Simple concrete foundation wall stabilization can be done with piles, tiebacks, or trenching. Sometimes it’s not enough to stabilize the footing. That is when you need to do a complete foundation repair, which includes digging down and out from the house to fix what was damaged by cracking or settling. These are different foundation repair methods depending on the type of problem and depth of damage.
Another way to prevent sinking and further damage is to install wood piles around the outside of your foundation or under your basement slab. Wood piles are usually cut-off sections of tree trunks driven into the ground with a pile hammer. They are very sturdy and can stand up to any soil movement, but they have some disadvantages.
The installation process is only possible in loose soils, piles are expensive, and you will need experienced contractors like ‘58 Foundations for this repair. Piling sleeves are long steel pipes that fit deep into the ground under the footing. They provide extra support to prevent further settling.
Mudjacking or slab jacking
Slabjacking is the process of lifting and re-leveling the sunken concrete on your foundation. It is done by drilling holes into the concrete, then injecting hydraulic cement into them to fill any voids under the footing. A more modern way that has become popular in recent years is with polyurethane injection systems.
The polyurethane is pumped into the soil under the foundation, filling in any voids and pushing up on the foundation to re-level it. The polyurethane can only push on the foundation within its footprint, so if there are major cracks or more severe settling, it would require full footing excavation.
Polyurethane injection systems can be used with any soil type, even soft soils that pile installation cannot be done in. This type of repair is usually the least expensive and most effective method for correcting moderate to severe settling and cracking.
Sealants and Masonry Patches
This is a common solution for cracks in foundations caused by normal movement, but it’s not always the best way to fix large cracks or holes. Using sealants doesn’t fix any foundation problems. It just fills in gaps that allow water and soil gases to get into the wall. Once inside the house, they can cause further damage by corroding the steel and causing wood rot.
As a temporary fix, it does have advantages. The sealant is quick to apply and doesn’t require much excavation around the foundation. But if you want a long-term solution, you may need to go with other repair methods such as tiebacks or trenching instead of just patching up the problem.
The purpose of repair is to solve the problem that caused your foundation damage in the first place. Temporary solutions don’t address this, so they are not long-term solutions. By understanding the different types of repair methods available, you can determine which best fits your needs and budget. If you’re having any activity around your home that could cause further damage (heaving, erosion, trees growing too close), make sure to consult with an expert in foundation repair.