Home Improvement

Types of Foundations and Signs of Its Damage

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The type of foundation that you have will affect the problems you may face and how you can solve them. Concrete slab, crawlspace and cinder block brick are the most common foundations.

Concrete Slab

A concrete slab foundation, which is usually four to eight inches thick, rests on top of the soil, is a layer made up of concrete. They are more common in warmer climates because even thick concrete slabs can crack from freezing and thawing. Concrete foundations do not have crawlspaces or basements. This means that there are no underground leaks and less pest problems. However, the drainage system must also be embedded in the concrete.

Sometimes called slab jacking, or mud-jacking, the process of leveling a home using a slab foundation is also known as slab jacking. The foundation is leveled by drilling a hole under it. Because it is only one piece of concrete, the foundation can be lifted using mud or filler. This method is usually less costly than other types of foundation leveling. However, foundation repair contractors must sometimes cut into concrete to correct drainage issues that can cause foundation shifting or settling.

Crawlspace

A crawlspace is a space that’s created when your house is built on a narrow footing. This means it’s usually just a few feet above the ground. The crawlspace, which is unfinished and unheated, may be used as storage or a place to house pipes or a furnace. To prevent moisture buildup and cause problems under the house, a crawlspace should be well ventilated.

Concrete blocks or poured concrete are used to build crawlspace foundation walls. They may crack. Poor drainage and leaks are two other common problems in crawlspaces. These problems are easier to fix since you can access the underside.

Brick and Cinder Block

A foundation can be made up of bricks or cinder blocks with mortar between. The blocks are often laid in an overlapping design and grouted using steel rods. This gives concrete slabs the stability they need, but allows for greater compression and expansion than concrete.

These foundations can still leak, crack, or bow, especially along mortar lines. Stairstep cracks can be seen that run horizontally or vertically along the mortar. These foundations are made up of multiple pieces rather than a single slab. To prevent moisture getting in, they must be thoroughly waterproofed. You can reinforce the bricks or blocks with steel or carbon fiber. However, drainage problems must be addressed first.

Basement

Full basement foundations are the most costly to build. They require the most excavation and construction. A basement can increase the living space of the house and is better suited for climates that see the ground freeze in winter. Foundation footings are placed under the area to support it and extend deeper into the ground than the frost line.

Basement foundations can be the most costly to repair. Basement foundations are the most expensive to repair. Leaks and bowing walls can cause major damage in the finished areas. Wall reinforcements and waterproofing can be costly and require a large amount of coverage. Basement walls can be made of block, brick, or concrete. Each has its own unique characteristics and repair requirements.

Pier and Beam

A home can be elevated several feet from the ground using beam and pier foundations. This creates an open-air crawlspace which allows for easier access to electrical and plumbing fixtures. Concrete footing deep below the ground will often support the piers, which can be made from metal, concrete, or wood. They won’t be affected if the soil surface is shifting or under pressure. The support beams connect to the piers. These support beams then connect to the floor joists.

Wooden piers can be susceptible to decay and rot, so they might need to replace with more durable materials. Additional foundation supports or piers may be needed to support the house above. The crawlspace can usually be accessed if drainage is a problem. Need Foundation Repair wichita ks? Simply click the link and check out the best service out there.

Signs of foundation damage

You can save thousands of dollars by identifying foundation problems early. Foundation problems can cause more damage to your home if they are not addressed quickly. These are the signs to look for in your home to spot foundation issues.

Early Signs

Foundation cracks or fractures are an early sign of damage. Not all cracks are dangerous. Vertical cracks, particularly small ones, should be treated as minor. These cracks should be repaired to prevent more damage. However, they are not usually a sign of larger problems. Horizontal cracks are a sign of an unstable foundation. For a permanent solution, these cracks should be checked by a professional.

Exterior signs

You can inspect your foundation and exterior walls for cracks if you suspect that you have foundation problems. Also, you can check if there is a gap between your foundation and the soil surrounding it. This could indicate that the soil has changed. You should be aware of any changes in soil, especially if you live on an inclined site. Also, keep an eye out for water pools or damp areas around your home. Drainage problems can lead to foundation damage.

Interior signs

You can also inspect your walls inside your home for cracks. You may also notice subtle signs like doors and windows that aren’t opening or closing properly, gaps between walls or door frames, or doors that don’t close or open correctly. Ceilings and walls that are beginning to bow may show signs of warping.

A foundation that is uneven or sinking can cause the flooring of your home to bulge, crack, or shift. Water damage and actual pooling of water in your basement or crawlspace could indicate a foundation leak. This should be addressed immediately.

Professional Foundation Repair vs. DIY

You can’t do foundation repair by yourself most of the time. You can buy epoxy to repair small vertical cracks less than 1/8 inch. Larger cracks should be assessed by professionals. Many foundation repair companies offer free inspections for potential problems.

Even the most skilled home-repair professionals won’t be able to fix more serious foundation problems. Sinking foundations may require that the entire house be supported on jacks and heavy machinery used to excavate the ground around the foundation. It may cost more to hire a professional contractor to repair your foundation.

 

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