Types of Foundation Repair Methods

A foundation is the part of a building or home used to stabilize the structure by transmitting the building’s load to the ground.

 

Types of Foundations

A common foundation type is the concrete slab foundation. It is made of cast concrete and is mainly used in industrial and modern buildings. A crawl space foundation is used to elevate the bottom of a house, is often used by contractors to provide easier access to wiring and piping. On the other hand, a basement foundation helps secure buildings that go one floor below ground level. Basements are usually used as utility spaces in buildings to keep water heaters, fuse boxes, and furnaces, among other items.

 

What is the main cause of foundation problems?

Soil conditions are the primary cause of foundation issues. Expansive clay soils and shifting soil create problems for buildings and homes. When the soil is saturated with water, it expands, pushing upward into the foundation. 

When the soil dries, it shrinks, and the foundation settles once again. These shifts cause cracked foundations and damage the building’s interior. So, if you’ve noticed sticky doors, leaky plumbing, cracked floors, and walls, your foundation may require repair.

 

How Do You Fix Your Building’s Foundation?

 

Certified foundation repair in San Antonio begins with experts examining the building and identifying the cause of the problem. Once a cause is found, these foundation repair experts can determine which foundation repair method will be the most suitable for your building.

 

Types of Foundation Repair Methods

 

The technique used to repair a foundation usually depends on the foundation build, climate, soil type, and problems. Common methods include:

Slab Jacking

This short-term solution is used to lift concrete that is sinking or uneven. The method is sometimes referred to as slab leveling, concrete lifting, and mudjacking. 

Slab jacking is ideal for relatively small areas, such as driveways, garage floors, walkways, decks, steps, and raised porches. 

Slab foundations usually tilt or sink when the soil underneath collapses or shifts, leaving empty spaces below. Professionals in foundation repair for San Antonio have access to the knowledge of local soil conditions and the equipment required to repair a settling home foundation.

For slab jacking repairs, repair experts drill 2-inch holes through the foundation to get to the sunken spaces and lift the concrete. Once this is done, they inject a solution of natural elements like cement or soil into the hole, helping fill the void. The sinking or uneven foundation slab is raised as the solution expands.

Repair experts sometimes use a polyurethane injection, a lightweight but dense material that can also fill the void in the concrete foundation. Foundation repair in San Antonio typically uses a polyurethane injection to last longer.

Sealants and Masonry Patches

During repairs, cracks in a building’s foundation are usually patched up and covered with a waterproof masonry sealer. The sealers commonly used to patch up minor cracks include polyurethane, silicone, epoxies, vinyl concrete, and hydraulic cement. The specific sealants used usually are dependent on the severity of the crack.

Piling

Bell bottom piers, helical steel piers, steel piers, pressed pilings, and poured concrete piers are some of the piling types used to repair foundations. Experts believe that these methods are preferable over methods like slab jacking as they are long-term solutions.

Bell bottom piers

These concrete piers have a bell-shaped foot that offers a wide support area to the pier. They are built by pouring concrete into a hole and placing steel into the wet concrete.

Helical steel piers

These piers are ideal for repairing pier and beam foundations and lightweight concrete slab foundations. They can also be used to secure new foundations. They are typically used when conditions hinder the use of other methods.

Steel piers

Expert foundation repair in San Antonio may use steel piers, as they are a permanent solution to foundation issues. These piers are strong and can be driven to a depth of at least 100 feet, which offers excellent stability for a house. 

Pressed pilings

These concrete pilings are a durable solution that can be used for both exterior and interior repairs. Pressed pilings work well on concrete slab foundations and on pier and beam houses. 

Poured concrete piers

These piers are normally used in residential repair and take between 7-10 days for the leveling to cure.

 

In addition to this, your foundation repair contractor may use grouting, underpinning, water management, and shimming to repair a building’s foundation.

 

How long do foundation repairs last?

 

This usually depends on the cause of the damage, the repair method used, and the quality of said repairs. Some foundation repairs are more durable than others. Some short-term fixes are used before a more permanent solution is found.

 

Even with a short-term solution, repairing a foundation is much better than doing nothing at all. This is because unrepaired foundation damage only gets a lot worse the longer it’s ignored.

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