What Does it Mean When a House is Leveled?
If you’ve noticed that the floors in your home don’t feel flat, or if you notice them bowing a bit, or sagging, then your foundation might be experiencing structural issues. Once the problem is found, your house would need to be leveled.
House leveling is a procedure that lifts the house back to its original state after foundation repair. Should there be any structural problems, house leveling should correct it, although during the procedure the source of the problem needs to be identified, so that it doesn’t reappear.
The cause of this are numerous, ranging from structural damage, questionable soil conditions, erosion, plumbing leaks (located under the slab), exterior drainage problems, and even tree roots can all lay claim to causing the floors in your home to become uneven and sag. If you choose to go for house leveling, it’s best to take care of any of these aforementioned conditions first, so you can prevent any future problems once the house is leveled.
What Causes Foundation Settling?
Water and Soil
Water and soil often tend to be the cause in foundation settling, as the combination of the two can lead to cracks in walls, and foundation movement. This can effect most homes regardless of whether you have a slab foundation, pier and beam, or one of the rare Austin homes with a basement. This excessive settling can cause your foundation to shift and eventually crack. If this happens, then your only option may be house leveling.
It’s not just the combination of water and soil that causes such shifts. There are many other underlying causes between the two. The quality of the soil comes into play, especially if you have expanding clay soil on your property. Once this clay soil, begins to take on water it then produces pressure which can shift your foundation. Once the soil dries out, it eventually shrinks and recedes. Add inadequate exterior drainage to the mix, and you’ll find excess water in the ground beneath your foundation.
Other water related problems can involve leaky plumbing pipes, especially underneath a slab foundation, and if you have a sprinkler system to water your plants and flowers, this can also over-saturate the soil, if the water drains towards instead of away from the foundation. This can also result from poorly graded patios and driveways, as the water has no escape route except to return back towards your Austin home.
Slab Foundations and House Leveling
If your house has a slab foundation, don’t worry as there are many ways to solve the problem. An experienced foundation repair specialist can use concrete pilings or piers (there are many varieties, such as helical, bellbottom and steel) to help level a home. Other methods such as mudjacks (a mixture of sand, cement and sometimes soil is inserted below a slab foundation through holes at the surface), to help fill and strengthen any gaps that appear beneath the foundation surface.
Crawl Spaces and House Leveling
If you have an Austin home with a crawl space foundation, there are a variety of ways to level your house. Concrete pilings can be positioned beneath the existing piers, which will help stabilize them. Metal rods can also help in strengthening any support piers that are damaged, which will help secure the soil under the crawl space to stop any shifting or sagging floors.
Why Soil is Such an Issue
While many issues persist when the soil around your house becomes wet, there are also numerous issues to face when it becomes dry. For example, tree roots are capable of taking in vast quantities of water for the soil every day. Once the moisture evaporates, the soil starts to shrink, and in turn, this shrinkage can play a part in moving your home’s foundation. Differential movement can occur when one section of the foundation has shifted, while another part hasn’t. This can cause zig zag or stair shaped cracks, so leveling your house can be used to help re-stabilize your foundation to stop further cracks from occurring.
If you should notice new or old cracks in your home’s foundation, don’t wait for the problem to get worse. Many of these above issues can be fixed, but it’s finding out the cause and the source of the issue that can take some detective work. If your Austin home is having foundation issues, reach out to Done Right Foundation Repair. Our highly experienced team will thoroughly evaluate your home’s foundation and work with you to safely and properly perform house leveling to alleviate any foundation problems you might have.