Identifying and understanding foundation cracks can help you determine whether or not it is time to call in the experts. Minor vertical hairline cracks may not require professional intervention if no other signs of damage exist. If necessary, try a DIY repair by cleaning the crack with a wire brush and vacuum cleaner, widening it with a hammer and chisel to improve bonding, and applying an epoxy or polyurethane injection filler as instructed.
Concrete piers are the most common ways to stabilize and lift a sinking or shifting foundation. They are a very effective solution for repairing sagging or sunken concrete slab floors and can be used to stabilize the exterior walls of your home as well. The piers are typically drilled to a depth of 12 to 20 feet and then capped with steel for added strength and stability. The piers are also coated with a special resin to help resist moisture that can cause future damage. Visit Website to learn more.
This is especially important because pier and beam foundations are made up of interconnected wood, meaning that water damage in one area can quickly spread throughout the structure. If the floor joists or sills are damaged by moisture, the rest of the house will likely begin to sink and shift as well.
Once the piers are in place, the next step is to add support beams. These beams are often made from treated lumber or concrete and can be used to help restore the level of your floor and the structural integrity of your home. Once the beams are in place, the last step is to backfill and re-grade the excavation area.
There are several things that can be a sign of a failing or shifting foundation, including visible cracks in interior or exterior walls and a sagging or uneven floor. In addition, doors and windows may become difficult to open or close. It is important to contact a professional as soon as possible to schedule a foundation inspection.
Unlike concrete piers, steel piers are not poured and are actually a series of precast, steel-reinforced cylinders that are forced into the ground using a hydraulic jacking system. They are considerably stronger than poured concrete piers and have a higher load bearing capacity.
Once the piers are in place, beams are placed perpendicular to the piers. A slurry of topsoil, Portland cement, and water is then applied to the soil around the piers to fill in any space that remains. The soil is then tamped down, which helps the piers settle into their proper position and prevents future movement of the foundation.
If your foundation has sunk or moved significantly, and you’re concerned about the structural integrity of your home, helical piers are a great option to consider. These deep piers leverage compression and tension to transfer the load of your foundation from the soil to the piers, thereby preventing further movement and lifting of your foundation. They can also be used to stabilize foundations that have already shifted and settled, lifting them back to their original position.
Helical piers (also known as screw piles or helical anchors) are shafts with helix plates that give them a shape similar to giant screws. They’re hydraulically “screwed” into the ground rather than pushed, using a special tool that ensures your foundation remains safe and stable throughout the entire installation process. Once they reach their required depth, a steel bracket is installed and attached to the foundation.
Because of their unique design, helical piers can support a wide range of loads, including the weight of your home and any other structures on your property. They’re also cost-effective, versatile, and resistant to corrosion. They can be installed in any climate and are a smart choice for foundation repair projects in areas with limited access or space.
The diameter of the bearing plates welded onto each central pin will vary depending on the type of soil where you’re installing them. Rocky soils typically call for smaller diameter plates, while soft or sandy soils require larger ones. The plates are made from galvanized steel and may be hot-dipped to prevent corrosive reactions underground.
After the helical piers are installed, your foundation specialist can begin the lifting process. He or she will aim for Maximum Practical Recovery, which is the maximum amount of lift that can be safely achieved without compromising the structural and cosmetic integrity of your home.
During this part of the process, you’ll notice a void created under your home where the original foundation used to reside. To address this, polyurethane is injected between the foundation slab and the soils beneath it to fill the void and add additional support.
Underpinning is one of the most effective methods for repairing a sunken foundation. It involves digging deep footings underneath your existing foundation and adding concrete to raise it back up. If your house is old, this process may also help repair settlement cracks that occurred during the initial construction.
Many different factors can cause a building to sink over time. The most common reason is that the soil underneath it isn’t strong enough to support it. When clay soil absorbs water, it swells up and grows. However, when it dries up, the soil shrinks and reduces the amount of weight it can support. This puts a lot of stress on the foundation, which can lead to it shifting and sinking.
If left untreated, the problem will only get worse. It’s important to contact a professional as soon as you notice any signs of foundation failure. If you wait, these problems can become much more serious, such as bowing walls or even a collapsed foundation.
Homeowners often underpin their structures for a variety of reasons. They might do so if they notice the soil has changed since the structure was built, or if they realize that the soil properties weren’t taken into account during construction.
When you need underpinning, your contractor will dig down through the existing footings and install a new set of reinforced concrete footings. These footings are typically longer and deeper than the original foundation, which helps to increase the strength of the structure. These footings will then be connected to the original foundation using helical piles. These piles are driven into the ground using hydraulic hammers and a high-pressure pump. Once they’re installed, they’ll transfer the weight of the building to the new piles and help the foundation stay level.
Another option for underpinning is to use screw piles and brackets. This method is less invasive than mass concrete underpinning, but it’s still a good choice for buildings where excavating to extraordinary depths isn’t possible. Screw piles are placed in the ground with special brackets that are designed to hold the weight of the building.
In addition to providing design and support for structures, structural engineers can also assist with foundation repair. They may examine the soil parameters around a foundation to identify underlying problems and recommend a solution for foundation stabilization. The structural engineer can then perform a variety of analytical tests to ensure the stability of the structure. These tests may include dynamic analysis and stress-strain analysis, both of which examine a structure’s internal forces, external load, and its capacity to resist vibrations.
While minor cracks and sinking floors are easy to fix, catching foundation problems early is key to avoiding more expensive repairs. A home’s foundation is exposed to a lot of pressure: expansion and contraction of the soil beneath, seasonal changes in moisture content, and the constant movement of water through plumbing pipes and tree roots all contribute to shifting and damage over time.
There are several ways to address foundation settlement and sagging, including concrete piers and slabjacking. A concrete pier is a steel or concrete cylinder that’s driven into the ground underneath a foundation to lift it back to its original elevation. This method of foundation repair is ideal for situations in which the foundation has sunken down along a small area of the house.
Slabjacking is a process in which the foundation is lifted using hydraulics. The jacks are placed at a number of locations underneath the foundation. This technique is typically used in areas of a foundation that have experienced significant sagging, and it may be necessary to place jacks under the middle area of a structure as well as along the perimeter.
Another option is helical piers, which are made of steel and screw-shaped. These are drilled into the earth under a foundation to provide additional support, and they can be used when a soil type makes it difficult or impossible to use concrete piers.
Finally, polyurethane injection can be used to stabilize a sagging foundation by injecting a semi-liquid/semi-solid substance into the spaces around the foundation. This fills the gaps and brings the foundation back to its original elevation, although the house might not be “level” when the process is complete.