Foundation issues take many forms, such as cracks in the drywall, excess moisture in the crawlspace, or sloping ground soil. Still, one of the most notorious issues that homeowners face is house settlement. This occurs due to shifting ground soil, which leads to an uneven foundation. If you suspect your home has a settlement issue, this is your comprehensive guide to house leveling. It has everything you need to know to take the appropriate steps in your action plan.
Foundation Issues To Look Out For
Homes need a lot of work over the years, but foundation issues can be particularly serious. Neglected foundation problems are costly and can develop into other issues, like flooding, rodent infestations, wood rot, or dilapidation.
In a perfect world, your foundation would remain stable regardless of environmental conditions. Of course, this isn’t a perfect world, and ground soil can shift due to excess moisture or environmental disturbances. As the ground soil shifts, it creates an unleveled condition for your property, which can cause sagging floors, bowing walls, or improperly closed doors or window frames. It’s best to identify the cause of your sloping foundation before the problem escalates.
What Is House Leveling?
One way to resolve sloping is house leveling. This does not mean destroying the property and rebuilding from the bottom up. Instead, it refers to a foundation repair that lifts and levels the settling house back to stability. All houses settle at some point. Settling refers to differentials in the ground soil that put stress on the foundation. As previously mentioned, this can cause uneven flooring, cracks, and doors and windows shifting from their panes.
Several things can cause differential settling. Excess moisture due to poor drainage or plumbing issues is one of the primary causes. Expansive soil can also destabilize your foundation, as well as poor construction and tree roots. If the ground soil was not properly compacted during the initial construction, or if surrounding trees root themselves under the foundation, the ground soil can dry and shift, causing differential settlement.
Keep in mind that the cost of the project largely depends on the severity of the differential settlement. The size of your house, its condition, and geographic location all factor into it as well. You can always call a foundation repair team to inspect the property and offer a quote based on the severity of the problem.
Steps and Procedures
As part of your comprehensive guide to house leveling, it’s important to understand how house leveling works. Once a foundation repair crew determines your home has differential settling, they’ll use their expertise to raise and remediate any ground or foundational problems to create uniform stability. Typically, this involves steel push piers for the underpinning, wall anchors, and wall repairs. Wall anchors straighten any bowing or sagging. They’ll also fill in any cracks with a carbon fiber filler. House settling can also offset your crawlspace. Don’t be surprised if the foundation repair also involves floor joist repair. A joist is a horizontal plane that runs from the walls to support beams for additional flooring support.
Since wooden beams risk rot, crawlspace repair uses steel or other moisture-resistant metals to mitigate warps, cracks, or wood expansion. Not only does this provide further support for your house, but it also avoids potential issues later on.
House leveling requires some intricacy to ensure it doesn’t settle again. Concrete slabs must remain 1.5 inches above ground level to create a strong foundation. Compaction or permeating of the ground soil further ensures no sinkholes or settling issues reoccur.
One of the main ways to level a house is to replace the concrete or steel piling under the concrete beam. Concrete or steel pilings keep your house upright even above changing soil conditions. If your house sits on a dry soil bed due to tree roots or drought-like conditions, soil injection can help reinforce the surrounding area.
Types of Leveling
The type of house leveling depends on your foundation type. The two main types of foundations used in residential properties today are pier and beam or slab. Pier and beam foundations use a concrete base around the entire perimeter of the house. Concrete pads are placed in 8- to 10-foot centers within the perimeter with wooden beams on the perimeter of the pads.
There is another type of pier and beam foundation known as block and base, which uses the same methodology, minus the concrete foundation beams. On the other hand, a slab foundation uses a large sheet of concrete, approximately four to six inches thick, poured directly into the ground. Interior beams use a cross-sectional pattern to enforce the slab with outer slabs approximately 24 to 36 inches deep. Steel rebar rods further reinforce the foundation. Your foundation support team will determine the right house leveling procedure for your residence.
Lastly, keep in mind some other considerations to ensure a job well done. Chiefly, this is not a do-it-yourself project. Foundation repair requires precise handling and expert knowledge to enforce proper housing guidelines. Furthermore, trying to do the project yourself can worsen the issues, leading to costlier and potentially dangerous results. Therefore, the best thing homeowners can do is call a professional service team to inspect and resolve the issues at hand. This way, they account for any underground utilities, electrical wires, or septic tanks without risking additional damage to your home.
Not everyone has the right expertise to perform house leveling procedures. Fortunately, we at the Crack Guys understand the complexities and rigorous detail that go into proper house leveling and foundation repair. Call now and ask about our foundation joist repair if you notice any telltale signs of disrepair.
Whether it’s spongy or sagging floors, wood rot, cracks, or gaps in baseboards, we have the tools to handle it. We use our steel Samson floor posts to support your crawlspace based on a concrete pad for greater stabilization with no risk of sagging or shifting over time. Call now, and we’ll answer any questions you have. We’ll inspect your property and offer a quote to determine the next steps to treat your foundation issues.