Foundation Repair Techniques and Methods

House Foundation Repair Methods

Foundation repair refers to the process of fixing structural problems with a building’s foundation. The foundation is the lower portion of a building that provides support to the entire structure, and foundation problems can lead to significant damage to the building if left unaddressed.

Common house foundation issues include settling, cracking, shifting, and sinking, which can be caused by a variety of factors such as soil movement, water damage, or poor construction practices.

The House foundation repair is an important issue for homeowners to address. A stable and secure foundation is essential for the overall integrity of your home. Some of the most common types of house foundation repair methods include slabjacking, piering, helical piers, and wall anchoring.

Foundation Repair Methods for Your Home

There are several types of foundation repair methods available, each designed to address specific issues. We will briefly discuss some of the most common types of house foundation repair methods.

1. Sealants and Masonry Patches

foundation repair techniques
Sealants and Masonry Patches

Cracks and patches in the foundation of a structure can be repaired by patching the crack and covering it with a waterproof masonry sealer.

Spotting and repairing cracks early on is important because our foundation supports the entire house. Commonly used sealers for minor cracks include hydraulic cement, vinyl concrete, epoxies, silicone, or polyurethane. The type of mixture used will depend on the severity of the crack. This is an important house foundation repair method.

The minor or negligible cracks can be treated with masonry patches or sealants but regular maintenance is encouraged. Chipping the crack and doing masonry patches using sealers is only favorable with minor cracks. It is better to identify the problem early on and repair it to prevent water infiltration and further damage to the foundation.

2. Mud Jacking

Mudjacking is a repair method used to lift concrete that is uneven or sinking. This process is also known as Slab jacking, concrete lifting, and slab leveling. This method is ideal forf small jobs such as raising porches, steps, decks, walkways, garage floors, and driveways.

Slab foundation sink or tilts when the soil underneath shifts or collapses and leaves empty spaces below. Professionals have access to the equipment and knowledge of local soil conditions to repair a setting home foundation.

Mud Jacking

The slab jacking method, to lift the concrete foundation, consists of drilling 2 holes through the concrete foundation and into the sunken spaces below. A solution of natural elements (soil, cement, etc.) is injected through the hole to fill the void. As the solution expands the fallen slab is raised back into place.

An alternative method, slab jacking is polyurethane injection. Similar to the slab jacking process, polyurethane is injected through holes into the concrete to fill the voids below. Instead of filling the space with natural elements, dense and lightweight materials are used.

These two slab-lifting methods serve the same function and work well on smaller projects. However, both are short-term fixes that may need to be repeated every few years.

injected materials are heavy causing new soil compression beneath the slab. Because polyurethane injection is lighter, it tends to last longer but this process is not widely available.

Advantages of Mud jacking

  • When compared to replacing the whole structure, the cost of slab jacking is low.
  • The place where slab jacking has been done can be used in about one hour.
  • This method is suitable for any condition of weather.
  • No color change in the structure as the new concrete mixture spread beneath the old slab layer.
  • Doesn’t need to clean up the place as this method never messes up the place when compared to the rest.

3. Slab Jacketing

Slab Jacketing
Slab Jacketing

Slab jacking is a process that involves injecting a mixture of sand, cement, and water beneath the concrete slab. The mixture fills voids and raises the slab back to its original position.

Slab jacking is a relatively quick and inexpensive method of foundation repair and is best suited for smaller areas of settling.

One of the key benefits of slabjacking is that it can be done with minimal disruption to the homeowner. The process is quick and can usually be completed in a single day. Slabjacking is also less invasive than other methods of foundation repair, as it does not require excavation or the removal of landscaping.

4. Piering or Piling

Piering or Piling Technique
Piering or Piling

The piercing or piling technique can be guessed from its name. A steel or concrete pier is used to resettle the foundation. But there is a minor difference between piercing and piling house foundation repair methods. Piering can be done by the excavation of earth strata while piling can be done by driving piles into the ground.

Concrete piers, steel-pressed piling, and bell-bottom piers are some examples of piling used for the repair of the house foundation. These methods are long-term solutions to foundation problems and do a better job of returning your home’s foundation to its original level than slab jacking.

a) Steel Pressed Piling

Steel Pressed Piling
Steel Pressed Piling

Steel-pressed pilings are highly recommended as permanent house foundation repair solutions. Steel piers are strong and able to be driven as deep as 100 feet providing stability to your home’s foundation.

