A proper home foundation does more than just hold a house above the ground. It helps to keep out the moisture, insulates against the cold, and resists the ever-shifting movements of the earth. A high-quality home foundation should last you a lifetime, so it’s well worth taking the time to ensure that you have the best type of foundation.
While every home is built on a foundation, not every property is based on the same foundation. There are a variety of different foundations available, each best suiting a different area, home, and structure. Variations are possible, but here are the most commonly used in house foundation construction, and what repairs often need to be made.
Pier and Beam
Pier and beam foundations are constructed with wood posts or concrete piers set deep into the ground to bear the weight of the building. First, this reinforced concrete footing is buried underground, anchoring the entire foundation of the building in the ground to prevent shifting in volatile soils. Next, piers are constructed and attached to the footing. Piers are typically made from concrete or brick. The piers come out of the ground and support beams, which are directly connected to the floor joists beneath your flooring.
This foundation is typically elevated 18 inches above the ground, with utility units for plumbing and electricity installed in this crawlspace. Repairs can easily be made since workers can access the area quickly. However, not just anyone can go into the crawlspace and make repairs. A professional who understands the foundation structure and common safety concerns can help you when repairing your pier and beam foundation.
Pier and beam foundations mean that there is easy accessibility for workers to get underneath the house and repair problems, such as electrical and plumbing issues. This makes some types of foundation repairs easier to correct. Furthermore, there is a less chance of damage from the ground as it sits a few inches above it. However, this type of foundation is often susceptible to drainage issues and must be addressed regularly. Luckily, professionals can help to correct drainage concerns.
The slab-on-grade foundation is what it sounds like: a concrete slab poured at ground level that serves as the subfloor for the home’s living area. These foundations tend to be useful in climates that don’t experience ground freezing, and they are often less expensive than the deep foundations. Unlike a pier and beam foundation, the slab-on-grade foundation is not elevated.
While it means that there is little chance for pests and critters to rest underneath your home, the downfall to slab-on-grade foundations is that the concrete must be broken up before the repair can take place if there is an issue. Additionally, as the pipes are stationed underneath the foundation, a burst water pipe can cost a considerably large sum of money to repair and recover. A foundation expert can customize repair to your home and needs.
Foundations can be repaired but not completely replaced without destroying the home above. Your home cannot survive without a strong foundation, which is why it pays to have a true professional on your side to help.
MitchCo Foundation Repair has over 30 years of experience in foundation repair, as well as restoration and maintenance. Serving the San Antonio area, our repair experts can help to correct your foundation issue. Contact us at (210) 485-1995 to find out how we can help keep your foundation in the best shape possible.
If water isn’t draining properly around your home, it can wreak havoc on your foundation. Poor water drainage, such as when water is flowing towards a house instead of away from it, can severely damage the foundation and compromise its structural integrity. A foundation repair expert is needed to fix such foundation issues, because doing it yourself could lead to future costly repairs.
Here’s how improper water drainage can impact your foundation.
The seasonal swelling and shrinking of expansive soils, such as the clay soil found in parts of the San Antonio area, is the most common cause of foundation movement. During wetter months, the soil swells with an increase in its moisture content, which raises a foundation. Then in the drier months, the soil shrinks back down, and the foundation settles.
If water around a home isn’t draining properly, some areas of soil may swell more than others, and consequently, some areas may dry out quicker than others. This is bad news for a foundation. Cracking can begin to occur due to the unbalanced soil below, since one part of the foundation becomes more supported than another.
As time goes on, soil around a home may become eroded. Runoff from rooftops that lands too close to a home may begin to erode the soil around its foundation. This could cause damage and movement of the foundation as the soil becomes less stable.
Clogged gutters can also contribute to soil erosion if water overflows and accumulates around a home’s foundation. Downspout drains that aren’t angled properly can add to the problem here too.
It’s not always direct rainwater that can cause a foundation issue. Groundwater can seep through soil and into areas that are damaging to a home’s foundation if pooling happens too closely to the house’s perimeter. Appropriate water drainage can prevent this.
Your home’s foundation may be affected by water not draining properly if you notice continuous dampness in the house. Damage to walls, such as plaster crumbling, paint peeling or wood rotting, may also appear if the problem is left untreated.
Cracking and tilting in a home are also symptoms of poor water drainage around the foundation. When floors sag and windows or doors that once worked smoothly begin to become stuck, this can mean there’s movement in the foundation.
In situations where water continues to damage a home’s foundation, the home itself can start to sink, or worse yet, collapse. Therefore it’s important that water drains properly around a home, and why the help of an expert is necessary if it doesn’t.
Serving the San Antonio area, our foundation repair professionals can help correct a variety of foundation issues, as well as make sure water is draining properly around your foundation. We offer free estimates too, so give us a call at (210) 485-1995 if you suspect any problems with your foundation or water drainage.
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