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Foundation Repair | Concrete Leveling | Abry Brothers

Do you have cracked walls? Doors that won’t close? Bulging floors? Any of these can be signs of foundation problems. Foundation settlement can lead to major structural problems within your home. Luckily there are ways to repair a concrete foundation without having to tear it out and start from scratch.

Foundation settlement and movement requiring foundation repair can be caused by building on expansive clay, compressible or improperly compacted fill soils, or improper maintenance around foundations. Older homes are typically more susceptible to foundation problems, especially in the semi-arid southern region of the United States including cities such as Houston and Dallas, Texas. Whatever the cause, settlement can destroy the value of structures and even render them unsafe. If you see signs of foundation distress, don’t delay in getting the problem solved. The longer you wait, the more your foundation will sink and cause further costly damage.

There are two common methods for lifting a sunken concrete foundation: piering and slabjacking. Piering fixes concrete foundations by placing supports underground that lift and support the concrete. While, slabjacking fills the space under the slab with a grout mixture that floats the foundation back to its original position. A professional will be able to asses which repair method is best suited for your foundation issues.

Whether your home has sunk just a few inches or nearly a foot, a concrete floor and foundation repair contactor can provide some form of underpinning as one of their services to repair your failed foundation. If you think that there is a problem with your foundation, call a professional foundation repair contractor for an assessment of your property. They will be able to assess any damage that has occurred and determine the best plan for your situation. To repair your foundation it is likely that you will spend around $10,000 dollars. But remember, you are protecting your biggest investment, your home.

Use these resources to educate yourself on the process of foundation repair. As a homeowner, it is always good to protect yourself by knowing about the work you are having done.

CONCRETE FOUNDATION REPAIR METHODS

Past techniques for repair of sunken concrete has varied. Wood, concrete, cement and steel have been poured, pushed, turned or somehow forced into the ground trying to salvage these foundations and slabs, while early on, anyone and everyone, trained or untrained, became “experts” at this type of repair. Often as not, the repairs proved to be futile.

Other, more successful, methods of remediation involve extensive disruption of the family or business using the building. Usually, it is desirable that settlement of building slabs and monolithic foundations in residential areas be corrected without having to move all furniture, appliances, and possibly the whole family, or in commercial areas, without disrupting business.

However, with todays technology and trained experts, there are a number of very successful solutions to the problem of sunken concrete that involve little or no disruption to normal living or business routine.

The two most common methods of this type of repair are slabjacking and hydraulic jacking (also known as piering).

In a slabjacking operation, grout is pumped beneath a slab or beam to produce a lifting force that restores the member to its original elevation.

In piering, steel posts are driven through unstable soil and hydraulic jacks are used to raise or stabilize concrete slabs affected by changes in the underlying soil. The repair method used depends on the type of distress being treated.

Choosing the Correct Method for Concrete Foundation Repair

Before deciding on a repair method, you must determine what is causing the distress. Examine moldings and trim boards, mortar joints in brick veneer, and windows in low areas for clues. Also take note of recent weather. Unusually dry or wet weather can cause problems in the underlying soil.

The most commonly used method of correcting smaller slabs of sunken concrete, such as residential slabs, driveways, sidewalks, swimming pool decks, etc. is slabjacking.

Slabjacking is done by pumping a cement grout through small, strategically-located holes in the concrete slab. Once in place, the grout solidifies into a dense concrete mass and provides a competent bearing for the concrete slab.

If a soil-cement-lime grout is used, the lime content of the slurry will impart the benefits of lime stabilization to the base or sub-base. This combined treatment not only restores the slab to proper grade but also stabilizes the sub-soil to prevent re-occurrence of the problem.

For larger problems, especially those found in house and commercial building foundation shifting, piering is typically used to lift and stabilize the foundation.

Piering involves the use of strategically placed mechanical jacks to lift the settled beam to grade. The beam must be raised carefully to avoid further or unnecessary damage. Once raised, the beam is held to elevation by a specially designed spread footing and pier.

The footing is set deep enough so that it will be independent of variations in soil moisture. It is also designed to adequately distribute the load without creating unnecessary bulk or mass. The pier is tied into the footing with steel and supports the foundation beam.

