As a homeowner, one thing you don’t want to hear is that you have slab foundation problems and need to repair them. A home is a massive investment, and it should be well maintained. Some minor foundation issues are easy to fix and you may be able to do so yourself, while others may demand a more complex repair that will most likely require the assistance of a team of professionals.
Some of the initial clues you might see are on the inside or outside, but most of the time they are on both sides. Tilted doors and windows, uneven or cracked floors, a defective or cracked foundation, wall rotation, and even a separation surrounding outside doors, windows, or walls are all examples of these problems.
If your home’s foundation is compromised, you’ll need to make a rational decision about how to repair it. The sort of repair required is determined by the soil type, climate, the quality of the foundation in the first place, and any other aspects.
The good news is that most foundations can be repaired and restored to their original—or better—condition if identified early enough.
There are a few options for repairing your foundation, some of which are more expensive than others and have been around for decades.
A damaged foundation can be repaired in a variety of ways, including:
- Piering and piling which includes steel, concrete, helical, segmented, and spot piers
- Slab jacking (mudjacking)
- Injection of polyurethane foam
- Sealants and masonry patches
- Soil modification
- Epoxy resin
Piering or piling
Piering is a foundation restoration technique that includes repositioning the foundation using metal or concrete pieces. Piering and piling differ slightly in that piering is accomplished via the excavation of soil layers while piling is accomplished through the driving of piles into the ground.Steel, concrete, or helical piers, as well as segmented and spot piers, are just a few forms of piering and piling:
- Because of their longevity, steel piers are widely suggested as long-term foundation restoration solutions. They’re made to hold up incredibly massive constructions and are buried deep in the earth to keep the soils beneath the house in place.
- Concrete piers are created to fit the surface beneath the house and are buried 10-12 feet deep in the soil. Pressed concrete pilings, poured concrete piers, and belled concrete piers are examples of piers of this type.
- Anchors, also known as helical piers, are steel piers with a corkscrew design. When other foundation restoration methods aren’t possible, helical piers are used.
- Segmented piers are concrete tubes that are driven into the ground beneath your foundation.
- Spot piers can be a decent choice to fix your foundation in light-loaded locations like your porch or patio. They help stabilize the fragile or damaged portions of your foundation by hand-digging and placing concrete.
Slabjacking, often known as mudjacking, is a technique for raising your foundation’s cracked concrete. This is a frequent repair procedure that, in comparison to the others, is a rapid and low-cost alternative. The procedure is straightforward: the contractor drills holes in the damaged slab and fills them with a cement mix to the specified height.
Injection of polyurethane foam
Polyurethane injection is another alternative to slab jacking. Polyurethane is injected through holes in the concrete to fill gaps below, similar to the slab jacking technique. Dense and lightweight materials are used instead of natural elements to fill the area. This is a fantastic emergency repair approach that works almost immediately.
Sealants and masonry patches
Foundation cracks can potentially be patched and sealed with a waterproof masonry sealant. Because your foundation supports your entire house, detecting and correcting cracks early on is critical. If your house already has a concrete foundation and you’ve spotted some weak spots, masonry repairs and sealants can help.
The act of making the soil more stable by filling the soil layers with chemicals is known as soil modification or soil stabilization. This form of restoration is quick, causes little damage to the house’s structure, and is also a green alternative.
When you have serious fundamental cracking, epoxy resins are the way to go. Epoxy is available in two forms: pourable and injectable, giving you the flexibility to choose the application method that best suits your needs.
All in all, steel or helical piers, as well as high-density polyurethane foam or foam jacking, are the best slab foundation restoration techniques.
A professional will always advise you on the best course of action to take in order to repair your damaged slab foundation. They can determine what is causing your foundation to deteriorate and, as a result, recommend the best course of action for you. The true challenge is ensuring that the solution you select is appropriate for your circumstances.