What is Foundation Repair?

Cracks in an exterior brick foundation wall

Foundation repair is, at minimum, stabilizing the foundation so that it won’t settle any further. Foundation repair can also involve the fixing of bowing basement walls, damaged crawl space walls, cracked concrete basement floors, and other foundation problems. Fortunately, there are various repair methods to prevent further damage and foundation problems. But time is of the essence, for foundation problems often get worse the longer a homeowner ignores them.

Types of Foundation Repair Solutions

As described above, there are several ways that damage can happen to your foundation. But foundation repair contractors have a number of solutions to reinforce your foundation and prevent the problem from worsening. Here are some solutions that may be offered…

  • Carbon fiber wall straps
  • Steel I-Beams
  • Helical tiebacks
  • Helical piers

These foundation repair solutions are used depending on the kind of foundation problem. Helical piers provide support for foundations experiencing settlement. Meanwhile, carbon fiber wall straps, steel I-beams, and helical tiebacks are excellent solutions for foundation walls depending on whether they’re experiencing tilting, leaning, or bowing.

But what causes foundation problems is often not the foundation itself. Foundations are designed to withstand a lot of stress, since they are supposed to provide your home with support. But while contractors can do everything to build a great foundation, it won’t do much to change how the outside world will inevitably interact with it. Unless the foundation was poorly constructed, the source of foundation damage isn’t typically in the foundation itself, but rather the state of its outside environment, namely the soil and the presence of water.

The Interactions Between Soil, Water, and Your Foundation

A foundation is only as good as the soil that it stands on. Foundation settlement problems are most often caused by soil erosion or weak soil that was not properly compacted. As the soil changes, it becomes less able to support the weight of the house. In turn, the house will settle and develop cracks. Repairing settlement problems can be done by transferring the weight of the structure to more stable, stronger soil. This strong soil can be reached by installing helical piers or resistance piers to support the foundation. This process is also called underpinning. In some situations, a sinking foundation can even be lifted to its original starting point. But the chances of that happening typically lessen with time.

How Does Water and Soil Interact?

  • Water is the dynamic that causes the soil to change. Too much water can cause some soils to swell. In other soils, too much water can cause the particles to consolidate and settle. On the other hand, drought conditions can cause soil to get very dry and shrink. As the soil below it shrinks and swells, these changes in the soil moisture content can cause the house to settle. Heavier portions of the home may settle more than other areas.
  • Weak soil can be close to the surface or there can be a layer of it several feet below. The surface water fluctuations and weather changes usually affect the upper 15 feet of soil. The only way to deal with this problem is to support the footing using firm soil that is not affected by surface conditions, which is typically 15 to 20 feet below the surface. This is done by using helical or resistance piers, which are driven into the ground with hydraulic equipment. There’s a chance that a skilled foundation repair contractor might be able to even provide lift to the structure, so be sure to ask questions about what their lift rate is on prior installations.

For Five-Star Foundation Repair and Waterproofing, Lean on ’58!

For over 64 years, ’58 Foundations & Waterproofing has been helping homeowners like you protect their homes from foundation problems. With products including our ’58 Strong Helical Piers and our Carbon ’58 Wall Straps, we can provide a customizable foundation repair solution that will meet your home’s needs so that your foundation can remain stable and strong.

We also offer our basement waterproofing and crawl space encapsulation services! Our ’58 waterproofing system can help relieve your foundation of hydrostatic pressure and move more water faster away from your home. Ultimately, this will reduce the amount of water there is in the soil around your foundation, and protect your lower level from intrusive moisture and groundwater. If you are already having mold problems with your wet basement or damp crawl space, ’58 offers its own mold removal services! 

As you can see, when you choose ’58, you choose a company that offers comprehensive solutions that will keep your home safe, dry, and healthy! For added peace of mind, you can also enjoy the security that comes with our lifetime warranty and industry-unique money-back guarantee. 

We have offices located all throughout the Eastern Seaboard. Whether you live near Baltimore, MD, Alpharetta, GA, or Knoxville, TN, ’58 will be there to help!

Contact us today to schedule for a free inspection of your foundation and to receive a detailed estimate! Be sure to ask us about our lifetime warranty and money-back guarantee!

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