Your foundation is a lot more delicate than it might seem. While it is true that concrete foundations are not very easy to break—they’re not indestructible, either. There are a wide variety of things that can cause your foundation to shift from its original position, settle deeper into the soil, or even crack apart altogether.
This is why you need a foundation repair solution in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and surrounding areas that can protect your home from this constant threat of damage. Foundation Systems of Michigan’s slab piers system is a peerless repair solution that can stabilize and repair your foundation as well as any other concrete slabs around your home.
Slab Piers System by Foundation Systems of Michigan
If your foundation is facing threats of damage from moisture washing out the supporting soils underneath, you obviously need a solution that will ensure your foundation will not settle afterward. This is essentially the main purpose of the slab pier system. You can count on this system to support your foundation as well as any other concrete structures around your home that require additional stabilization.
There are actually two different pier systems that we can offer you: the helical pier system and the push-type slab piers. Both systems consist of interlocking tubular steel sections (or piers) that will be driven through the soil directly underneath any problem areas such as your concrete slabs or the foundation itself.
These piers are strategically and carefully driven into deeper soils that are unlikely to be affected by the clay bowl effect, floods, or other moisture damage that might threaten to wash out the weaker soil above. These compact soils’ strength is basically transferred to your settled foundation, effectively lifting the slab back up and restoring it to its original, uncracked state. Each pier is also made of a galvanized steel that will not corrode over time nor be affected by any floods or moisture that could threaten the weaker soils currently supporting your foundation.
Installation of the Slab Piers Systems
You might also worry that the installation of these systems will mean our experts will tear up your floor or around your home to reach your foundation. This system is actually fairly simple for our experts to install. All we need is a small or tight-access area such as a bathroom or laundry room to access your foundation.
The installation for both types of pier systems differs slightly. First, our team will expose the soil where each pier will be placed. We’ll do this by drilling a hole through your concrete slabs. Then our experts will help you choose which pier system you ultimately want to go with.
Push-pier systems are installed by placing a slab bracket inside each hole that will support your foundation from underneath. Once the brackets are fixed to the piers, each pier is then driven hydraulically through the soil until it reaches more compact soils for support.
Helical piers, on the other hand, are basically drilled down through the soil until it reaches compact soil. Brackets are placed all around the pier itself as well as on the topside to support your foundation from underneath.
After installation, the weight of your concrete slab is then transferred to the more compact soils through the pier system. The piers will then help lift your foundation back up again, closing up any cracks or other damage it may have suffered along the way. Technicians then pump concrete under the slab to fill out any voids created by settlement or soil washout. The holes of the pier locations are then refilled with fresh concrete to permanently stabilize each point in place.
Other Benefits of the Slab Piers Systems
Another added benefit of choosing either slab pier system is the year-round installation process. This means that you can schedule a free inspection appointment with Foundation Systems of Michigan at any time of year.
We can also offer free quotes on our piers systems and all our powerful foundation repair solutions during our visit. Once our experts install one of our slab pier systems, you can also benefit from its 25-year manufacturer’s warranty. If something happens to your foundation or pier system after installation, we will make it right for you.
Causes of Foundation Problems
Now, let’s take a closer look into the foundation damage problem signs you can look out for; what causes this damage in the first place; and how Foundation Systems of Michigan’s slab piers can protect your home below.
Being able to identify problem signs the moment they arise is helpful for many homeowners. This does not really do much to prevent damage that has already been done. You may also want to know what can cause your foundation to be damaged as well.
The supporting soil around your foundation is prone to absorbing a lot of moisture, particularly during huge storms or when snow melts in the spring. All that water can create immense pressure against your foundation, enough to shift it out of alignment or even crack altogether. This phenomenon is known as hydrostatic pressure and is quite common.
Hydrostatic pressure can also take the form of water droplets being trapped within the pores of your concrete slabs above or the foundation itself. Once winter comes and the water freezes over, the expanding ice can then cause the concrete to crack from within.
