If you’re a homeowner or a building owner, you might have encountered problems in your home or building’s foundation at some point. These problems are not something that you can just shrug-off because the longer they persist, the larger the damage will be. Foundation repair should be addressed as soon as you suspect a problem. Apart from more damage, a settling or shifting foundation can destroy your home or building’s integrity, lowers its value and may pose harm to everyone near it.
But how would you know if your foundation is unstable in the first place?
The thing with foundation problems is that they don’t happen overnight. In the same way, they don’t reveal themselves overnight as well. Over time, as the years go by, your foundation settles, shifts or falls little by little and the next thing you know, you already need to fix the issue.
Here are early signs that you can look out for to help you address the problem as soon as you spot them:
- Your doors, windows or garage doors are misaligned
- Cracks in the foundation itself
- Interior doors stick or don’t fit their jambs any longer
- Cracks in interior sheetrock
- Cracks in floors
- Bulging floors
Lucky for today’s homeowners, you no longer need to spend thousands of dollars to have your entire foundation replaced. While replacing can potentially solve the problem, you’re talking about overall renovation which is costly, messy and time-consuming.
Foundation repair can be undertaken without the need to totally replace it through the process called Slabjacking. Slabjacking, is a method of raising foundation slabs that are sinking due to poor soil conditions and other factors. When it is applicable, slabjacking is a much-preferred option to the costly process of replacing a concrete slab. It involves drilling strategic holes in the slab and then injecting a specialized mixture to fill in voids and gaps thereby allowing slabs to level or lift.
Here’s a detailed information on how slabjacking works:
1. A number of holes, about a half inch in diameter, are drilled in some parts of the foundation slab. If you’ve ever injected insulation into your home, you probably know that this requires a series of holes where spray foam is injected. The same applies with slabjacking. Small holes are drilled in order to house the special mixture that’s used to level or lift the slab foundation. One hole is not enough, so expect to see a number of them in your home when the process is taking place.
2. A special mixture of sand, gravel, grout or water is injected into these holes through a flexible hose. Some companies, instead of using ash, dirt or sand, inject spray foam into the holes. A process is typically known as foam jacking.
3. After the special mixture is applied to the holes, expect to see the slab slowly rising.
4. After this, the holes are grouted and sealed, completing the process.
You’ll still have to deal with the hustle and bustle of a work crew and some heavy machinery operating in your backyard, but it’s a whole lot better than living out of a hotel or sleeping on the neighbor’s couch until the job gets done.