The foundation is one of the most important parts of your home. In fact, the structural integrity of your home relies on the foundation being for support. Unfortunately, not all homes are constructed the same. The performance of your foundation relies strongly on the strength of soil beneath it. Soils that are an expansive clay. A soil that was not properly compacted during the construction process will compress and shift over time. This causes problems. Another common problem for foundations is soil moisture: both too much and too little moisture can cause costly repairs. So, how do you know if your foundation needs repair?
Common Signs Your Foundation Needs Repair
Unfortunately, since foundations are usually located below the surface of the soil, it can be incredibly difficult to determine if your foundation needs repairs. An experienced foundation inspection professional can help you. Before you schedule a visit, here are a few warning signs that you should be able to see:
- Out-of-square doors, which either won’t correctly shut or stay closed
- Windows that become finicky and do not slide easily, or that fail to fully close
- Cracks — whether in tile, walls, or ceilings (Cracks usually indicate structural issues)
- Floors that feel uneven
What Does Stabilization Look Like?
In the past, foundation stabilization always meant raising the home off its footers and pouring concrete in the gaps to create a level area. However, today there are many ways a foundation can be repaired. One of the key differences is whether or not your home is constructed on a concrete slab or has a pier and beam foundation.
Pier and Beam Foundation Stabilization
For homes with pier and beam, foundation repair may be needed more often. Repairs to a pier and beam foundation have two phases. One phase involves installing piers to support the concrete perimeter beam. (That beam supports the exterior walls of your home.) The second phase involves adjusting the shallow piers that support the interior of the home. Repairs to wooden beams, joist, and subflooring are made when adjusting interior piers. Because interior piers are shallow, they move seasonally and need periodic adjustments.
Drilled piers are formed by pouring concrete into shafts drilled in the ground. The concrete is reinforced with steel. Drilled piers are the best option for fragile or light foundations.
- Push piers work by being driven deep into supporting soils to provide a firm platform for lifting and supporting the perimeter beam.
Concrete Slab Foundation Stabilization
If your house is built on a concrete slab, repairs are a lot more complicated. There are a variety of methods that can be used, depending on the problems your foundation is having.
- Steel pressed pilings are a powerhouse when it comes to stabilization. This technology revolutionized the industry and is still used today.
- Concrete pressed pilings are made of concrete cylinders. Concrete piers do not work with every type of soil.
- Concrete piers are traditionally how homes are constructed, and thus remain a favorite among engineers. However, they can be cost prohibitive to install.
- Masonry patches and sealants are used when cracks are apparent in the foundation, but no structural damage is done. These cracks are filled with epoxy which fills and seals the cracks.
- High-density polyurethane foam is used to lift the interiors of buildings and is quick to use. It does have a few drawbacks, particularly if it gets into pipes, but is overall a popular repair method.
Professionals You Can Trust
Obviously, there are many, many different ways to improve your foundation’s stability. Every house is different, has different problems, and therefore different solutions. Hire a professional with the knowledge and experience to help you decide which approach is best for your home. Contact Advanced Foundation Repair today.