The depth up to which steel piers are able to reach means that the piers will not move in expansive clay soil because the piers should be driven down to bedrock.

Advantages of Steel Pressed Piling

  • The steel piers can press deeply into the soil and give a firm attachment to the soil.
  • The installation cost of the piers is low.
  • Steel piers can withstand heavy weights when compared to concrete piers.

5. Soil Modification In Foundation

Soil Modification in Foundation
Soil Modification in Foundation

Soil modification or soil stabilizing is the process to make the soil stiffer and more stable than the previous. Here, voids within the soil layers are filled by some chemicals.

The process is somewhat likely to the slab jacking. Many users hardly recommended this method as it needs more knowledge and a well-trained guide. Also, the cost of work and maintenance is high.

Advantages of Soil Modification

  • In this method, Soil modification is fast response, long-lasting, less damage to the structure, and also an environmentally friendly method.

6. Underpinning

Underpinning is a method of foundation repair used to stabilize and reinforce a sinking or settling foundation. This process involves adding support to the existing foundation by installing new foundation elements, such as piers or beams, beneath the existing foundation. Underpinning is best suited for foundations that have settled or sunk due to soil compression or expansive soils.

Underpinning Foundation Repair

There are several types of underpinning methods available, including concrete underpinning, steel underpinning, and helical pier underpinning.

One of the benefits of underpinning is that it can be a long-lasting solution for foundation settling and sinking. The new foundation elements installed during the underpinning process are designed to provide permanent support to the existing foundation.

Additionally, underpinning can restore the structural integrity of a foundation, helping to prevent future damage.

Signs of Foundation Problem

Following are some warning sign which indicates the foundation problem and the necessity of applying house foundation repair method,

Exterior Warning Signs

  • Wall rotation
  • Separation around garage door, window, or walls
  • Cracked bricks
  • Broken or cracked foundation
  • Displaced moldings

Interior Warning Signs

  • Misaligned doors and windows
  • Cracked sheetrock
  • Cracks in floor
  • Uneven floors

The soil type in certain areas of the country leads to a higher rate of foundation trouble. Areas with high clay content and coastal areas with lots of sand tend to see more damage in the foundation. nHomes in these regions are more affected and at greater risk for foundation damage.

When unstable soils are used as a base for a foundation like sandy soil or expansive clay, the movement is transferred to the foundation. nWhere soil movement is rarely uniform, the foundation is subjected to a differential or upheaval. The problems show up in both slab and pier in beam-type foundations.

The types of foundation repair methods you required for the foundation will depend on the soil type, climate, foundation build, and any additional outstanding problems.

Non-structural cracks in foundations are often vertical or diagonal, these are cracks caused by the expansion and contraction of the foundation concrete.

Structural cracks are horizontal and caused by setting soil. Fifty percent of all homes built on expansive soils suffer from foundation distress.

The trouble occurs when only part of the foundation heaves or settles, causing cracks and other damages.

Causes of Foundation Problem

For the vast majority of the damage, water is the primary culprit. Fluctuations in the moisture content of foundation soils may lead to components of the soil swelling or shrinking, leading to movement beneath your foundation.

Your property may be more susceptible to foundation damages if:

  • It was built on expansive clay.
  • It was built on unstable & improperly compacted fill soils.
  • The area around the foundation has poor drainage or water logging problems in areas.
  • The structure is a built-in area with extreme seasonal changes.
  • You experienced a plumbing leak below your home.
  • Tree roots are growing too close to your home.
  • An earthquake, flood, or drought comprised the structure.

So, how to fix a foundation? the following are some best methods of foundation that is most commonly used in the United States.

You May Also Like:

Share This Post

3 thoughts on “House Foundation Repair Methods”

  1. Pingback: 15+ Types Of Admixtures Used In Concrete - Civiconcepts

  2. Pingback: Civiconcepts - Make Your House Perfect With us

  3. Jim Gardner Construction

    Nice post! I appreciate your sincere efforts you have made in writing this kind of informative post. Great job and keep up the good work.

Leave a Reply

Download Construction Excel Sheet

Scroll to Top Protection Status