Foundation Repair 101
Foundation Problem Signs and Causes
Signs of Foundation Problems
As a homeowner, you might be beginning to notice that something about your house is not quite right. One or more of your home’s external walls might be leaning. Your exposed foundation walls could be buckling under the weight of the house a bit. Or, you could be noting a wide array of other telltale home foundational distress signs, including nails coming out of frames, curling or separating wallpaper, or windows that will not properly bind to their sills when closed. If one or more of these trouble signs are occuring in your home, it is wise to put your home’s foundation repair needs at the top of your list.
WARNING! Do not get sucked in by unscrupulous amateur foundation contractors that will only mask your home’s problems for a short time. Educate yourself now on the causes of foundational distress, and the process in which experts in the field permanently re-stabilize your home’s structure to protect yourself from costly future problems.
Foundation Repair Methods
There are a number of possible causes of the tell tale signs of home foundation problems. Each problem requires a specific solution and there are several methods which can be used. Some of the concrete slab repair or pier and beam foundation repair techniques include mudjacking, slabjacking, helical piers, push piers and sometimes timber repair for damaged floor joists or beams. A professional foundation repair contractor can inspect and evaluate your situation and recommend the best possible solution.
Causes of Home Foundation Problems
Your foundation acts as a rain and humidity barrier against the wet or moist soil under your home. However, when plumbing leaks occur, your foundation structure weakens and can move from the pressure constantly being thrust upon it. Seasonal moisture changes, resulting from extreme dry weather alternating with extreme wet weather, can also initiate foundational movement. Additionally, faulty foundation construction, foundations built on clay soils, and settling of older homes can also cause foundation problems. To assure that your problem, not just the visible damage, has been repaired you need to address the root causes of any shifting, sinking or settling.
The Expert Home Foundation Contractors Repair Process
When you call a home foundation repair contractor, he or she should come out to your home to inspect the foundation and give you a free estimate of the level repair costs. When you commission the contractor to do the work, he or she should also advise you of required city building or repair permits, if necessary by law in your area. Then, he or she should inform you if your landscaping will be moved and returned to its proper place after the repair, and exactly what post-repair services he or she offers.
When you choose highly-skilled home foundation contractors, they will be able to offer you assistance in all of the above facets of home foundation repair. For example, an expert, one-stop foundation contractor will be able to stabilize your stone or concrete foundation. Once your foundation is secure, the same contractor will patch cracks in the slab itself, as well as repair cracks in brick and mortar walls, or fill and patch cracks in basement walls. To properly fix any problems with mortar and brick cracks or separation you will need a masonry contractor. Most foundation repair companies will refer you to a masonry contractor however a limited few offer both foundation and masonry services.
Before hiring any contractor or company you should request a list of prior customers to call for references, and provide before and after pictures of similar foundation problems they have fixed for highly satisfied past customers.