Imagine this: one day, you come home from work – and the strangest thing has happened. Your home used to be a few inches higher on the ground, but nowadays, it looks like it’s sunk.
Your internal slab may shift due to environmental or weather-related reasons. Either way, when it does, you’ll want to act quickly. What kind of work, though, can bring your home back from the brink?
A slab and foundation lift, of course.
Types of Foundations
Home construction has evolved a lot over the years and can vary in different areas. However, you’ll likely have one of the following foundations supporting the rest of your house:
Slab foundations are made when construction companies pour a cohesive slab of concrete down for a foundation. This slab works in tandem with several support beams to balance the weight of your home and keep it from coming in direct contact with the ground.
- Basement Foundation
Basement foundations can be rare, depending on the area where you live and the type of soil, but they still exist. To create a basement foundation, a construction company will dig out a large area below grade and then pour the footings and floor, then build the walls for the basement and/or crawl space areas.
If at all possible, you’ll want to know what kind of foundation your home has before reaching out to the professional contractors in your area. The process of lifting your foundation will vary based on your foundation type, and it helps contractors provide you with a quote when they know what they may be working with.
Signs Of An Uneven Slab
Regardless of what kind of foundation you have, it can be difficult to tell when it starts to sink. After all, you’re familiar with what your home looks like. Noticing minor changes like a shift in slab position isn’t going to be easy, especially when you see the same basement on a daily basis.
This is where professional experience comes in handy. The professional foundation and basement repair contractors working in the D.C. area will be able to more readily identify a slipping slab by sight and thorough evaluation.
That said, there are some signs of slippage that you can keep an eye out for. Some of the most common include:
- Sagging floors
- Doors jamming
- Cracks in your floor
- Wall cracks
- Stuck windows
What Does House Lifting Involve?
If you do need to lift your home and not just have a crack repaired, what kind of work should you expect? In general, the process through which a contractor lifts your home will vary based on the type of foundation you have.
However, the most used solution to foundation settlement involves piering. Foundation piers are installed to reach more stable soils underneath the home to better support the structure. Not only do these piers permanently stabilize the home and prevent any further movement, but they also can help lift the settling sections back to their original positions.
The foundation professionals in the D.C. area may use any of the following depending on your foundation and the extent of the settlement and damage:
- Push Piers
Sections of galvanized steel tubes are driven down to undisturbed, stable soil and then connect to foundation brackets on the footing. The weight is then transferred through the piers to stabilize the structure. These are the most commonly used piers to address foundation settlement
- Helical Piers
For specialty installations or lighter structures like porches, helical piers are used. These round-shaft helicals are mechanically “screwed” into the earth.
- Slab Piers
Push piers and helical piers are typically used on homes with basements and crawl spaces. But if your home has a slab foundation and is settling, slab piers made specifically for this type of foundation.
It’s also worth noting that some interior slabs in basements or garages that are cracking and uneven may be able to benefit from PolyRenewal concrete lifting measures.
If you do not notice any signs of foundation settlement, but see other foundation-related problems such as horizontal cracks and bowing, there are other trusted foundation repair solutions available to you.
Don’t let Mother Nature displace your home. If you think your slab may be slipping, reach out to the professionals working in your area. They’ll be able to provide you with an inspection and a free quote on any services you may need.