Comparing Different Types of Foundation Repair
Foundation is an integral component of the house and burdens the weight of the entire structure. Damages to the foundation can cause a depreciation in the value of the property and also expose it to the dangers of failure. There are numerous ways in which foundation damages could be repaired to restore the structure of the house to its original health. Before we delve deeper into the different types of foundation repair methods, let us take a look at the causes of foundation damages.
What Causes Damage to the Foundation?
One of the common causes of foundation damages is the expansion or compression of soil. When the soil expands or contracts it exerts force on the foundation and causes it to shift or crack. Improper compaction of soil while construction could also make the foundation prone to structural damage. Natural disasters such as earthquake, poor maintenance, and sudden exertion of external forces are some of the other reasons behind the foundation of homes getting damaged.
Signs which Suggest that Foundation Needs Repairing
Damages and stress in the foundation can manifest in the following ways:
- Uneven floors
- Cracked bricks
- Sloping wall
- Gaps between kitchen cabinets and walls
- Misaligned doors and windows
- Uneven flooring
- Displaced moldings
- Cracks in flooring
If you come across these signs at your home then your home most likely requires a foundation repair.
Different Foundation Repair Methods
There are different methods used for foundation repair depending upon the severity and cause of the problem. The different types of foundation repair methods used most commonly are:
Sealants and Masonry Patches
Minor cracks in the foundation can develop due to soil shrinkage or expansion. These cracks can in the foundation can be repaired using sealants or masonry patches. There are a variety of options available to fill these cracks. Hydraulic cement, epoxy sealant, and polyurethane are some of the most commonly used products to seal these cracks. While these cracks may not necessarily mean structural damage, it is advisable that you seal them to prevent moisture from penetrating the foundation.
Mud or slab jacking
This method comes in handy when the foundation sinks. In this procedure, a concrete mixture is pumped under the slab to push it up into its original position. The mixture comprises fly ash, cement, and other additives. All the components are mixed in a concrete mixer with water and then filled into the portable pump. Following this, contractors identify strategic locations to dig holes into the slab and then fill these holes using the mixture in the portable pump. A modern slab jacking variant in polyurethane foam slab jacking is becoming increasingly popular as it helps correct the sinking foundation in a short period as compared to the traditional slab jacking process.
Piling or Piering
The procedure uses steel or concrete piers to resettle and stabilize the foundation. Either the land is excavated or the pipes are driven into the ground to stabilize the foundation. Some of the most widely used piling or piering methods are steel pressed piling, concrete pressed piling, and bell-bottom piering.
The steel pressed piling process requires a trench to be dug around the foundation using a steel pile. When the steel pile reaches a suitable depth, it is connected with a hydraulic jack to push the foundation to the normal position. Following this, the steel shaft of the pile is joined with the foundation by welding or bolting.
In the concrete pressed piling procedure, holes are drilled into the foundation to a considerable depth and are then filled with reinforced concrete to lift it back to the normal position. The procedure is cheap but a temporary measure.
The bell-bottom piering method uses galvanized bell-shaped piers that are drilled into the foundation structure. The spaces created by the bell-shaped pier in the foundation are then filled with reinforcement and concrete. Following this, the piers are removed and the process stabilizes the foundation while pushing it back into its normal position.
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