Foundation repair methods
There are different foundation repair methods used depending on your foundation problem. Once you determine if you have bowing basement walls, a settling foundation, a shifting foundation or your basement walls are deteriorating (or some combination of the aforementioned) you can then explore the method that fits your problem.
Settling foundations occur due to poor soil conditions underneath the foundation footing. The weight of the structure causes the footing to crack allowing the foundation to settle / sink down into the poor / soft soil. this can cause a ripple effect of cracking in walls above in living areas, doors that rub or won’t close and floors that slope. Installing piers underneath the footing and driving down into solid substrate will stop settling and can even lift the structure back into original position. Our method of installing concentrically loaded foundation piers comes with an engineer’s certification and lifetime guarantee.
Concentrically loaded foundation piers are installed directly under the wall being lifted and use the foundation as resistance to push the pier into the ground. Other methods such as helical piers or offset piers are more limited and are nut installed directly underneath the structure.
Settling cracks in basement walls can be in a stair step pattern or almost straight vertical cracks that are open wider at top and narrow towards the floor.
If your basement wall has rotted mortar joints and blocks are shifting then most likely it is a matter of time before a major problem or collapse occurs. Walls with mortar rot are weak from the inside so applying foundation repair methods to the wall will not ensure a stable foundation. In that case foundation replacement may be warranted.
If you have bowing basement walls with open horizontal cracks you may be able to stabilize it from further movement or even straighten it back into original position. Today’s latest foundation repair method for bowing basement walls is carbon fiber mesh “straps” which are embedded into the face of your foundation walls. Fortress Stabilization has developed a system made of both carbon fiber and kevlar meshed together giving them the ultimate in tensile and shear strength. These straps are smooth to the wall and paintable making them barely noticeable. Once installed your wall becomes stronger than it was originally and will have a lifetime structural guarantee.
To properly straighten bowing basement walls you must first excavate the soil away from the outside. Once the soil is removed and the soil pressure is relieved the wall can be pushed back into position. If the cracks have been filled in with mortar or caulking then the wall will only go back as far as the crack will close. So be weary of foundation repair contractors who want to install clamps through your wall to the dirt outside (wall anchor) without digging it and tell you they can crank it back into position… especially if there are no open cracks!
After the walls are restored to their best position, then the stabilization straps must be applied to the face of the basement wall inside to prevent them from opening right back up. The wall is then waterproofed and back filled with gravel to protect it from further pressure or damage.
Some foundations require a combination of foundation repair methods or replacement to solve all the issues. To learn even more contact Pioneer Basement Solutions and have one of our foundation experts evaluate your specific foundation needs with you. We offer a straight forward evaluation with straight forward pricing and no games or gimmicks. Established in 1979, Pioneer is the only foundation repair contractor in business with a perfect spotless record since day one because we always treat our customer the way we want to be treated.