How to Fix Foundation Problems Permanently
There are a variety of ways to solve foundation problems. Amateurs can seal small cracks with epoxy, but larger cracks need to be evaluated by a professional. Many foundation repair companies offer free inspections. The next step is to find out what caused the problem. Many of these causes include too much moisture, overwatering the soil, or concrete shrinking and expanding.
Overwatering the soil
Overwatering the soil is one of the most common causes of foundation problems. Overwatering the yard will make the soil swell, and pressure will increase on the foundation walls. This can cause cracks in the foundation walls. To prevent foundation cracks, keep the soil moisture at a constant level. Automatic watering systems will regulate the amount of water applied to your lawn per season.
Summer weather can also be a contributing factor to foundation problems. Warmer temperatures and less rain can cause soil to dry out and shrink. This will cause your foundation to shift, causing cracks in walls and difficulty opening doors.
There are several methods of fixing excessive moisture in a foundation. One way is to install a drain system. A drainage system will keep water away from the foundation. It will also help prevent the soil from drying around your building.
Concrete shrinks and expands
One of the significant factors determining whether concrete will shrink or expand is the amount of moisture contained in it. This moisture is present in the form of capillary void spaces and gel. These void spaces make up approximately 20% of the volume of concrete. The remaining water moves through these void spaces as the concrete dries, drawing the solid material fibers closer together. This causes concrete to shrink and may cause cracks.
Generally, concrete shrinks and expands in response to changes in temperature and humidity. This movement can be cosmetic or more serious. If the cracking in the concrete is only cosmetic, patching can fix the problem. You should seek a permanent solution in fissures by applying a flexible patch.
Soil bearing failure
If your foundation is sagging due to a lack of support, you can try to repair it. However, this can be a costly process. In most cases, it will require underpinning the foundation with various methods. The most common and effective way is jack piles.
There are several causes of soil bearing failure, including the presence of expansive clays, improper soil drainage, plumbing leaks, and hot, dry conditions. A professional foundation repair contractor can assess the cause of the failure and work to repair it.
If you’ve had problems with your foundation, you may have considered using steel piers to fix the problem. Over time, foundations can settle due to extra soil pressure or improper setting techniques, which can cause cracks in the walls. Steel piers can solve these issues and are an effective way to fix your foundation. Professional engineers can specify precisely where and how many steel piers you need, and experienced contractors can safely install these piers.
While steel piers are more expensive than concrete piers, they’re also much stronger and more durable, and you won’t need to worry about repairing them. Steel piers are also more affordable in the long run.
Epoxy or polyurethane
You can apply epoxy or polyurethane to fix foundation problems by injecting the resin into cracks on the foundation wall. However, you should avoid injecting polyurethane into block walls. The hollow blocks can interfere with the process. To overcome this, seal the walls from the outside.
When using epoxy to repair foundation problems, you should hire an experienced professional to do the job. Otherwise, you could end up with an expensive mess. For instance, the urethane around your pipes can expand up to 25 times its original size. And if you use an inexperienced installer, you might end up with a clogged pipe. A plumbing company will have to dig several feet to repair it.
Caulk and paint
Caulk and paint can fix foundation problems temporarily, but they won’t make them go away completely. Before applying these treatments, remove existing paint from the walls and floors and remove all deteriorating concrete from the basement. Water will seep into the cracks, and the caulk is not waterproof. Caulk tends to peel off over time.
To repair cracks in concrete walls, use silicone caulk to fill gaps. This is a temporary fix; water can seep through the cracks and cause efflorescence. It may also lose its bond with the walls and start peeling off.
About Done Right Foundation Repair
Locally Owned, Texas Proud
Done Right Foundation Repair was created over 20 years ago by Chris Felsing with the support of his family. He started with a small team and a big dream, learning the ins and outs of foundation repair as he went. He and his team looked for ways to provide a complete solution to all foundation issues and have worked tirelessly for the past 20 years to master their craft. Our Central Texas locations: Done Right Foundation Repair in Austin, Done Right Foundation Repair in New Braunfels, Done Right Foundation Repair in San Marcos