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The Amazing World of Concrete

The next time you are walking around a city, look around and count the number of things made from concrete. Chances are, you'll see buildings, pathways, and even some accessory items like benches and fountains. Concrete is everywhere, and there's a good reason for that. It works. Concrete is hard, durable, and relatively easy to install. Concrete contractors mix the material and pour it into pre-designed molds. It hardens, and then it can last for decades, especially if properly maintained. Keep reading this blog to learn more about concrete and concrete contractors. You'll gain more appreciation for the many concrete items you see.


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The Amazing World of Concrete

Foundation Repair: Correcting Settling Issues

by Samantha Robinson

One of the most critical parts of any building is its foundation. This structure, literally the base upon which your home or office rests, ensures the stability and safety of the building. Over time, foundations can settle and shift due to a variety of factors, resulting in structural issues that require immediate attention. 

Here are the key steps in diagnosing and correcting settling issues in building foundations.

Understanding Foundation Settlement

Foundation settlement refers to the process by which a building's foundation moves downward due to soil-related conditions. The most common culprits behind foundation settlement include soil shrinkage, soil consolidation, or poorly compacted fill soil. As the soil beneath the foundation shifts or changes, the foundation settles or sinks, which can lead to a range of structural issues such as cracks in walls and doors, windows that won't close properly, or uneven floors.

Identifying the Problem

Correcting settling issues begins with accurately diagnosing the problem. Foundation settlement can manifest in various ways: cracks on the interior or exterior walls, uneven floors, misaligned doors and windows, or gaps around window frames or exterior doors.

Once these signs are identified, it's essential to hire a professional foundation repair company. These experts can conduct a thorough assessment of your property, determining the extent of the problem and the root cause. This often involves geotechnical engineers who examine the soil conditions and structural engineers who assess the foundation's integrity.

Choosing the Right Repair Strategy

Depending on the severity of the settling issue, various repair strategies can be implemented:

  • Foundation Underpinning: Underpinning is a process that extends the foundation to a more stable soil layer. This is typically done using push piers or helical piers, which are driven into the ground until they reach a stable soil layer. The weight of the building is then transferred onto these piers, effectively stabilizing the foundation.
  • Slab Jacking: Slab jacking (or mud jacking) involves pumping a grout mixture into the space beneath the settling foundation. As the mixture fills the void, it raises the foundation back to its original level.
  • Soil Stabilization: If soil instability is the primary cause of foundation settlement, soil stabilization methods such as chemical injection might be used. These treatments can strengthen the soil and prevent further settlement.
  • Replacing the Foundation: In severe cases, where the foundation is significantly damaged, it might be necessary to replace the foundation completely. This is an extensive process involving lifting the building, removing the existing foundation, preparing the ground, and constructing a new foundation.

Correcting settling issues in a foundation is not a do-it-yourself project. It requires the expertise and skills of professionals who understand the complexities of foundation repairs. While it can be an expensive and time-consuming process, resolving foundation-settling issues is crucial to maintaining the structural integrity of your building.

Contact a local foundation repair contractor to learn more.