What is Foundation Leveling?
Is the foundation of your home sinking or shifting? Are there leaks in the basement or cracks in the walls? If you have noticed any of these problems, it might be time to for foundation leveling.
As the name suggests, foundation leveling is a process used to repair foundations that are moving, leaking or collapsing. A damaged foundation can also cause a myriad of issues around your property. Calling in a specialist to inspect and repair can stop your foundation from falling apart in the nick of time.
Causes of Uneven Foundations
There is no single factor that damages foundations. Instead, a variety of elements are to blame. The main culprit, however, is changing soil. Soil changes and becomes unstable either because it is too dry or too wet.
When soil is dry, it erodes and subsequently diminishes the stability of the foundation. When soil is wet, the water eventually leaks into the walls and begins shifting. Both ways lead to movement in the foundation and might even cause it to collapse.
Although foundation shifting is common in poorly constructed homes, it can also affect new buildings as well. Another factor to keep in mind is that even if the soil is treated and the home is waterproofed, the foundation can still be damaged by other elements.
How to Identify a Damaged Foundation
Damage to foundation can be caught in time if you are aware of the signs. If there is a problem, you are likely to notice:
- Cracks in foundation walls and bricks
- Cracks in concrete structures that have been recently repaired. This includes driveways, decks, patios and pool lifts
- Cracks in the drywall and chimney
- Contorted doors, windows, roof boards and chimneys
- Sinking and uneven floors throughout the house
Some of these symptoms are worse than others but all require attention. It is important to call in a professional to fix these problems because even minor signs can be caused by serious problems in the foundation.
Foundation Leveling Solutions
Because some foundation problems are cosmetic and others structural, it is wise to have the premises inspected by a specialist. When the source of the damage is identified, a solution can then be implemented.
If your foundation has grown unstable because of surrounding soil, it is highly likely that a pier system will be installed. A pier is designed to be provide support when soil is no longer stable enough to hold up your home. Piers are preferred because of their loading capability and strong stability.
Steel piers are a favorite solution for contractors and engineers because they provide a more stable base. They are more durable than concrete and can reduce the pressure exerted on foundation walls.
At the moment, steel piers are still the industry standard. However, the evolution of technology promises foundation leveling solutions that are stronger, quicker to install and more resilient to pressure. With technologies like powdered coatings and entering the market, homeowners can look forward to more effective, affordable solutions to their foundation problems.