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At first glance, a foundation problem may seem like an extreme problem. However, if you identify the damage before it becomes too advanced, most foundation issues have simple, permanent solutions -- many of which can be completed within a day! The key is to recognize the problem early and make sure you call in a foundation repair specialist with the tools and expertise to effectively tackle the problem.
So what's wrong with your foundation? We've created this helpful online guide to the most common issues. This will help you learn more about the damage to your foundation -- and what can be done about it.
You don't have to solve the problem alone! We have a team of expert in-house foundation contractors that are here to help you identify and solve your issues with warrantied products and services. We provide free, no-obligation foundation repair quotes throughout our Western New York service area. Call or e-mail us today for your appointment!
Common Foundation Problems
Bowing Foundation Walls
Sagging Crawl Spaces
Foundation Wall Cracks
Sticking Windows And Doors
At Frank's Basement Systems, we have effective, warrantied solutions for foundation problems of all types, and we have the training, techniques, and top-quality products you need to permanently solve your problem.
To help you decide if our solutions are right for you, we offer free written foundation repair quotes throughout our Western New York service area.
We are a locally owned and operated company proudly serving Niagara Falls, Buffalo, Rochester, nearby Lockport, Tonawanda, Henrietta, Hamburg, Lancaster, Orchard Park, Penfield, and the surrounding areas. To schedule an appointment, contact us by phone or e-mail today!
Foundation walls begin to bow and buckle when outside pressure on the wall become greater than the wall's strength. As the wall begins to fail under the pressure, cracks will form, and the wall will either buckle inwards in the middle, tilt inwards at the top, or slide in at the bottom.
The answer to bowing foundation walls is to add counterpressure to the walls from the inside. By installing foundation wall anchors on the inside of the walls, you can prevent their inward movement and potentially straighten the walls back to a level position.
The soil underneath your home has settled in many different layers, each with their own characteristics and bearing strength. When these soil layers are unable to bear the weight of your home on top of them, the foundation can begin to sink and settle into the earth.
As foundations sink, your home can experience damage in many different ways. This kind of damage can be permanently stabilized with a foundation pier system. Foundation piers can transfer the weight of the foundation down to soils at greater depth that have adequate load-bearing capacity.
The floor over a crawl space can sink or sag due to one of three factors: improperly spaced supports, sinking supports, or due to mold and rot damage.
When crawl spaces experience structural damage, the symptoms are evident through the entire house. Cracks form in drywall, floors sink, and interior doors jam.
These problems can be corrected by installing sturdier, more stable crawl space jacks, replacing deteriorated framing, and by removing the moisture that causes mold and wood rot.
Foundation wall cracks occur for different reasons. Minor "hairline" cracks occur naturally as concrete cures, and don't indicate a structural problem. Larger structural cracks are most commonly caused by either foundation settlement or expansive soils pressing on the foundation walls.
Cracks in a foundation wall usually accompany a number of other problems in a home, such as tilting chimneys, jamming windows and doors, and cracks in drywall surfaces. Pinpointing what caused these cracks is the key to finding a long-term repair solution for your home.
Uneven floors can create a number of problems for a homeowner, including jamming doors, nonfunctional door locks, and cracks forming in drywall. However, there is potentially a much more serious issue.
If the uneven floor is above a crawl space, there may be rotted framing in the floor, or a problem with the post-and-beam framework that supports the floor joists. An uneven floor slab could be caused by sinking or heaving of the foundation floor because of settling or expansive soils. Over time, these problems can significantly damage your home.
Foundations, slab floors, and concrete exterior stairs heave when the soil underneath them expands. Sometimes frost heaving is the cause, causing wet soil to expand as it freezes. Other times, soil rich in silt and clay expands as it becomes saturated with moisture. Heaving foundations typically lead to cracks on drywall and on the slab floor of a home .Exterior walls may also show cracks.
Foundation heave is a potentially serious problem that should be inspected by a professional -- before any repairs to the floors are made.
If a foundation issue is causing your home's windows and doors to stick or jam, then it's a safe bet to say the problem is some form of settlement.
Foundation contractors will often install piers to correct settlement problems, stabilizing the structure and often even restoring it to its original position.
If your windows and doors are sticking above a crawl space, the fault may lie in the central post-and-beam support system rather than in the perimeter walls. This calls for a different repair strategy involving new posts and footings.
One of the most alarming foundation issues a homeowner faces is a chimney that begins to tilt or lean away from the house.
The footing or foundation for a chimney is sometimes built separately from the house foundation. This smaller foundation is susceptible to shifting if it's built on soil with poor load-bearing capacity. Shifting and leaning can also occur if the chimney foundation is too small or too close to the surface.
Foundation helical piers can provide an effective repair solution -- without the need to rebuild the structure.
Retaining walls crumble, tilt, or collapse for a variety of reasons. Most frequently, they fail when the foundation footing has been improperly designed or when a wall has to retain more weight than its design allows. Walls that have been built with weak, poorly mixed concrete or inadequate steel rebar can also collapse.
In many cases, a collapsing retaining wall can be effectively returned to strength with a wall anchor system. Wall anchors install quickly and provide a permanent, warrantied solution to your problem.
Concrete patios, sidewalks, driveways, roads, porches, and stairs place a lot of weight on the soils below. When these soils compress under this pressure or are washed away, voids are formed underneath. Over time, the concrete sinks into these voids. Concrete stairs can lean perilously away from the house, and "flatwork", like sidewalks and patios, can crack, sink, and shift.
Replacing the concrete slabs and stairs is costly and time-consuming. Instead, it may be possible to stabilize the soil and lift the concrete back into proper position with a process known as "mudjacking".
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