How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manfuactured and modular homes
Can a well next to a house cause foundation problems?
Thursday, September 24, 2020
A well reduces the water table in the immediate area under the well head in an inverted cone shape called the “cone of depression.” This creates a dewatered area around the well. Although different soil compositions shrink at different rates when dewatered, they all shrink.
When a well is drilled close to a house, like in the photo at the top of this page, the cone of depression extends under the foundation and can be a contributing factor to foundation settlement. The size of the cone and the rate at which it extends across the top depend on the rate of pumping and transmission properties of the aquifer below it. Other factors, such as site drainage and concentrated loads along the exterior walls, can also affect foundation movement. At the corner of the house shown above with the well just a few feet away, there were stairstep settlement cracks in the concrete block wall that had been patched and since reopened again.
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