That was until the gentlemen from JSA showed up. You see, my front steps and porch were beginning to settle. If left alone, they would have pulled away from the house and left a gap. I have visited many homes in our area where I have seen this. From cracks just starting to form, to 2-4 inch cracks. The problem is that we have good ole' red clay for dirt and the builders either can't or won't compact this soil. This leads inevitably to settling.
So, I called the JSA guys out and to fix the problem permanently, they put in two piers under my steps, jacked everything up about and inch or so, and repaired the mortar that had cracked. The piers consisted of steel pipe that was driven down into the ground to the point where they hit resistance amounting to about 2400 ponds pressure from the hydraulic ram.
The steps were attached to the pier with a steel angle iron and the work was covered back up so that no one will ever be able to see. This work should keep the steps from moving for the rest of the life of my home.
So, if you live in the Atlanta metro area, I highly recommend the guys at JSA for this type of work. In all, it took about 4 hours to complete this job.