All About Foundation Repair Methods

All About Foundation Repair Methods

Foundation Repair Methods

Foundation Repair Methods

The process of stabilizing and underpinning a structure that has shifted from its original position. The following are some of the most common symptoms that your foundation needs to be repaired:

1. Warning Signs on the Outside

Warning Signs on the Outside

  • Rotation of the wall
  • Creating a barrier around the garage door, windows, and/or walls.
  • Bricks that have been cracked.
  • The foundation is broken and/or cracked.
  • Moldings that have been displaced.

2. Interior Signs of Danger

Interior Signs of Danger

  • Doors and windows that aren’t aligned properly.
  • Sheetrock with cracks.
  • The floor has cracks.
  • Floors that are uneven.

Slab-jacking and hydraulic jacking are the two most prevalent ways of this type of repair (also known as piering). A slab jacking process involves pumping grout beneath a slab or beam to create a lifting force that raises the member back to its original height.

Piering involves driving steel posts through unstable soil and using hydraulic jacks to lift or stabilize concrete slabs that have been influenced by changes in the underlying soil. The manner of repair performed is determined by the sort of distress being addressed.

Slabjacking is the most frequent procedure for repairing smaller slabs of sunken concrete, such as home slabs, driveways, sidewalks, and swimming pool decks.

Pumping cement grout into small, carefully placed holes in the concrete slab is how slab jacking is accomplished. Once in place, the grouting hardens, creating a dense concrete block that serves as a stable foundation for the concrete slab.

When soil-cement-lime grouting is utilized, the lime content of the mixture will provide lime stability advantages to the base as well as the sub-base.

Such combination treatment not just repairs the slab to normal grade and moreover stabilizes the subsoil to prevent the situation from recurring.

Hydraulic piers are often utilized for lifting and stabilizing foundations in larger difficulties, particularly those encountered in residential and commercial building foundation displacement.

Piering is strategically placing mechanical jacks to raise the settling beam to grade. To avoid further or unneeded damage, the beam must be gently elevated. After being elevated, the beam is secured in place by a specifically constructed spread footing and pier.

The footing is positioned deep enough to be unaffected by variations in soil moisture. It is also intended to distribute the load adequately while avoiding the creation of superfluous bulk or mass. The pier is steel-tied to the footing and supports the foundation beam.

Foundation repair methods differ depending on the soil type, climate, foundation construction, and the specific problems at hand.

1. Underpinning
2. Shimming
3. Foundation wall repair
4. Grouting
5. Mudjacking
6. Stabilizing foundation soil

1. Underpinning


Underpinning is a foundation depth-increasing or foundation-repair technique. If you want to add stories to an existing structure or if the foundation has been compromised, this may be the case. When fractures appear in your building, it’s a clear indicator that it needs to be underpinned.

When fractures in a building’s foundation are more than 14 inches, and there are other indicators of a weak foundation, such as diagonal cracks, it has to be underpinned.

Heaved foundations, cracked or buckling walls, and fractured concrete floors are all examples of foundation failures. The mass pour method is the most often utilized form of underpinning.

This method entails digging sections in series to a certain depth below the footing and pouring concrete into each pit. Repeat the procedure until the whole affected area has been anchored. Other supporting methodologies and approaches are detailed in the following sections.

  • Underpinning With Screw Piles and Brackets
  • Pile and Beam Method
  • Underpinning Using Piled Raft

2. Shimming


Foundation shims are installed on top of what is usually known as “shim blocks.” Steel shims are in close touch with the foundation of the home.

A concrete cover sits beneath the shims. Underneath that are concrete foundation piers embedded in the ground. When modifying a foundation, the structure may require more spacers or a reduction in the number of shims put.

3. Foundation Wall Repair

Foundation Wall Repair

Foundation walls crack for a variety of causes. Sometimes even the foundation wall wasn’t really built properly, or the construction was hurried, as shown in most new homes, resulting in fissures.

