Foundation Repair – Step One – Leveling
When it comes to foundation repair, a lot is going to depend on the specific type of home. But foundation problems aren’t uncommon — especially in older homes. If you’re thinking of buying a home, it’s important to be aware of the potential for foundation issues before you sign on the dotted line.
Whether your home’s foundation is sinking, shifting, or cracking, it’s imperative to have it repaired. These problems can cause a number of issues throughout your house, including slanted or bulging floors, leaks in the basement, and even warped ceilings.
A professional assessment will give you a better idea of what your options are and how much it’ll cost to fix the problem. However, it’s important to remember that your lender will likely weigh the damage to your home against its value when deciding if you can qualify for a loan.
Foundation Repair: Step One – Leveling
In general, foundation leveling problems can be fixed through the use of piers or pilings that are placed under the foundation and raised to its original position. They’re usually installed underground through digging and drilling, then pouring concrete or pre-formed concrete pieces.
Once the piers or piles have been installed, they are usually topped off with a layer of cement. This helps to anchor the piers and prevent them from falling out of place when the ground changes its PH.
Several types of piers are available, including screw piles and helical steel piers. These are more expensive than concrete piers, but they can be more effective in some cases.
When a foundation wall bows (or shifts outward) due to poor construction, it’s often easier to stabilize the wall with a combination of piers and rebar. This type of solution is more common in older homes, but it can also be used on newer homes that are in need of stabilization.
If a home has already been remodeled, raising it to straighten it will most likely be more costly and potentially harmful to any nice finishes like hardwood floors or trim. A better option is to install wall anchors, which are similar to large bolts that attach in your yard and on the inside of your foundation walls.
These anchors are typically installed every 6-8 feet and cost $400-$600 each.
The next step is to grade the soil around your home to divert water away from it. This is an inexpensive way to help reduce future foundation damage, but it won’t completely solve the problem.
Aside from grading, there are other things that need to be done after the repair work is complete. The contractor should also make sure that all holes that were dug under or around your foundation are covered in soil. This process, called “reflection sizing,” allows the soil to slowly soak into the holes over time.
Finally, if you find any other significant signs of foundation damage, such as slanted or uneven floors, bulging ceilings, or water pooling in your basement or crawlspace, you should get it checked out immediately. These could be warning signs of bigger problems that will have a serious impact on the structure of your home.