A sinking foundation can be a cause for concern. If left unaddressed, the foundation problem can threaten the structural integrity of your home and lead to major damages over the years. As such, a sinking foundation is a real problem that calls for a permanent solution. To prevent the issue from becoming worse, you should hire a professional to assess the situation and recommend the best course of action. But how exactly do you repair a sinking foundation?
Here’s what you need to know.
Warning Signs Your Home Has a Sinking Foundation
To ensure timely interventions, you should be familiar with the common indicators of serious foundation sinking. Below are signs of this type of foundation problem.
- Uneven floors
- Sticking doors or windows
- Cracks in the basement wall, interior plaster walls, or drywall
- Rot or mold in your crawl space
- Large foundation cracks
- Tilting chimneys
- Stair-step cracks in brick and concrete block walls
- Steps pulling away
Common Causes of a Sinking Foundation
Now that you know the signs to look out for, you need to understand what makes a foundation sink. This will help you establish how severe the damage is and identify the best repair method. Here are some common causes of sinking foundations.
During the initial construction of your house, the ground beneath the foundation has to be compacted. This creates a dense and flat surface that provides the necessary support for the building. However, even when compaction is done properly, pockets of air may still remain within the soil.
When the soil is not properly compacted, the spaces between soil particles will shift and collapse due to the pressure exerted by your home. This could eventually lead to foundation sinking.
The ability of different soils to hold water varies depending on their makeup. Water in the soil can cause the dirt to expand, something that may lead to foundation problems. Once the soil becomes saturated, any excess water will move around your foundation.
Over time, the water will soften and erode the soil under the building. When the soil becomes too soft or is significantly eroded, its ability to support the weight of your house will be reduced considerably. This can contribute to foundation sinking.
Extreme Weather Events
Extremely cold temperatures, floods, and droughts can affect the stability of your foundation. Low temperatures can cause the water within the soil beneath your foundation to freeze and form ice. When the ice in the soil expands, it may push the foundation out of position.
Intense flooding can cause major damage to your foundation. This is due to the impact of fast-moving water, as well as water that penetrates the earth and widens cracks. Lastly, drought will cause the soil around your home to contract as it dries out. The dirt will then pull away from the foundation, creating imbalances.
Foundation construction must take into account the type of soil on which a building will sit. When outdated construction methods are used, such important factors may be overlooked. The end result may be a sinking foundation. The risk of foundation settling will be higher if the foundation is quite old.
Poor drainage will lead to over-saturation of the soil below your home and increase the risk of flooding. The resultant damage may cause the concrete slab to sink.
Sinking Foundation Solutions
The repair solution used to lift, stabilize and restore a sinking foundation will depend on the nature and severity of the problem. Oftentimes, your contractor will install foundation piers to perform the repairs. Here are the possible solutions.
Foundation Push Pier Systems
Push piers are rugged steel piers that connect your foundation to the strong supporting soil or bedrock below. As such, this repair solution reaches greater depth than any other option. Once installed, the weight of your home is transferred to the more competent soils, a factor that enhances stability.
Foundation push pier systems present the best opportunity to lift your home to its original position. Push piers offer a permanent solution to foundation settlement problems and provide the best repair option when soil conditions are unknown.
The process of installing foundation push piers is fast and effective. Also, installation involves minimal disturbance to your property and comfort.
Foundation Helical Pier System
These are straight steel piers with helical plates welded to each pier shaft. The helical plates act as a screw that helps pull the pier into the soil during installation, providing anchoring strength.
Foundation helical piers will not only stabilize your home but can also help to lift settled foundations back to a level position. This makes them a strong and permanent solution to your foundation problems. You may want to consider this repair solution in cases where the bedrock is deeper than normal or when looking to stabilize light structures such as concrete stairs and decks.
Installation of foundation helical piers can be done all year round. Moreover, the installation process is usually easy and low-mess.
Slab Pier System
This foundation repair solution involves using a certain type of push piers that are specifically designed to stabilize or lift settling concrete slabs. The repair option connects the slab to stable soil or bedrock at greater depth. A specially designed slab bracket is used to attach the top of the pier to the underside of the concrete slab.
The installation of this solution is a non-destructive repair process that requires minimal excavation. Once the installation is complete, the affected slabs are restored and the soil replaced to completely hide the repair. This ensures a clean and professional appearance.
Why Choose Alpha Foundations
Our repairs focus on correcting the sinking foundation problem and preventing it from recurring. Once you contact us, we will send over our experts to conduct a thorough inspection of your home and make an accurate diagnosis. As a professional company, we use quality repair products and deliver modern, expert solutions that are right for your needs. This helps to preserve the integrity, safety, and value of your home.
Looking for expert foundation repair contractors? Alpha Foundations is a professional and experienced foundation repair company serving Florida and Georgia. We provide customized foundation repair solutions that are tailored to each customer’s objectives and budget.