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Home (/) Foundation Repair ( Settlement Sinking

Sinking/Settling Foundation Problems In Greater Toronto

Identifying & Solving Problems Related To Foundation Sinking & Settlement
The Problem:
Your home is showing signs of damage related to foundation settlement.
Telltale Signs:
Stair-Step Cracks In Brick Or Concrete Block Foundation Walls
Leaning, Tilting Chimneys
Cracks Around Doors & Windows
Jamming, Sticking Doors & Windows
Cracks In A Concrete Slab Floor


Cracks In Drywall

There are usually a number of

different soil layers underneath a

How to Fix It:


We x foundation settlement issues by installing steel foundation piers. These piers will extend
beneath the foundation, contacting strong supporting soils that will permanently stabilize
your structure.

Foundation settlement can occur

when one of these soil layers can't
support the weight of the home.

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Basement Systems, we solve foundation settlement issues of all kinds! Call us for a free foundation settlement repair quote
( today!
We serve Mississauga, Toronto, Markham, and many nearby areas in Ontario.

Identifying Foundation Settlement Issues

Signs of a settling foundation can be very subtle at rst. Some homeowners may go months or even years before noticing a crack in
their foundation. However, the long-term damage from foundation settlement is ongoing and will lead to more severe foundation
problems (

Signs Of Foundation Settlement

As a foundation settles, many telltale signs will become evident. What follows are some of the most common ways that foundation
settlement can become visible to the homeowner.



Stair-Step Cracking
Stair-step cracking is one of the surest signs of foundation settlement and is very common in brick in concrete block walls.
As the settlement continues, vertical cracks may widen or become uneven as wall sections tilt away from each other, indicating
more severe displacement.
Be aware of cracks that are wider at the top than at the bottom, as this is a sign of advancing settlement.


Tilting Chimneys
A tilting chimney that are separating from the home can be one of the most intimidating and dramatic signs of a settling
Sometimes a chimney is built on a footing that is not connected to the house foundation. The enormous weight of a chimney can
make it even more at risk of settlement.
More information about tilting, leaning chimney repair (


Damaged Doors & Windows
An opening cut in any wall is a weak point. Many times the rst signs of foundation settlement show up around a door or window.
Doors and windows may separate out of their frames. Cracks may extend from the corners above doors and windows. Other signs
of foundation settlement include sticking, jamming doors and windows and locks that stop working.

More information about sticking windows and doors ( (tel:1-888-465-1468)




Slab Floor Cracking
Cracks in your concrete oor slab can be a sign of foundation settlement, but they may also be a sign that the slab oor alone has
There are times when your slab oor may sink or lift independently of the foundation walls, damaging the oors but not necessarily
the foundation walls themselves.


Drywall Cracks
Cracks in drywall throughout the house are reliable indicators of foundation settlement. Cracks will often be larger and more
obvious in the home's upper levels.
Typical drywall cracks during foundation settlement are commonly located at the corners of doors and windows and along
drywall seams. Drywall tape can also be a good indicator, especially of it's ripping or coming loose. Drywall cracks can also be a
sign of sinking crawl space supports, sinking oors, and heaving oors.

Repairing Foundation Settlement

At Clarke Basement Systems, we recommend installing foundation piers to stabilize, repair, and restore a foundation to its original
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position. This solution is specically for foundations that have been damaged by issues related to foundation settlement and poor
supporting soils.


There are several different types of foundation piers; each one is designed to address a different kind of foundation problem. We
install three different kinds of foundation piers: push piers, helical piers, and slab piers.

Foundation Push Piers

Foundation push piers are straight, steel piers that attach to your foundation and extend far
below the structure to strong supporting soils.
During the installation, a section of the foundation footing is exposed and cut to attach to
each pier's bracket. This foundation repair solution can be installed year-round from either
inside or outside of your foundation or structure.
Push piers connect the foundation

Foundation brackets are secured to the footing, and tubular pier sections are hydraulically
driven through each bracket.
Pier sections continue to be driven downwards until the piers meet competent strata that
can bear the weight of your home without compression.

to strong, stable soil or bedrock.

When all push piers have been installed, they will work in unison to transfer the weight of the

Foundation piers attach to the

structure to the strong soils or bedrock below. If possible, the home is also lifted back to its

base of the foundation with special

brackets and extend through
settling and unstable soil layers,
transferring the weight of your
home to competent soils or

original, level position.

Foundation Helical Piers

Foundation helical piers are straight, steel piers that have helical blades welded to each
shaft. This installation is possible from either inside or outside of your foundation.
These piers are driven into the soils underneath your foundation, then each pier is
connected to the structure's foundation via a steel bracket.
During the installation, a section of the footing is exposed and cut for each bracket.
Next, round-shaft helical piers are mechanically advanced into the soil.
Once the helical pier has been advanced into the soil, a foundation bracket is secured to
the footing.


