As a homeowner you’ve probably heard of the terms foundation repair and house leveling. For average people who know nothing about these things you’ll probably think that these services are going to cost you a fortune, well, they won’t. The rates are reasonable, which is a good thing because these services are necessary to preserve the safety and the value of your home. When it comes to house leveling, you should not attempt to do it by yourself. This is not the kind of DIY project you’d want to involve yourself in because it’s risky and making mistakes may cost you a lot.
How do you know if your house needs leveling? Let’s find out.
What Is House Leveling?
House leveling involves lifting your home back to its original position (when it was first erected). For new erected houses the slabs should not go beyond 1.5 inches out of level. This is the standard set by the American Concrete Institute. When a house starts to move and shift out of its original position, house leveling is done to get it back to its usual spot. Majority of homeowners fail to notice changes to their home’s foundation elevations.
You see, all houses are built on a strong and solid foundation but over time this foundation can move and it can heave, crack, settle or sink. There are various factors that cause the foundation to move including problems with the soil, foundation that is poorly done and soil that have too much moisture. If the foundation of your property has moved you should have it repaired right away. Foregoing foundation repair or house leveling can lead to numerous structural damages and significantly reduce the value of your home.
Does Your House Require Foundation Repair or House Leveling?
Ideally, the best way to know if your house needs foundation repair or house leveling is to ask professional foundation repair specialists. Nonetheless, there are several signs that will help determine if your house needs repairs. Cracks in your ceilings or walls and outside your home are signs that you need to have it repaired. Doors that stick out or don’t properly shut also need to be repaired. If your floor appears to dip and sag or feel softer than the usual then you definitely need to seek the help of experts.
What Are the Different Foundation Types?
There are two main types of foundations – Pier & Beam and Concrete Slab.
Pier & Beam
A Pier & Beam foundation consists of three parts. The first part is a concrete foundation beam that’s built around the borders of the house. The second part are concrete columns or pads that are installed within the borders and the third wood beams that are placed on the interior pads on the border beam.
Concrete is the main component of slab foundation. It basically consists of a massive sheet of concrete that is directly poured to the ground. Standard thickness is between 4 to 6 inches. The outer parts of the slab have a depth of around 24 to 36 inches.
How Is House Leveling Done?
House leveling makes use of various techniques. The technique or process used is going to depend on your house’s foundation type. Each type of foundation can be repaired in various ways. Regardless of the technique used the ultimate goal is to level the foundation.
Pier and Beam Foundation Leveling
Each case requires a specific set of tools. If your house has a Pier & Beam foundation affixing concrete or steel pilings under specific locations under the concrete perimeter beam can level the foundation. The interior can be adjusted by either removing or adding shims on top of the columns or interior pads. Often times the movement is caused by incorrectly installed or damaged wood.
Concrete Slab Foundation Leveling
For concrete slab foundation leveling, certain areas in your home have to be excavated in order to make room for the installation of steel pilings, concrete pilings or concrete piers. Often times the terms slab jacking or mud jacking is confused with these types of repairs. To minimize the chances of soil swelling your professional foundation repair specialist will use soil injections.
After the successful completion of a house leveling project you must make sure to trace the source of the problem otherwise it will keep on coming back. Find out what is causing your house to move. If the problem is caused by water then you have to find a way to fix your drainage system and seal any leaks or perhaps it’s caused by a badly constructed foundation. If yes, we recommend that you find a professional company to take care of it.