Most home owners are not aware that the home foundation needs to be routinely checked as even small cracks can lead to formidable problems at a later stage. There is a natural tendency amongst many of us to ignore or postpone foundation repair without realizing what such negligence can cost us later. The main purpose of home foundation is to transfer the entire home’s weight to the ground, soil and rock on which it rests.
Foundation problems can be a big bother if not attended to promptly and under the direction of a professional contractor or foundation engineer. You must do necessary homework to find a reliable foundation repair contractor for the job. As usual, the lowest quote should not be the sole criterion. Quality foundation repairs need specialized equipment and specially trained engineers to perform the work and some of them may demand a higher price.
Detecting foundation problems may not be difficult if the foundation is regularly checked for possible repairs. The signs of dilapidation often include visible major or hairline cracks on the exterior of the home’s foundation. Though minor cracks may not be a sign of serious foundation problems, significant major cracks should cause concern and necessitate urgent repairs. Cracked and damaged foundations have the potential to cause serious structural damage to the home and may eventually make the structure unsafe for people to live in.
It is also a fact that if a home has significant foundation problems, prospective buyers may insist the seller repair the foundation before effecting purchase.
Structural engineers are the ones to be summoned immediately if a home shows serious foundation problems. The engineer will be able to diagnose the source of the problem and propose potential repairs to fix the problems. It is critically important to promptly deal with the foundation problems before the situation worsens. Foundation problems often progressively deteriorate over time and can cause major damage to other parts of the structure if left unattended.
Due to the complexity of foundation repairs the best approach would be to hire a structural engineer followed by a trained foundation repair contractor. These two professionals will make sure that your home is fixed scientifically and safely. Make sure your foundation problems are fixed only by qualified and experienced professionals and not by any ill-trained or under-qualified engineers.
One of the things you have to be very watchful when repairing a shifting foundation is to avoid concentrating loads to other points of the foundation. A reliable and experienced engineer will of course make sure this does not happen. Foundation repair is a well-researched industry and there are many methods and products that will help to make permanent foundation repairs.
The traditional method of foundation repair is to erect piers to raise the foundation off the expansive clay soil. The piers must be installed through the expansive or weak soils to lend stability to the structure. There are four major categories of piers – steel push piers, helical piers, micro piles and concrete piles. Each of these has its own merits and logical applications. Foundation repair can easily turn out to be the most expensive repair that one will make to a property.