Foundation Repair Methods

Foundations are more often built in climates that experience extreme climate or temperature change in an effort to limit the risk exposure to the structure.

However, it is this same type of climate inconsistency that can cause the same structural problems that require repair to the foundation itself.

While a basement is generally constructed below the the depth where the majority of the soil’s swell or shrink spread occurs due to climate changes, basements can still suffer upheavals and lateral wall shifts.

Depending on the age of the house, soil conditions, goals of the home owner, and style of the house, there exists three different types of home foundation repair, Concrete piling, steel press piling and bell bottom piers.

Concrete pressed pilings are the fastest, cleanest solution when it comes to foundation repair. Matted with a solid steel and concrete core, the pilings are driven into place utilizing hydraulics.

There are also several advantages to this method, including the exceptionally cheap cost of the small, precast cylinders, minimal investment required by the contractor for installation equipment, the ability to use unskilled labor for the installation, the rapid installation time, and the minimal disturbance to the landscape around the home.

Steel press pilings are less than three inches in diameter, and there fore are optimal for use in conditions where soil is stiffer or made of denser material, such as clay. Steel press pilings are considered the best method in long lasting support as steel is much more robust and can be driven into solid rock to depths of up to 60 feet. This type of foundation repair takes up to approximately 3 days to complete.

The third type of foundation repair, bell bottom piers, is said to be the most permanent solution for repairs done to concrete slab foundations. While considered antiquated by some, now with the ease and availability of hydraulic drilling, it is the only method that is utilized for pouring the same massive support columns for such structures as highway overpasses.

While there are advantages and disadvantages to all three methods, the bell bottom pier is often considered the method that excels the remaining two. It is often the support of choice for structural engineers with exceptional experience in the realm of concrete slab foundations, because not only does it provide a large area of support, but it also anchors against uplift and resist all soil movement.

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While foundation repair can be an expensive venture, it is well worth the investment. Without repair, cracks in the foundation can spring leaks that can cause damage to drywall, carpet, insulation, furniture and other personal effects, which in addition to repairing the initial damage to the foundation, can get even more costly.

There is also the added concern of health risks. Cracks leading to leaks can foster molds and other health-related concerns that can be avoided by simply repairing the foundation when the need is initially presented. When it comes to the well being of your home, a bit of research and well placed investment, can go a long way towards big returns for years in the long run.

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