Your home is one of your most valuable assets and when it has a problem you have a problem. Consider the case of a failing foundation. Foundations fail because the home shifts. This may be due to soil liquefaction or the washing away of supporting soils. Either way, the weight of the home pushes down on the supporting soil and when that soil moves it causes the home to settle. This in turn causes the foundation to crack. The cause of the soil moving could be as simple as water drainage flushing away the supporting soils or a high water table keeping the underlying soil moist and soft.
There are several ways to repair a foundation. One of the most common is to lift the foundation and fill in the space. Modern options use hydraulic cement or polymers for this task. These products are injected into spaces below the foundation and allowed to cure. Once cured, these fillers support the home and prevent further shifting. The alternative uses piers or piles that are driven into the bedrock. This method of repair is more invasive to the home, but it provides a more durable, long lasting cure for many foundation problems.
It isn’t always easy to know which repair will be required. The foundation engineers will need to check the soil under the home, research moisture levels, drainage and various other things. Lifting and supporting the home with filler is usually done for minor repairs. This is mainly because the pile method of repair provides more support for the home. Sinking a pile into bedrock gives the home a stable location to spread out its weight. This is important to prevent future shifting. However, it may take several piles to support the home properly depending on its size.
You can tell if your home needs foundation repair by looking for certain symptoms. For instance, if you see cracks in the walls, shifting bricks, doors that hang crooked or don’t open or close properly then you may have a foundation problem. Other indicators include broken mortar between blocks, sticking windows and cracks in the slab. If you have noticed any of these problems you might want to have an expert check out your home.