A damaged foundation is a serious problem because it could affect the structural integrity of your house. It could also allow water to seep into your basement. If nothing else, it will be a big issue when you put your home up for sale. However, foundation problems are not always serious and in need of expensive repairs. Other times the repairs needed can be quite extensive. Here's what you need to know.
Signs Of Foundation Problems
The most obvious sign of foundation trouble is a crack. You may see a crack in the slab or a basement wall. The crack may be tiny and barely visible, or it might be large enough to have a gap. You might even notice a slight bowing of a basement wall. Other signs that aren't so obvious are doors and windows that seem to be out of alignment. You may notice your door doesn't swing easily now.
Why Problems Happen
When you have a foundation problem, the cause is in the soil. You can't really blame the construction of your home. The reason your foundation shifts and cracks is because the soil under your house shifts. Water is the primary cause of soil shifting. When soil is soaked with water, it expands. When soil gets dried out, it contracts. This constant movement can damage your foundation, especially during extremes of excessive rain or drought.
An Inspection Is Needed
While it's possible the cracks in your foundation are only cosmetic and easy to repair yourself, the best way to find out if your home is in danger is to call a contractor to assess the problem. A foundation repair company might send a structural engineer to your home to determine if the foundation can still support the load of your home. The contractor will also figure out what factors are causing the soil to shift and the best way to remedy the problem. If the cause of the problem isn't removed, then repairs may not last very long.
Ways To Repair Foundations
Small cracks may be repaired by filling them with epoxy. If a wall is bowing, the contractor may need to anchor the wall on the outside or install beams on the inside. If part of your foundation has sunk, it can be raised by pumping a concrete slurry solution underneath it. You may need to have a trench dug around your home, so drains can be installed to route water away from your foundation. The contractor may also apply a waterproof membrane over your exterior foundation walls.
There are several options for foundation repair, and you need to find one that addresses the cause of ongoing soil shifting, rather than just repairs the damage. An ongoing problem could be poor water drainage from your property, while an unusually heavy rainy season could be a problem that won't occur again for decades. There will be a lot of factors to consider when you go about repairing your foundation, and that's another good reason to get the advice of a professional contractor, like American Mud Jack Inc, before you proceed.