The Ultimate House Settling Quiz

By: Staff
Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

House settling can be rather unsettling at times. Is it okay or is it something to raise an alarm about? And what are the main indicators? Settle down while you figure it all out with this unsettling quiz.

What makes the noises when houses settle?

Joints and floorings can creak as the aging house settles.

What determines the severity of damage when a house settles?

How much damage the settling causes is determined, among other factors, by the quality of the original construction and the type of foundation upon which it sits.

Which of these is the most common reason for house settling?

Improperly backfilled soil is the most common reason. If it was not compacted enough, it is likely to cause settling.

Soil that has been excavated and replaced is:

This soil is referred to as non-virgin soil. If it is well compacted again, it'll provide a good house foundation. If not, it'll prompt settling.

What could happen if, during construction, the builder buries unused construction materials within the foundations?

These construction materials could decompose over time, creating pockets underneath the house that collapse.

What element affects the behavior of clay soil?

The presence of water affects the behavior of clay soil. The more water there is, the more it expands.

Your house has eave troughs that channel rainwater away from its foundation. Does this mean that house settling will be delayed?

You're in good shape if you've got eave troughs. Or rather, your house is in good shape. And that means that house settling will definitely be delayed.

What is meant by your house being "plumb"?

"Plumb" is a reference to the plumb line, or the vertical aspects of your house, which should all be constructed at an exact 90-degree angle to the horizontal plane.

If a house falls out of plumb and begins to shift, what are the initial warning signs?

The first signs would be cracks in either the masonry or in the concrete slab foundation.

Do cracks in the house always portend house shifting?

Some cracks aren't cause for alarm. Sometimes they're due to seasonal pressures and temperature changes.

Which of these materials would display cracks more easily?

Stone and brick would display cracks more easily simply because of their rigidity.

What happens to doors and windows when your house falls out of plumb?

Doors and windows become difficult to open because they're now sitting at an angle instead of being vertical.

What is the first thing that foundation restoration companies do when your house shifts?

They attempt to pull the foundations back into plumb by installing strong screws to give support.

Do all houses settle?

Indeed yes. All houses eventually settle after time has passed.

What effect could downward movement have on your gas and water pipes?

They could become twisted or bent. With water, that may mean burst pipes; but with gas, it may mean a dangerous, difficult-to-detect gas leak.

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