Foundation settlement is a common issue that affects residential and commercial structures alike. Settlement is the uneven sinking of portions of your structure over time, resulting in foundation cracks, wall cracks, undue stress on load-bearing structural components, and more.
A structure rests upon soils of different density and compactions, each varying in depth and size through the area upon which the foundation is poured. Soils can be characterized by multiple different qualities, including overall density, expansiveness, load-bearing capacity, and more. Occasionally, portions of a foundation's soil are not strong enough to support the weight of a structure over long periods, causing compaction of the loose soil and the slow sinking of areas of the building. Settlement doesn't have to only affect one part of a structure, either - if the weak soil is pervasive enough, the entire structure can begin to sink unevenly, causing long-term damage.
Collapsible soil is a primary culprit for foundation settlement. Expansive soils, like those with a high clay content, will absorb water molecules when saturated and cause uplift as they swell. Collapsible soils, on the other hand, perform in the opposite manner - when these soils make contact with excessive moisture, they are prone to rapid and significant reductions in volume. As volume decreases, it is possible for portions of a building to begin settling, filling the void space formed by the soil's contraction.
Settlement symptoms may take years to show themselves, and can be difficult to identify in the early stages. Once the signs begin to show, settlement has likely already been at work for a significant period of time. Here's what to look for in your commercial structure:
Arizona Foundation Solutions offers several solutions for commercial foundation settlement jobs, each of which are explained in-depth in our Services menus. For more information, follow the links below.