A house that features flooring riddled with gaps, cracks, or holes is far from ideal.
The presence of cracks in your foundation walls or floors, uneven slab floors, and settling parts inside your home may signal a serious structural concern known as foundation heave. This issue compromises the structural integrity of your home and poses a significant threat to the safety of your family.
With over 45 years of experience, our team at Dry Pro Foundation & Crawlspace Specialists has the expertise to diagnose and address foundation heave issues, helping to prevent further damage.
By the end of this page, you will have a deep understanding of the causes and problems related to foundation heave, and the ways professional repairs can safeguard your home.
What Is Foundation Heave?
Foundation heave is characterized by the upward movement of a structure’s foundation or slab, a phenomenon triggered by the expansion or swelling of the underlying soils, typically due to moisture increase or freezing conditions.
The resulting symptoms might include:
Wall cracks are fractures that appear on the surface of walls, often as a result of the foundation heave. They can appear vertically, horizontally, or diagonally, and may widen over time, indicating the ongoing movement in the foundation. It is essential to monitor the size and shape of these cracks regularly as it can provide valuable information on the severity of the foundation heave, and to consult with a specialist if you observe significant changes.
Floor cracks are breaks or splits that occur on the flooring surface, which can be seen in various forms, such as hairline fractures or gaping holes. These often originate due to the changing pressure and conditions in the ground underneath the floor. The soil can expand due to moisture, pushing the foundation upwards, resulting in cracks in the floor. They might appear in isolated areas or spread across a larger surface and can be a trip hazard as well as a sign of a deeper structural issue. Keeping an eye on the development of floor cracks can help in understanding the urgency and the type of intervention needed.
Uneven slab floors refer to an inconsistent level on the flooring, where some sections may be higher or lower than others. This happens due to the irregular movement in the foundation, where one part experiences heave while another doesn’t. Walking on an uneven floor, you might notice a sloping sensation, or see that furniture does not sit evenly on the surface. It not only creates a safety hazard but also shows potential underlying issues with the foundation. Utilizing a level tool can help in assessing the extent of the unevenness, which should be addressed promptly to prevent further complications.
Evidently Raised Foundation
An evidently raised foundation refers to visible and noticeable lifting of the home’s foundation above its original position. This is a serious sign of foundation heave, where the soil beneath the foundation swells to such an extent that it pushes the foundation upwards. This is easily noticeable in the exterior of the home, where you might see the foundation appearing higher than the surrounding ground level, or in severe cases, you might notice the entire structure leaning or tilting. This requires immediate attention and intervention from a foundation repair specialist, as it poses a significant risk to the structural integrity and safety of the home.
Each of these signs of foundation heave is a call to action to seek professional advice and intervention, to maintain the safety and value of your home.
Contrary to foundation settlement that involves sinking, foundation heave propels portions of your foundation upwards. This is especially common with slabs, which lack sufficient weight to resist the force exerted by swelling soil.
What Causes Foundation Heave?
Understanding the causes of foundation heave is essential. Here are several factors:
- Initial Construction: New homes might face soil stabilization issues, making them prone to foundation heave in the initial years.
- Soil Type: Soils like clay that absorb excess moisture can swell, exerting pressure on foundation walls.
- Poor Drainage: Inadequate systems can aggravate the problem, leading to water pooling around your home’s foundation.
- Changing Weather: Fluctuations in weather, especially freezing temperatures followed by rainfall or snowfall, can induce soil expansion.
- Tree Roots: Roots from nearby trees can displace soil and reach beneath the foundation, causing it to rise.
- Settling Issues: Sometimes, a part of the foundation settling more than others can give an appearance of heaving in different sections.
Identifying these factors early aids in crafting the perfect solution.
Can You Fix Foundation Heave?
Absolutely. Fixing foundation heave not only involves addressing the upward movement but implementing a comprehensive solution to prevent future issues. Dry Pro Foundation & Crawlspace Specialists offer free inspections to pinpoint the root problem and propose all-encompassing repair strategies which may involve foundation stabilization and water management solutions, or a blend of both.
How to Fix Foundation Heave
At Dry Pro Foundation & Crawlspace Specialists, we tailor strategies to your unique situation. Here’s our approach:
Our team conducts a detailed inspection of your home’s interior and exterior to identify the areas affected by foundation heave, scrutinizing soil conditions and documenting damages to propose the best repair strategy.
We focus on a timely repair to prevent further damage. Depending on the scenario, we leverage:
- Push Piers: Deeply grounded steel piers are attached below your home to transfer the weight to more stable soil layers to stop settlement and heave.
- Helical Piers: Steel piers with helical blades are screwed into the earth to secure a grip on stable soil.
- Slab Piers: These are installed beneath your home’s foundation into sturdy soil, crafted especially for homes with slab foundations.
- Wall Reinforcement: Sometimes heaving foundations necessitate reinforcement and repair of basement walls using solutions such as carbon fiber straps, steel I-beams, wall anchors, or channel anchors.
Managing moisture is vital to prevent foundation heave. We install solutions like basement waterproofing systems or crawl space encapsulation products, which are customized to your home’s specific needs.
Why Address Foundation Heave Now
Addressing foundation heave promptly is essential because:
- It prevents further damage and foundation movement.
- It averts issues like water intrusion and mold growth arising from cracks.
- Early action can save you from costly repairs in the future.
- It preserves your property’s value.
Contact Dry Pro Foundation & Crawlspace Specialists for Foundation Heave Solutions
Don’t let foundation heave threaten the safety and value of your home. Entrust Dry Pro Foundation & Crawlspace Specialists for unparalleled customer service and personalized solutions to these problems.
Your home deserves the best in repairs to guarantee safety and durability. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation inspection and embark on the path to a safer, more stable home.
Pay attention to wall and floor cracks, uneven flooring, and doors that struggle to close properly. When you notice these issues, reach out to professionals at Dry Pro Foundation & Crawlspace Specialists for lasting, cost-effective repairs.
Typically, the repair process takes a few days but might vary based on the severity of the issue and the solutions applied. Contact us for a free inspection and an accurate timeline.
Generally, foundation heave isn’t covered unless specified in your policy under particular circumstances like flooding. Consult with your insurance provider to understand your coverage better.
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