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Chron.com: Homebuyers Beware of Poor Drainage

Homebuyers Beware of Poor Drainage

By ABRY BROTHERS FOUNDATION REP on May 25, 2015

In a recent study, it was determined that 85% of home repair expenses came from water damage in the United States, in particular big cities, such as Dallas and Houston, Texas. Misguided landscape irrigation and uncontrollable runoff is mainly the reason for such water damages. Foundation and structure are at greater danger of being damages, thus needing foundation repair work in your home; water damage can also threaten the sidewalk and driveway of a property. Luckily there is a solution, and much of this damages caused by uncontrolled water can be prevent by minor fixes.

What Can Uncontrolled Water Lead To?

  • Damage to concrete and asphalt
  • Damage to foundation and structure
  • Deterioration of building materials
  • Erosion
  • Insects, spiders, reptiles and rodents
  • Mold growing
  • Wood rot

Downspouts and Gutters

The solutions will be to push the rain to go towards the gutters, and into the grounds, which keeps the rain away from your home’s foundation. It is a simple preventive measure that is at times overlooked by property owners, in both the residential and commercial sector. Therefore it is important to always inspect the gutter and downspout system that throws the runoff close to the foundation. By not doing so, problems such as uneven swelling of expansive soils can occur, which in turn will cause cracking and shifting of your property’s foundation, driveways, parking lot, or driveway.

It is important to also be aware of clogs, damages, improper sloping, or even poor installation, which can lead to having the water go over the back and cascade on top of the gutters. It is imperative to not allow the water in the building to rise over 19%, because it may lead to rotting of the materials in the building, as well grow mold and suffer from insect infestation.

What can send water down your home and into your walls and attic is when you have clogged gutters, or even when they have improper slope, into the attic or inside walls. If you begin to notice water flowing through gutters, you must inspect it for water stains in front of the gutters. What can lead to cracks on the foundation is when downspouts are gone, or leaking. Downspouts and extensions must be inspected for any signs of damages, as they must always be properly maintained. Keep in mind that the goal is to push downspouts away from the foundation. You may use splash blocks; drain systems and extensions to maintain it.

Foundation Risks

When a property is built over an area with expansive soils, the foundation is meant to float on the area’s soil as it contracts and expands. The way that the foundation will move is like a single unit on the swelling and receding soil, such as boat will do atop the waves in an ocean. It is important to always keep the same amount of soil around the structure, the rising and falling of the. When the moisture is uneven, it may cause sections of the concrete in the foundation to move up and down separately on its own, and not as a single unit. If not properly fixed, it can cause damage and cracks to the foundation, which will require immediate foundation repair.

Cracks may begin to become noticeable on the walls and ceilings, and other signs will include stuck doors and windows. Uneven moisture under the foundation will be the leading cause of those issues. It is imperative that all four sides of the home are protected, because if the water gets through the foundation from either side, it will lead the extensive damages to your foundation.

Driveways, Parking Lots and Sidewalks

When soil begins to grow in all that directions as it captures water, it is because the soil is swelling. As the water in the ground begins to disappear, the property will begin to rise and fall in conjunction with the water cycle, including the driveway, foundation, parking lot, and sidewalk; most damages to those areas are due to the poor preparation of the bed beneath. By applying a layer of crushed rock or gravel, and properly compacted, will issue proper support to eliminate any movement of the soil.

Drainage

Properly grading will help fix the problem; thus quickly draining away water from the foundation. In order to prevent wood rot and infestation of ants, crickets or termites, it is important to keep the soil level at about 6 inches under all the wooden parts, such as boards, frames, and sidings near the home.

Sloping the dirt away from all the corners of the foundation should be at about 6 inches out of 10 feet. You may also use a drainage system, in order to drain the water away from the foundation. You may use concrete leveling when you see that the concrete has settled sloping towards the foundation in order to repair it.

In order to direct water under driveways, sidewalks and parking lots, you may do so by grading at the foundation. Also for runoff and irrigation water can be directed from asphalt and concrete, by forming contours. You may also use underground drainage systems, when contouring is not an option, so it can carry drainage to a safer area.

If you begin to notice problems such as drainage issues or foundation problems, you may contact Abry Brothers Foundation Repair for a free inspection at 1-800-Structure (1-800-787-8288) or visit us at www.abrybros.com, or find them at www.bukunow.com.