When you own a building, there are many aspects you have to take care of when it comes to the maintenance and upkeep of the structure. The concrete foundation underneath your building is one such area that, while being hidden from sight, is integral to the structural integrity of your building. If the concrete under your building is in distress, it can lead to major structural damage. Regardless of whether you own a large building, a home, or even if you are looking to buy one, foundation issues are something you need to look at carefully before they deteriorate further. Foundation repair is a serious issue and you should always seek professional help to fix it. However, you should learn about the issues yourself and look for a good team to carry out the task for you. We got some detailed information on quality repairs at regionalfoundationrepair.com and here are some of the more common concerns and questions about foundation repairs.
What are the signs of foundation issues?
Over time the foundations for any and all structures settle down. However, uneven or extreme settling causes damage to the structure. If your foundation is experiencing undue stress, it will show “symptoms” on the exterior, interior or both. Warning signs on the exterior include wall rotation, separation around windows, garage door and walls, cracked bricks, displaced moldings, and obvious foundation cracks. Sometimes these symptoms appear on the interior and include misalignment of doors and windows, sheetrock cracks, uneven or cracked floors, and bulging of the walls.
What can cause foundation damage?
A major percentage of homes that have been built on expansive soils will eventually suffer from foundation distress. Damage happens when only part of the foundation settles, or one part settles more or less than the others, causing heaving, cracks and other damage. For the most part, foundation damage is usually aggravated by water. Variations in the moisture levels cause the soil to either swell or shrink exponentially, which leads to movement underneath the foundation.
Your building is more likely to suffer from foundation damage if it is built on expansive clay or improperly compacted earth. Other factors include poor drainage in adjoining areas, extreme seasonal changes, plumbing leaks, large tree roots, earthquake, floods or droughts.
What should I do if I suspect that my foundation is damaged?
This is not a problem you can sit on. At the first sign of trouble, you should immediately closely examine the foundation yourself and look for any obvious issues. Then you should either consult with a structural engineer or repair expert depending on the severity of the problem. They will perform a foundation inspection and give you repair options.
How are concrete foundations repaired?
In the past various techniques were employed to repair sunken concrete foundation like insertion of wood, concrete, cement or steel into the ground in an attempt to salvage the foundation. However, these repairs often do not work. Other repair methods are so extreme, that they cause extensive disruption to the functioning of the building.
Luckily, there are a number of very successful solutions these days that fix the issue of sunken concrete involving little to no disruption in the regular routine use of the building. Two of the more commonly used methods are slabjacking and hydraulic jacking (aka piering). However, both these processes can only be carried out by technical experts who will choose the appropriate repair method after determining the cause of the distress.