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What Is the Best Foundation Repair Method, and Is It Worth It?
by Andy Beery on Jun 16, 2021
An experienced contractor can recommend the best foundation repair method for your commercial or residential property, as this will depend on the foundation’s material and construction, extent of damage, and other such factors. He or she can also offer a repair cost estimate and suggest ways of avoiding future damage, such as waterproofing or property grading.
However, it’s also helpful for property owners to know a bit about various foundation repair methods so you know what to expect by way of needed fixes. You can then discuss what’s best for your property and what fits your budget, so you know your home or business is always in good condition and is sitting on a strong, stable foundation!
Foundation Crack Repair in Structures
One excellent way of avoiding expensive foundation repair costs is by investing in crack repair at the first sign of damage! Specialty injections fill concrete cracks, expanding and hardening so they block out moisture and keep that crack from spreading.
Foundation crack repair often costs a few hundred dollars per application and might need replacing after 5 to 10 years, but this small investment can protect a foundation from future damage and avoid otherwise unnecessary repairs. It’s vital to schedule concrete foundation crack repair at the first sign of cracks and to ensure you choose a qualified contractor to get the job done right.
Foundation Repair Underpinning
Foundation repair underpinning typically refers to using pins to help brace and support a foundation. Some pins are inserted along the sides of a damaged foundation; the foundation itself is then fastened to a bracket at the top of the pin, keeping it in place.
For severely damaged foundations, pins might be inserted underneath a damaged or broken section. The foundation is then typically lifted into place with special hydraulic equipment, and the pins give it added support, keeping it level and even over the years.
Shimming for Pier and Beam Foundation Repair
If your home has a crawl space, it will probably have a pier and beam foundation. This foundation construction uses cross beams along the home’s underside, which are then attached to vertical piers. The piers are often made of cedar, set in a concrete footing similar to how fence posts are sunk into concrete, to keep them in place.
While pier and beam foundations are typically strong and sturdy and last for decades without needing repairs, that concrete can eventually crack or chip. The cedar itself might also weaken or suffer damage, allowing the home to shift and settle.
Shimming is an excellent foundation repair method for pier and beam foundations. Shims might be pounded between the pier and the home’s beams, to “prop up” the structure and provide added support. New piers might also be added into the gaps between existing piers, to alleviate some weight on the foundation and keep the home strong and stable.
House Leveling or Slab Jacking Foundation Repair
House leveling is used for sunken or settled homes, to lift that house back to a level and even position or to return it to as much of a level position as possible. House leveling uses specialty injections under the foundation and hydraulic equipment that lift sunken areas as needed; those injections dry and harden, supporting the foundation and keeping it in position.
House leveling for Louisville properties might be used along with underpinning, crack repair, and other such repair methods, to close up cracks and ensure the foundation stays strong and secure. Soil treatments might also be needed, to keep soil stable and ensure it provides support for the foundation.
Preventing Foundation Damage in Louisville
Preventing foundation damage in the first place is the best way to avoid repair costs! Your foundation repair contractor might also suggest preventive measures after performing repairs, to protect those fixes and keep new damage from forming.
· Waterproof sealants are often recommended before and after foundation repair! Sealing foundation concrete including interior basement walls and floors keeps out damaging moisture, preventing cracks and chips from forming.
· Crawl space encapsulation and vapor barriers also keep out moisture and trapped humidity while providing a clean, dry space along the home’s underside.
· Ensuring that water doesn’t pool along the foundation also protects it from damage; your property might need better grading or a French drain installation, to redirect underground moisture. It’s also vital you keep gutters clean and clog-free, so rainwater is directed away from the home.
· Soft, crumbling soil doesn’t always provide support needed for a foundation. Adding clay, lime, or other such materials can strengthen soil and prevent a foundation from shifting and settling.
It’s also vital that property owners don’t add significant weight to a structure without first scheduling an engineering foundation inspection, to note if the foundation can support that weight. If you have added stone floors or countertops, a sunroom, a deck, or any such addition without having the foundation checked first, it’s time for an inspection! Investing in underpinning or other such measures can prevent future damage from occurring.
Is Louisville Foundation Repair Worth It?
While foundation repair costs might run anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, note that this expense is an investment in your home or commercial property! Without a strong, stable foundation under it, that structure might start to shift and settle and then eventually sink, leading to more interior and exterior cracks, roof damage, and even mold growth.
While foundation repair might not increase property values, a damaged foundation can decrease the worth of your residential or commercial property! You might not be eligible for home equity loans or lines of credit or might find it difficult to sell that property sometime down the road. Investing in needed foundation repair now can protect that property’s value over time, making those fixes an excellent and worthwhile investment!
Remember that you can also discuss your concerns with a foundation repair contractor near you, as he or she can explain needed repairs in detail and ensure you understand the process. You can then make the best decision about your property and know it’s in good condition.
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