Foundation Repair – How to Fix Foundation Problems
It can be nerve-racking for a prospective home buyer or homeowner to see cracks in the foundation of a home.
Foundation problems may lead to major structural damage. Here are answers to common questions about foundation repair to help you know what steps to take next.
What Is Foundation Repair?
Homeowners and prospective buyers may feel worried that they will have to tear out the concrete foundation completely and start from scratch to repair it. When a person suspects trouble, they should examine the foundation and look for obvious issues. They can have a repair expert do an inspection.
When professionals like 58 Foundations work with clients, they will choose a foundation repair method based on why the foundation has cracked.
Two common methods that may be used are hydraulic jacking or slab jacking. The ultimate goal is to stop the cracking and give the structure the support that is needed to keep the occupants safe and comfortable.
Signs of Foundation Repair
There are signs that you can look for that would indicate that a home is dealing with foundation issues. It is important to recognize that all foundations settle. However, when this settlement is extreme or uneven, problems arise.
There are interior and exterior warning signs you can look for. When examining the exterior of your home, you may see displaced moldings, cracked bricks, wall rotation, and cracked areas in the foundation.
You may also notice separation between the walls, windows, and garage doors. When looking at the interior of the home, warning signs include cracks in the floor, misaligned windows and doors, uneven floors, and cracked sheetrock.
Causes of Foundation Repair
Water causes most damage related to foundation issues. Moisture can cause the soil to shrink or swell, which leads to movement under the foundation of the home. Homes that are especially susceptible to foundation damage include those that were built on expansive clay, those built in areas with poor drainage, and those that have extensive tree roots growing nearby.
Other causes of foundation issues that lead to foundation leveling and repair could be a flood, drought, or earthquake that has compromised the structure. The home may have extensive plumbing leaks or be located in an area with extreme seasonal changes.
Foundation Repair Methods
Normal foundation settlement can lead to hairline cracks. These are usually not a cause for concern. However, they should be monitored.
Professionals will determine the best repair method based on the cause of the cracks. When correcting smaller slabs of concrete, slab jacking is often used. This method involves pumping a cement grout through holes that have been strategically placed in the concrete slab. This grout will solidify and provide the right support.
Hydraulic piers are often used for larger foundation problems. This involves placing mechanical jacks and beams in strategic areas to level the home and prevent further damage.
Cracks do not always require foundation repair. Crack size, cause, and other factors are considered when professionals determine the best repair method for cracks that need to be addressed.