Your Trusted Experts in St. Louis Foundation Repair
STRUCTURAL PROBLEMS WITH YOUR FOUNDATION GO BEYOND PROTECTING YOUR INVESTMENT. MORE IMPORTANTLY, IT’S ABOUT PROTECTING YOUR FAMILY.
Signs of foundation settlement can manifest in various ways, often indicating structural issues that should not be ignored. In fact, foundation settlement can often require engineered solutions to protect the structural integrity of your home. Not only does ignoring the problem or trying a quick fix solution end up costing more in the long run, but they can also de-value your home and potentially put your family at risk.
THERE ARE NUMEROUS SIGNS YOU MIGHT NEED A FOUNDATION REPAIR.
- One of the most common signs is the appearance of foundation cracks in the interior and exterior walls of your home. These cracks can be vertical, horizontal, or diagonal and often appear near windows and doors.
- Wall to floor separation, uneven or sloping floors within the structure will also be an indicator you may have foundation settlement issues. If you notice that your floors are no longer level and seem to be sloping or dipping in certain areas, it may be a sign of foundation settlement.
- Additionally, doors and windows may become difficult to open or close properly due to the shifting of the foundation, and you may notice gaps or spaces between the door/window frames and the walls.
- Another sign of foundation settlement is the presence of gaps or separations in the molding or trim around the base of walls. As the foundation settles unevenly, it can cause these decorative elements to separate from the walls.
- Exterior signs can include cracks in the foundation itself, particularly in the concrete or brick masonry, or footings of your home. These cracks may start small but can widen over time if the settlement issue is not addressed. Equally, if you see exterior brick masonry falling off the house, this is a tell-tale sign of foundation settlement.
- Also, you might observe a tilting chimney or leaning walls, which are more advanced signs of foundation problems that demand immediate attention. Recognizing these signs early and seeking professional assistance for a thorough inspection and necessary repairs is crucial to preventing further damage to the foundation and the overall structure of the building.
BOWING WALLS IN A HOME'S FOUNDATION CAN BE A SERIOUS STRUCTURAL ISSUE THAT SHOULD BE ADDRESSED PROMPTLY.
Common signs of bowing walls in a home's foundation include:
- Visible Bowing or Leaning: One of the most obvious signs is when you can see the walls of the foundation curving inward or outward. This can often be observed in the basement.
- Horizontal Cracks: Horizontal cracks along the walls, particularly near the middle or upper sections, can indicate bowing. These cracks are often wider at the center and narrower towards the ends.
- Diagonal Cracks: Diagonal cracks in foundation walls can also be a sign of bowing, especially if they are accompanied by other signs like basement dry wall damage, or interior doors sticking.
- Sheared or Displaced Bricks or Blocks: If the foundation walls are made of bricks or concrete blocks, you may notice that some bricks or blocks have shifted, sheared, or separated from the rest of the wall.
- Utility lines: Water/gas supply lines being “pinched”, interior/exterior electrical panel separating from wall.
- Wall compression: Wall compression in a home refers to the vertical force exerted on load-bearing walls to support the weight of the building.
- Exterior Brick Cracks: Includes abnormal exterior brick or siding overhang, buckling of siding, exterior, or bricks falling off the house.
- Sticking Doors and Windows: As the foundation walls bow, it can cause the doors and windows in your home to become misaligned. You may notice that they stick, are difficult to open or close, or have gaps around the frames.
- Uneven Floors: Bowing walls can lead to uneven floors in the affected area of the house. This can result in a noticeable slope or hump in the floor.
- Water Infiltration: Bowing walls can create gaps or spaces through which water can enter the basement or crawl space. This can lead to moisture problems, including mold and mildew growth.
THE APPROPRIATE FOUNDATION REPAIR DEPENDS ON THE SEVERITY OF THE ISSUE AND ITS UNDERLYING CAUSES.
As a seasoned foundation repair contractor, Stratum Structural Systems can explain the seemingly complicated foundation work we’re performing to set your mind at ease.
- Underpinning: Underpinning involves reinforcing the foundation to stabilize and lift it back to its original position. There are several methods of underpinning, including helical piers, push piers and slab piers.
- Mudjacking: Mudjacking is a process that involves pumping a slurry (a mixture of lime, portland cement, and water) under a settled concrete slab to lift it back into position. It's primarily used for concrete slab foundations.
- Polyjacking: This method is like mudjacking, except it involves drilling smaller holes in the concrete. A polyurethane foam is then injected through these holes, and it expands beneath the slab to raise it.
- Reinforcement: In some cases, foundation walls may require reinforcement to prevent further movement. This can be achieved through the installation of wall anchors, steel soldier beams and in some cases carbon fiber.
- Foundation Replacement: In severe cases of foundation movement where the existing foundation is beyond repair, a complete foundation replacement may be necessary. This is a costly and extensive solution but can provide long-term stability.
Your St Louis Foundation Repair Experts
Stratum Structural Systems Company is an Expert in Foundation Repair
Stratum Structural Systems is a highly rated foundation repair company, and we treat our customers’ homes as if they were our own. We offer solutions for the following common foundation problems.
HYDROSTATIC PRESSURE PROBLEMS
Hydrostatic pressure is a term used to describe a high or rising water table. In St. Louis, water tables can fluctuate dramatically depending on rainfall amounts. If the water table rises enough, water can come up through cracks in the floor or around the perimeter, at the floor and wall seam. Basement waterproofing relieves the hydrostatic pressure and prevents water from entering the basement.
EXTERIOR WATER ISSUES
Exterior water issues include standing water in the yard, water coming in over the top of the foundation, downspouts dumping next to the foundation and window wells filling up. Correcting the yard grade, installing French drains and extending downspouts can be effective and simple solutions to these problems.
Foundation cracks can occur for many reasons. Not all cracks are structural concerns and often, simple epoxy or urethane injections can be administered to prevent water from entering the basement. If cracks widen, run diagonally or horizontally then they may be a symptom of a larger issue and further structural repairs may be needed.
BRICK & DRYWALL CRACKS
Cracks in brick and mortar, along with drywall cracking, may be a result of foundation movement. This type of movement often occurs after heavy rainfall or during periods of high temperatures and drought. Additional damage may include windows and doors not working properly or sticking. You may also notice large cracks in the soil during this time. Stratum Structural Systems specializes in piering foundations which may be needed if these symptoms are present.
BOWING OR LEANING WALLS
Bowing or leaning walls are normally a result of lateral movement caused by expanding clay soils. Expansion occurs during times of heavy, prolonged rains. You may notice diagonal or horizontal cracks in the basement walls. The installation of tieback anchors or soldier I Beam columns can be used to provide structural reinforcement to the foundation walls. In some cases of highly expansive soils, excavation and exterior pressure relief systems may also be needed to fully solve the problems.
The settlement of a foundation can occur for different reasons. One common reason is the shrinkage of clay soils during periods of drought. Settlement can also occur due to soil erosion or fill material not being compacted properly. The installation of piers (helical piers or resistance piers) can be used to support the foundation to prevent further settlement. In some minor cases, water management solutions may be beneficial to help with foundation repair.