to be checked before designing the foundation. Without the consideration of bearing capacity of soil, the structural design for the foundation may not be suitable for that land.

Cause of Sinking Foundation

Sinking foundation is a problem that occurs in case of improperly laid foundations which is the result of careless consideration of the soil type. The problems are very crucial and have to be solved as soon as they are detected in order to prevent the structure from further damage.

Detecting Foundation problems

People living in areas with unstable soil conditions need to watch out for the signs of foundation problems. Some of the signs could be as follows:

First sign:

The house is gradually slanting to one side. (This is a very prominent example of sinking foundation problem. As soon as you notice this happening, you can immediately conclude it to be related to foundation and take action immediately before the condition of the structure gets worse.)

Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy
Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy

One world famous example of the sinking foundation is “Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy”.

Second sign:

Alignment of doors and windows have to checked.

Third sign:

Cracks in the floors, walls and slabs have to checked.

Fourth sign:

Formation of water puddles around the base of your house should not be ignored since it could be related to the foundation problem.

Also check out:

Retrofitting Old foundations

Foundation Damage and Retrofitting

In our next article, we will discuss the following:

What is to be done after you identify the foundation problems?

Techniques used to correct/repair sinking foundation

12 thoughts on “Sinking Foundation and Repair | Identifying Foundation problems”

    • The alignment of doors and windows gets disturbed only if there is a movement of the structure. Since doors and windows are not flexible, their shape and form gets distorted. You should specially check for cracks in the basement floor and roof.

  1. the first sign of sinking foundation must be diagonal cracks which are like shear cracks on wall. if the entire structure is sinking in very loose soils then only you can see slanting on one side like leaning tower of pisa. but most of the cases one or two column foundations fail where foundations might have laid on filled up wells or loose boulders. while marking columns we should be beware of loose boulders and filled up soils like wells which we tend to ignore.

  2. A situation were by i discover that my building has slanted to one direction;how is it possible to take it to the original vertical state it were before. thanks

  3. Please provide details
    1. loose soil foundation type
    2. Water table foundation for g +3 and g +4
    3. area is 30×40 and 40 x 60 area
    site area was small lake now it dried. water available below 10 feet. good water for drink.
    for the design are the foundation should we do?
    our house will constructed with PEB. it should stable g+3 and g+4.

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