It’s not uncommon for problems to occur in building foundations over time that cause them to sink deeper into the underlying soil structure. When this occurs, the building might appear to ‘tilt’ at an angle.
This article provides information on how to level a foundation after observing signs of foundation problems.
What Is House Leveling?
House leveling is the process of lifting a sinking building as close to its original plane as possible. If you suspect that your foundation might be uneven, it’s best to get help from foundation professionals as early as possible to prevent major damages.
House leveling contractors are trained to spot early signs of a sinking foundation and use various house leveling tools to measure elevation and lift the building as close to its original state as possible.
Making a home perfectly level is not the goal. The goal is to bring things to a flatter plane and provide structural support. Learn more about how URETEK Gulf Coast’s foundation repair in Houston can help.
How to Spot a Sinking Foundation
There are some obvious signs to look out for if you suspect that the foundation of your home is uneven. Note that foundation sinking can affect both old and newly constructed buildings.
Typically, more than 1.5 inches of settlement across 10 feet is a cause for concern. The uneven distribution of the load can result in several structural issues such as:
- Sloping or sagging floors
- Cracks in ceilings, walls, and chimneys
- Doors and windows that don’t latch securely
- Buildings that appear to be tilting at an angle when viewed from a distance
If you notice any of the above signs of foundation sinking, consult a local foundation contractor immediately.
Types of Foundations
Regardless of the type of foundation you have, house leveling is applicable and generally follows the same basic procedure – installing support beneath the building’s foundation to return it to its original elevation and fortifying the supporting structures with steel or concrete.
Below are two common foundation types and insights on how to level a house or commercial structure for each.
Concrete Slab Foundation
As the name implies, this type of foundation is made from concrete slabs poured on a prepared base. They can be purchased as pre-manufactured concrete blocks or constructed by pouring a mixture of concrete over a defined area and allowing it to solidify.
Concrete slabs are some of the cheapest foundation types to construct and offer solid surfaces which can reliably hold up heavy buildings. However, slabs are prone to water and moisture damage which can cause foundation cracking. This is why modern homes have a moisture barrier underneath the concrete.
How to Level a Slab Foundation
Slab foundations can be leveled using the slabjacking, foamjacking, or slab foundation repair methods like the URETEK Method. To carry out the process, several holes are drilled into the slab and expanding high-density polymer is injected.
The slab is slowly raised as the expands, compacting the loose soil, and the holes are plugged. URETEK Gulf Coast uses a patented polyurethane concrete-lifting polymer that expands to create the lift necessary for stabilizing your slab.
Contact us today for more information on our foam polyurethane foundation repair in Houston.
Pier and Beam Foundation
Pier and beam foundations are constructed with piers or pillars made of treated wood or concrete, beams that are fastened on top and across them, and joists laid on the beams. This type of foundation provides a crawl space between the foundation and soil.
Pier and beam foundations have been around for a long while and hold some advantages over concrete slabs. The crawlspace elevates the building from the ground preventing water intrusion. However, they are more expensive to construct than slab foundations, rodents, insects, and snakes can make their homes in the crawlspace.
How to Level a Pier and Beam Foundation
If your building has a pier and beam foundation, it can also benefit from leveling. Additionally, some other remedial actions are carried out alongside leveling.
If any of the supporting beams are compromised due to rot, steel beams are used to strengthen them they may need to be replaced. The piers are fortified with concrete pilings, and special house leveling equipment is used to stabilize the joist and girders beneath the structure is leveled at the existing piles or stations that support your pier and beam foundation using hydraulic jacks.
Learn more about our repair techniques for foundation piling in Houston today.
Does Your Building Require Leveling or Foundation Repair?
Whether you will need foundation repairs or leveling depends on the kind of structural problems your house is experiencing. When in doubt, it’s best to consult a professional.
For optimum safety and reliability, leveling concrete foundations should be done by skilled contractors. You can also hire a structural engineer to assess your foundation to identify distressed or cracked areas or a slab survey to survey concrete slab foundations.
Contact URETEK for Foundation Repair and Leveling Today
URETEK Gulf Coast offers house leveling services using best-in-class house leveling equipment for long-lasting residential and commercial foundation repair in Houston, TX. If your property is in the Greater Houston area, contact us for polyurethane foam jacking repairs that use the URETEK Method®.
For more information about our foundation repair, contact us online today.