Learn to spot the warning signs of foundation issues and learn how to help stabilize the sinking concrete.Updated May 6 20s the concrete underneath your home in disrepair? Problems with foundations can cause serious structural damage to your home. No matter if you’re a homeowner or considering buying a home the issue of foundations is a major concern and you’ll likely have many concerns.
Some of the most important concerns are:
- Do foundation cracks occur as a normal thing?
- What do repairs run?
- My insurance will be able to cover damage to the foundation?
There are solutions to fix the foundation of concrete without the need to remove it and begin from scratch.
If you suspect trouble, you can do these things:
- Review the foundation for any obvious issues
- Have a repair expert do a home foundation inspection
- Talk to an engineer in structural engineering if you need to.
What are the signs of FOUNDATION QUESTIONS?
Are you wondering if are having issues with your foundation? Foundations settle over time, but issues occur when the settlement is not even or extremely.
Here are the typical signs of stress on the foundation:
Exterior Warning Signs
- Wall rotation
- Separation around garage doors, windows, and/or walls
- Bricks with cracks
- Cracked or broken foundation
- Moldings are displaced
Interior Warning Signs
- Windows and doors that aren’t aligned properly
- Sheetrock cracked and cracked
- Cracks in the floor
- Uneven floors
Take a look at these images of foundation issues so you can know what to look out for at your home.
The appearance of a swollen floor, cracking walls and doors that don’t close are all indications of foundation issues. Sixty percent of houses built on soils that are expansive are affected by foundation problems. The problem occurs when just the foundation’s surface heaves or settles, leading to cracks and damage.
This movement differential is caused by variations of soil’s moisture. The loss or increase in soil moisture could cause severe reduction or expansion.
If the house’s frame doesn’t begin to sag after 3 or 4 years of unsatisfactory performance, it is unlikely that the cause is foundation settlement that is full-depth which is usually exhibited by cracks that match. Cracks are seen on each side of of the wall of the foundation that is experiencing downward movement due to the failure of soil bearing.
Settlement cracks tend to be vertical, and are not to be confused with cracks that develop when a wall is exposed to lateral movements caused by soil pressure.
What causes the issue of foundation?
For the majority of damages the main cause is water. source of the problem. The variations in moisture can cause the components in the soil expand or shrink, causing the foundation moving beneath it.
Your property could be more vulnerable to foundation damage in the following circumstances:
- It was built on vast clay
- It was constructed on poorly compacted fill soils
- The surrounding area of the foundation is poor drainage.
- You live in a place with extreme seasonal variations
- There was a leak in your plumbing under your home
- The tree roots are growing too close to your home.
- A flood, earthquake, or drought could have weakened the structure
The soils that have the highest clay content are typically more vulnerable, while soils that are the with the lowest clay content are not as affected. In some regions, the change is not noticeable while in other the movement is very noticeable.
If soils that are unstable serve as the base, the soil’s movement is transferred onto the foundation. Because soil movement is not always uniform and the foundation is exposed to a shift or upheaval. The issue is apparent in slabs as well as beam and pier type foundations.
If the whole soil beneath the foundation is uniformly swollen it is usually not a issue. Problems arise, however, when only a portion of the house is settling. Then, the difference in motion causes cracks and other damages.
Foundation settlement-related issues:
- Structure damage
- Value of property lost due to loss of value
- Safety hazards for tripping
- Cracks that aren’t visible
- Equipment failures
Whatever the reason, settling could devalue your property and can even make it uninhabitable. If you notice signs of failure, do not put off getting the issue addressed. The longer you delay the longer your foundation will sink, which can cause more costly damage.
Hairline cracks are often a consequence from normal settlement of foundations. However, be aware of the possibility that large cracks are noticed in a sudden manner. If a crack is bigger than an eighth inch, you may have potential foundation issues.
According to an Realtor.com piece on foundation issues:
“Horizontal and jagged cracks at 45° can be the most serious and often suggest that you require professional assistance.”
