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What To Do About A Sinking Foundation
Your home's foundation is one of the most important structural components of the house. When your home is set up on a solid foundation, your house has the necessary support for maintaining integrity and will stand for many decades. If the foundation to your house is not properly set, you could encounter any number of problems.
One problem that can occur due to an improperly laid foundation or unstable soil is a sinking foundation. If you do notice that your foundation is sinking it is a problem that needs to be addressed immediately in order to prevent any further damage to your house.
One of the most obvious ways to identify a sinking foundation is if your house is starting to slant to one side. If there is evidence of this, then you most likely have a foundation problem. There are other symptoms that are less obvious. Keeping a watch out for these potential symptoms of sinking foundation is important to avoid bigger problems later on.
One thing to watch for is doors and windows becoming misaligned or jammed. Also watch for cracks appearing in slabs, basements or on the walls of your house. Puddles of water forming around your house's base can also be an indication of foundation problems. Another indication can be floors that become sloped or up heaved. If your house is located in an area where it is known that the soil can be unstable you need to watch even more closely for problems.
If you have any signs of a sinking foundation you need to immediately have your house inspected by a professional. The best person to diagnose foundation problems is usually a structural engineer. Since they do not do the repair work, they can look at the problem with an unbiased eye. Foundation repair work will be done by a contractor or foundation specialist.
Once the problems have been identified, you will need to hire a contractor for doing the foundation repair. This type of repair can be tricky as well as expensive. You need to get several estimates from different contractors and check into their credentials, experience and references to make sure that they are qualified to do the job. Be sure to get references from past customers to be sure they were happy with the contractor's work.
Several different techniques are used to repair a sinking foundation, depending on the situation. One technique is high pressure grouting where grout is injected into the soil that is unstable to help improve the integrity. In certain situations this will be used to lift up the house's structure as well. Load bearing piers may be used to stabilize and lift sinking foundations. In many case this is a permanent solution that is economical for many foundation problems. Another type of repair is using helical piers. These also provide a permanent solution for sinking foundations which is relatively economical. They tend to be particularly useful in situations where there is a high water table or fill material.
The most important thing to do if you suspect you have a foundation problem, is to make sure you address the problem right away to prevent any further damages from occurring to your house.