House Leveling: 10 Common Misconceptions and Truths Explained

When it comes to house leveling, there are a lot of myths about the process and what’s involved. Some think house leveling is messy, expensive, or damages your home. But these assumptions aren’t necessarily valid.

This guide will debunk all the common misconceptions about house leveling and explain what’s integral to maintaining your property.

We will also outline exactly what is involved in the house-leveling process to help you make an informed decision when considering repairs for your home.

Read More: What Is Foundation Repair | 8 Types of House Foundation Repair Methods

What Is House Leveling?

House Leveling
House Leveling

House leveling involves bringing a structure back into its original position using piers, beams, or other methods required to redistribute weight across different foundation parts.

This helps ensure that any structural damage caused by settling soil can be addressed before it becomes more serious, such as cracked walls or uneven floors, ultimately keeping your home safe from further damage.

It’s important to note that while house-leveling repairs may seem like they would involve significant construction projects, such as digging up foundations, most processes are much simpler than some homeowners might expect them to be.

Signs That You Need to Level Your House

If you’re not sure whether your home needs to be leveled, there are a few signs that may indicate it’s time for repairs:

Cracks in the Wall and Floor

One of the most common symptoms of foundation problems is cracks in the walls inside and outside your house.

These can be caused by everything from changes in temperature to settling soil. And if left unaddressed, they can cause further damage to your property. Suppose you notice any cracks in your walls.

In that case, getting a professional to assess them is essential as it’s not guesswork, as the house leveling plan uses an engineering report to inform the actual work.

Gapes in Mortar Joints

Another sign that you may need leveling services is gaps in mortar joints, especially around doors and windows. These gaps can occur when the weight of a building causes it to settle unevenly, and over time they will become larger and more pronounced.

Not only do these gaps make your home look unsightly, but they can also let moisture and pests into your property which could cause further damage.

If you notice any gaps appearing in mortar joints around your house, it’s best to have them assessed by a professional.

Uneven Floors

If you notice that your floors are becoming uneven, your house will likely have settled and require leveling. This can happen due to changes in temperature and soil conditions.

The House Has a History of House-leveling Repairs

If your house has previously been leveled, there’s a good chance it will need to be done again. This is because any time a structure settles, there is potential for further damage to occur, even if the initial problem has been addressed. So check the house history to determine if it has been leveled before.

Unstable Chimney

Your house needs to be leveled if you have an unstable chimney. This is because when a building settles, the weight of the chimney can cause it to lean, eventually leading to structural damage or even collapse. Get a professional to assess the chimney to determine if repairs are necessary.

Challenges Opening and Closing Windows and Doors

If you start having difficulty opening and closing windows or doors in your house, it may indicate that your property has settled and needs leveling services.

This is because when a structure settles, the weight of the building can cause doors to become misaligned, which makes it harder or even impossible to open and close properly.

Read More: 8 Foundation Construction Steps | House Foundation Construction Steps

House Leveling Misconceptions and the Truth Explained

Now that we’ve covered some signs that your house may need leveling, let’s look at some common misconceptions about the process and dispel any myths involved.

House Leveling and Pier & beam repair are the same

One common misconception is that house leveling, pier, and beam repair are the same. However, this is not true.

House leveling is used to bring a structure back into its original position. On the other hand, pier and beam repair involve repairing or replacing damaged beams to stabilize a foundation.

While both processes are essential for maintaining the structural integrity of your home, they are not interchangeable. Therefore, it’s critical to ensure you get the right type of service for your needs.

House Leveling Is Disrupting

Another common misconception about house leveling is that it disrupts your house’s normal functioning. However, this is not necessarily true.

In most cases, house-leveling repairs can be completed with minimal disruption to your property, meaning you won’t have to deal with any mess or debris afterward.

Of course, there may be some instances where more extensive work is required, but generally, the process should be relatively clean and tidy.

House Leveling Is Costly

While it’s true that foundation repairs can be expensive, especially if extensive damage has occurred, it’s important to remember that house leveling is an investment in your home.

By addressing any issues as soon as possible, you can help prevent further damage from occurring, which could end up costing even more money in the future.

Besides, many homeowners find that their insurance policies will cover at least part of the cost of foundation repair services. So, it’s always worth checking with your provider before making any decisions.

Pier and Beam’s Repairs are Done Once in a Lifetime

Another common misconception about pier and beam repair is that it’s a one-time process. However, this is not necessarily true.

