Cracked floors or walls, uneven floors, misaligned windows and doors, leaking plumbing are all indicators of foundation problems. But the question that arises here is, what are your options? What methods of repair can you use? The answer to this depends upon the climate, type of soil, the structure of the foundation, etc. If the cracks that appear in the foundation are structural, they will be horizontal and are caused by soil settling.
While the non-structural cracks are diagonal or vertical and are caused by the contraction and expansion of the concrete. You can consult a foundation repair professional to find out the cause of the problem and a solution that is suitable for your specific problem. So continue reading to find information on the various methods of foundation repair. But before that, let’s look at the causes of problems.
Causes of foundation problems
The main culprit for many of the problems that affect the foundation is the water. Changes in the moisture cause shrinking, swelling, and movement of the soil underneath the foundation, which in turn affects the foundation’s integrity. Apart from that, there are certain factors that increase the risk of foundation damage. If your house
· Is in an area with extreme weathers
· It is built on clay
· It is built on incorrectly filled soil
· Has leaking plumbing
· Is in an area with a poor drainage system
· Have roots too close
· Was affected by a flood, drought, or an earthquake
Then it is likely that your house is prone to foundation damage. High clay content in the soil puts the foundation at risk. Similarly, unstable and unevenly filled soil in the base of your house can affect the foundation. The movement of soil will not be uniform; some areas of your house will settle. This differential in movement is the cause of damage to the structure, cracks, malfunction of equipment and machinery, and other such issues. This can make your house unsafe for living and also decrease the value of your property. So if you notice these signs, then use Oriole and get immediate help from professions there. Because the more you wait, the more damage is likely to occur.
Foundation Repair Methods
1) Slab Jacking
Slab jacking, also known as concrete lifting or mud-jacking, is a method that lifts the sinking or uneven concrete. The slab foundations are prone to tilting or sinking when the soil below it swells, shrinks, or moves to leave empty areas underneath. Contacting professionals for this method is essential because they know the type of soil in your area and have the right equipment for the job. To lift the concrete, professionals drill 2 inches holes through the foundation and the sinking space.
After this, injection of a solution made from natural elements like cement or soil is made through the holes to fill the empty space below. Once this solution expands, the sunken concrete will be lifted back up. Similar to slab jacking, there is an alternative method of injecting polyurethane instead of natural elements.
The holes are filled with polyurethane which is a lightweight but dense material. Both these methods work best in repairing small areas like decks, driveways, garage floor, steps, porches, and walkways. However, this method is temporary, and many require follow-up after every few years.
2) Patching using sealant
If you notice cracks in the foundation, then these cracks can easily be repaired by patching and covering them with a waterproof sealant. Mostly used masonry sealants include vinyl concrete, hydraulic cement, epoxy, or silicone. How severe the cracks in the foundation are will determine the type of sealant mixture you need. This is why spotting the cracks early on and repairing them quickly to prevent further damage is important for the safety of your house.
The long-term solution for your foundation problems is provided by this method known as piling. Piling is the most effective solution to bringing your foundation to its original position and preventing further damage. There are different types of piling methods used.
a) Steel Piers
If you want a permanent solution to your foundation damages, then steel piers are recommended by professionals. You can get high stability and great strength with steel piers as they are installed 100 feet deep under your foundation. This means that the movement in the clay soil will not affect the piers and your foundation.
b) Pressed Concrete Piers
This method utilizes pressed concrete foundation piers that are installed deep into the ground, usually at about 12 feet, to stabilize and strengthen the foundation. They are used for both exterior and interior repairs and are good for both concrete slab foundations as well as bean houses.
c) Poured Concrete Piers
If the foundation is sinking, the poured concrete piers are installed 10 feet underneath to bring the foundation back to its level. It usually takes around a week or 10 days for the piers to cure. The time of installing poured concrete piers is longer than the pressed concrete piers because the pressed concrete piers are already cured before installation.
d) Belled Concrete Piers
These have a similar mechanism to that of poured concrete piling. Belled concrete piers have a bell-shaped foot that provides maximum support to the pier. Bell bottom piers are made by pouring concrete into a hole that is dug up and then strengthening it by placing steel in the wet concrete.
e) Helical Steel Piers
Helical steel piers are also called anchors and are ideally used for repairing foundations as well as securing the new ones. They repair lightweight concrete foundations as well as beam foundations. Helical piers are used as the last resort when all the other methods cannot be used. Helical piers are fixed into the ground, and the weight of the foundation is transferred onto the piers. This prevents damage to the foundation due to the movement of the soil underneath.
The bottom line
So as you see, there are various methods used for repairing and fixing foundation damages. Some of the methods provide short-term and temporary solutions, while the others provide long-term and permanent solutions to your foundation problems. The option that will work best for you depends upon various conditions and factors.
So it is important that you consult a professional who can assess your situation and the extent of foundation damage and work out a solution that is best for your house as well as your pocket. So as soon as you notice cracks in the floors or walls, sunken or bulging floor, misaligned windows, and doors, leaking plumbing, then act quickly and call foundation repair experts.