When the soil shifts under your house, it can cause damage to your foundation. The movement might cause cracks in the basement floor or walls. Excess water and shifting soil are two main causes of foundation problems. Water affects the soil by causing it to swell and then contract, and this can affect your foundation in the right circumstances. Here's a look at foundation problems and how they're repaired.
Signs Of A Bad Foundation
You might not see problems in the basement. Instead, the doors and windows in your home may start sticking suddenly as your home shifts out of alignment. However, your first indication of foundation trouble is usually a crack. You could see a fine crack or a large one with heaving. Cracks on the wall often look like stairs as they follow the concrete blocks. When you see a crack in the foundation of your home, call a professional for an evaluation. This lets you know if your home is in danger and what type of repairs might be needed.
Choices In Foundation Repair
There are several ways to repair a foundation, so your contractor looks at the extent of the damage as well as the cause of the problem. Repairs include fixing the damage and stopping what caused the problem if possible. Damaged slabs can be repaired by filling cracks and lifting sunken areas. Lifting might be done with piers or by injecting a concrete mixture under the slab. Wall damage requires a different approach. When a foundation shifts, it might cause a wall to bow slightly. This often requires the installation of support beams or an anchor that pulls the wall back in alignment and holds in it place.
Once the repair method is decided upon, other work might be done that could include installing a drainage system that keeps water away from your home. It might also be necessary to grade the land, so water doesn't gather around your foundation.
Foundation repair is sometimes a complex job, and other times it's not too disruptive or time-consuming. However, you don't want to put off having the repairs done especially if the damage puts the structure of your home in danger. Before you panic at the sight of a crack in your basement floor, let a professional evaluate it. Cracks sometimes happen independently of foundation damage, and they can be repaired easily. The only way to know if a crack is a serious problem is to let a professional evaluate it.