Has this ever happened to you? One day you wake up and notice a small crack in your wall or sheetrock. You examine it and determine that something must have hit against the wall. Sometime later, you notice that the crack is getting longer, and bigger. What is going on? Is there something living inside your sheetrock that is scratching your walls? Chances are the answer is no. You are starting to experience the signs of foundation failure.
Unfortunately there are no real warning signs of foundation failure until the problem becomes really serious. The situation talked about above might happen to you. Or one day you might find that you are having a harder time opening and closing your windows, or seeing uneven gaps in your door. Some people might write these symptoms off as them needing new windows or doors, but it is a little more complicated than that. You may also notice your floors are sloping or there are cracks in your tiles. What could cause all this? What causes foundation failure?
Well sometimes when a house is built, the land it is build on is not always ideal. Sometimes the land can’t support the weight of the structure but more often than not it has to do more with the soil of the land. See it is very common for soils to consist of expansive clays. These clays shrink and well whenever the moisture in their environment changes. Your foundation for your house is built on top of these soils. There are a numerous of things that can happen that change the moisture in the soil: roots from trees that may be on your property, poor drainage, plumbing links and Mother Nature. If the soil does not shrink and swell together and the clay in your soil is wet and dried differently across your foundation, then you will being to see the signs of foundation failure. This is over though a long period of time. As said before, there is no way of knowing if your foundation is failing before you see any of the symptoms. There are some precautions you can take, like making sure you have proper drainage and quickly fixing any plumbing leaks. Others you have no control over for example if your area experiences a very wet season.
Your best bet for fixing your foundation failure is to call in someone who repairs foundation professionally. Unless you have the experience, do not try to do it yourself. Most foundation repair contractors will evaluate your situation and determine if the best course of action. They will decide to either slapjack or piering.
Slap jacking is usually used for smaller occurrences of foundation failure. If you notice your sidewalk has cracks in it, or your driveway, chances are your contractor will recommend slap jacking. All this consists of is pumping a cement grout through holes. This grout will solidify into a dense concrete mass and provide a proficient bearing for the slab.
Piering is when then placed mechanical jacks to actually lift the settled foundation to where it needs to be. Once the beam is raised, it is held by a specially designed spread footing and pier.
If you have foundation failure, it does not mean you are a failure as a home owner. Though once you notice that you do have a problem, you want to take any step possible to get it corrected before any further damage is done.
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