Foundation Repairs that Save Time and Money
Foundation damage can take numerous forms -from cracking in a poured concrete wall to upward heaving in slab flooring or the inward bowing of a block wall. Other more substantial and urgent foundation flaws require immediate attention, with the exception of tiny shrinkage cracks that occur naturally as concrete and mortar cure.
Sooner is better than later
It’s smart to fix foundation problems right away for several reasons. First of all, damage such as cracking, bowing and settling indicate structural problems that are certain to worsen over time. The longer you wait to fix them, the more expensive the repair work is likely to be.
Second, foundation damage often causes problems in upper areas of a house. Doors and windows can become difficult to operate; floors can bow or dip; and drywall can crack, especially over door and window openings. Correcting foundation problems early can limit or even eliminate this upper floor damage.
Yet another reason to fix a damaged foundation has to do with the potential for water, pests and even hazardous radon gas to enter the house through cracks in foundation walls and floors. The impact of this ongoing damage depletes the value of the home. In fact, many banks or mortgage brokers are unlikely to grant a mortgage for a house with structural foundation problems.
A specialist is better than a generalist
Hiring the right foundation repair contractor is just as important as tackling foundation problems early. A building or remodeling contractor may seem like a good choice for foundation repairs because these professionals have experience with a wide range of home remodeling work, from siding and flooring to plumbing and kitchen makeovers. But these homebuilding generalists don’t have the specialized tools, materials and skills to make structural foundation repairs. Consequently, a home remodeling contractor is likely to make a cosmetic repair by simply filling foundation cracks with patching compound. Unfortunately, this economical fix won’t last long if the cracking was caused by shifting, settling or expansive soils. The cracking will continue and worsen.
A building contractor may take another tack, recommending that a damaged foundation be demolished, removed and replaced with a new foundation. This approach will indeed result in a new foundation, but the cost and disruption of everyday life for family members will be extreme.
Technology to the rescue: Piers & anchors for fast, effective & permanent repairs
The first and best call to make when foundation damage occurs is to a foundation repair specialist. These contractors only deal with foundation problems, and they have resources that enable them to correct foundation damage quickly and effectively.
For example, instead of demolishing and pouring a new slab in place of a basement or garage slab that has cracked or shifted, a foundation repair specialist will usually be able to stabilize the slab and raise it back to its original position. The specialist can make this repair by driving strong steel piers below the slab into more stable soil, and then elevating the slab with steel brackets attached to the piers. Mud jacking is another specialized technique that foundation contractors often use to raise and repair settled slabs. Similar stabilization and restoration techniques are used to repair foundation walls that have settled or bowed. These engineered solutions are faster, more affordable and less disruptive than total foundation replacement.