House leveling involves lifting a home above its foundation level to return it to its original position and correct any structural problems. It is the most viable technique for prolonging the maintenance of a home and offers a sense of security for its owners.
All homes are built on a foundation to provide support and offer protection against water and soil vapor. However, over time, a home’s structure can sink, crack, heave, or settle due to several common factors. These reasons can include faulty original foundations, high moisture levels, as well as the shrinking or swelling of soil below the property. Undoubtedly, problems with a home’s foundation can devalue a property and present dangerous living conditions if it remains repaired.
The common warning signs of a deteriorating home foundation are:
- 1. Moldings that are displaced
- 2. Wall rotation
- 3. Separation found around garage door, windows or walls
- 4. Cracked bricks
- 5. Broken/cracked foundation
- 1. Cracked drywall
- 2. Cracks in the floor
- 3. Floors that have become uneven
- 4. Misaligned doors and windows
The process of leveling a house depends on the foundation type. There are numerous methods for repair available for each foundation type, however the end result will always be the same. Before deciding on a repair method, it’s important to determine what is causing the levelling issue.
Methods for Slab Foundation Homes
Slab foundations are constructed from concrete slabs that are poured on to a prepared base. While they are a reliable foundation for homes, slab foundations can be susceptible to water and moisture damage which can lead to foundation cracking. Slab foundation homes are most commonly found in regions that are wet but not vulnerable to flooding.
For homes with a slab foundation, successful house leveling can be achieved with a variety of methods. These can include excavating from the exterior of the home and installing the likes of pilings or piers such as bell bottom piers, helical piers, steel piers, concrete pilings, mudjacking, or using an effective chemical substance in order to fill in the gaps underneath the foundation. Additionally, soil injections may be used to reduce the risk of soils swelling underneath the home.
Methods for Crawl Space Foundation Homes
Also referred to as pier and beam foundations, crawl space foundations are constructed with piers or pillars from treated wood or concrete, as well as beams and joists. Crawlspace foundations help to elevate homes a few feet off the ground from the ground to prevent water intrusion, however after a while, they can be prone to issues such as moisture, pest damage, and offer weak protection from extreme weather. Crawl spaces work best in dryer climates, areas prone to flooding, as well as in slopped regions.
House leveling methods for crawl space foundation homes include utilizing pilings underneath their existing piers to reinforce them, using rods or braces to fortify any damaged support stations and restore sagging floors, or stabilizing the soil underneath the foundation with a chemical mixture. It’s important to note that all of these crawlspace foundation methods can be combined.