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Home foundations can weaken for various reasons. The foundation may start to lose its integrity if it’s decades old. If a place experiences frequent weather changes or natural calamities causing soil erosion, it can majorly impact the foundation of a house. Also, trees can grow roots under the house, causing foundational problems.
✓ Signs and symptoms of foundational problems can arise, such as cracks in and around the house and uneven floors, which call for immediate action to avoid any future accidents. For home foundation repair, you should prepare your house and yourself with these seven tips.
1. Prepare for Home Foundation Repair
Before you start repairing your home’s foundation, you need a thorough inspection to determine which repair you should opt for. You also need to prepare yourself and your house for the entire process, and you also need to clear out your home so that the repair team can work effortlessly.
Below are the seven things you should do to prepare for home foundation repair. Following these can make things easier for you, and the team can complete the repair quickly.
a. Schedule for Foundation Inspection
✓ Whatever problems you’re facing with your house’s integrity may or may not be related to the foundation. But carrying out a thorough inspection can bring out the underlying causes.
✓ First, get a free inspection to determine if fixing your foundation is required or not.
You can also do it yourself by inspecting the nature of the existing cracks in your house, whether the floor is sloping, if the water in your yard is stagnant, etc.
✓ Once you or the experts determine issues from the initial inspection, a thorough checkup is needed to understand the degree of the foundational problem and what kind of repair will be suitable. They will also determine the time and cost of the entire process.
b. Select the Right Repair Form
✓ Depending on the nature of your foundation’s deterioration, the weight that stands on it now, and how it was originally built, you’ll need to select the type of foundation repair after the expert’s suggestions. An old industry favourite technique is underpinning, strengthening the foundation by improving its rigidity and dimensions.
✓ A push pier repair consists of straight galvanized steel pipes that stabilize and strengthen the foundation and lift the structure standing on it. Helical piers can take on more weight than push piers, making helical pier repair the industry standard. Helices are welded onto galvanized steel pipes which improve the anchorage of these pipes into the foundation’s footing.
✓ Polyurethane, often used with push pier and helical pier, can also be used by itself. The primary purpose of polyurethane foundation repair is to fill the voids created in the foundation. Initially liquid, it expands and dries into a firm foam structure, making it the perfect, less messy option.
c. Get the Estimated Cost
✓ The cost of the overall foundation repair will depend on the repair form you choose and how much work needs to be done. If the foundation of your house was originally poorly built or shallow and you want to keep your home from collapsing, your foundation needs to go through rigorous processes of strengthening and filling.
✓ Or, even if your foundation was initially solid and adequately made, years of facing harsh climates may have changed the composition. You’ll need some filling to ensure the foundation is back to its form and stays that way for years.
✓ Whichever mode of correction you choose, the cost will depend on the materials, the total time to be taken, and the amount of labour required. Besides, you may also need some patching on the affected parts of your home and repair the plumbing lines.
d. Clean Out Your Landscape
✓ To ensure the repair team has a clear picture of what’s happening and can access the foundation properly, you must clear out the landscape first. If you have plants around your home, you need to clean them out and create an open space so the repair team can inspect your property correctly.
✓ A clean landscape will allow the experts to examine your plumbing lines properly. They can understand the pipe map, test for water pressure and sewer static, and understand which parts of the foundation they should be careful of.
e. Make Room for the Team to Work
✓ If you want the repair team to be able to work correctly, you must remove all the physical obstacles from your house to allow them to move freely with all the materials. You’ll have to take your cars to another location, empty your garage of all the scraps, remove various tools and sharp objects, and move the light furniture away.
✓ The foundation will be moving during the entire process, and so will your house. If you have furniture and large electrical appliances that are too heavy to move or can injure anyone, you should secure them.
f. Relocate During the Repair Period
✓ Unlike a home renovation, where you may stay home, you’ll need to relocate for a considerable time during your home foundation repair. Since the entire foundation will be moving during the repair, anyone staying in the house will be adding extra weight or may be severely injured, thus delaying the repair process.
✓ Foundation repair can take about six months, depending on the method you choose according to the condition of the base. It’s wise to relocate to ensure the work continues flawlessly, stay safe, and be present to see what’s happening the entire time.
g. Remove and Store Valuables Elsewhere
✓ Even if you plan on storing your valuables in a safe during this time, it will be risky business as your entire house will be moving during the repair process. Therefore, taking your valuables with you when relocating will be wise. That way, they won’t face damage, and you’ll also be assured of their safety.
2. When to Call for Foundation Inspection and Repair
Whatever the causes of foundation problems may be, you’ll see clear indications of urgent repair and strengthening. You may see the first signs of foundation problems in your house, so don’t take it lightly!
a. Uneven Floors
✓ Let’s assume that you had built your house very level to the ground. However, the floor has recently been feeling slightly uneven, as if it has sunken or bulged in some places, making you feel dizzy every time you walk on it.
✓ A sloping floor can also cause accidents since your body will feel that level difference in your steps. This is one of the primary signs that your foundation is faulty and needs an immediate expert checkup.
b. Doors and Windows Not Aligned
✓ Is it difficult to shut and open your doors? Are your windows acting up? You may think these problems are isolated to the doors and windows; however, it can also indicate that your foundation is sinking. Sometimes, cabinets fixed to the walls can also start pulling away due to foundation issues.
c. Large Cracks
✓ Problems in the foundation will create cracks everywhere in and around your house. You’ll see cracks around the frames of your doors and windows, your walls will have cracks, there will be cracks on the floors, and your chimneys will have damage. Walls may start pulling away from the ceiling as well.
✓ You may even see the base of your house pulling away from the soil, letting you know that your foundation is pulling away. These signs indicate that you need urgent attention on your home’s foundation.
d. Drainage Problems
✓ When there’s a foundation problem, there will be drainage problems as well. Drainage systems in the house are built to let water flow into the drain. If you see that water has been stagnant in and around your house, you’ll need to call for an immediate checkup of your home.
✓ Foundation issues will also call for plumbing problems. Minor cracks may appear on the pipes, letting water seep out and making your house damp in places. This will allow mould to grow, which is another indication that your foundation is uneven or maybe in a risky state.
e. The Foundation is Raised
✓ Your home foundation may be raised if it was initially shallow and environmental pressures had affected the soil quality. You can understand this by seeing how the walls are pulling away, the feeling when you walk on the floor, and how the water drains.
✓ As soon as you see the above symptoms, walk a little farther away from your home, where you can see how the house is standing. A house with a foundation problem will be leaning slightly to the side, indicating an urgent need for foundation repair.
✓ Problems with the structure and integrity of the foundation can pose serious threats if not fixed timely. As soon as you see the symptoms, you must contact a foundation expert to inspect the problems.
✓ Prepare yourself, your home, and your land so the team can effectively carry out the home foundation repair. Your home will stand on that ground safely for decades with a newly reinforced foundation.
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