And How to Repair in the Event Your Foundation Begins to Crack
The foundation is one of the most important parts of your home.
In fact, a solid foundation is so critical, some homes can’t even be listed on the market for sale when they slip into disrepair.
So, what exactly makes a foundation so important to a home’s overall structural integrity and value?
First and foremost, foundations are critical in keeping your home above ground. Not having one means that your home could literally sink into the ground. Additionally, a foundation keeps out moisture from entering your home, resists movement from the surrounding ground, and insulates your home against cold temperatures.
How Are Foundation Cracks Caused?
A cracked or compromised foundation is one of the most serious problems a homeowner can deal with. Foundation cracks are mainly due to one of the four following reasons:
Earthquakes: This abrupt movement in the ground around your foundation can cause immediate foundation cracks.
House settlement: After adding furniture and other heavy items to your home, this adds a significant amount of weight to the foundation, which may compress it to the point of cracking.
Adverse temperature changes: Homes that are built in areas with true four-season weather are susceptible to shifts in temperature. These shifts can make the concrete of your foundation expand and contract, which can lead to cracking.
Moisture: Too much moisture or not enough moisture in the soil surrounding your foundation can cause an exertion in pressure or create gaps around your foundation. Either one of these things can lead to foundational cracks.
What to Do If Your Foundation is Cracked or Compromised?
If you notice cracks in your foundation or find that your foundation has been compromised by a professional home inspector, you should make getting it fixed a top priority. Foundation issues are the type of problem that will continually get worse over time, which could lead to subsequent damage and other issues in the home. For instance, water and moisture seeping into the home is one of the more severe problems of foundational damage.
So, how do you go about seeking help for foundation repair? And what methods are used to fix foundational issues?
The best way to get started is by searching the term “foundation repair near me” or other similar terms. That should bring up a few companies in your direct vicinity that diagnose and repair cracked foundations.
The two most common methods of fixing cracked foundations are hydraulic jacking (aka piering) and slabjacking.
Slabjacking: In this method of foundation repair, grout is pumped beneath the concrete to lift it back to the appropriate elevation.
Hydraulic jacking: This method uses steel posts that are driven through the soil. Once the steel posts are in place, hydraulic jacks are used to raise and stabilize the concrete foundation.
There is a third method of concrete repair called mudjacking. However, mudjacking is used for things like cracked sidewalks, uneven patios, and damaged driveways. It’s never used for foundational repair.
What to Expect With Foundation Repair
Once you have a foundation repair company at your home, they will be able to tell you the true extent of the damage and which methods they’ll use to address it. They should also be able to provide an itemized quote of how much everything will cost in total.
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Although foundation repair is one of the more costly services of home repair, it’s important not to procrastinate for too long. Foundational issues that aren’t addressed in a timely fashion have a tendency to get worse, thus costing you far more later down the line.