Every house or building experiences minor foundation settling over time as the ground beneath it compacts.
Left uncorrected, your home’s structural integrity could be affected.
If you have foundation issues as a result of sinking, it’s critical that you work with an expert who can diagnose the reason why your foundation is sinking and knows the best way to correct it.
Depending on your situation, professionals will choose from two basic house leveling methods to correct the problem by: using load-bearing piers or high-pressure mudjacking.
Load-Bearing Piers for Foundation Sinking
One way that foundation sinking can be corrected is by boosting the foundation up again using load-bearing piers.
A pier is basically a pole or support structure that gets pushed into the ground under the foundation, then positioned to level the structure and prevent further sinking foundation issues.
There are a few different types of piers that your professional might use for foundation sinking repairs depending on the severity of the problem, your house, the soil, and other variables:
- Helical Piers - These are like giant steel screws that get hydraulically driven deep into the ground, then affixed with brackets that attach to the foundation or slab to secure and/or lift it. They are especially useful for lighter structures or when ground conditions make setting up other types of piers challenging.
- Steel Push Piers - This type of pier consists of thick steel poles that are driven into the ground, then affixed with brackets to secure and lift the slab or foundation back into place. These are best used in more stable ground that is less affected by water, erosion, and other conditions so it is compact enough to hold the piers securely.
- Hydraulic Lift Piers - When foundation sinking is more significant or more support is needed, hydraulic lift piers that support the entire slab may be used for foundation sinking repairs. They are strong enough for both residential and commercial use. After they are set into the ground, the pier supports are hydraulically lifted until the structure is leveled and secure.
Foundation Sinking Repairs Using Mudjacking
The second method for correcting many less extensive sinking foundation issues is high-pressure mudjacking or grouting.
This technique is especially suitable for the sinking that occurs as a result of damage to the concrete slab supporting the foundation.
Mudjacking is a relatively easy and comparably inexpensive procedure that involves drilling holes in the slab, then pumping under high pressure a concrete mixture underneath the slab.
It can be used to stabilize a sinking slab, raise and align damaged slab sections, or to level a sinking slab.
Ground problems must then be addressed to prevent further foundation sinking or destabilization of the support structures.
Once the problem is resolved, any of these methods may be used to handle your sinking foundation problem!