Foundation restorations are required when your foundation has cracks or shows signs of settling or sinking. Houses are expected to settle into their foundation gradually over time and this long-term process shouldn’t cause any issues. However, issues arise when a house is not constructed on a solid foundation. Such a foundation can settle more than what is expected and result in the shifting of floors, walls, and other structures. Foundation problems can also be caused by poorly compacted soils.
So, what are the steps involved in foundation restoration? Find out in this guide.
Identifying Foundation Problems
Before you learn about the steps, it is important to know why foundation restoration is required. If you notice the following signs, they can mean that your foundation has a problem and needs to be repaired:
- There are sagging or sloped ceilings and walls
- You notice cracks in the sheetrock or exterior bricks
- Cracks or gaps appear in the corners
- Doors have become difficult to open and close
Most of the time, the problems are related to water and soil issues. This can include changes in the water in the soil or some other changes in the soil itself that can create pressure or cause shifting. If you notice the above-mentioned problems, you should immediately call a foundation repair expert for an assessment and a proper course of action.
Foundation Restoration Process
The restoration process is relatively straightforward and can be completed much faster than what most homeowners anticipate. The main steps involved in the process are as follows:
1. Digging Holes
The professionals will dig holes down along the foundation, just next to the spots where they think piers need to be placed.
2. Installing Piers
Once a right sized hole is dug, the piers will be installed.
- Piers are installed in sections
- Installation starts directly under the slab
- The right locking system is used to ensure the piers stay aligned
- Piers are installed one at a time
The foundation restoration expert will install the piers in a way that the maximum possible weight is placed on each pier. This helps disperse the weight between the different piers.
3. Using Hydraulic Ram
A special equipment known as a hydraulic ram is used at this point. It helps in expanding and pushing the piers. The technicians will make adjustments to set the right balance between the weight of your building and the force of friction. Once the building is raised to the required level, the process moves on to the next level.
4. Lifting at the Piers
The hydraulic rams are replaced with another type of equipment with a higher degree of precision.
- The house is lifted at the piers
- The lifting occurs simultaneously across multiple piers
- The lifting continues until the building becomes level
Once the foundation gets closer to leveling, you will notice that the cracks will start closing and any non-working doors will start to close again.
An average sized foundation restoration job involves the use of a dozen piers. This is usually enough to cover the front of a house, which is usually the most common area that needs to be leveled.
5. Completing Restoration
Once all the repairs have been completed, your foundation experts will refill the excavation. It is also important to ensure the soil has been properly compacted to prevent any future issues. If the soil was part of the earlier problem, it may be required to replace the fill. This is followed by cleaning up the entire property and restoring it to its original and impeccable condition.
Foundation restoration is a job that needs to be handled only by experts. You should look for professionals who are licensed and insured and have years of experience handling this job, especially in your area.