While it’s true that most repairs will only need to be carried out once, additional work may be required in the future, primarily if the original problem has not been appropriately addressed.

As such, it’s essential to make sure you choose a reputable and experienced contractor who can carry out the work correctly the first time.

Watering Your Foundation Prevents Future Issues

One of the most common misconceptions about foundation repair is that watering your foundation will prevent future problems.

While watering your foundation can help keep the soil around your property moist, which can help prevent settling, it will only stop some damage from happening, mainly if there are already issues with your foundation.

In addition, too much water can actually cause problems. Therefore, it’s important to strike a balance when watering your foundation. If unsure how often you should water your foundation, it’s always best to check with a professional before making any decisions.

House Leveling Repairs make a House Unsellable

Yet another common misconception about foundation repair is that selling your house after having work done will be difficult or even impossible.

However, this is not the case. In fact, many homeowners find that their property values increase after having Foundation Repair services carried out.

As such, rather than being a hindrance, having had work done on your home could be an advantage when selling.

Of course, every situation is different. Therefore, if you’re considering selling your house after having had repairs carried out, it’s always best to speak with a real estate agent beforehand just to be sure.

House Leveling Causes Further Damage To Your House

While it’s true that some types of repairs can cause further damage to your property if they’re not carried out correctly, this is not the case with house leveling. When done correctly, house leveling can help prevent further damage.

This is because the process helps redistribute weight across different parts of the foundation, preventing any existing damage from worsening.

However, choose a reputable, experienced contractor to carry out the work correctly. But you shouldn’t worry about further damage caused by having your house leveled.

If Your House’s Foundation Moves, Wait it Out, and it Will Improve

Some homeowners believe that if their foundation starts to move, they should just wait it out and see if the problem improves.

However, this is not advisable. If your foundation starts to move, it’s vital to get professional help as soon as possible to address any damage before it worsens.

Besides, waiting too long to have repairs carried out could result in your insurance policy becoming void, which could end up costing you lots of money.

You Can Do House Leveling Alone

Another common misconception about house leveling is that you can do it without professional help. But this is far from the truth.

During some simple repairs, you can carry out yourself, such as filling cracks or gaps in mortar joints.

With house leveling, you will need the services of a qualified contractor. This is because leveling a house involves working with heavy machinery and equipment, which can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. As such, it’s best to leave major repairs to the professionals.

Read More: Building Construction Process from Start to Finish | What Is Building Construction

House Leveling Methods

The following are the top house leveling methods,

House Leveling MethodDescription
Helical PiersInstallation of helical piers beneath the foundation to provide stability and lift sagging or settling sections of the house.
Slab JackingLifting a concrete slab foundation by injecting a grout mixture beneath it, filling voids and raising the slab to its original position.
Pier and Beam LevelingAdjusting or replacing existing piers and beams to correct unevenness, settling, or sagging in houses with a pier and beam foundation.
MudjackingSimilar to slab jacking, mudjacking involves pumping a slurry mixture (typically mud, sand, and cement) beneath a settled slab to lift and level it.
House RaisingElevating the entire house to address foundation issues, often used when major repairs or adjustments are needed.
Foundation UnderpinningStrengthening and stabilizing the foundation by extending or reinforcing its existing support, commonly using materials like concrete, steel, or helical piers.
ShimmingPlacing shims or additional supports beneath the foundation to correct uneven settling and restore a level position.
Grading and DrainageImproving the grading and drainage around the house to prevent water accumulation, which can contribute to foundation issues, settling, or unevenness.
Crawl Space EncapsulationSealing and encapsulating the crawl space beneath the house to control moisture, reduce settling, and prevent damage to the foundation.
Sill Plate ReplacementReplacing the deteriorated or damaged sill plate (the bottom horizontal member of a wall) to restore stability and address uneven settling in the house.

Final Thoughts

House leveling is an integral part of maintaining your property. And understanding the myths and misconceptions about it can help you make an informed decision when considering repairs.

By debunking these common ideas, we hope to shed some light on what’s involved in the house-leveling process and signs your house needs leveling.

Thus, you can decide whether it’s something you need for your home.

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1 thought on “House Leveling: 10 Common Misconceptions and Truths Explained”

  1. Alice C Hutchings

    My house was just leveled 45 days ago. we have removed the floor and found the jacks are not touching the floor joists. I was told its because the soil is drying out. I’m talking 1 1/2 inches from the floor joists. Is this possible?

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