What exactly is the foundation repair anyway? Is it simply a patching up of any damage that already exists? The literal definition of foundation repair is a nightmare for any property or homeowner. Foundation repair arises whenever the actual foundation of a building, structure, or land is compromised and has to be fixed. Other damage can also arise when the surrounding area around the foundation lacks proper drainage conditions.
When should you call on a foundation repair expert? Signs of water damage, such as puddles below the windows and doors, can often be easily hidden by freshly painted doors and windows. However, once standing water begins to expand into the walls and eventually the foundation, these unattended signs can pose a hazard to anyone who steps foot on them. Likewise, it’s important to catch any leaks before they become a problem so that foundation repair experts can be called in. In this case, it’s important to have a leak detection system in place before any repairs are made.
What forms of damage can appear on a foundation? Rotting timber, which can be seen in places where there has been extensive subsidence, is one possibility. Likewise, cracking is another possibility, particularly in older homes with poor soil drainage. When soil pressure increases due to climate changes, or even because of underground storage tanks or other sources of excess moisture, this can result in cracks and gaps. In addition to timber and cracks, foundation damage can also appear in tiles, flooring, ceilings, and walls.
If a wooden floor or ceiling becomes damaged, a foundation repair specialist may be able to use various methods and techniques to fix the problem. In some cases, such as with older homes where age is a significant factor, simply replacing the boards may be enough to correct the problem. However, for many other cases, such as in basements, ceilings, and other locations, it’s important to seek out the expertise of foundation repair professionals. Sometimes, small repairs can be done using shims, nails, or caulk, but when larger pieces need to be replaced, such as from wooden beams, it’s best to call in a professional. Moreover, in many cases, foundation damage requires more than just the provision of more space or a new floor.
One of the most common signs of foundation problems is the presence of bulging or ragged edges around a foundation beam. Even though the space under a beam may appear tight, this may not always be the case. Other signs include water stains on walls, ceilings, and floors, and bulging or ragging edges around joists. When more than one of these signs is found in a house, it’s time to contact a foundation repair contractor. For example, if there are water stains on the walls but no sign of damage to the ceiling or floor, the problem will likely be confined to the joists.
A qualified foundation repair specialist can determine the source of any missing floor or wall insulation, which could be causing structural integrity issues. This makes it crucial to have your foundation issues repaired immediately. By identifying the source of moisture in your structure, the repair specialist can either make repairs to prevent further damage or provide insulation to fix the issue right at the source.
In most cases, foundation repair isn’t a do-it-yourself project. Foundation deficiencies need to be addressed by a structural engineer who has been trained in waterproofing methods and uses equipment that allows him to see the structure of your building without entering it. For example, a structural engineer might look at signs of excess moisture or signs of a crack in the foundation and evaluate whether those issues can be fixed by repairing the damage. Signs of structural issues that cannot be fixed by simple repairs, such as buckled and missing beams, may require the services of a foundation engineer who is trained to detect these conditions before they cause serious damage to the building.
If a foundation repair isn’t possible, a structural engineer might recommend the use of polyurethane foam or other materials that will act as a cushion between the floor and walls, in order to keep your home from getting damaged. However, even if there are no visible signs of structural damage, it’s always a good idea to call in a foundation repair expert just to make sure. The last thing you want is to have a major problem with your home because you didn’t recognize there was a problem beforehand.