Even if they were correctly built, they tend to settle with time, which might result in a fracture or crack. It is just a reality that, despite being a tough material, concrete will crack with time.

When it comes to mending a poured concrete crack, there is one essential guideline to follow: the repair must be done from the outside of the foundation wall.

Any repairs made from the inside will only enable water to continue infiltrating and force you to hire someone to perform the work again. We’ll need to expose the crack because it generally starts on the outside of the wall.

This includes locating below-grade utilities so they may be avoided during excavation and removing any obstructions that are in the way of the repair.

When we start excavating, we examine the weeping tile system to see whether it needs to be changed. We next use a wire brush to delicately expose the region and analyze the damage.

Also Read: How Do I Water My Foundation Correctly?

4. Grouting


1. Pressure Grouting

Pressure Grouting

Under pressure, a liquid cementitious material is injected into huge gaps, empty spaces between soil particles, fractures, or even between subsurface-bearing elements and an existing structure.

This method is used to impart pressures to nearby soil formations or building structures, such as when leveling a floor or foundation. The procedure also necessitates that the grout gel or harden inside the treated regions.

Compaction grouting, curtain grouting, chemical grouting, permeation grouting, and any other application in which the grout material is put under pressure are all examples of pressure grouting.

2. Chemical Grouting

Chemical Grouting

Chemical grout is a quick and inexpensive way to bind in-situ soil particles and seal tiny cracks, fractures, and leaks. Chemical grout is pushed into the surrounding soil through gaps and fractures, where it forms with the soil to produce a reasonably impenetrable mass.

The procedure is injecting a specially designed fluid grout (usually sodium silicates, acrylates, polyurethanes, or MC-Silicates) into existing pore spaces in finer-grained soils such as silts and clays that are resistant to cement penetration. Chemical grouts differ in terms of strength, viscosity, toxicity, and cost.

3. Compaction Grouting

Compaction Grouting

By injecting a low-slump cement mixture into the soil under pressure, compaction grouting increases the carrying capacity of foundations and underlying soils.

As it is pumped in, the cement pushes aside the surrounding dirt, compacting it and increasing its density while producing a grout column or bulb.

To get the optimum outcomes at a specific location, this approach is simple in concept but needs careful preparation based on an understanding of on-site conditions.

4. Cement (Slurry) Grouting

Cement (Slurry) Grouting

The pressured injection of flowable particulate grouts (flowable fill) into open cracks, voids, and enlarged fractures is known as cement or slurry grouting.

Injection into abandoned pipelines, pressure-injected anchors, stability of gravels and shot rock, dam rock foundation treatment, and, under certain conditions, containment of plumes arising from hazardous waste spills are all applications.

Slurry grouting is made up of finely crushed slag or Portland cement, dispersants, and huge amounts of water to produce a slurry mixture capable of penetrating fine sand or finely fractured rock.

5. Mudjacking


Mudjacking is a technique used in some foundation restorations. Mudjacking is classified into two categories. Hydraulic mud jacking is the first type.

Drilling tiny holes in a concrete slab and pouring a cement slurry under high pressure is what hydraulic mud jacking entails. The slurry is injected between the slab and the supporting earth. The slab may be raised if enough pressure is applied.

Controlling the high-pressure slurry and what is lifted can be difficult. Furthermore, excessive pressure can cause damage to below slab pipes, especially if the pipes are old cast iron. As a result, lifting a concrete slab with piers or pilings is usually efficient.

The second form of the jacket is used to fill the gap created when a concrete plate is removed using plates or piling from the supporting ground.

Sometimes, a gap between the dome and the underlying ground is produced when the concrete dome is adequately piled or piled up. The piers or pilings elevate the platform in this scenario and support it.

Sealants in Foundation Repair

Sealants in Foundation Repair

Masonry or sealants can be used for processing basic or small cracks, but frequent maintenance is advised.

