Important Facts You Should Know
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When a structural foundation compromise arises, it is an indication of a pre-existing problem in the structural integrity of the building. Sometimes the warning signs are as clear as daylight, yet many people just overlook them or have no clue of the foretold problem. Door or windows not closing, cracks in the wall, bulging floors, and misaligned support frames are signs of distress in the foundation.
The concrete foundation may be affected by even the slightest heave or shift of the foundation on one or more sections of its bed. These shifts will cause the entire building to lean causing bulges and cracks among other structural damages.
What Causes The Foundation To Heave?
In most cases of foundation, distresses are associated with a change in soil moisture, whereby the soil gains or loses its original moisture. An increase in moisture will cause the soil to be loose thus a shrinkage due to the pressure exerted by the weight of the building.
A decrease in the moisture will lead to increase temperatures making the soil swell thus pushing the foundation upwards. These actions do not take place overnight causing the shifts but will be a slow progressive process that can take three or more years.
At times, natural events such as frequent minor earthquakes can also be to blame. Cases of flooding also affect soil composition. The water may wash out the foundation or sip deeper into the soil making it less firm.
In as much as changes in soil composition is a chief contributor to the heaving of the foundation, poor construction can also take the blame. The use of substandard materials and in the wrong ratios results in a foundation with weak structural integrity.
Foundation Repair Options
Foundation repairs differ based on the type of foundation in question. The structural corrections can be done through jacking up the base, inserting piers, or pressed piling methods.
• The jacking up found repair method is common in cases where the foundation is made of a steady and robust material such as steel or concrete. The process involves pumping concrete under the foundation to lift it up.
• The use of piers involved drilling special holes into the soil and pouring concrete in, to form supportive columns for the foundation.
• Press piling involves the insertion of strong concrete columns or piles into the ground beneath the foundation to offer additional support.
Other structural foundation repair methods include:
• Soil injection that uses special water-soluble chemicals
• Root barriers that involve the induction of solid objects in the soil to curb the actions of tree root in the soil underneath the foundation.
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