The Clay Bowl Effect
Your foundation may be suffering from moisture damage due to a common construction mistake. Contractors will first dig a large hole where they plan to lay down both the foundation and basement over it. Once each component is set in place, there will typically be extra space laid around the basement and foundation that they will then backfill with the soil they dug up.
This then creates a bowl of sorts around both the foundation and basement. The soil does not necessarily have to have a clay composition to take effect, either. According to Michigan State University, Michigan mainly has sandy and loamy soils that are far easier for moisture to wash out than more compact soils. Without this vital support, your foundation will then start to sink and settle into the remaining soil. This can cause all sorts of infrastructural issues, particularly if your foundation cracks as it settles too.
Foundation Damage Problem Signs
The average homeowner in Traverse City, Michigan, may not know how to detect true foundation damage. Identifying when and if your foundation has become damaged is key to preventing this damage from growing worse. Fortunately, there are a few common problem signs you can seek to alert you to foundation damage.
Leaks and Flooding
The first place some homeowners notice foundation damage is in the basement. Basements sit directly over the foundation, which is quite prone to all sorts of water damage that can easily seep up to the rest of your home.
Any leaks you see along your walls or welling up from your floor should not be ignored whatsoever. These leaks can contribute to even more damage spread around your basement, such as mold and mildew growth or even pest infestations.
Cracks are perhaps the most obvious sign that your foundation has become damaged. The size of the crack can even determine how much damage you are currently facing. Any cracks that measure less than 1/4 inches wide do not pose much of a threat to your home.
However, homeowners shouldn’t ignore them forever. These cracks will only expand and spread out in the future, which makes treating these smaller cracks crucial to the health of your foundation.
Any cracks that measure larger than 1/4 inches wide can indicate that your foundation has undergone massive damage. Call the foundation experts at Foundation Systems of Michigan to repair these cracks and any surrounding damage right away.
Foundation Repair Solutions by Foundation Systems of Michigan
Repairing your foundation can seem like a daunting prospect. Foundation Systems of Michigan can offer your home a wide variety of foundation repair solutions.
Foundation Systems of Michigan can also offer your home another tough repair solution known as the wall anchor system. This system consists of several anchors buried around your yard that will brace your foundation from any damage.
These anchors are buried in more stable, compact soils in deeper pockets around your home. The strength of these more hard-packed soils can then act as much better support for your basement walls. They can also be tightened over time to slowly repair your bowed-in and cracked basement walls altogether.
Carbon Fiber Wall Straps and I-Beam Support Braces
Another sturdy solution to cracked or bowed-in basement walls is installing either carbon fiber wall straps or our IntelliBrace™ I-beam system along the inside of your basement. Both methods involve bracing your basement walls against any outside damage that might threaten to infiltrate your home. This includes any leaks, flooding, or pressure that can cause your basement walls or foundation to bow in and crack.
Some homeowners might doubt the strength of our carbon fiber wall straps at first glance. While they may be lightweight, carbon fiber is 10 times stronger than steel. When applied to your basement walls with our tough epoxy resin, they become even stronger. Any cracks that have previously sprouted on your basement wall will also slowly close up over time.
Similarly, our I-beam support braces will be installed in a similar way. Rather than using an epoxy resin coating, we will apply adjustable braces the top and bottom of each brace. These braces will slowly tighten over time to combat the damage causing your basement walls to bow. Much like our carbon fiber wall straps solution, the IntelliBrace™ I-beam system will seal up any cracks along your basement wall.
If the concrete outside your home is damaged, it is very likely that this damage will spread down to your foundation as well. Conversely, these cracks may also be a sign that foundation damage has spread up to other parts of your home. Either way, this damage can be extremely dangerous for your home.
The concrete slabs of your sidewalk, driveway, or other concrete structures surrounding your home are just as susceptible to damage as your foundation. Indeed, moisture may play a huge part in this destruction, slowly eroding away at the slabs’ integrity or washing out the supporting soil underneath.
Without the proper support, your foundation will very likely settle and even crack apart. This settling can cause the other structures around your home to become negatively impacted as well. Your floor might also start to sag in places, or you might notice your walls tilting when they should remain upright. If you continue to ignore this damage, your home could likely collapse.
