What Is Foundation Replacement?
After years of soil erosion and water exposure, the foundation of your home can drop causing significant settlement damage. Water is the most common culprit because it accumulates in the soil around the foundation which expands the soil and puts pressure on the walls and foundation footingscausing uneven flooring anding shifting and cracks to appear.se elements, o Depending on the extent of damage that has occurred over time, older foundations often need to be repaired or replaced entirely to prevent hazardous conditions.
How Can I Prevent Damage To My Foundation?
First, you’ll want to make sure that all downspout drains and gutters are in good shape. Make sure there is no blockage which can cause water to accumulate in the soil and put pressure on your foundation walls. Most foundations are required to have a perimeter drain system to channel sub-surface water away from the foundation. Check to see if your water pipes are in good condition and that the foundation is properly graded at the right slope.
How Can I Tell If My Foundation Needs To Be Replaced?
Cracked walls, squeaky floors and hard to close windows are just some of the signs that can indicate your foundation has shifted. If your foundation only has narrow cracks or stair step cracks in blocks or bricks, you may be able to have an expert plug them to stop water from entering the house. When you have a broken water pipe, blocked gutter or drainage problem, a contractor may be able to re-level the area to fix the problem or replace the entire section with new foundation depending on the extent of the damage. If the entire foundation is bowed, uneven or severely cracked, substantial reinforcement may be required to prevent further deterioration. Adding wood or steel supports to the interior walls may be sufficient. If the damage is more significant, you may need to have the foundation replaced to make sure the root of the problem is properly fixed.
4 Types Of Foundations
Slabs, basements and crawl spaces are the three main foundation systems used on houses. Posts may be used for houses located in precipitative areas near bodies of water.
Slab Foundation Replacement
The slab is a flat concrete pad poured directly on the ground. It is the most basic of foundations, easiest to build and needs very little preparation. Used commonly in warmer climates, it works well on level sites. It is often found in a tract home environment where soil conditions may not be ideal for crawl spaces or basements.
Basement Foundation Replacement
This type of foundation consists of three pieces: beams, walls and the slab inside the walls which keeps the basement waterproof. It is used most commonly in colder climates since it can be insulated to keep the home warmer during colder months.
Crawl Space Foundation Replacement
A crawl space raises the house off the ground about 2 feet which is especially important in damp or insect prone areas. Perforated pipe and gravel are used to route water away as they are with a basement foundation. It is a cost effective alternative to a basement and comparable in price to a slab. Plumbing can be run through the crawl space and is easily accessible to service.
Pier & Post Foundation Replacement
Posts are not as common. They are used when homes are located in areas close to water. They are driven deep in the sand or soil to create a strong support to the home which is normally elevated off the ground several feet.
A foundation is chosen based on local climate and soil conditions and local building requirements for your area. A good construction expert will be familiar with the choices that are best suited for the area you choose to build in or your existing home.