Have you spotted signs your home’s foundation is in distress? If you have, don’t panic. Now that you know what’s happening to your house, the next step is to call in a Woodridge foundation repair expert to solve the problem. But how will they repair your home? As a homeowner, it’s important to know how foundation repairs are done. After all, your home is an investment. And you must protect your investment.
This article will explain what foundation repair is. And explore the different types of foundation repair methods.
What Exactly Does Foundation Repair Mean?
Foundation repair means raising and stabilizing your house’s foundation. And this is done by installing a new support system under your house, raising your house’s foundation to its original position, and putting in measures to secure your house there.
You might hear some people call it ‘foundation leveling’ or ‘house leveling.’ But these repairs are less about leveling your house and more about restoring your foundation’s proper functionality. So, don’t be surprised if your home isn’t level at the end of the repairs. All that matters is your house is back to its original elevation.
The Different Types Of Foundation Repair Methods
Why are there different types of foundation repair methods? That’s because the cause of the damage has a significant influence on the repair method used. On top of that, other factors like foundation building, soil type, climate, etc., also influence the repair method used.
For example, when your foundation develops non-structural cracks (vertical or diagonal cracks), that’s a sign that the expansion and contraction of your foundation’s concrete is the problem. But if structural cracks (horizontal cracks) appear, that’s a sign the soil is settling.
Foundation Repair Method 1: Piling
This foundation repair method is the most popular when repairing the foundations of large constructions such as houses or commercial buildings. And that’s because piling offers a more long-term solution and is more efficient in raising your home’s foundation back to its original level.
Using the piling method, your foundation repair expert uses concrete or steel piers to secure your foundation. Several piling techniques are used, and you’ll learn more about them below.
Steel piers offer a more permanent solution than other piling techniques, and you will find out why. Steel is a strong and durable metal. And when you drive the steel piers into the ground using a hydraulic ram, you can drive them as deep as 100 feet underground. At 100 feet underground, your steel piers will have hit the bedrock. Therefore, your steel piers won’t move in the clay soil ensuring your home’s foundation is incredibly stable.
Helical Steel Piers
You can also refer to helical steel piers as anchors. Unlike steel piers, helical steel piers are preferred when dealing with lightweight constructions such as slab foundations or pier and beam foundations. In most cases, they’re used when conditions prevent the use of other piling techniques. Alternatively, you can use helical steel piers to secure new foundations.
Pressed Concrete Pilings
Pressed concrete pilings are excellent when repairing the foundation of pier and beam houses. To install them, you need to drill holes to a deep depth and then fill the hole with the pressed concrete pilings. The holes should be about 12 ft deep to achieve stability. And since the concrete pilings are precast, installation time is short.
Poured Concrete Piers
Poured concrete piers use a similar concept to pressed concrete pilings. The only difference is that pressed concrete pilings are precast before installation. So, to install poured concrete piers, drill holes in your foundation with a depth of about 10 ft. Then pour in the concrete and give 7 to 10 days for the concrete to cure.
Foundation Repair Method 2: Slab Jacking
Foundation repair experts use slab jacking to lift sinking or uneven concrete in light constructions like driveways, porches, residential slabs, sidewalks, steps, swimming pool decks, etc. When the soil underneath the foundations of these light constructions collapses or shifts, it leaves empty spaces forcing the concrete to sink.
Two strategically-placed holes are drilled through the concrete foundation to fix this problem. Then cement grout is pumped into the empty spaces. The grout expands and raises the uneven concrete back to its original level. And when the grout solidifies, it provides a stable bearing for the concrete foundation.
Alternatively, you could use polyurethane instead of cement grout. However, unlike cement grout, polyurethane is lightweight and dense. Hence, it lasts longer.
Foundation Repair Method 3: Sealants
When you spot the cracks in your foundation early on, have them immediately repaired to prevent further damage. Minor cracks like this are best treated using sealants. Foundation repair pros recommend you use waterproof sealers to prevent water leakages to your foundation. Examples of sealers you can use include epoxies, hydraulic cement, polyurethane, silicone, or vinyl concrete. The severity of the foundation crack determines the type of sealer you’ll use.
What Option Should You Use To Repair Your Foundation?
Well, that depends on the severity of the damage to your foundation. However, it’s recommended you consult a professional foundation repair expert to help you decide.