There are many millions of houses in the United States, and they are united by one common factor: having a foundation. A fine foundation will keep a house secure, dry, and stable for many years to come, and several different models exist across the nation. Texas homes built within the last 50 years, for example, tend to be built upon slab foundation models. A certified geologist on staff may determine which type of foundation is most secure based on local fault lines, because earthquakes may damage certain foundation types more than others. Foundation failure is often the result of a badly built foundation or flooding, and foundation repair services may have to be called. Foundation repair may involve reinforcing the walls of very old basements, for example, or foundation repair may take measures against water flooding into a basement. What is there to know about different foundation models, and the right time for foundation repair?
Models of Foundations
One of the basic types of foundation in American homes today is the slab model. Slabs are just that: a slab of concrete in the ground upon which a house may be built. These are popular among newer homes, for example, but other foundation types may have more features to them that a homeowner may like.
Crawlspace foundations elevate the home 18″ off the ground, and this is a strategic model for homes that are built in flood-prone areas. The elevated home can allow water to merely flow around or under it without causing damage, and what is more, workers can use that crawlspace (hence the name) for work. Plumbers of electricians can access utilities under the house by using this space.
Similar to crawlspaces are beam and pillar foundation models. These are built more shallowly into the ground, meaning that they are a poor choice for areas prone to earthquakes. A geologist on staff should be consulted for this. But if the area is stable, then this foundation model may be constructed. It is the most price-friendly model of foundation to build, and it also includes a crawlspace for utility workers to use. This foundation makes use of wood or concrete pillars and beams, hence the name, that go deep into the ground.
Basements are the fourth major type of foundation, and they are distinctive for providing a large underground space for storage or living in. Many homeowners find basements attractive because they add square footage to the home. What is more, basements can often be remodeled to become a clean and attractive living space, complete with carpets, lighting, wall paneling, and even a home entertainment system. Basements are also very solid and can resist both earthquakes and fire. But water may be a serious hazard for basement foundations. How can a homeowner effect foundation repair to deal with such issues?
Sometimes, a basement foundation will need some work. Older American homes, such as those built around the turn of the 20th century, typically have limestone brick walls with mortar. The problem is that these walls will bulge inwards over time as water-heavy soil presses on them, and these walls can form cracks that leak water over time. These walls cannot simply be removed and replaced, but contractors may build concrete walls that contain the limestone walls and prevent further bulging. Concrete formations can also help prevent water leaks from those limestone brick walls.
Basements may suffer water damage from other sources. For example, a home in a flood-prone area may often experience water leaks from the outside, and this may happen anytime there’s a flash flood or heavy rain. Other times, the home’s plumbing is the issue, and faulty pipes may leak or spray water over months or years. Either way, water in the basement will collect on the floor, and this is a real problem. Open water can encourage mold growth with the excess moisture, and that standing water might damage stored items or furniture. Not to mention how standing water tends to erode the walls or floor over time.
Foundation repair crews can fix any leaks in the basement to prevent further flooding from the outside, and they can repair cracks or faults in the concrete. Plumbers can also repair faulty pipes and install sump pumps that draw up loose water and remove it.