Structure Foundation Repair

“No matter what type of property you own, whether you manage or plan to buy, you should be aware of any signs of foundation problems. Detecting foundation problems and extreme settlement early is vital for protecting your building’s structural integrity and avoiding costly repairs.”

 

Structure Foundation Repair

 

Whether you have an existing foundation problem or want to avoid foundation problems in the future, this article will explain the best structure foundation repair techniques for residential and commercial structures.

 

Structure Foundation Repair: What Is It?

Foundation remediation involves repairing the damage in a building’s foundation to prevent further deterioration. The question is, how can you tell when it’s time to repair your foundation?

It is important to recognize that soil disruption due to moisture or water is the most common cause of foundation problems. Excess moisture can damage our foundation if we live in an area that experiences large fluctuations in humidity, such as heavy rainfall or snowfall in winter, or if we recently discovered a leak in the plumbing.

Cracks in the walls, moisture, mold, and odors in the house may indicate foundation problems. If you notice any of these issues, contacting a Houston foundation repair company or consulting a structural engineer can prevent widespread damage to your building.

Commercial foundations do occasionally require repairs. When caught early enough, these repairs can be relatively inexpensive; however, if you wait until you can’t ignore the issue, you may compromise the building’s structural integrity and incur significant repair costs.

 

Structural Foundation Repair Types

Depending on the extent and nature of the damage, several types of structure foundation repair are available. Underpinning, which involves installing additional support under the foundation, is one of the more common types of repairs.

 

Underpinning

Depending on the project’s needs, underpinning can be done in several ways, including helical piers, steel push piers, and concrete piers.

 

A piercing method

Another type of foundation repair is piercing, which strengthens foundations with steel piers or concrete pilings. This method is most effective for buildings whose foundations are sinking or settling.

 

Foundation repair is wall anchoring.

Another type of foundation repair is wall anchoring, which straightens and stabilizes foundation walls that are bent or leaning. Installing wall anchors involves drilling a small hole in the foundation wall and inserting a steel anchor that attaches to a steel plate or rod. As the anchor tightens over time, the wall becomes more stable again.

 

Mud jacking technique

In a mud jacking technique, sand, cement, and water are injected under a foundation to lift it back to its original position, and in a slab jacking technique, concrete slabs lift like mud jacking.

The location and type of the building, as well as the nature and extent of the foundation damage, will determine the type of foundation repair needed. To determine the most appropriate method for repairing the damage, you must work with a qualified foundation repair specialist.

 

The Other Types of Structure Foundation Repair

It is possible to repair specific types of damage with structural foundation repairs, such as underpinning, piering, and wall anchors. Piling, which consists of concrete or steel, involves putting long, slender pilings deep into the ground to support the structure. This method often repairs a foundation that has settled significantly or has unstable soil.

With slab jacking, concrete slabs can be lifted back into their original positions using water, sand, and cement as a foundation repair method. You can use this method to repair cracks or sunken concrete slabs, such as driveways and walkways, and it is a cost-effective alternative to replacing them completely.

 

Using masonry patches

When cracks or damage have occurred in masonry foundations or walls, masonry patches are often used as a foundation repair. In addition to helping prevent further damage, masonry patches can restore the appearance of the foundation or wall by matching the color and texture of the surrounding masonry.

Structure foundation repair will depend on the type of building and location and the nature and extent of the damage to the foundation. You must work with a structural foundation repair expert to determine the extent of damage and the best repair method.

 

The Causes of Commercial Foundation Problems

The most common cause of commercial foundation problems is soil problems, but it isn’t the only one. There are also issues such as:

  • Oversaturated soil
  • The foundation is being burdened by structural weight
  • In the absence of ground moisture, the soil is shrinking
  • Poor drainage of yard run-off
  • There is a problem with gutter downspouts
  • A tree root system is growing beneath the foundation
  • The roots of plants and trees are dehydrating the soil
  • Heavy rains can cause landslides
  • Leaks in the interior or exterior plumbing
  • The slab construction is poor

By conducting routine foundation inspections, you can prevent any problems from becoming costly.

 

Symptoms of Commercial Foundation Problems

If you are inspecting your foundation, you should be aware of a few common signs that indicate you might have a problem.

  • Walls and ceilings with cracks
  • Sloping or uneven floors
  • A slab with cracks
  • There is a pullaway in the doorframe
  • There is a lean or bow in the windows
  • The doors and windows are difficult to open and close
  • Wall-to-foundation gap
  • Cracks, chips, or crumbles in the foundation
  • The foundation sinks, moves, or shifts
  • There is a pullaway of the soil from the foundation

If these signs are present, it is time to call in the professionals to repair the building’s foundation.

 

Identifying Structural Foundation Problems

It is only sometimes easy to identify foundation problems once they become problematic. Cracks in bricks and mortar are usually the first indication of a foundation problem.

 

Identifying Structural Foundation Problems

 

The problem may also appear as floor-to-ceiling basement cracks, pools of water in the basement or near the foundation, walls separating from the ceiling, cracks in tiles and hardwood flooring, wavy or bowing walls, misaligned and sticking windows or doors, separate baseboards, cracked chimneys, cracks in the floor, and sagging floors.

Some signs, such as mold, strange smells, and insect infestations in the basement and crawl space, may be less obvious.

 

Taking Care of Structural Foundation Issues

If the foundation repair team finds damage to the foundation, they may recommend performing the following repairs:

 

Piling

It is a method of repairing failing building foundations and correcting settlement problems by driving or screwing steel pipe into the ground. Workers drive steel piers into rock or solid soil, connect them to the foundation, and test them.