Some of the sealers currently used in the construction industry have been hydraulic cement (similar to cement mortar and set up very quickly, respectively) or epoxy (similar to paste and available in various viscosities for the application of various crack widths), or polyurethane (a good sealant and a quick setup).

The crack chip and the maceration patches are only advantageous with small cracks utilizing sealers.

Also Read: Cracks in Brick

6. Stabilizing Foundation Soil

Stabilizing Foundation Soil

Soil stabilization is simply the removal or addition of some qualities of soil that ensures that your building’s foundation has the most stable environment.

Soil stabilization is an excellent way to protect and improve your structure’s stability. It may also be used as a grouting or chemical grouting to treat sinkholes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Foundation Repair Methods

The two most common methods of foundation repair are slabjacking and piering.
Foundation Repair Methods
  • A pattern of holes are drilled into the area needing repair.
  • A synthetic lifting solution, similar in texture to grout, is poured into the holes and under the slab with specialized equipment.

Epoxy Injection Crack Repair Cost

The cost is usually only a few hundred dollars depending on the size and length of the crack. The national average cost for crack injection is $4,500, while most projects range from $2,300 to $6,700. Minor cracks may only cost a few hundred dollars, but the larger the crack, the more expensive the repair.

Foundation Crack Repair Methods

Fix Concrete Cracks in 8 Steps
  1. Step 1: Repair a Foundation Crack With an Epoxy Sealer.
  2. Step 2: Block Out the Injection Ports.
  3. Step 3: Mix the Epoxy Sealer.
  4. Step 4: Attach the Injection Port.
  5. Step 5: Spread Sealer Along the Crack.
  6. Step 6: Inject the Epoxy into the Crack.
  7. Step 7: Seal Up the Injection Ports.

Pier and Beam Foundation Repair Methods

4 Ways to Fix Your Pier and Beam Foundation
  • Reshimming. Making small but more frequent adjustments to the snugness of all your pier and beam foundation parts is what reshimming is all about.
  • Rebuilding or Adding Pier Stacks. New Pier Stack.
  • Replacing Wood.
  • Adding Underpinning to the Beam.

Sinking Foundation Repair Methods

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.

Foundation Leveling Methods

House Foundation Repair Methods
  • Sealants and Masonry Patches. Crack in Foundation.
  • MudJacking. Mudjacking is a repair method used to lift concrete that is uneven or sinking.
  • Piering or Piling. Piering or Piling Technique.

Bowed Basement Wall Repair Methods

The traditional method of repairing bowed basement walls is by using steel bracing. One of the most common methods using steel is using strong, light steel that is called channel steel. This is anchored to the foundation footing, then attached to the floor joist that is above it.

Concrete Foundation Repair Methods

  • The two most common methods of this type of repair are slabjacking and hydraulic jacking (also known as piering).
  • The most commonly used method of correcting smaller slabs of sunken concrete, such as residential slabs, driveways, sidewalks, swimming pool decks, etc. is slabjacking.

What Is the Best Foundation Repair Method?

1. Steel Piers. This is the foundation repair that most structural engineers will recommend for your home. This is a solid and proven method of stabilizing a foundation that has started to shift or sink into unstable ground.

Foundation Stabilization Methods

Foundation Stabilization Techniques
  1. Steel piers. This is one of the most preferred foundation repair methods. …
  2. Concrete Press Piers. Concrete piers don’t require time to harden like poured concrete. …
  3. Steel Piers. Steel piers are just steel pipes comprising of spiral blades on the lower parts. …
  4. Concrete Piers.
  5. Mudjacking.

Effective Foundation Repair Techniques for Sinking Foundations

  • Polyurethane Foam Jacking. This foundation repair process uses polyurethane foam material to lift and support a sunken concrete slab foundation.
  • Concrete Pressed Piling.
  • Steel Piers.
  • Helical Piers.
  • Concrete Piers.
  • Slabjacking/Mudjacking.