When all helical piers have been installed, they will work in unison to transfer the weight of
the structure to competent soil. If possible, the structure is also lifted back to a level position.

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Illustration of foundation helical
piers stabilizing a home.
Like push piers, helical piers are
attached to the foundation by
mounting a bracket. Helical piers
include rotating blades that are
advanced (or "screwed") into the

Slab Pier Systems

Foundation slab piers are straight steel piers that extend from stable soils deep below the
structure to support brackets directly in contact with the underside of the slab.
These piers are meant to support a settling concrete oor, and are not appropriate for
foundation wall stabilization.
Slab piers are also inappropriate for repairing heaving foundations, where the oor is being
lifted by expansive soils or frost heave.
During installation, a small hole is cored through the concrete oor. A slab bracket is
assembled beneath the concrete slab, and steel tubes are hydraulically driven down
through this bracket assembly.
When the slab piers have reached competent soils, the weight of the slab is transferred
through the piers to load-bearing soils below. If possible, the slab is lifted back to level
At the end of the installation, grout is pumped under the slab to ll any voids, and all cored
holes in the slab are restored with new concrete for a clean, professional look.

Slab piers can stabilize a settling
concrete slab.
When the soil beneath a concrete
slab shrinks or settles, the slab itself is
also likely to settle, often cracking in
the process. Slab piers restore
stability by connecting the slab to
competent soil at greater depth.
Slab piers are not appropriate for
supporting foundation walls or
repairing damage caused by
foundation heave.

What NOT To Do

This installation is possible year-round, and provides a permanent solution for your home.


Like all home improvements and repairs, some methods work better than others. On the other hand, some methods seem to hardly
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work at all. In fact, at Clarke Basement Systems, we nd that many of our foundation repair (/) jobs are actually just xing the
unsuccessful repairs of other contractors. This is because many companies use techniques to x the foundation without tackling the
root of the problem, the soil.
Based on our experiences throughout Ontario, here are three "xes" that we do NOT recommend:

Total Foundation Replacement

To completely replace your home's foundation, the soil will have to be removed from
around the perimeter and your house will be jacked up and placed on temporary supports.
Next, your foundation walls are completely removed, and a new set of walls are
Many homeowners remove and replace their foundation without addressing the problem
that caused the foundation issue in the rst place. When this happens, they often nd that
after several years, they're facing the same problem all over again.
At Clarke Basement Systems, we address the problem with warrantied solutions that will x
your problem once and for all.

Concrete Underpinning
To install concrete underpinning, the soils must be excavated from around the foundation.
Larger concrete footings are poured beneath the exiting footings. Once the concrete has
cured, the soil is backlled.

The house is placed on temporary
supports while the foundation is
excavated and replaced. This is
expensive, time-consuming, and
extremely disruptive process.

When it comes to foundation footings, "bigger" is not necessarily "better." Most of the time,
the underpinning will not extend beyond the problem soils under your home. If this is true,
the larger footings you just paid for will continue to move and cause damage.
Concrete shrinks as it cures, and small gaps can form between the new and old footings.
Open gaps beneath a home are never a good thing!
When concrete underpinning is installed and fails to solve the problem, it is much more
expensive to repair. Before installing a new foundation system, all that added concrete will
need to be removed.

Concrete Piers



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To install concrete piers under a home, the soil will rst need to be excavated from around

Concrete underpinning failed to

your foundation. Short, 6"-8"wide concrete cylinders are then pushed into the soil on top of

stabilize this house.

one another, strung together by a wire. Shims are then placed between the top of the


concrete pier and the footing, then the soil is backlled.

Blunt, wide concrete cylinders are dicult to push deep into the ground, making it very
dicult to extend them past the poor supporting soils under your home.
Concrete can crack and break when under pressure, and even in response to temperature
changes, making concrete piers a imsy repair method.
Additionally, there is nothing to guide the direction for the pier, which means they might not
be installed straight. So how will they support your home?
Because of these and other reasons, we will not recommend this kind of approach.

Concrete piers are too big and
blunt to be driven deep into
foundation soils, so they usually
don't extend to competent
supporting soils.

We Repair Settling Foundations in ON!

At Clarke Basement Systems, we can identify and repair any issue you may be having with settling, sinking foundations. We have a
wide variety of solutions for foundation repair ( that have been
tested and proven effective throughout the United States and Canada through the Foundation Supportworks network of foundation
Each of our solutions starts with a free, written foundation repair quote (,
and includes a personal consultation with a foundation expert, an in-person inspection, and a free copy of our 90-page foundation
repair book. To schedule an appointment with one of our specialists, call or e-mail us today!
We proudly serve Toronto, Mississauga, Markham, areas such as Vaughan, Brampton, Barrie, Oshawa, Richmond Hill, Peterborough,
and nearby.


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Foundation Wall Straightening (

Bowing, Buckling Foundation Walls (
Tilting, Leaning Chimneys (
Sticking Windows And Doors (

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10638 Ninth Line

Markham, ON L6B1A8