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Foundation Repair

If you’ve found flaws around the home in the way of doors that won’t close, cracked walls or bulging floors these can be the signs of foundation problems. Better to take care of these when you see early signs because foundation settlement can lead to major structural problems with your home later on that can become very costly, very quickly.

Fortunately, there are several methods of repair available to fix a concrete foundation without having to tear your home up and start from scratch. Causes may be due to building on expansive clay, compressible or improperly compacted fill soils or improper maintenance around foundations. Older homes are typically more susceptible, especially in the arid southern region of the U.S. in cities located in Texas. If you see signs of foundation distress, don’t wait to solve the problem as this could lead to unsafe structures.

Your foundation could sink and cause further damage. A professional will be able to assess which repair method is best suited for your specific foundation issues. Educate yourself on the process of foundation repair so you are familiar with the work being done on your home. It is likely that you will have to budget in the range of $10,000 for this kind of repair job.

Foundation Replacement

The foundation basically just spreads the weight of the house out over it’s width making what engineers call a pressure bulb. In loose, sandy soil you get a very wide pressure bulb while in heavy clay soils, you get a more vertical bulb. If you remove soil in the bulb, you make it harder for your foundation to hold your house up. Soil pushes sideways on basement walls because in large quantities, granular solids behave like fluids. If you want to see this in action, get some brown sugar and smoosh it with a spoon. It will blob up around the spoon as if it were peanut butter. All liquids and granular solids in large amounts exert fluid pressure outward in all directions.

That’s why if you dig a really big hole, the walls are liable to fall in on you if you don’t hold them back somehow. The first step to replacing a foundation is to dig holes to put the cribbing in. Once that’s complete, the cribbing is put in which is sometimes called shoring.

Large beams under the house are held up by stacks of cribbing. At this point, the old foundation can be removed and excavation can be finished. Once the concrete is to working strength and the new foundation is attached to the house, the cribbing can be removed and the hold in the basement floor gets plugged up with backfilling which will cause the house to move sideways in the event of an earthquake. Exactly what you want.

Sister Foundation

This is supplemental foundation used in cases where the exterior of the house is not affected. This is especially important with historic home structures or homes with beautiful river rock or brick foundations. Typically, a sister foundation is less expensive than complete foundation replacement.

Caissons Foundation

Caisson is a watertight retaining structure used, for example, to work on the foundations of a bridge pier, for construction of a concrete dam or for the repair of ships. These are constructed such that the water can be pumped out, keeping the working environment dry. When A are to be built using an open caisson and it is not practical to reach suitable soil, friction pilings may be driven to form a suitable sub-foundation. These piles are connected by a foundation pad upon which the column pier is erected. Shallow caissons may be open to the air, whereas pneumatic caissons, which penetrate soft mud, are sealed at the top and filled with compressed air to keep water and mud out at depth.

Foundation Crack Repair

Foundations are rigid and tend to crack over time. Minor cracks, though unsightly, are not normally cause for alarm. Major cracks on the other hand, indicate substantial movement and can undermine the home’s structural integrity. Filling in these cracks to stop them from spreading is essential to preventing serious structural issues to your home. If your foundation or structural slab has excessive cracks that are larger than 1/4 inch wide, have it examined by a structural or civil engineer to assess the extent of the damage and to determine the source.

If the damage is severe, consult a geotechnical or soils engineer who can suggest appropriate solutions to correct the problem. To repair a small crack yourself first clean the area. Mix the concrete patch to the consistency of a thin paste and mist the crack with water. Then you can trowel the patching paste into the crack. Scrape away any excess paste and create a smooth and uniform finish. Vinyl concrete patch material is recommended.

Foundation Repair Contractor

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