Innovative Methods for Repairing Cracked Foundations

Carbon fiber foundation repair is a relatively new and innovative method for repairing cracked and bowing foundation walls. It offers a long-lasting solution that does not require excavation or heavy machinery. The process involves installing carbon fiber straps on the wall, which are then secured with epoxy resin.

Advanced Foundation Repair Methods for Uneven Floors

When it comes to advanced foundation repair methods for uneven floors, there are several options available depending on the specific circumstances and severity of the problem. Here are a few advanced techniques that professionals may employ:

  • Underpinning: Underpinning is a method used to stabilize and strengthen the foundation of a building. It involves excavating the soil beneath the existing foundation and placing additional supports or piers to redistribute the weight of the structure. This technique can help correct uneven floors caused by foundation settling or shifting.
  • Slabjacking: Slabjacking, also known as mud jacking or pressure grouting, is a process used to lift and level concrete slabs. It involves drilling small holes into the sunken or uneven concrete floor and injecting a mixture of cement, sand, and other additives beneath the slab. The injected material fills voids and raises the floor, restoring it to its original level.
  • Pier and beam adjustment: If your uneven floors are due to issues with a pier and beam foundation, adjusting the piers can help correct the problem. This process involves evaluating the condition of the existing piers and making adjustments by either adding shims or replacing damaged components. By ensuring proper support for the beams, the floors can be leveled.
  • Helical piers or steel push piers: These methods are used when uneven floors are caused by soil instability or foundation settlement. Helical piers are large screws that are drilled into the ground to support and lift the foundation. Steel push piers, on the other hand, are hydraulically driven into the soil to provide stability and lift the foundation back to its original position.
  • Foam injection: Foam injection is a technique used to raise and stabilize sunken or uneven concrete floors. It involves injecting expanding polyurethane foam into the voids beneath the floor. As the foam expands, it fills the empty spaces and lifts the floor to the desired level. This method is particularly useful for smaller-scale repairs and situations where limited disruption is desired.

Cost-Effective Solutions for Repairing Foundation Walls

When it comes to cost-effective solutions for repairing foundation walls, there are a few options to consider. The best solution will depend on the specific issues with your foundation walls, so it’s important to assess the situation and consult with a professional for an accurate diagnosis. Here are some common and relatively affordable approaches:

  • Crack injection: If you have minor cracks in your foundation walls, the crack injection can be a cost-effective solution. It involves injecting an epoxy or polyurethane resin into the cracks to fill and seal them. This method helps prevent water infiltration and further deterioration of the foundation walls.
  • Waterproofing coatings: Applying a waterproofing coating on the interior or exterior of foundation walls can be an effective and affordable solution to address moisture issues. These coatings create a barrier that helps prevent water penetration and protects the walls from damage.
  • Drainage improvements: In some cases, water pooling around the foundation walls can contribute to their deterioration. Improving the drainage system around your property can help redirect water away from the foundation, reducing the risk of water damage. This can include installing gutters, downspout extensions, French drains, or grading the landscape away from the foundation.
  • Carbon fiber reinforcement: If you’re dealing with horizontal or vertical wall cracks caused by minor structural issues, carbon fiber reinforcement can be a cost-effective solution. Carbon fiber strips or fabric are applied to the cracked areas and bonded with a special epoxy. This reinforcement helps strengthen the walls and prevent further cracking.
  • Retaining wall repair: If you have a retaining wall that is showing signs of damage, repairing it promptly can prevent further deterioration and costly repairs in the future. Retaining wall repair methods can include reinforcing the structure with additional materials, fixing drainage issues, or rebuilding sections of the wall.

How to Pay for Foundation Repair?

  1. Payment Plans.
  2. Third-Party Financing.
  3. Financial Institution Loans.
  4. Mortgage Refinancing.
  5. Credit Cards.
  6. Current Savings.
  7. Savings Plan.

