FOUNDATION REPAIR

A sinking, crumbling, cracking, or bowing foundation can lead to severe damage to both residential and commercial buildings. As the foundation sinks, the trusses can begin to pop and tear apart. Changes to the foundation can also cause basement water damage, stretched siding, electrical malfunctions, broken pipes, and even leaking roofs as stressors are felt throughout the entire home. If the foundation is showing any signs of damage, then a team of foundation repair experts should be called to assess the damage and implement a proven solution. 

What Are Helical Foundation Piers? 

A helical foundation pier, also known as a helical pier, is often used during foundation repairs. It is a foundation pin that, like screws, contains helices that can be driven deep into the soil below the frost line. The depth of the helical piers is determined by the load capacity of the residential or commercial building. They are spaced at even intervals to properly distribute the weight of the building. During a foundation repair, the helical piers will be attached to the base of the building’s walls, so that the weight is transferred onto the piers and off of the crumbling, cracking, or shifting foundation. 

When Should Helical Piers Be Used?​

Helical piers are typically made from rust resistant galvanized steel. They can last up to 120 years depending on the soil conditions and can be used in a wide variety of residential and commercial applications. For example, helical piers are most often used when a foundation repair is needed. They are also used when a home is built on top of unstable soil. To determine if helical piers should be used, look for the following signs of foundation damage.

  • The basement floor is no longer even and / or it has begun to buckle in certain places.
  • The building’s interior drywall is cracking.
  • Basement walls are showing signs of cracking and / or water damage.
  • Previously covered electrical wiring has become exposed.
  • Doors and windows that once closed easily, no longer fit properly in their frames.
  • The siding on the building is buckling or stretching.
  • Nails have begun to pop up in ceilings.
  • Chimneys have begun to lean or tilt dangerously.

If a foundation is showing any of the above signs, then a team of repair experts can best determine if helical piers are the best solution. It is important to note that if foundations are not properly repaired, then severe, costly, and long-lasting damage can occur throughout the entire building.

What Causes A Bowing Foundation?

There are many reasons that a foundation can begin to bow. Tree roots can push against basement walls, hydrostatic pressure, saturated soil conditions freezing during the winter, or a combination of other factors can cause a bowing foundation. Additionally, the type of foundation will play a vital role in how it changes and bows over time. For example, a poured wall foundation typically has a weak area at the windows, which is where cracks are most likely to develop. Block basement walls are more likely to bow closer to the bottom of the floor. No matter the type of foundation, I-beams can often be used to repair bows and leaning basement walls. 

How Can I-Beams Be Used To Repair A Bowing Foundation? 

One of the most popular ways to straighten or brace a bowing foundation is to use I-beams. I-beams are typically made from galvanized steel. The use of galvanized steel is especially important in areas that experience high levels of humidity. Unlike spray painted beams, galvanized steel beams are rust resistant, which means that they will last longer and are more durable to changing weather conditions.

In many cases, a bowing foundation will require both interior and exterior work to ensure that the walls are properly supported throughout all four seasons. The I-beams are installed next to basement walls to help push the wall back into a straight and level position. Once the wall has been properly adjusted, the I-beams are then permanently bolted into the floor to provide a durable and long-lasting solution. If the basement wall only has a slight bow, then the I-beams can be used to brace the wall, which means that no additional outdoor excavation work is required.

No matter whether it is a slight bow or a severely tilting basement wall, any type of foundation damage should be assessed by a repair specialist. In many cases, a slight bow in the wall can quickly turn into a severe issue if it is left unattended and if the soil changes drastically change from either too much or too little precipitation. If the foundation is showing any signs of bowing or other damage, then you should act quickly before the issues become more costly and serious. Contact our team of foundation repair specialists to schedule a consultation today.