Foundation settlement can be intimidating, as many know it often means there are foundation repair costs coming. At the first sign of damage due to foundation settlement, many might call the largest foundation contractor they’ve heard of. This can be a costly mistake, as inspectors will often try scaring homeowners into making rash decisions. At Bay Crawlspace, we operate on client education. Our approach is much more of a consultation, ensuring that our clients are informed along the way.
Your foundation crack repair solution should take many things into consideration. You’re not just concerned about fixing your foundation–you want to be sure that you’re getting the best price on the solution that lasts delivered by foundation contractors with integrity. We give a technical diagnosis of what’s causing foundation failure, keeping you informed throughout the process and ensuring you that we’re catering your solution to your individual foundation repair needs.
Part of keeping you informed throughout our repair process is helping you understand the warning signs of foundation failure and what might be causing them. Below are the common signs of foundation problems we look for, common underlying problems, and the best solutions.Request A Free Foundation Inspection
Homes with cracked bricks may be experiencing foundation problems. Cracked bricks can arise from a number of different causes, so it’s important to have an experienced foundation repair expert diagnose the cause.
If you notice cracked bricks as a result of foundation issues, it is likely these formed as a result of movement below. Footing help support your foundation, especially in areas where soil movement might be an issue. However, when your footing cracks and settles independently from the rest of your house, it can cause cracks in your home’s foundation as well. Compromised footings are often due to differential settlement, which occurs when soil beneath your home expands, shrinks, or shifts.
Once your project is complete, we can replace cracked bricks if needed and the mortar joints in the brick may be ground out and re-pointed.
Wall cracks are another very common sign of foundation problems. Though all homes go through a process of natural settlement, which can cause minor wall cracks, they can sometimes signal much larger foundation problems.
Hairline cracks along door frames and walls typically indicate minor settlement and not structural problems. However, if you notice large or diagonal wall cracks, these could have developed because of movement of the structure supporting the area near the wall cracks.
Many wall cracks may close up as the cause of the problem is solved. However, lifting the structure or footings of your home might result in possible damage and wall cracks. This should be taken into consideration when determining the scope of the problem and possible solutions, as it is the homeowner’s decision on how much risk they would like to take when it comes to choosing a foundation repair method.
When foundation cracks occur, there is an immediate need for foundation repair. If you are unsure of whether or not your cracked bricks are directly indicative of foundation cracks, you may dig down to the foundation to inspect it for cracks.
Foundation cracks are simply a failure point, and foundation supports should be installed on the side of the crack that has settled most. Some homes may have settled in multiple directions and may require foundation supports on both sides of the foundation cracks.
Uneven floors and sloping floors may be caused by a number of factors. The footing supporting the outside of the home or in the crawl space may need to be addressed, or the wooden framing in the crawl space could be causing the uneven floors.
As a homeowner, if you decide that you would like to attempt maximum lift, uneven floors may or may not correct. It’s important to understand that some lifting cannot be undone, but our foundation contractors can help you make a decision on how much lift you should attempt.
The first step to install steel piers is to excavate the dirt around the footing. The entire footing must be exposed and the dirt removed from the bottom of the foundation. This is done as preparation for the steel pier bracket to attach to the footing with a clear surface.
Before installing the bracket, the concrete from the foundation must be removed up to the wall. This ensures the strength of the steel pier system is directly underneath the area with the greatest load.
The steel pier bracket is installed flush with the side and bottom of the prepared foundation footing. The drive stand holds the steel piers as the sections of pipe are driven through a high strength pile guide sleeve.
Steel piers are driven deep into the soil until they reach load-bearing stratum, meaning the home’s foundation is essentially resting on a soil layer strong enough to support the home for a lifetime. The steel piers are 100% load tested during installation.
The steel piers are driven until they reach the proper resistance from the soil. At this point, the foundation has been stabilized. The weight of the home is resting on load-bearing stratum.
A lift can be attempted to achieve correction. Lifting the home may result in further damage. Recommendations are provided by the installers about how much lift should be attempted but it is the decision of the homeowner as to how much lift we will attempt.
As you may have noticed, there is a common theme in the cause of foundation problems. Most foundation problems that require foundation leveling occur due to issues involving the soil supporting the foundation. Groundwater can put extra pressure on your foundation walls. Conversely, loose or shifting soil can pull away from your foundation walls, causing a lack of support for your foundation walls. This can result in foundation settling, or differential settlement, causing your foundation to be uneven. Differential settlement simply means that one part of the foundation is settling at a different rate than another part of the foundation. Since changes in soil moisture are what cause foundation problems, we must address the soil when considering how to repair the foundation.
With the knowledge of common signs of foundation failure, what might be causing them, and how they are fixed, along with the guidance of our trusted professionals, you can make an informed decision on the best solution for your home.
The basic approach to foundation repair is foundation leveling where the goal is to stabilize and potentially lift the area of the foundation that has experienced the foundation settlement. Foundation leveling will bring your foundation back to where it needs to be, supporting your home and preventing further damage from failing soil and the incoming moisture. Often times, we find that the best solution for improving the structural integrity of your home and leveling your foundation is foundation push piers. Below you can find more information on what this process looks like.
Does your home need foundation leveling or foundation repair? Fill out our Free Inspection & Estimate Form! Bay Crawlspace Solutions offers foundation crack repair services throughout Virginia and North Carolina.
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