House Leveling: A Quick and Easy Guide
House Leveling Can Save the Value of Your Home
As a homeowner, realizing that you may need house leveling and repair can be unsettling. You ve probably heard that having a home leveled or having your foundation repaired will cost you a small fortune, but this isn t necessarily the case. Having your foundation repaired might be less costly than you think, particularly if your home features a pier and beam foundation. Regardless of cost, however, having your foundation issues resolved is essential. Luckily, understanding a little more about having your home leveled can make the process less intimidating and can help you make the right decisions in regards to maintaining and repairing your home.
What is House Leveling?
Over time, your home s foundation can begin to fail. This can be due to a lot of things, such as excess moisture or soil-related problems, a foundation that wasn t really designed to effectively support your home s weight and more. Ensuring that your house is on a sturdy foundation is essential, however, to prevent costly repairs and other issues. Fortunately, companies that focus on foundation repair can resolve these issues for you; not only can they repair your foundation, but they can also point out the causes of your problems and can help you fix them. This will help ensure that your home has a level foundation and that you don t have to worry about the many issues that can go along with foundation failure.
However, it s very important to do your due diligence and select the best foundation repair company to do the job. Here s an example of what can go wrong when hiring a shady operator:
Why is a Level Foundation So Important?
Your home s entire weight sits on its foundation. As you can imagine, houses are pretty heavy, so ensuring that they sit on a solid foundation is imperative. This is true for any home but can become even more of an issue with two-story houses.
Foundation failure can cause more problems than you probably realize. Although it can be easy to ignore these issues at first, they can begin to get much more serious over time. As your foundation continues to fail, your home can sink and sag significantly. Both interior and exterior damage can occur and become increasingly serious, and your repairs can get even more costly.
Does Your House Need Leveling?
You might have noticed what seem like clues, or you could just be concerned about the structural integrity of your home. Luckily, it s possible to identify whether or not your home has foundation-related problems. There are a few signs that you can look for if you re unsure of your home needs to be leveled. Here are a few clues to keep your eyes open for:
-Have you noticed cracking in your walls? These cracks can be small or quite long, and you might spot them in one or more areas of your home.
-If you have a brick home, you may have noticed cracks in your chimney, exterior walls, near your windows and doors and in other areas.
-Are your doors sticking or otherwise failing to shut properly?
-Are there gaps between your floors or ceilings and interior walls?
-Does your home seem to be sinking, shifting or sagging?
-Have you noticed issues with your floors? For example, are they sagging or bowing? Have you noticed that they are softer or bouncier? Do they seem to be uneven?
-Does your home appear to be uneven or unlevel when you look at it from the outside?
If you have noticed any of these problems, it is essential to have your foundation looked at by a professional as soon as possible. The right contractor can take a look at your home, assess the damage and tell you whether or not you need house leveling and what the cause of the problems could be. This will allow you to move forward and make necessary repairs to your home, and it can also help you become proactive to help prevent these issues from occurring in the future.
How are Pier and Beam Foundations Leveled?
If your home has a pier and beam foundation and a dirt crawl space, you re in luck. These foundations are generally much easier to repair because there is much easier access. Plus, the materials and tools that are used aren t as costly.
There are a few common methods that are used for house leveling with pier and beam foundations, including:
-Installing new piers along with a new concrete base and heavy-duty steel or block supports
-Leveling the girders and joists beneath the home with SmartJacks
– Sistering fresh, high-quality lumber to any damaged or rotted joists and girders
-Using steel I-beams to retrofit any damaged beams
Along with using one of these proven methods, it s essential to get to the root of the problem. For example, if your foundation damage has been caused by moisture-related issues, it s essential to solve these problems by fixing any leaks and potentially installing a new water drainage system. In many cases, moisture is the true problem for foundation damage with homes that have pier and beam foundations. Another problem could be that your foundation simply wasn t adequately designed to support your home, such as if the piers are spaced too far apart. Fortunately, having a professional install more piers can fix this problem and make for a sturdy, permanent foundation that you can rely on.
How are Slab Foundations Leveled?
Slab foundations have been becoming increasingly common since the mid-1950s. Even though these foundations are popular, they can fail as well. Foundation damage with most slab foundations is generally due to the soil; in many places, especially here in Texas, it is common for soil to go through periods of extreme moisture and extreme dryness. This causes soil to expand and contract, which can cause your home to shift. Over time, this shifting can cause cracks and other problems, and there could be the need for professional repair.
Here are a few ways that your home s slab foundation could be repaired during the house leveling process:
-Drilled Bell Piers
-Concrete Pilings and Piers
-Resistance or Steel Push Piers
-Pressed Pilings and Piers
Many homeowners are overwhelmed by the idea of having their foundations repaired, but this process is critical if you want to maintain the structural integrity of your home. Luckily, working with the right foundation repair contractor will allow you to determine the causes of these issues and can help ensure that your home is safe and stable into the future. Additional benefits can be gained by hiring a professional structural engineer who can offer an independent evaluation of your home and make suggestions on the best approach to fixing your foundation.