Due to the climate and soil quality in the Bay Area of California, there are many common foundation problems that you can watch out for that tell you that you may need to have foundation repairs. Bay Area Underpinning can help educate you in the most common problems you will see with your foundation and home that indicate a problem that needs attention. California homeowners and business owners should definitely inspect the foundation of their structure frequently looking signs of foundation problems. Here is a list of problems with some corresponding solutions:
Problem 1 – Cracks: Cracks can show up in a lot of places that could indicate foundation problems. Check your interior and exterior foundation walls, your floors and floor tiles, drywall, slab, porches and stairs, bricks and masonry, garage column, and chimney.
Solutions for Cracks: Depending on the severity and location of the cracks, foundation underpinning products can help provide a solution. Many cracks are caused by foundation settlement and sinking. If adding support with helical piers or steel piers, you can prevent cracks from getting worse. Steel push piers can be individually driven into the ground while the entire structure is restored as a reaction. There is a friction reduction collar attached to the lead section of the pier pipe to allow for an opening in the soil to be created, which in turn reduces the friction and allows for the installer to load test the pier and verify when the firm ground is reached for maximum stability. High-pressure jacks are attached in many locations and maneuvered by a hydraulic manifold. This reduces the load on the individual piers and only allows for the designed working load to be transferred to each pier.
Problem 2 – Sloping floors: Sloping floors are caused when part of the ground that supports your foundation begins to settle. You might also notice floor cracks and tile cracks accompany sloping floors.
Solutions for Sloping floors: Helical piers can be used to lift and level sections of your foundation that are causing the floor to slope. Helical piers can easily be installed with minimal intrusion to your home. Underpinning solutions are long lasting and are a LOT less expensive than fixing a failed foundation!
Problem 3 – Crawl Space Moisture: A wet crawl space can mean mold and mildew in the air you breathe. Most people don’t realize that as much as 50% of the air you breathe comes from your basement or crawl space. If you have mold and mildew due to a wet or damp crawl space, it can be hazardous to the health and safety of your family. It also means you cannot use your crawl space as storage for your home.
Solutions for Damp Crawl Spaces: Crawl Space Recovery includes encapsulating the crawl space with a vapor barrier that will lock out moisture. The poly crawl space encapsulation barriers are made of thick, puncture resistant high tensile strength material that will keep moisture from the soil from entering the crawl space. It ranges from 10-20 millimeters thick. When you install this vapor barrier, you can continue it up on to the foundation walls and this will ensure a permanent vapor barrier that will block out most dampness which will result in a healthier home for you and your family. It will also allow you to use the space as intended – as storage space!
These are just a few common problems you see in California. Other things to look for are leaning chimneys, wet basements, doors and windows that stick, leaning walls, and bowing walls. These problems are all big indicators that you have problems with your foundation. Bay Area Underpinning is the leader in underpinning repairs for Bay Area homes. If you have any questions about any changes you see in your foundation, contact Bay Area Underpinning. We can provide you with an estimate and diagnosis for your foundation problems. We can find the right underpinning solution for your foundation problems and help you protect the investment you have in either your residential property or your commercial property. Call today to learn more about what we can do for you.