Foundation problems happen for any number of reasons. It could be that tree roots are growing too close to the foundation. Years of extreme hot and cold temperatures could affect the soil, which in turn wreaks havoc on your home’s foundation. Improper drainage and standing water around your home is another common culprit for residential home foundation problems.
A certified structural engineer can also suggest things you can do now to prevent future problems. A foundation repair specialist can inspect your home from top to bottom. Additionally, they have the knowledge and experience to spot problems that the average homeowner might accidentally overlook.
Popular Repair Methods for Sunken Foundations
In the past, ways to repair damaged foundations varied. Salvage efforts included using concrete, cement, and steel. The worst part of these types of situations was not the disruption to the family’s lifestyle, but that when tried by untrained workers, more often than not the attempts failed.
When the repairs failed, an engineer would have to come in and fix not only the initial problem, but also the botched repair job as well. That’s why it is a good idea to just call a structural engineer from the very start. Most offer a free consultation where they can give you an idea of what to expect regarding repairs.
That is because only structural engineers have the knowledge, training, and experience necessary to repair a residential foundation. Additionally, over time technology has provided more successful methods to repair the problems of concrete foundation repair that offer little to no disruption to your family’s daily activities.
Which Method Is Right for Your Foundation
Today there are two popular foundation repair methods that are more common than any others. The first is called jacking, and there are two primary types that are used. In slab jacking, sandy grout pumped beneath a concrete slab forces it upward to its original level of elevation. Meanwhile foam jacking raises up portions of the foundation to provide support, such as to interior floors.
The second is piers, which is the most common type. Push piers are hydraulically driven pieces of steel that push the weight of your foundation to other areas of soil. Concentric push piers work the same way, but use shorter segments of steel. Helical piers, on the other hand, screw into the ground so that their rings transfer the weight of the foundation to the soil.
Which type you select depends on a number of different things, such as the type of damage to your home, the type of soil around your home, and the cause of the damage. Once again, only an engineer who is trained in this subject can give you the proper advice. Trying to fix the problem on your own now could result in disastrous consequences later.
The Reasons for Concrete Foundation Problems
Before you decide on a repair method that will best repair your home’s foundation, you must first figure out the reason why the foundation is in distress in the first place. A structural engineer will perform a thorough examination, including the mortar joints, windows and doors, and moldings and trim boards.
Another thing to consider is the weather. For example, a long winter that dumps long periods of precipitation over the earth will saturate the ground around your home’s foundation. On the other hand, a blazing hot summer that dries out the soil around the foundation opens a whole new avenue of trouble.