The foundation provides critical support to the base of a structure. Proper maintenance is critical. Find the #1 foundation repair services and prices near you!
The foundation of your home is the lowest load-bearing part of your home. The foundation is an important part of your house, with three primary purposes. Your foundation bears the entire weight of your home, transferring the weight throughout the ground. To increase strength, foundations are made out of durable materials, such as concrete, and dug into the earth for additional stability. Your foundation also holds your house in place, keeping it from shifting due to strong storms or floods. Foundations also help waterproof your home and keep groundwater out of the lowest levels.
If your home has a basement, the basement functions as a type of foundation. This is why basements are commonly made out of concrete. Other homes have a crawlspace foundation. A crawlspace foundation is a one-to-three-foot space underneath your home. Another option is slab foundation. A slab is a large portion of concrete placed underneath your house. Reinforcing rods are installed through the frame of your house and attached in the concrete slab.
What Happens to Damaged Foundation
Because it is the base of your home, the foundation is one of the most important parts of your house. If your foundation is damaged, it can have severe results on the rest of your home. Even minor foundation damage can escalate and become catastrophic, leading to thousands of dollars in repairs. As a foundation weakens, it is unable to support the weight of your house. This can cause your house to shift and structural damage to spread throughout the walls, floor and ceiling.
A damaged foundation also leaves your house vulnerable to water damage. In severe cases, this can lead to the lower levels of your house flooding. Smaller foundation damage can cause groundwater to leak into your house, causing mold to grow in your home. In addition to direct water damage, the pipes under your house may break due to foundation damage.
Signs of Foundation Damage
There are several warning signs of foundation damage. A common sign of foundation damage is moisture in your basement or underneath your crawl space. This moisture often attracts centipedes, ants and other bugs. Over time, your floors can warp or sag from the increased moisture.
One of the largest warning signs of foundation damage is your walls cracking. This is due to soil movement underneath your home, which is normally absorbed by your foundation. This can also cause doorframes to become crooked. If you have a chimney, damaged foundation can cause the chimney to tilt or even break apart.
Causes of Foundation Damage
Foundation damage commonly happens over a long period of time. The damage often starts off small, but quickly grows if it is not repaired. Severe weather changes can lead to damaged foundation. In warmer climates, extreme heat can cause moisture to rapidly evaporate from the soil. This causes the ground to shrink, leading to structural cracks. Too much rain can cause water to pool around the exterior of your house, eroding the soil and weakening your foundation. In a drought, trees can drain too much water from the ground, hurting the soil and disrupting your foundation.
The materials used to build your foundation determines the overall durability. If inferior products were used, or if there was a mistake during construction, your foundation may weaken and lead to damage. Poor plumbing can also damage the soil around your home, which impacts the foundation.
There are several different methods to repair foundation. Which one you use largely depends on what caused the damage, when the damage started and your budget. There are many factors which determine cost, including the quality of soil around your home, the slope of your property, where pipes are placed and the type of foundation. Foundation repair is complex, requiring not only a professional, but also specialized equipment, which can also impact the cost. Minor repairs cost between $500 and $1,500 on average. Most repairs average between $3,000 to $6,000, while major repairs often cost between $10,000 to $15,000.
If you catch the damage before it has a chance to spread, a common solution is installing piers to reinforce the damaged foundation. There are several different types of piers you can use. Steel piers are effective for homes built at a slope or uneven angle. If your foundation was damaged because of inferior soul, engineers recommend concrete piers. Concrete is also a good material in warmer clients, but it requires more manual labor to install, leading to higher prices. The final option are helical piers. These piers are made with a helix-shaped design, which are easier to drive into the ground.
Another method of repairing foundation involves high-density polyurethane foam. There are multiple types of foam available, each designed for different materials. Some foams are also water resistant. The foam is also easy to apply in emergency situations and can provide reinforcement without having to make major changes to your existing foundation.
Engineers can also use grouting to repair your foundation. Grouting is a process where a material is injected into the foundation of your home. With foundation repair, the injection is a mixture of cement and sand. This not only reinforces your foundation, but also fills in gaps and seals cracks.