Do you think your internal slab or foundation may be shifting? Then it’s time to reach out for help. The professional contractors working in the St. Louis, MO, area will be able to inspect your home for slab shifting and provide you with a free quote on potential services should your home need a facelift.
Types of Foundations
When it comes to leveling your home, contractors working in the St. Louis, MO, area are going to need to know what kind of foundation they’re working with. Most homes are made with one of these foundations:
- Slab – A slab foundation is made out of one or more sheets or poured concrete. These cohesive slabs will have been placed in graded landscape and supported by crossbeams typically made out of wood. These beams work alongside the slab to support the overall weight of your home.
- Basement Foundation – To create a basement foundation, builders will dig down into the earth and then create the proper floor and footings for the foundation to sit on. The foundation walls are then constructed to create the basement or crawl space area below-grade, and this is the base for the rest of the house.
If you don’t already know what kind of foundation your home has, it’s worth it to ask the construction company or see if any documentation referencing the initial construction is still available. Repair contractors will need to know what kind of foundation they’re working with if they want to best treat your home.
Signs Of An Uneven Slab
It might not always be easy to see when your internal slab may be sinking. After all, long-term exposure to your home lets you get used to the environment around you. That’s why it’s especially important to bring in a professional to inspect your home. Professional foundation and basement repair contractors will be able to notice whether or not your home has drifted away from its original perimeter. They’ll also be able to identify other signs of an uneven slab, including:
If you do notice these symptoms before calling a professional, you might think that they’re signs of a foundation crack. It’s true that the lists of symptoms tend to overlap. That, however, is why a professional’s experience can come in handy. The contractors working in the St. Louis, MO, area will be able to distinguish between a sinking slab and a foundation crack. They’ll then be able to recommend a course of action accordingly.
What Does House Leveling Involve?
Once you’ve let a professional take a look around your home and told them what kind of foundation you’re working with, they’ll be able to start pulling together a plan for home repairs. The process of lifting up your foundation, after all, will vary based on the kind of foundation you have.
But most cases of foundation settlement call for some type of piering solution. Foundation piers are installed deep into the soil underneath the home to reach more stable soils that will better support the home. The weight of the home is then transferred through the piers and to this stronger soil.
Some of the piering options your local contractor may use include:
- Push Piers: Push piers are the most-used solution for settling foundations. Sections of galvanized steel tubes are pushed down into the soil and then connected to brackets on the foundation footing.
- Helical Piers: These are slightly different than push piers in that the round-shaft helicals are “screwed” into the ground. Helical pier systems typically are best for lighter structures like porches, steps, and even chimneys
- Slab Piers: If your home does not have a basement or crawl space, but rather a slab foundation that is experiencing settlement, these piers are made specifically for that type of foundation. They are installed the same as the other piers and will offer permanent protection from settlement and related issues.
Note: Some structures like interior slab floors in basements and garages that may be cracking and uneven also can be repaired with the state-of-the-art PolyRenewal™ concrete lifting and leveling system.
House Leveling Versus Foundation Repair: When Do You Need Them?
As mentioned, the symptoms that let you know your slab may be sliding are often similar to those that indicate a foundation leak. Despite their similarities, however, these two situations are quite different. The repairs you’ll need to invest in, in turn, also differ, but they may overlap.
House leveling, as mentioned, differs depending on the foundation a contractor is working with. All types of leveling, however, involve a contractor team lifting your foundation or slab back into place after it’s started to shift.
Comparatively, foundation repair involves a contractor filling a crack or attending to additional damage your foundation may have endured. This damage is typically caused by excessive hydrostatic pressure, which is the stress that forces your foundation to expand and contract in response to water-based temperature changes. Different foundation repair options you may be able to take advantage of include wall anchors, beams, and carbon fiber supports. All of these systems permanently stabilize foundation walls that are cracking and tilting inward. While carbon fiber holds the walls in their current positions, wall anchors and IntelliBrace™ beams also have the ability to improve the walls and potentially return them to their original positions.
A sliding slab does not necessarily indicate a cracked foundation, but the two problems can overlap. If you suspect something’s gone wrong with your foundation, reach out to the professionals working in your area as soon as possible. They’ll be able to give you your home back in little to no time at all. It all starts with a free inspection and repair estimate.