If you’re not sure, check any cracks that appear in the foundation and in the event that they continue to increase contact a foundation firm out to look at the cracks.
Find out what your foundation needs to be fixed permanently by using Ram Jack’s proven techniques.
CONCRETE FOUNDATION REPAIR METHODOS
Repair methods for sunken concrete have been a variety. Concrete, wood, and steel were placed in, pushed or and twisted into the ground to salvage the slabs and foundations. During the in the beginning, everyone and everybody, educated or not, was able to become “experts” at this kind of repair. Most of the time repairs turned out to be ineffective.
Other, more efficient ways of remediation require massive disruption of the entire family or the business that is using the construction. In general, it is preferable that the settlement of foundations, monolithic or slabs of concrete in residential areas can be corrected without the need to move appliances, furniture and perhaps the entire family or even in commercial areas and without disrupting the business.
With the advancement of technology and highly trained professionals There are a variety of extremely effective solutions to the issue of sunken concrete , which require minimal or no interruption to your daily or work routine.
One of two popular techniques for this kind of repair include hydraulic jacking and slabjacking (also called”piering”).
In the slabjacking process the grout is pumped underneath a beam or slab to create a lifting force which restores the structure to its original height.
In the process of piercing the steel posts are driven through soil that is unstable while hydraulic jacks can be employed to lift and stabilize slabs of concrete that are affected by the changes in the soil. The method of repair employed depends on the type of damage being addressed.
Selecting the right method to repair
Before you choose the best repair option first, you need to determine what’s causing the issue. Look at trim and moldings and mortar joints on brick veneer and windows in low spots to find clues. Also , keep track of weather patterns in the past. Dry or rainy weather can result in movement of the soil beneath.
The most popular method for correcting small slabs of sunken concrete like residential slabs, sidewalks, driveways and decks for swimming pools and so on. is called slabjacking.
Slabjacking is done by pumping a cement grout through small, strategically-located holes in the concrete slab. Once it is in place the grout sets into a solid concrete mass and serves as a solid bearing surface for the slab.
If a soil-cement-lime-grout is employed the lime content of the slurry can impart advantages of lime stabilization to the sub-base or base. The treatment in combination not only brings the slab back to a proper level, but also stabilizes the sub-soil in order to avoid recurrence of the problem.
For more serious issues particularly those that occur in commercial and residential buildings foundation shifting Hydraulic piers are usually used to stabilize and lift the foundation.
Piering is the process of using strategically located mechanical jacks that lift the beam up to a certain level. The beam has to be lifted with care to prevent damaging it further. After being it is raised, the beam will be supported to its elevation with a specially-designed footing spread and the pier.
The footing is placed sufficient deep to ensure that it is not affected of changes in soil moisture. The footing is designed in a way to effectively spread the load, without causing excessive bulk or weight. The pier is connected to the footing using steel, and is able to support the beam that is used for foundation.
Which regions are most affected by the failure of foundations?
The soil types in specific areas of the nation leads to a greater rate of foundation problems. The areas with a high clay content and areas that have a lot of sand can suffer the most destruction. These areas are more prone to foundation destruction.
Foundation issues in Texas
The following areas in Texas contain a wide clay soils, which could cause foundation movements:
- Fort Worth
- Corpus Christi
- San Antonio
Conditions of the soil that are found in Texas respond to drought and rainfall like sponges. The expansion and contraction caused by changes in moisture can put pressure on the foundation.
Foundation issues are also common in areas that are prone to flooding as witnessed in the aftermath of the devastating hurricane Harvey in the year 2017. If you are in Houston it is possible that you want to raise your home above the floodplain. FEMA has this guide on the house raising procedure.
Other factors that can cause foundation problems in Texas include inadequate drainage around homes, and the corrosion of plumbing made of cast iron or the failure of cedar-clad piers that are beneath older homes.