Foundation problems are serious, putting your entire home at risk. As a building’s foundation sags, it puts stress on the walls and roof, causing cracks and other structural damage. Fortunately, both concrete and pier and beam foundations can be repaired. Better yet, foundation damage can be prevented from happening in the first place.
Prevent Foundation Damage
Water is the main culprit when it comes to foundation damage. Floods, poor drainage, and plumbing leaks can all lead to weakening the foundation of your home.
If your yard has poor drainage, with water running towards the home, a drainage control system is in order. Surface drains and French drains draw water away from the foundation. These systems can even prevent damage from minor flooding. Installing a foundation drainage system for new construction is a good idea if you’re in an area subject to heavy rains.
Cracked walls, uneven floors, and sticky doors and windows are all signs of a damaged foundation. However, these issues could be due to other problems too, so have an inspection by a licensed foundation repair contractor. The repairs will depend on the type of foundation your home has; the two main types of foundation are concrete slab and wooden pier and beam. But, foundation repair on both types will involve lifting and supporting the sunken areas. This is initially done with high-powered jacks.
In the case of a concrete foundation, concrete pilings reinforced with rebar will be put in place. The pilings are made of precast concrete and are stacked on top of one another until they reach the appropriate height. Moreover, the first concrete pilings are dug deep into the ground, providing excellent support. These concrete pilings are cost-effective and permanent.
Wooden pier and beam foundation repair can be more complex, especially on old homes that were not built to code. Every pier and beam foundation is unique. Each beam and joint must be inspected for rotten wood and failing sill plates. Sometimes, foundation repair simply involves shimming up the sagging area. Other times, rotting wood beams and hardware must be replaced.
If you notice signs of a damaged foundation, have a foundation repair contractor take a look. They’ll be able to assess the extent of the damage and suggest the appropriate repair. To prevent future damage, you may also need a foundation drainage system. If it’s not addressed, a sagging foundation can result in widespread damage throughout your home.
About the author:
Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.