What Are the Common Causes of Concrete Foundation Problems?
The settlement and movement of a concrete foundation in Iowa City may be due to improperly impacted soils, improper maintenance around the foundation or expansive and compressible soil. Older homes are usually more susceptible to foundation problems, especially in areas where the soil retains excessive amounts of water. Whatever the primary cause may be, settlement can wreak havoc on the value of structures and even cause them to be unsafe. If you notice any signs of foundation distress, it is essential that you get the problem repaired as soon as possible; the longer you wait, the more extensive the damage will be, possibly causing the foundation to sink, causing further and more costly damages.
What Are the Signs of Foundation Problems?
First, it is important to understand that all foundations settle over time, but the problems happen when the settlement is extreme or uneven. Signs of problems with your concrete foundation in Iowa City may include:
- Visible cracks in the foundation
- Uneven or cracked floors
- Doors and/or windows that will not close properly
- Cracked walls (interior or exterior)
- Cracked or displaced moldings
- Separation around windows, doors or the garage
- Gaps between walls and floor or walls and ceiling
How is a Foundation Repaired?
The most important thing to remember is that in most situations a sinking concrete foundation in Iowa City can be repaired. It is common for homeowners to hear they have foundation problems and assume that the problem is beyond repair, when in fact there are several repair options available. The repair method used depends on the type of distress being addressed, but the two most common methods for foundation repair are piering and slabjacking.
- Piering consists of driving steel posts through the unstable soil and using hydraulic jacks to raise or stabilize the concrete slab that has been affected by changes in the underlying soil.
- Slabjacking consists of pumping grout beneath a beam or slab in order to create a lifting force that will restore the slab to its original elevation.
Which Type of Foundation Repair is Best?
Before choosing a repair method for your concrete foundation in Iowa City, it is important to first determine what is causing the distress. Your concrete contractor will carefully examine trim boards, moldings, windows and the mortar joints in brick veneer for clues as to what is causing the distress. It is also important to take note of the recent weather, because unusually wet or dry weather conditions can cause a problem in the underlying soil. That being said, the most commonly used method for correcting a small slab of concrete is slabjacking, which will restore the slab to its proper grade as well as stabilize the underlying soil to prevent a reoccurrence of the problem.
Larger problems, typically those found in the shifting of foundations under a house or a commercial building typically involve piering, which will lift and stabilize the foundation. Once the foundation has been raised, a deep footing is put in place that will distribute the load without causing unnecessary bulk. The pier is then tied into the footing with steel to support the foundation beam.
Whether you notice your home has sunk a few inches or close to a foot, this is not a DIY project. It is essential that you contact a contractor familiar with concrete foundations in Iowa City. The contractor will be able to determine the severity of the problem, the primary cause of the problem and restore the foundation to a safe level.
Do you think the foundation of your home has begun to sink? Contact
Kelly Concrete Co. so we can discuss the best solution for your specific foundation problem.