Strengthening the Foundations of an Existing Home

A foundation for a house isn’t something that many homeowners consider until they encounter problems. But there are plenty of reasons to think about strengthening the foundation before the problem occurs. Wind-driven forces, flooding as well as general erosion of soil could be significant issues for property owners over the course of. There are solutions to most circumstances to avoid catastrophes.


Why Should Foundations Be Strengthened?

The home’s foundation is what all the rest depends on. It’s supposed to be a sturdy base that can stand up to any kind of. However, any changes to the soil beneath it (for instance, due to flooding) as well as the load placed on top of it (e.g. through the addition of a story) could cause shifts to the foundation. In some cases, the foundation can’t handle these shifts and cracks can occur.

In Houston the city, we must face the problem of gumbo that is clay-rich soil which is sensitive changes in the water content. When the soil becomes wet it expands upwards and puts pressure to the concrete slab on top. As the soil is dried out, the soil shrinks and leaves the concrete base unsupported.

When there are breaks or shifts and breakages occur, they can affect the stability of the whole home. This isn’t a good thing and is an expensive repair.

The great news for homeowners is that the majority of structures can be strengthened. There are many methods of accomplish this. It is recommended to consult an engineer for structural or residential contractor to give specific guidelines to your house. In the end, when your foundation isn’t working properly there is a chance to get it remedied.


Signs of Damaged Foundations Requiring Improvements

It isn’t easy sometimes to recognize the force and pressure the foundation is subject to. The majority of people don’t contemplate the modifications they make to their structure, for example, the addition of new walls, changing the layout of rooms, room additions or tackling the buildup of moisture. But, there are usually obvious signs that indicate that the foundation is in need of repair. Here are a few of them.

Foundation Cracks

One of the most obvious signs of a foundation that is damaged is the appearance cracks. The cracks that appear visible are usually after they are hidden, which means the problem could be larger than what it appears. If there’s any cracking or cracks in the wall’s exterior, it is a major concern. Within the house the basement could be exhibiting evidence of hairline fractures or visible damage. All of these are concerns.

Warped Ceilings and Walls

The walls of the home can provide more insight into the things happening beneath. If you notice that the walls are warping, like the walls, or ceilings are not as flat and flush it could indicate that an issue with the structure has taken place. It is also evident by inspecting the corners of rooms in the house. The corners may not be aligned perfectly. When the molding, corners ceiling joints are not flush anymore it could be a problem.

Water Damage

A lot of the time, damage to foundations is caused by water. If the water isn’t able to drain away properly to the foundation, it could result in a foundation that is damaged. Concrete foundations are able to withstand the amount of moisture they accumulate before they start to break.

Structural Signs

Other structural signs are also worth a look. The sloping of stairs, windows which aren’t anymore square flooring that is not level anymore and doors that don’t align correctly are all indications. It is possible to notice these signs when objects fall on the ground in one direction or when doors don’t close tightly.

How Can Foundations Be Strengthened?

If you’re experiencing these symptoms, it could be time to look into the various solutions which can help you fix these signs. The ideal procedure for your house will depend on the specifics of your particular situation. Here are a few commonly utilized strategies.


1. Underpinning

This method can be used to increase the depth of the foundation, or to restore the foundation in the event that it is damaged in any way. If there are cracks in its foundation, particularly ones that are greater than 1/4 inch and clearly visible it could be the most appropriate method. There are a variety of underpinning that are available.

Mass for Mass Pour: This technique is the most popular method. The foundation is drilled in sections under the feet. Concrete is poured in each pit that is exposed. The process continues until the entire area is covered with concrete.

Screw Brackets and Piles The second type of underpinning is the use of brackets and screws that can be constructed manually or using the use of a smaller excavator. It’s a more efficient alternative that has a lower amount of vibrations which can result in damage to other parts within the building.

Beam and Beam The method of underpinning involves the construction of a mini-pile along the wall on either side that are impacted. Then the brickwork is removed beneath the wall and reinforced concrete is poured over the area. This is a great option in situations that access is restricted or where there is a large capacity for load.

Piled Raft The method is employed to support the building’s entire structure to be anchored this isn’t that often. When the foundation’s depth is not sufficient for alternative methods, or in the event that the soil is not hard enough, then this technique could be employed. The piles are placed in various locations, then pockets are carved out underneath the foundation. The process then involves the placement of needle beams reinforced to support the wall’s weight.


2. Jacketing of Foundations

Another technique you can learn about is the jacketing process for foundations. This technique is employed for columns that require strengthening. This is often the case when adding extra weight to the wall for example, expansions. To ensure that the wall’s strength is sufficient to withstand this expansion, it is possible to increase the width or force to the base in place. In order to do this, the team creates an outer layer of concrete that is affixed to the foundations already in place of the structure.


3. Mudjacking

Mudjacking isn’t exactly based on the mud that it does, however it is an effective method of improving your foundation for smaller footprints. It is commonly used to build stairs, small concrete surfaces as well as porches. Other materials and cement are injected into tiny holes which have been drilled in the concrete. The concrete expands, which aids in raising the slab, which is no longer aligned in the desired position.


4. House Lifting and Leveling

In order to avoid flooding damage To avoid damage from flooding, it could be necessary to employ the house lift. It is not an easy procedure, but it could require an hydraulic jack which is placed underneath the house to raise it up. Sometimes, it is referred to as building jacketing. this method removes the structure of the structure from the foundation itself , and raises it up using screw jacks. It is useful in situations where there is a need to move the structure to enhance the foundation underneath it.

In every situation contractors need to consider aspects such as the condition of concrete, as well as the remainder of the house. They should also think about the exact amount of damage as well as the kind of soil surrounding the area. A tailored plan is nearly always the best.


The Added Benefits of Foundation Work to Reinforce a Home

The primary advantage of strengthening the foundations of structures is to protect it. However, there are additional advantages as well. In some cases this can help make sure that the home remains useful and is able to sell. If the foundation is not properly repaired it might be difficult to find buyers. In addition an unrepaired foundation damage could make it difficult to insure.

Repairing the foundation of your home isn’t something that should be put off. If you think that there’s something wrong regarding your home’s foundation, talk on an engineer a contractor to figure out what solutions will best suit your needs.

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