If you ask homeowners the most crucial part of their house, they probably would say the roof or heating and their home’s foundation may not even cross their mind. Your home’s basement foundation is more than just a fun place to hang out. It’s what your house stands on. While homeowners will spot a broken winder or a leak in the roof immediately, a damaged foundation can stay that way for months before someone notices it.
No one wants to deal with foundation issues, and there are times that people will put off having them repaired for months. Primarily because it’s well known that basement foundation repair can be pretty expensive. If the repairs are put off too long, they can lead to structural damage and, in extreme cases, may lead to your home no longer being safe to live in.
The primary cause of foundation problems is due to soil conditions. Shifting and expanding soils create foundation problems for all types of foundations, including full basements. Read more about basement foundation repair here.
The two most common types of foundation problems are:
- Foundation settlement occurs when the ground becomes too dry, causing the soil to contract, creating gaps. The cycle of contracting and expanding causes the earth to become weak and shift.
- Upheaval is the second most common foundation issue that occurs. This is caused when the water level in your soil changes. These changes cause the soil to expand and shrink. The amount of pressure the water places on your foundation is tremendous, and if it changes quickly, the movement of the foundation also occurs quickly.
When calling a basement foundation repair contractor to evaluate your property, it should include a full assessment of where the moisture is coming from, if there’s proper drainage around your home, and if the foundation damage is cosmetic or in need of repair.
Depending on the damage involved, the foundation repair experts will likely discuss a few options available to you. Here are a few other foundation repair methods that offer stabilization repair and support.
Piering involves using metal or steel posts to boost the sinking foundation. The push piers are drilled deep into the soil beneath a foundation to stop the settlement problem and lift the foundation back to its original position closing any cracks. Push piers can be installed on the inside or outside of your foundation walls, and they aren’t visible once the repair is complete.
Masonry Patches & Sealants
This is one most homeowners can do themselves but is best suited for foundations with just a few trouble spots and will not work for significant issues. If you’re doing this work yourself, look for vinyl concrete patch products with strong adhesive properties and a drying time under 24 hours. These patches are usually available from your local hardware store.
This repair method is best for light-loaded areas like porches or attached patios. They are installed by hand-digging and inserting concrete which helps stabilize damaged or vulnerable areas of the foundation.
Pressed Concrete Pilings
Pressed concrete piling is highly durable and can be used for interior and exterior repairs of basement foundations. To achieve stability, properly installed concrete piers need to be driven about 12 feet into the ground. The advantages of this method are that it’s low cost and doesn’t need any heavy equipment.
This is the process of making the soil more stable to help support your homes’ foundation. This basement foundation repair method involves having the ground dug around the foundation. They will then add chemicals to fill the holes within the soil layers. This method requires a high level of expertise, so before hiring a foundation repair company, thoroughly vet them to ensure they are qualified.
Slab Jacking or Mud Jacking
This method is pretty straightforward. A professional drills strategically placed holes in your foundation, then uses small hoses to inject a mixture of grout underneath your foundation, which causes it to rise back into place. This is a much less expensive fix than other methods; however, it is a short-term fix that will need to be repeated every few years.
This method is similar to the slab jacking process, which involves drilling 2” holes through the concrete foundation and into the sunken spaces below. Once the holes are dilled, polyurethane is injected through them to fill the void below. Polyurethane is a dense and lightweight material. The biggest downside of this method is it is short-term, and it may need to be replaced every few years.
Underpinning makes existing foundations stronger by replacing the soil on which the footings rest. Another option is that the footings will be extended so that the foundation rests on harder ground, such as bedrock.
This includes installing drainage systems such as sump pumps, french drains, landscape grading, or the similar. These techniques prevent water from seeping into the foundations to prevent damage from occurring.
Carbon Fiber Straps
This repair method is used for basement walls that have started to bow or buckle. This inexpensive basement foundation repair method is the least expensive. It consists of strong fibers woven together that are fixed to your foundation with epoxy.
Wall anchors extend into the stable hard-packed soil beyond your home, anchoring and bracing the foundation wall. This method stops the inward movement of the wall entirely, and over time tightening these anchors will move them back into their original position.
Tiebacks only have two components: the plate that’s attached to the basement wall and the screw-like shaft that’s driven into the wall. They are installed inside the basement, so they aren’t that pretty, but they don’t require excavation. Once the steel plates are screwed into your basement wall, the tieback is drilled through the wall at a downward angle into the soil.
Do You Need Foundation Repairs Now?
Have you noticed large cracks in your basement wall or trouble opening and closing your windows or doors? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you should call a foundation repair company. Find the right contractor by asking friends, family, or neighbors who’ve had similar issues which they used. Another great resource is calling local builders or agencies and asking who they use.
If you live within our coverage area, give us a call, and we’ll be happy to help you and answer any questions you have. We will also be glad to schedule you an appointment to sit down with one of our basement foundation repair experts to evaluate your house, discuss your options, and provide you with the best solution for your home.