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Matching the Repair to the Problem: Not Everything Requires a Hammer

High And Dry Foundation Repair With House

Abraham Maslow once said, "I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail." This "Law of the Instrument" means a foundation repair company that owns expensive, big machinery is inclined to see every foundation repair as needing big, expensive machinery. Everyone can understand the thinking behind this: if you are under pressure to recoup the costs of a 323 FL Caterpillar excavator, an unusually large number of customers' homes will require a 323 FL Caterpillar excavator. Yet not every foundation repair needs big, noisy equipment, and matching the repair to the problem can mean that less -- sometimes much less -- is more.

Foundation Cracks

First, decide what type of foundation your home has:

Cracks in concrete block and limestone foundations generally indicate pressure on the exterior wall(s); cracks in a poured concrete wall may indicate uneven settling in footers.

One immediate, easy aid to reducing crack-inducing stress on your home's foundation is to divert more rainwater away from the soil near your foundation walls. Three steps worth taking right away to dry out the soil:

1. Improve gutter performance and drainage by using longer splash guards (five feet or more).
2. Correct grade errors to increase slope away from your home's foundation walls to six inches in ten feet, and then 12 inches in 100 feet beyond that.
3. Install French drains to direct water far away from your foundation.

Bowed Walls

Bowed foundation walls, in which the walls seem to bulge inward as if a giant fist is pushing from the outside, have many causes:

  • Hydrostatic pressure
  • Tree roots
  • Heavy soil
  • Shrinkage
  • Deterioration
  • Old age
  • Uneven settling

One quiet, quick remedy is carbon fiber reinforcing straps. Carbon fiber is strong. It can be used instead of heavy steel angle and other brute force methods to stabilize bowed basement or foundation walls. It applies smoothly to the inside of your home's walls and is barely discernible above the surface.

A well-designed carbon fiber system ties into your home's footers, up the interior foundation or basement walls and finishes at the sill plate (the top of the wall) to unite all three elements and prevent further bowing.

Carbon fiber spreads out the lateral pressure from exterior soil. Your bowed wall will not get any worse while you and your foundation repair company determine the best corrective approach.

Wall Cracks

Wall cracks can allow water to infiltrate, leading to mold and mildew issues. Pests, especially snakes and insects, can get into your home through these cracks, too. The nearly silent solution to these cracks is wall crack injection using tough epoxy resin that fills, seals and solves the crack. Epoxy has far more compressive strength than polyurethanes (expanding foams); elastomeric foams can fill gaps and voids but do little to correct the structural deficiency caused by the crack.

No Nails, No Hammers

An experienced foundation repair company will have many available tools, tips and tricks to answer a wide array of issues. Not every repair requires the drama and noise of nails, hammers, excavators and massive drills. Sometimes the experienced, knowing eye of a foundation repair expert can save you and your family a lot of dust, dirt and din by finding a quieter, simpler solution.

For a complete assessment of your home's foundation, basement walls and chimney, contact us at High & Dry Foundation Repair. We will be happy to quietly inspect your foundation or wall issue and recommend the most reasonable, and cost-effective remedy.

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