As soon as the foundation returns to its original elevation, hydraulic jacks attach to the piers. Attaching piles to wall brackets maintains the elevation.

 

Underpinning

The common method of underpinning with concrete entails transferring the load of a structure to a deeper depth of the ground. In essence, a foundation lies underneath an existing foundation.

 

Tieback Anchors or Beam-Columns

Adding tieback anchors or beam columns to walls can provide more structural support.

 

Masonry/Concrete Repairs

Sealants, such as modified mortars, masonry repairs, and epoxy, may be helpful if foundation cracks occur due to shrinkage.

 

Waterproofing and Drainage

To keep your home dry, water must drain away from it. Waterproof the top of your foundation. We accomplish this with an air gap membrane and weeping tile system.

 

Correcting Yard Grade

Extending downspouts may be necessary to correct the yard grade and prevent water from running directly toward the foundation.

 

Landscaping

Foundation repair companies may offer landscaping services to their customers, including repairing or adding walkways, retaining walls, and other features to make the area around your home look beautiful once more.

 

The Six Most Common Methods of Structure Foundation Repair

Repairing pier & beam foundations and concrete slabs uses many materials, tools, and methods. Below are six foundation repair techniques that will solve your property integrity problems:

 

Polyurethane foam jacks

Polyurethane foam is one of the most effective methods of filling voids in foundations. As a foundation repair method, it helps to lift and support sunken concrete slab foundations.

 

Using foam injection to fix cracked slab foundations

The gun has a delivery port for injection. The technician injects the substance under the concrete slab. The slab has 5/8″ holes.

 

Pressed concrete piles

It is a house foundation repair technique commonly used in California and other states to repair concrete pressed piles (or cylinders).

In this type of foundation repair, we drive concrete cylinders into the soil below the foundation. The cylinders are six inches wide and twelve inches tall.

They stabilize the soil. Before reaching soil strong enough to support the structure, foundation repair contractors may use eight or more concrete piles, depending on the structure’s weight and the soil conditions. To make the piles effective, they must be driven deep enough into soil that can bear a high load.

 

Piers made of steel

The best way to arrest settlement or instability in a foundation is to use steel piers. A hydraulic torque motor drives the piers underground until they reach stable soil to perform foundation repairs. Each section of the pier is a galvanized steel pipe attached to a hydraulic jack.

As a result, the foundation rises back to its ideal elevation with hydraulic jacks.

 

Piers with helical struts

In the case of helicoidal piers, they are steel piers with helical threaded sections, which allow them to screw into the ground. They serve when it is difficult for conventional piers to penetrate the underlying soil structure.

To repair the foundation, they screw in several helical piers below it. The construction workers screw the piers in until they rest on top of a solid foundation under the building that can support its weight. Helical piers, at regular intervals, evenly distribute the weight of the building.

 

Concrete Piers

To prevent foundation sinking or settlement, builders use reinforced concrete piers. A contractor drills many cylindrical holes below a foundation. They fill them with liquid concrete to hold it in place until it hardens.

Workers pour a concrete pier into the clearance in the foundation and then shim it into place. After the concrete pier has hardened and cured, workers lift the building to an appropriate height using jacks.

 

Mudjacking and slab jacking

Slab jacking or mud jacking is effective for slab foundations to prevent sinking or settlement. Mudjacking involves regularly drilling several holes into the foundation to conduct repairs. Water, solids, or foam are injected into the foundation to compact the loose soil below. The holes are then filled.

 

Do I Need To Do This Myself?

As YouTube’s popularity rises, more homeowners independently take care of home repairs, but structural DIY can be extremely dangerous. For example, removing a load-bearing wall incorrectly could result in sections falling off the house. Caulking a foundation crack temporarily stops water, but the crack will widen over time.

If you need repairs, the structure is already compromised. Avoid DIY mistakes and leave structural work to licensed professionals. DIYers can do things like painting. However, licensed professionals should handle structural repairs.

 

The Right Time to Call a Professional

The following warning signs indicate that your home may be experiencing structural problems:

  • A bowing wall
  • Cracks or obvious damages to the foundation.
  • A sloping floor
  • Walls that separate
  • A door or window that sticks
  • Walls or ceilings bulging

Leaving minor cracks unattended can result in severe water damage, soil problems, or settling. Evaluate even minor cracks because they can worsen over time.

You should always pay attention to cracks and attempt DIY repairs such as caulking. Instead, hire an engineer or contractor to evaluate the problem and estimate the repair cost.

 

Structure Foundation Repair Process: What to Expect

When repairing a foundation, the contractor determines the extent of the damage and plans the repairs accordingly. As the recessed portions of the home rise to the proper elevation, the contractor uses techniques such as hydraulic jacks or steel piers.

The foundation undergoes continuous monitoring to ensure stability and elevation. The foundation repair aims to address foundation damage and prevent further movement. The contractor can restore the home to its original position using various foundation repair methods.

 

Repairing Structural Problems: Faqs

 

How much does it cost to repair a foundation?

Repairing the foundation usually costs between $4,000 and $10,000. Minor cracks are usually sealed for around $500. Major repairs like installing steel piers cost between $8,000 and $15,000.

 

If I need structural repairs, how do I know?

The presence of cracks smaller than 1/4 inch in diameter, gaps between walls and floors, sloping floors, stuck doors and windows, and exterior cracks indicate that repairs are necessary.

 

What is the emergency level of structural damage?

If you wait too long, the damage will get worse. While not an emergency, we must address it quickly before it worsens.

 

Is it possible to repair my foundation and structural problems by myself?

It is strongly recommended against it as it requires engineering expertise and experience.

 

What is the average repair time?

The average repair takes two to four days. You should ask your contractor for a time estimate.