If a house has one side sink in 4 inches due to soil settlement, is there a threat to the foundation of the house? Can that be repaired and if so about how much would the total cost be?(Just a very rough estimate)
The answer is yes and you should see signs of the stress that this would be placing on your house. I would suggest you contact a couple of foundation contractors and get them in to assess the issue.
Kingsway Construction Inc.
I'm going to have to disagree with you slightly on this. Tony, settlement isn't always a case of foundation problems. It could simply be settlement - particularely if it is around a new house or if you had any work done around the foundation before winter or before a lot of rain. Water will tend to compact any loose soil or backfill material. Realistically though, you don't want to allow water to pool or collect next to the foundation. Any soil or grading should be sloped away from the foundation wall and directed away from the building. If you look inside the basement around the area where the settlement has occured, you can generally get an idea of what is happening. If you have a block foundation wall, look for noticable cracking along the mortar lines, or blocks that have pushed in. If you have a poured concrete foundation, look first for signs of leaking. Leaking however doesn't necessarily mean you have a structural problem. Next look for cracking. Vertical cracks are usually shrinkage cracks and are normal. If you have horizontal cracks or cracks that radiate out from a point on a wall, then there is a good chance there could be something going on with the structure. Contact a structural engineer to assess the situation.
Repairing leaks can be simple using an epoxy injection, or repointing block walls with a hydrolic cement mortar or other patching compound. This repair can run about $250ish (in the Toronto area) per crack. If you just have settlement, you can fill it yourself with gravel first and then a couple of inches of topsoil or sand (depending if you have a hard surface or are planting grass next to the foundation. Any structural issues will depend on the severity of the problem and the engineers recommended repair method. You should ask the engineer for options to repair.
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