What Is the Best Foundation Repair Method?

In most instances, installing steel piers under your home is the best long-term solution to stabilize the foundation—It’s also the most costly. For this repair, galvanized steel posts are driven deep into the ground below the foundation.

When Should You Walk Away from Foundation Problems?

You should walk away from foundation issues if the person selling the house refuses to lower the asking price to compensate for the necessary repairs. That means you’ll need to have already had the home inspected by either a foundation repair contractor or a structural engineer.

Brick Foundation Repair Methods

Repairing a brick foundation requires careful assessment and appropriate techniques to ensure structural integrity. Here are some common brick foundation repair methods:

  1. Tuckpointing: Tuckpointing is a common repair method used to address mortar deterioration in brick foundations. It involves removing damaged or deteriorated mortar joints and replacing them with fresh mortar. Tuckpointing helps restore the strength and stability of the brickwork and prevents further water infiltration.
  2. Crack repair: If there are cracks in the brick foundation, they should be addressed promptly to prevent further damage. Depending on the size and severity of the cracks, different repair methods can be employed. Small cracks can be filled with a masonry crack filler or sealant, while larger cracks may require more extensive repairs such as stitching or injecting epoxy or polyurethane resins to stabilize the foundation.
  3. Reinforcement with steel bars: In cases where the brick foundation has experienced significant structural damage, reinforcing the walls with steel bars can be an effective solution. This method involves drilling holes into the brickwork and inserting steel bars, which are then grouted in place with cement or epoxy. The steel bars add strength and stability to the foundation.
  4. Brick replacement: If individual bricks in the foundation are damaged or deteriorated, they may need to be replaced. This can be done by carefully removing the damaged brick and replacing it with a new one using appropriate mortar. It is important to match the type and color of the existing bricks to maintain the aesthetic integrity of the foundation.
  5. Foundation underpinning: In cases where the brick foundation has experienced significant settling or shifting, underpinning may be necessary. Underpinning involves stabilizing the foundation by adding additional supports or piers to redistribute the weight of the structure. This method helps correct unevenness and restores the foundation’s stability.

Concrete Block Foundation Repair Methods

There are two common methods traditionally used to repair this problem. One is to dig the dirt away from the wall, twist some augers into the surrounding soil, and use tie rods to pull the wall back into place. The other method uses steel I-beams that are installed on the inside of the wall.

Grout Injection Foundation Repair

Grout injection is a foundation repair method that involves injecting grout into voids or cavities beneath a foundation to stabilize and lift it. This technique is commonly used for foundation settlement or to address soil-related issues. Here’s an overview of the grout injection foundation repair process:

  1. Assessment: A professional will assess the foundation and determine the underlying cause of the settlement or instability. This may involve evaluating soil conditions, foundation design, and the extent of the damage.
  2. Preparation: Prior to injection, the foundation repair team will typically clean the area around the foundation and prepare it for the grout injection process. This may involve drilling small holes into the foundation or excavation around the perimeter, depending on the specific requirements of the repair.
  3. Grout selection: The type of grout used for injection depends on the specific conditions and needs of the foundation repair. Common options include cementitious grout, polyurethane foam grout, or epoxy grout. Each type has its own advantages and may be selected based on factors such as soil conditions, load-bearing requirements, and desired results.
  4. Injection process: Once the preparation is complete and the grout is selected, the injection process begins. Grout is injected through the drilled holes or other access points in a controlled manner. The injection is typically done under pressure to ensure proper distribution of the grout and to fill voids or lift the foundation as needed.
  5. Monitoring and adjustment: During the grout injection process, the foundation repair team monitors the movement and stabilization of the foundation. They may make adjustments to the injection process based on real-time observations to achieve the desired results.
  6. Finishing and cleanup: Once the grout injection is complete and the foundation is stabilized, any access points or drilled holes are typically sealed or patched. The area is cleaned up, and the site is restored to its original condition as much as possible.

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