If you notice cracks in the walls of your home or feel like the floor is sinking, you may have a problem with your home's foundation. If you think you have damage to the foundation, it is important to have the foundation inspected.
Having a foundation repair company inspect the foundation of your home is a good way to find damage before it goes too far. The inspector will come in and look at the walls of the foundation from inside the home and check the sill where the house sits on the foundation.
Water damage along the top edge of the concrete can be hard to see because the siding often covers the exterior wall and extends below the sill plate. The inspector may have to remove or loosen some siding to get a good look at the top of the foundation, but if there is damage there, it is important to find it before any work starts. In homes with basements, the inspector may be able to check that part of the foundation from inside the home.
In some situations, the issue with the foundation starts because the ground under the concrete is not strong enough to support the weight of the home. If the ground begins to compact and the foundation starts to sink, it is very likely to crack from the stress places on the concrete. This is especially common if one area is sinking more than another area.
Below Grade Damage
If there is damage to the foundation that appears to extend below the soil or ground level, the contractor may need to excavate the area around the foundation to check how far the damage goes. In order to repair the damage that is under the ground level, the dirt will need to be removed all the way around the home, and the potential for the contractor to have to excavate under the home to make room for jacking and bracing equipment is always a possibility.
Replacing the Entire Foundation
For homes with extremely damaged foundations, the contractor may need to raise the home off the existing foundation and remove it completely. The new foundation can then be constructed under the home, and when the foundation is ready, the home will be set back down on the new foundation.
Once the foundation work is complete, the contractor can backfill around the home; if you plan ahead, you can have the contractor install drainage around the foundation to protect the new foundation from water damage in the future.