Another common form of concrete damage that can spread to the foundation is street creep. This phenomenon occurs when your concrete slabs slowly start to shift closer and closer to your home and your foundation over time. This mainly occurs due to the concrete expanding in warmer weather. Your concrete’s pores will also open a little more during this time, which allows water, dirt, or other debris to easily fall into them.
Come winter when the slabs try to close again, your concrete might find the extra space it allowed itself is no longer available. It will then try to correct this by stretching out toward your home instead. This can eventually cause foundation damage if neglected.
Foundation damage can be a bigger hazard than you might think. Your basement will not be the only room adversely affected. There are plenty of other structures around your home that will be impacted by this damage as well.
If your foundation has shifted or cracked, chances are your floor’s support beams have too. You might notice your floor has started to sag or bounce in places. This can create a dangerous tripping hazard for everyone in your home. Some homeowners might choose to simply ignore it, which can prove to be extremely dangerous should the damage spread out to other parts of your home.
Shifted or over spanned floor support beams can also be caused by a construction mistake as well. The support beams are laid at specific lengths away from one another to better distribute the weight of you, your family, and your belongings over them. Sometimes a contractor will leave these beams to go over the span they are supposed to cover if it’s all up to code. This leaves you with issues in the future that you will need to call a foundation expert to fix. The damage from these support beams can obviously spread out to either the concrete around your home or foundation.
Stuck Doorways and Windowsills and Leaning Walls
You might also notice your doors and windows have suddenly become much harder to open. Though many homeowners might attribute this sticking to age, it can also be the result of a shifted or cracked foundation too. Without the stability of your foundation’s support, your doorways and windowsills may start to lean or tilt, which can trap the doors and windows in their frames and make them harder to open.
Similarly, you might also notice that your walls have begun to lean or sway a bit as well. When your walls start to sway, your entire home is sure to collapse soon. Therefore it is so important to fix foundation damage as soon as you can. It can be extremely costly to fix an entire collapsed house, especially if that damage has spread to your neighbors’ homes as well.
When many homeowners notice issues around their homes, they will often attempt to fix them by themselves. Unfortunately, not many homeowners will even know where their foundation is, much less how to go about repairing it. Therefore, it is best to leave any repairs you might need to the foundation experts at Foundation Systems of Michigan instead.
Why DIY Repairs Are Not Recommended
The foundation is a structure that requires an immense amount of precision and expertise to fix. Additionally, any DIY repairs sold by your local home improvement stores are often not powerful enough to fully repair the foundation. At best, they act as temporary relief while you schedule an appointment with the foundation experts at Foundation Systems of Michigan.
Even if you are able to find a relatively cheap repair solution elsewhere, applying the wrong solution or making a mistake might result in even more costly damage to the foundation. It is best to invest in powerful solutions you know will be able to permanently protect your foundation now and in the future. Calling the foundation experts at Foundation Systems of Michigan is therefore your best bet.
Calling the Foundation Experts for Help
The foundation experts at Foundation Systems of Michigan are trained to handle all sorts of foundation repairs. We will also have the right tools and equipment necessary for installing any tough repair solutions that your foundation or surrounding concrete might need.
The slab pier system also requires an incredible amount of precision to install as well. If you make a mistake installing a similar system on your own, this can result in massive damage to your home as a whole. You cannot afford the costly mistakes that this could cause, which is why hiring the foundation experts at Foundation Systems of Michigan is your best bet.
Contact the Foundation Experts at Foundation Systems of Michigan Today
The foundation is perhaps the most important structure in your entire home. Without taking steps to protect it from moisture or other damage, the rest of your home will show signs of deterioration. Settling is a huge issue that not many homeowners will know how to handle, much less what steps to take to prevent it from occurring.
A solid slab pier system directly under your foundation may be the answer. Not only can it stabilize your foundation again, but it can also close up cracks. By installing these piers deep into the earth below your home, you can rest assured that your foundation as well as any other concrete structures around your house will not have any settling issues ever again. Contact the foundation experts at Foundation Systems of Michigan for a free foundation inspection and consultation today.