If your home needs foundation repair, you'll be forced to hire a professional to look into the problem. However, it's essential to know about the most common foundation repair methods that your contractor can choose before you do this. They include:
The Underpinning Method
Foundation repair often depends on several factors, one of which is the type of foundation. The underpinning method works by removing soil underneath the existing slab, which causes the foundation to rise. This process prevents any further settlement in the home's foundation. If you have an underpinning specialist to complete this repair, you can expect your home's foundation to be raised between 1 and 3 feet. The critical factor in determining how much your home's foundation is raised is the depth at which your house is sitting.
The Addition Method
The addition method refers to a technique for repairing foundation walls by adding additional lath and mortar to the cracks in between the rows of brick. It's a comprehensive process that requires a lot of work and more than a few tools. However, it's also an extremely effective method for fixing the problem if you have the time and patience to spare. The addition method can repair any foundation, but it typically works best on brick structures with a braced steel frame. In other words, this method is ideal for houses built before the 1950s.
The Replacement Method
If you have a crack in your foundation, you can use the replacement method to fix it. The process starts by removing the existing concrete from the gap with a chisel and hammer until all that remains is the broken concrete. Your contractor will then use a grinding wheel to level out the broken concrete and mix in a new cementitious material with the existing concrete. Once that mixture is poured into the hole, it will expand to fill the crack. This should be done before the existing concrete is dry.
The raise-the-house Method
One of the most effective ways to remedy foundation issues is using the Raised House Method. This technique consists of lifting the home and rebuilding it on a new foundation. The resulting house is both structurally sound and aesthetically appealing. The Raised House Method typically requires less excavation than other methods, primarily when space limitations exist at the site. When used in older homes with brick foundations, this method can raise the original bricks instead of excavating them and starting with poured concrete.
The Deep Pile driven Piles Method
The deep pile-driven piles method is suitable for foundation repair in medium to heavy clay soils. It is a deep plowing and filling process that compresses the soil, providing better footing and support. Its principle is to drive a deep pile of strips and fill the spaces with soil behind the mound. The strip footing is either made of timber, steel, or concrete.
Foundation problems can affect the stability of your home's structure. Severe foundation cracks and other significant issues could cause the house to collapse, causing extensive property damage and putting you and your family at risk for injury. Because of this, it's essential to address any foundation problems as soon as possible.