When the soil under your house compresses or shifts, the movement can cause damage to the foundation of your home. The damage might be in the form of cracks, slab sinking, or bowed walls. It's scary to see such damage to your home, and you may not know what to do. Call a foundation repair professional without delay since the longer foundation damage goes on, the worse the damage gets. Here are three types of foundation damage you might encounter.
1. Wall And Slab Cracks
Some cracks in your foundation are expected as your home ages and settles. These don't pose a problem and can be fixed by filling them in. Bigger cracks are more serious. They can allow water to seep through and give your home wet basement issues. Cracks might even affect the stability of a wall if they're big enough.
Let a foundation professional inspect the cracks to find out if they are structural problems or merely cosmetic issues. Since cracks tend to get bigger, the professional will probably fill the cracks by injecting them with epoxy or other crack filler to stabilize them. This can be done as long as the sides of the crack are even and one side hasn't sunk. Otherwise, the sunken side has to be lifted first.
2. Sunken Slab
There are a few ways to raise a sunken slab. Your contractor might drill holes in the slab to inject expanding foam underneath the concrete. Another option is to inject cement slurry. Both of these methods lift the concrete back to its original position and level out the slab.
Another way to raise a sunken slab is with piers that are driven into the ground and used to lift the foundation. Your foundation repair contractor may have a preferred method of lifting a foundation, or they may discuss your options with you since some are more costly than others.
3. Bowed Walls
Bowed walls need to be braced to stop their movement. This might be done internally with supports or outside with a helical wall tieback. One reason foundation walls bow is because of hydrostatic pressure in the soil. When a tieback is installed, the soil is dug away from the foundation and backfilled with gravel to reduce pressure on the wall. These forms of wall repairs might need to be combined with crack repairs using staples and epoxy injections.
Besides repairing damage to the foundation, your house may need other repairs due to shifting that has occurred. If foundation damage is allowed to advance, repairs could become very expensive, so call a contractor to inspect any damage you find and also to figure out why the damage occurred so you can prevent the problem from happening again after repairs are made.
Call a house foundation repair service to learn more.