Since foundations are located mostly underground, they can be easily neglected. This can be a huge mistake since problems with your foundation can compromise the structural integrity of your entire home. Whether you have a concrete slab, crawl space, or a basement, it is important that you keep your foundation in top shape. After all, this part of your house protects the rest of the structure against storm damage, bears the weight of your entire home, and so much more. This is why you should always keep your eyes open for signs of damage and call an expert to repair them as soon as possible. Since there are numerous repair methods available, you might be wondering if there is one that outshines the rest. In this post, we will be taking a closer look at foundation issues and repairs.
Common Symptoms of Foundation Issues
Detecting foundation problems on time can save you a lot of trouble. Not only is it cheaper to fix one small problem than several big ones, but you will also make sure that you and your family live in a healthy home. It is important not to write off little issues because you believe that the house is settling. If you notice any of the following signs, call the contractors right away and have them inspect your foundation.
Whether there are cracks in your house or outside of your house, you should see them as a red flag. These cracks sometimes suggest that your foundation is sinking or that your supports are crumbling, so do not ignore them. Otherwise, they could grow larger and cause a whole range of issues.
- Standing Water
Is there water in your home’s basement or crawl space? Water intrusion is a sign that your foundation might be compromised. Call your contractor so they can locate the problem and fix it.
- Bowing Walls
In case your basement or crawl space walls are bowing, it is possible that they are no longer able to support the weight of your house. Do not panic; it doesn’t mean your house is going to collapse any minute now. In fact, skilled contractors can easily fix this problem and make your home safe again.
Are there large gaps around doors and windows? If you notice these openings or your doors and windows are becoming difficult to open/close, call the experts and have them take a look at your foundation.
Why Is My Foundation Damaged?
Foundation damage can occur due to various reasons. With regular maintenance and waterproofing systems, you can prevent this problem most of the time.
If there are expansive soils underneath your home, they can create foundation damage. This type of soil, such as clay soil, is famous for its absorbing powers. When it rains or there is a flood, this type of soil will absorb a lot of moisture and expand. When it expands, it pushes against your foundation, causing cracks and waterproofing problems. On the other hand, when this soil dries, it shrinks. The shrinkage can cause your foundation to settle unevenly into the voids left behind by the shrunken soil.
Floods and Hydrostatic Pressure
One of the most common causes of damage is water. Whether the flooding is a result of heavy rain and storms, a plumbing problem in the area, melting snow, or plumbing leaks in your own house, the wet ground around your foundation almost always leads to cracks and other structural problems. When the excess water starts sinking into the soil, it makes the soil exert pressure on your foundation. As a result, hydrostatic pressure can easily cause cracks and water leaks.
Water damage can quickly escalate and impact the rest of your home, which is why it is important to contact professional contractors in the Baltimore, MD, area and schedule an inspection. One of the trickiest types of flooding is the plumbing leak. When this problem occurs, water often ends up leaking into your basement or crawl space area. While the homeowner is busy dealing with the more visible problem first, the water that has leaked into the foundation has already started to cause foundation issues. Therefore, whenever you are dealing with a plumbing leak, have your contractor check the situation with the foundation.
Drought and Dryness
Just as excess water can cause a problem, substantial drought can lead to foundation damage as well. When the soil is extremely dry, its particles begin to shrink, making the foundation unstable and causing cracks and leaks. This is why you should make an effort to keep the soil around your home moist at all times.
Natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes can also play an important role when it comes to foundation damage. While the flooding from hurricane rain can cause your soil to expand, an earthquake – no matter how strong – can magnify small foundation cracks.
If you have purchased an already built home, you cannot know how much planning and thought went into the construction and which materials were used. If the contractors cut corners and used low-quality materials, you will most likely experience foundation damage at some point.
Which Is the Best Foundation Repair Method?
If you have been researching all the repair methods, their wide variety may easily overwhelm you. Finding out that there is one solution that outshines all the others could make your life easier, but this is not the case. Every foundation is different and requires a different repair method. What might work for one problem won’t solve the other one at all. Therefore, you should contact expert contractors in Baltimore, MD, and have them recommend the best solution for your problem. Depending on the soil and foundation type and the unique problems at hand, they could recommend and implement some of these methods:
Foundation Settlement Solutions — Depending on the type of foundation, push piers, helical piers, or slab piers can solve the problem with your settling foundation. These systems are invisible once installed.
Foundation Wall Repair — If your basement or crawl space walls are bowing or cracking, wall anchors or special beam systems can push them back into their original positions and keep them in place. These systems can stabilize the walls for good.
Floor Support — In case you have sagging floors, the IntelliJack™ system permanently reinforces and can lift the floors back up.
Concrete Lifting — Polyurethane injections can stabilize cracking and uneven concrete around your property.
If you have noticed that something is wrong with your foundation, schedule a free inspection and repair quote with JES Foundation Repair, and our team will recommend a repair method that is most suitable for your type of problem.