I have a settling foundation.

I see a couple of ways to repair the foundation; one with hand dug concrete piers about 3 feet deep, one with steel piers driven to bedrock.

Will concrete be sufficient?


All foundations settle. Problems occur when there is “differential” settlement.

Footing sizes are based on the soil conditions and the load they are trying to support. So, soil that is mush will need to be bigger (wider) to support the same amount of load.

Generally, there is better soil bearing capacity the deeper you go, because the soil on top compressed the soil below. So, if you make the footing wider or deeper, it should stabilize.

Piling is a trickier. Driving piling can 1) shake the surrounding ground (soil) and cause settlement, and 2) stop all settlement while the remaining foundation continues to settle causing additional cracking.

Digging a hole for a concrete pier can 1) cause the surrounding ground to become unstable, and 2) add a significant amount of weight causing the foundation to settle even more.

  • Hmm very tricky thanks. How do I choose? – OneSolitaryNoob Jan 4 '18 at 5:11
  • It depends on weight, type of footing and soil conditions. What is bearing on the footing, floor, roof, uniform load, posts? Do you know how much reinforcing steel is in the footing? Size of footing? Thickness of stem wall? What type of soil? How far down until soil changes? How far down to bedrock? (And how certain are you of these conditions?) – Lee Sam Jan 4 '18 at 5:56
  • I don't know... It's a grade beam foundation. House is about 40x30. I don't know what the soil is like – OneSolitaryNoob Jan 4 '18 at 5:58
  • One reason we use grade beam foundations is to span across soft spots. If the foundation falling (cracking) or is one area settling? If it’s cracking, that’s much harder to fix. If one area or corner is settling, that’s easier. – Lee Sam Jan 4 '18 at 6:41
  • it doesn't seem to be cracking, just settling on one side (i'm not sure how this is possible without cracking but i don't see any cracks). it may have happened years ago, house built in the 1950s. my guess is the soil wasn't compacted and water moved it around over the years. – OneSolitaryNoob Jan 6 '18 at 18:25

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