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Monthly Archives: March 2017

Some Types Of Foundation Repairs

Steel Pilings

If you want a material that is more durable for your foundation repair, steel pilings are your best choice. Steel is less susceptible to wear and erosion problems and can last longer than concrete pilings. However, steel pilings can be expensive and there are some limitations to how it can be used effectively.

Chemical/Soil Injection

Another foundation repair method is the use of water-soluble chemicals like ammonium salts and potassium ions. These chemicals prevent the soil surrounding your foundation from absorbing water. This avoids water-related damages on the foundation.

Root Barriers

If you have trees in your property or your house is located near a tree, the roots of the tree may cause foundation problems for you. Root barriers are designed to prevent the roots from pushing or growing into the foundation of the house. The materials often used for this method are sheet materials and solid objects.

Slabjacking/Mudjacking

Slabjacking or mudjacking is a foundation repair method that lifts back the foundation to its original space by pumping underneath it. Polyurethane resin or concrete are the common materials used in this process. This method is perfect for severe erosion issues.

Exterior Concrete Wall

What is happening, water infiltrates the block or the concrete wall and as water evaporates from the surface the mineral deposits are left behind in the form of white substance. Although efflorescence is generally a visual problem, if the efflorescence crystals grow inside and under the surface, it can cause spalling of the foundation wall, which is when the surface peels, pops out or flakes off. The salt pushes from the inside out and can eventually cause crumbling and deterioration.

Efflorescence, water-soluble salts come from many possible sources. First of all; there must be water present to dissolve and transport the salts. Groundwater is often a source of efflorescence. For water to carry or move the salts to the surface there must be channels through which to move and migrate. The more dense the material more difficult for the water to transport salts to the surface. On the other hand, the more porous the material, the greater the ease with which salts are transported and deposited. Salt-bearing water, on reaching the surface of a structure, air evaporates to deposit the salt.

When humidity is low, the water may evaporate before reaching the surface of the structure, leaving the salt deposit beneath the surface, and unseen. When the humidity is high, water evaporation is slower allowing more opportunity for salted to be deposited.

Since humidity has a definite effect on whether or not the salts appear, it can be assumed that efflores­cence is a seasonal problem. The intensity of efflorescence increases after rainy winter seasons, de­creases in spring, and by summer has practically disappeared. This cycle may repeat for months or years, but generally the intensity of the efflorescence decreases in all but very extreme cases, and by about the third year it should be practically eliminated.

Sand Dunes

Should a problem arise, it can be difficult to obtain the appropriate permits and to build on the sand. It can also be difficult to find equipment that can access the area and work well with the sand, and that will also be able to accurately penetrate down to the depth of firm strata underground.

Luckily, there is a great solution: a helical pier. A helical pier is a steel pipe or shaft with auger-type plates, which, when turned, threads deeply through the soil until it sets in to the firm strata deep below the surface. Turning torque will be able to define the adequate depth.

The helicals come in many sizes, and the helical plates are designed to combine and precisely deliver the support capacity that is required for each situation. These piers can be installed by hand power tools or small mobile units, which is much more practical on the dunes.

For a typical new construction site, helicals can be used to hold the load vertically as a deep foundation support. After the pier is installed, it is cut to the correct elevation and is cast into the concrete foundation for the house.

If the site is a renovation of a poorly supported existing house, an appropriate bracket is used to support the load on the installed pier. These are long-term repairs with minimal risk of any corrosion.

If the structure is too close to the edge of the dune, it can also be a problem. The building potentially could literally slide down hill! This type of movement usually occurs incrementally and very slowly. In this circumstance, a helical pier can be screwed in a downward angle and can create a tie-back force to hold the structure in place, stopping the sliding. The tie-backs are a powerful tool in this application.

Concrete Settling

Concrete that was installed on improper sub grade may not have been properly compacted. Eventually, the slab will start to settle over a few years. Another common cause of concrete settling is soil erosion. Drainage, run off from roof water, and improper downspout placement can be a contributor in soil erosion and thus, slab settlement.

Third, some times there is just natural soil settlement. There is nothing that can prevent this type of settling. If the slab is five to seven years old, it could experience some natural movement. As the concrete starts to sink, it can cause walking hazards, water runoff, or foundation issues.

Many people do not realize that a fourth reason for concrete cracking is actually due to critter invasion! Small rodents, woodchucks, chipmunks, possums, and more can burrow under slabs and actually remove sub grade, allowing slabs to sink.

Fortunately, the repair process is pretty simple and isn’t destructive like concrete removal and replacement.

Small holes are drilled into the concrete slab that needs raising. A concrete slurry is pumped into these holes under slight pressure filling voids under the slab. As pressure builds, the slab is hydraulically raised to the necessary grade, removing the trip hazards and unevenness of the concrete.

The final step is to fill the small holes with a concrete mixture, restoring the integrity to the sidewalk, driveway, or slab concrete that is being raised.

Slabjacking or Mudjacking isn’t complicated, but it’s not for amateurs. Experienced professionals can perform this procedure to avoid doing even greater damage. Amateur work often results in further, or irreparable damage that usually costs more to repair or replace than the original damage.

Concrete Raising, sometimes called mudjacking or slabjacking, is an efficient alternative to replacement. Demolishing old structures and laying new concrete requires more equipment, and more professionals compared to mudjacking. This makes the replacement cost nearly twice as much as mudjacking. Not only is it less expensive, raised concrete can be used almost immediately while new concrete pours may take several days before they can be walked on and a month to fully set. There is also no need to disturb adjacent landscaping or plants, making the whole endeavor a much cleaner process.