It’s not always easy to try to repair a foundation where one section of a slab is already cracking and settling. In fact, it can be quite intimidating and even scary. This repair could be done differently, depending on your perspective
A dedicated DIYer’s first reaction will probably be to fill cracks with patching mortar -a repair that can be completed pretty quickly and inexpensively. A remodeling contractor might offer to patch a cracked slab, and then apply a skim coat of mortar to make the cracked area level again. An extremely busy homeowner might have a different attitude altogether, choosing not to do anything because the damaged area is in an unused part of the basement.
The problem with all of these approaches is that the conditions that caused the foundation damage aren’t being addressed. Consequently, the cracking and settling are certain to continue and worsen.
A concrete slab that cracks and settles is certainly a problem that a homeowner shouldn’t ignore. But more importantly, it’s a symptom of soil issues that will very likely make existing cracks and settlement more severe, and even cause new problems to develop in the future.
Detailed Inspection is Necessary
An experienced foundation repair contractor appreciates the importance of doing a thorough inspection of the foundation, the soil that surrounds the house, and the various site conditions that may be making the soil unstable.
If the soil that surrounds the house has a high clay content, it’ll have a tendency to expand when wet and can cause foundation walls to bow, tilt, shift and crack. Excess water from roof runoff or leaky pipes can actually wash away soil beneath slabs and footings. Where concrete isn’t supported from beneath, this water creates voids and foundation settlement.
Still other settlement issues come about when soils with poor load-bearing capacities compress under the heavy weight of a structure.
The Proper Repair
All of the above-mentioned soil issues can be overcome when proper repair techniques and materials are used. But remember, the cause of the foundation damage must first be determined before moving forward with a repair.
Trained Experts Suggestions
According to expert opinions, it’s most effective to have a comprehensive foundation inspection to identify all the soil conditions that can cause settling, cracking, bowing and other foundation problems. Then design a repair program that utilizes state-of-the-art components like push piers, helical piers, wall braces and foundation anchors to permanently fix specific foundation problems.
Some contractors are so confident in their experience and products they say that no soil problem is too difficult for them to tackle. What’s more, the piers, anchors and other repair products some contractors specify for repair work feature industry-leading, state-of-the-art technology. They’re engineered to provide durable, strong, corrosion-resistant performance year after year. In other words, you can feel safe your home’s foundation is in good hands.
Sometimes homeowners want to go beyond repairing a damaged foundation and proceed with other work to make a basement more usable -like waterproofing, insulating and finishing the space.
In such cases, be sure to choose a professional that uses insulation, wall, floor and ceiling products that are immune to mold and moisture damage, and far superior to the standard off-the-shelf products that other basement remodeling contractors use.
Many times foundation issues are the result of a shifting soil, which can be the direct result of moisture problems. So, basement waterproofing may be an awesome idea for you! Once the cracks are sealed, the drainage systems are in place, and the proper waterproofing materials are used, your basement will be an asset to your home and foundation.
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