The foundation of your home is one of the most important components of the entire structure. Any problems with the concrete slab or settlement of the basement foundation can pose serious safety risks to your home's interior and exterior components. Getting the foundation inspected immediately by a professional building contractor is essential in saving the structure. Depending on the extent of the damage, the home will have to be analyzed and repaired from the ground up. Here are some signs and solutions regarding the steps to take if you feel your home's foundation needs to be repaired.
Signs Your Home May Need Foundation Repair
Whether your home is 100 years old or 5 years old, foundation damage can occur at any time. The best way to check this is to examine your foundation from the home's exterior. Walking around the perimeter and looking for any visible cracks, loose pieces of concrete or holes offers a good indication of an underlying problem. Other signs may include:
- Visible cracks and broken pieces of foundation inside the basement or crawlspace
- Misaligned windows and doors
- Displaced moldings and interior walls
- Changes in flooring such as holes or buckled wood planks
If you notice any of these sudden or gradual changes, call a professional building contractor right away.
Finding the main cause of why your home's foundation is cracking is very important. It could mean that the foundation or slab was built on unsettled soil or the foundation was not properly cured and constructed from the beginning. If it's an engineering problem such as poorly tamped footers, your contractor may be able to locate where the fault lies and rectify the problem by rebuilding that area of the foundation. If it's a widespread soil issue or the foundation cannot be repaired—it may need to be rebuilt. This is an extensive engineering project involving lifting the home and supporting and rebuilding the entire foundation.
Repairing The Problem
There are two main types of repair: mudjacking and piering. With mudjacking, a concrete grout mixture is cured and used to raise up your existing foundation to its original height. Support underneath and on the sides are instituted to ensure a permanent fix.
Piering involves installing steel piers down into the bedrock around your home and then attaching them permanently to a new or existing base to raise your foundation to the proper level. Once this process is done, you can begin making needed cosmetic and structural repairs from the ground up.
Your building contractor will consult with a structural engineer about how to proceed. After your foundation is measured and the ground around your home is tested for soil consistency, a new foundation will be constructed.
If you suspect a cracked or faulty foundation, seek a professional opinion immediately. The longer you wait, the greater the extent of the damage. Abalon Construction is a local company that specializes in foundation repair.