If your doors are always getting jammed and you have noticed that there are new cracks on the walls of your home, you may have an internal slab problem on your hands. Contacting an expert contractor might be the best step, so call a professional in the Detroit area and ask for a home inspection. Instead of guessing whether you have a serious foundation problem, call a professional and they will assess the situation, look for slab shifting, and let you know which services could resolve your problem.
Different Types of Foundations
To fix the problem, contractors working on your Detroit, MI, area home will need to know which type of foundation they will be dealing with. Most homes are made with a slab foundation or basement foundation.
Slab – A slab foundation is made of concrete, and because it requires minimal preparation to begin building, it became very popular very quickly. It has been one of the most common foundations since the 1950s, and its installation is very simple. After the concrete footing has been poured, at least two layers of concrete blocks are laid on top of the footers. Afterward, the piping is installed, then the rock filler is added, and four inches of concrete are poured on top. This type of foundation is the cheapest option and requires very little maintenance, but if there is a problem with piping, you will have to break through the concrete to get to the plumbing system.
Basement Foundation – This type of foundation requires more preparation since the workers need to dig down into the ground to create the floor and the footings, which will hold the foundation. Basement walls are created with poured concrete and they form the base for the rest of the house.
Not all homeowners know which type of foundation their house has. If this is the case, try contacting the construction company that made your home or try digging up any documentation that mentions the initial construction. Contractors will need to know this kind of information to provide the best services.
Is Your Slab Foundation Uneven?
Sometimes homeowners don’t realize that their internal slab is sinking. After all, living in the same house and looking at it day after day can make it harder to see subtle changes. This is why you should get in touch with professional contractors if you have any concerns. They will be able to thoroughly inspect your home and see whether it has drifted away from its initial perimeter. They will also be able to detect other signs of an uneven slab, such as sagging floors, jamming doors, cracks in the floor and the walls, and stuck windows.
If you have already noticed these symptoms, you may be blaming foundation cracks for them. Although the signs of foundation cracks and uneven slabs do overlap, they are not the same things, and it takes an expert to determine which problem you are dealing with. The contractors in the Detroit, MI, area can inspect your house and see whether you have a problem with a sinking slab or a foundation crack. After the inspection, they will be able to recommend a course of action.
What Does Home Leveling Involve?
Once the professional contractors have inspected your home and determined the type and level of damage, they can start creating a plan for foundation repairs. The kind of foundation your house has will determine the process of repairing it. However, in most cases, when there is foundation settlement in question, some type of piering solution is the best option. Here, foundation piers will be installed into the soil beneath your house to provide better support. Since they are pushed into more stable soil, they can carry the weight of the house. There are several piering options your contractors may offer:
- Push Piers: Most homeowners use push piers when they are dealing with settling foundations. After sections of galvanized steel tubes are driven down into the soil, they get attached to brackets on the foundation footing.
- Helical Piers: Unlike push piers that are pushed into the ground, helical piers are screwed into the earth. This solution is often used with lighter structures such as porches and chimneys.
- Slab Piers: If the contractors have determined that you have a slab foundation, slab piers are your best option since they are made specifically for this type of foundation. They are installed the same as push and helical piers and will solve your problem with foundation settlement.
House Leveling or Foundation Repair?
Sagging floors, jamming doors and windows, as well as cracks in the floor and the walls, are signs that your slab might be sliding, but also that there might be a leak in your foundation. Although these two problems seem similar, they are quite different and require unique solutions.
In case that contractors in the Detroit, MI, area have determined that your slab is sliding, they will need to lift the slab back into its original place. On the other hand, if there is a foundation leak, they will need to attend to the damage your foundation may have endured. Foundation damage is usually caused by excessive hydrostatic pressure, and to repair the damage, contractors will need to install wall anchors, beams, or carbon fiber supports. All these solutions will stop the foundation wall from cracking and tilting inward. The only difference is that carbon fiber will hold the walls in their current positions, while wall anchors and specialized beams can also be able to potentially return the walls to their original positions.
If you have a sliding slab, your foundation may be cracked as well, but not necessarily. In either case, it is wise to contact professionals in the Detroit area and start fixing the problem as soon as possible. Contact the expert team at FSM for a free quote today.