Can House Leveling Cause Foundation Problems?

August 18, 2023

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Homeowners facing foundation repairs often ask, can house leveling cause foundation problems? House leveling returns a structure to a level position, closing gaps and cracks in the process. However, you might wonder if lifting the house can weaken or otherwise damage the foundation.

House leveling offers an excellent solution for sinking or settling foundations. However, poor-quality work can risk future foundation damage. So, the answer is: Yes, house leveling can cause foundation problems when completed by an unqualified contractor or company. It's important to make sure  you vet the company you work with before moving forward with house leveling.

This might not seem like a comprehensive answer to the question, can house leveling cause foundation problems. Knowing more details about leveling can help you better understand this option for your home. Also, a foundation repair contractor can note if it’s the right choice for your home’s foundation issues.

can house leveling cause foundation problems

When Can House Leveling Cause Foundation Problems?

House leveling or underpinning can correct uneven or sagging foundations. This process lifts and stabilizes the structure typically with hydraulics and other means.

While house leveling can address existing foundation issues, in rare cases it might cause more problems. This is true with improper or poorly executed leveling. Here are some considerations to keep in mind:

Inadequate Assessment

If the root cause of the foundation issue is not properly identified and addressed before leveling, the underlying problem might persist. The foundation may continue to shift, leading to new or worsening issues.

This is why property owners should always rely on a contractor who performs a thorough inspection. Without correcting other foundation issues, the leveling process won’t last. Also, you might still notice dampness, interior cracks, and the like.

Uneven Lift

If the lifting process is not carefully managed, it can lead to uneven or excessive lifting. This can cause stress on the structure, resulting in cracks, shifts, and other problems. In other words, a poor-quality contractor might overcorrect the problem! In doing so, he or she can risk shifting stress from one section of the structure to another.

Insufficient Support

In some cases, inadequate support methods or materials might be used during the leveling process. This can result in a foundation that is not properly stabilized, leading to ongoing issues. It’s vital that property owners work with reputable contractors who guarantee their work for both labor and materials.

Incomplete Repairs

House leveling should be part of a comprehensive foundation repair plan that addresses all underlying issues. If only leveling is performed without addressing other contributing factors, problems might reoccur.

a home needing foundation repair

Is It Worth Leveling an Old House?

While poor-quality leveling can risk ongoing issues, expert services can ensure foundation fixes that last! Check out some considerations that can help you determine if leveling an old house is worth it:

  • If your house is experiencing significant foundation problems, such as sloping floors, cracked walls, or doors and windows that no longer function properly, leveling could be a viable solution.
  • If the foundation issues are compromising the structural integrity of the house, leveling can help prevent further damage and potentially extend the lifespan of the building.
  • Consider your long-term plans for the property. If you intend to live in the house for many years or pass it down to future generations, investing in leveling and repairs can be a wise choice. This process can ensure its stability and value over time.
  • Evaluate the cost of leveling the house against the potential benefits. Properly executed leveling can prevent further damage and avoid more expensive repairs down the line.
  • Foundation issues can sometimes lead to health and safety concerns, such as mold growth, pest infestations, or unstable living conditions. Leveling can address these issues and provide a healthier and safer living environment.
  • If you have plans to renovate or improve the old house, it's advisable to address foundation issues first. A stable foundation provides a solid base for any future renovations and ensures that your investment is protected.
  • Leveling an old house and addressing foundation issues can enhance its resale value. Buyers are often more attracted to properties with stable foundations and minimal structural problems.

How Can You Tell If a House Has Foundation Issues?

Detecting foundation issues early is crucial for preventing further damage and costly repairs. Here are some common signs that a house might have foundation problems:

  • Vertical or diagonal cracks in the foundation walls.
  • Cracks in interior and exterior walls, especially near doors and windows.
  • Cracks in the ceiling or along the edges of walls.
  • Sloping or uneven floors, where one side of a room is noticeably higher or lower than the other.
  • Floors that feel bouncy or sag when you walk on them.
  • Doors and windows that are difficult to open, close, or latch properly.
  • Gaps around doors and windows that weren't present before.
  • Doors that stick or rub against the door frame.
  • Doors that swing open or closed on their own.
  • Cracks in ceramic tiles or flooring materials.
  • Grout lines that are uneven or cracked.
  • Gaps between the walls and the ceiling or floor.
  • Gaps at the corners of windows and doors.
  • Bulging or bowing basement walls.
  • Visible gaps or separation in the basement walls.
  • Moisture, dampness, or water intrusion in the basement or crawlspace.
  • Mold growth or efflorescence on the foundation walls.
  • Nail pops in drywall, where nails or screws become visible and push through the wall surface.
  • Cracks or seams in the drywall.

cracks on a home with foundation damage

What Happens If a House Is Not Leveled?

If a house is not leveled properly, it can lead to a range of issues that can worsen over time. Note just some of the potential consequences of not leveling a house:

  • Uneven settling can cause stress on the foundation, walls, and structural components of the house. This can lead to cracks in walls, ceilings, and floors, as well as misalignment of doors and windows.
  • A house that is not leveled can result in sloping or uneven floors. This can make it uncomfortable to walk or stand in certain areas of the house and may affect the placement of furniture.
  • Uneven settling can cause doors and windows to become misaligned, making them difficult to open, close, or latch properly. This can also lead to gaps around doors and windows, causing drafts and energy inefficiency.
  • Uneven settling can affect the grading and drainage around the house, causing water to pool in certain areas or flow toward the foundation. Poor drainage can lead to moisture issues, water intrusion, and potential foundation damage.
  • If a house is not leveled, it can affect the stability of the crawl space or basement walls. This can lead to cracks, bulges, or water intrusion in these areas.
  • Cracks in walls, ceilings, and floors can lead to cosmetic damage inside the house. Repairs to these issues can be expensive and may affect the overall appearance of the interior.
  • A house with visible foundation issues and structural problems can deter potential buyers and lead to decreased property value. Buyers often look for properties with stable foundations and minimal structural concerns.

A Word From Our Foundation Repair Crew

Here at Peoria Foundation Repair & Waterproofing Pros, we hope we answered the question, can house leveling cause foundation problems? If you’re in the area, don’t hesitate to contact our Peoria foundation repair contractors. We offer FREE inspections and quotes, and foundation repair services guaranteed to last!


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