The importance of building a house on a firm foundation is something that cannot be taken for granted. When you notice cracks on your foundation, you are supposed to move with speed and get to the bottom of it. Foundations hold buildings in place. Hence, any signs that you need to undertake repairs or improvement should be taken seriously.
Cracking foundations are as a result of:
- Soil that is settling. This can be blamed on the contractor. The builders may have failed to fill soil properly on the footers.
- Moisture in the soil. At the time of building the foundation, it may have been wet. As the soil dries up, it begins to shrink. Wet soil expands. The cracks result from pressure variations around the foundation block.
- Poor workmanship. Your builders may have failed to adhere to the right concrete mixing ratio.
With that understanding in mind, below are a few guidelines on dealing with a cracking foundation:-
- Call an engineer
After you notice some cracks on your floor areas and other beams, call an engineer immediately. Specifically, you should seek the opinion of a structural engineer. He will examine your house particularly the area around the foundation. The next step is to come up with a solution. Independent structural engineers will give honest opinions considering that they have no hidden agendas. Once the problem is diagnosed, you can proceed to look for a repair contractor. A Houston Foundation Company will be able to come out and check on the repairs that need to be made and will give you a timeline for how long it will take.
- Embark on the repair process
With a structural engineer on sight, you can be assured of a professional opinion. Repair work may involve mud jacking or shore up. The former involves pumping concrete mixture beneath the foundation of your house. This raises it to the initial height as it was originally constructed. Mud jacking is recommended where the cracks have been caused by settling soil. Should the problem be severe, the latter method is recommended. Steel piers are usually drilled till they reach a firm layer of soil. The piers are then attached to your house’s foundation thus raising it up to the original height.
- Cost implications
A professional structural engineer will always diagnose the problem and tell you about it. He should explain to you in simple terms what needs to be done. You can ask for cost approximation. At the same time, request your engineer for suggestions on possible contractors whom he/she feels are up to the task of undertaking foundation repairs. This will save you time that you could have spent getting quotations, doing background checks and negotiating for reasonable charges.
Repairing a cracked foundation will cost you a sum. However, this is nothing compared to what you could have paid were to neglect the problem. The sooner you take action, the better.