Exterior Foundation Repair in Alabama
You’re working around your home’s exterior when you see it for the first time — a stair-step crack in the brick. It rained last week, so maybe that has something to do with it. You decide to ignore the crack until the following month. The foundation crack continues to grow. What’s happening, and should you worry? There’s only one answer to this question: yes.
A cracked foundation is a cause for concern. The foundation supports floors and load-bearing walls. Your home is only as strong as the foundation it sits on.
Common Exterior Signs of Foundation Problems
There are several identifiers on the exterior of your home that you can look for to tell whether your foundation is shifting. These signs are as follows:
- Chimney leaning or separating from your home: Chimney may start to lean and separate from your home due to settling. Settling can cause cracking in the chimney and allow water to come into the house undetected.
- Crack in an exterior wall: When your home’s foundation starts to shift and settle, the process can cause cracks in your brick and block, causing other major problems with windows, doors, floors, steps, interior walls, and water problems.
- Foundation is sinking or settling: This one is pretty obvious. One side of your house may look lower than the other, or the center might seem like it’s sinking.
- Problems with exterior doors or window frames: If your doors and windows are harder to lock or open, it could signal a foundation problem. Double doors might not align, door frames could look crooked, or there may be a visible gap around door/window frames
Exterior Examples of Foundation Issues
Exterior Factors That Impact Your Home’s Foundation
Many things can affect the integrity of your home’s foundation and lead to foundation problems over time. Poor drainage, moisture in the soil around your house, seasonal changes, and soil conditions can all lead to stress on your foundation since the soil around the home is expanding and contracting. Even new homes can have foundation problems.
Exterior factors can include:
- Soil composition: Your home might have rocks on one side and soil on another. Varying densities of materials under and around your house can cause the foundation to settle unevenly and crack.
- Heavy backfill: Backfilling is when soil is put back into a foundation once excavation, or related work, has been completed. Proper backfilling and grading help prevent structural problems from the start. Heavy backfilling, however, puts pressure on foundation walls and can cause them to buckle inward.
- Temperature changes: Over time, natural cycles of freezing and thawing can destroy cement and stone. Water gets into the soil and small cracks, then expands and contracts over and over again, making cracks wider. The same seasonal process that creates potholes also creates cracks in your foundation and brick exterior.
- Water: Does water pool around your home? Have you experienced unseasonably heavy rains? Was your home flooded? Water is your foundation’s chief enemy, and it can damage a foundation in both direct and indirect ways.
- Tree roots: As a tree’s roots grow, they can push against the home’s foundation and work their way into small crevices. Tree roots can also grow underneath a foundation and push upward.
Types of Exterior Foundation Repair
What can you do to fix foundation problems? How do you fix a cracked foundation? Every house in Alabama is unique, and so is every exterior foundation repair. At Alabama Foundation Repairs, we’ll customize an exterior foundation repair to best meet your needs, budget, soil conditions, and foundation type. You may have a concrete slab foundation, basement foundation, crawl space foundation, or a pier foundation. The exact repair will have a lot to do with your foundation type, too.
Generally speaking, exterior foundation repairs can include the following:
- Helical Piers: Helical piers have a corkscrew design. The process involves driving long rods with a rotating force into stronger, more suitable soil as a solution for your sinking foundation.
- Steel Piers: Epoxy-coated steel pipes are driven into rock or a suitable soil bearing layer. They’re then connected to the foundation.
- Spot Piers: Spot piers are shallow, often hand-dug, holes that are filled with concrete. Spot piers are an excellent solution for light load areas like porches. They are not designed to solve foundation problems in major load bearing areas.
- High-Density Polyurethane Foam Injection: High-density foam can be utilized to stabilize and level concrete floors and foundations. Polyurethane foam is injected under your home’s slab to fill voids and raise it to the proper level.
What to Know About Foundation Settlement Repair in Alabama
There’s no such thing as “normal” settling. Don’t let neighbors or local builders tell you otherwise. Foundation settlement will never stabilize or correct itself on its own. Settling can only worsen, and as it worsens, damage your home’s structural integrity and resale value.
Call Alabama Foundation Repair as soon as you notice foundation troubles. Our service area spans from Selma to Florence, AL, and we’d be happy to visit your home and give you an on-site consultation.
Street Creep Repair in Alabama
Street creep, or driveway creep, is another product of concrete expanding and contracting over and over again. Street creep happens when the road outside your home expands in the heat (Summer), applies pressure to your driveway, and therefore your foundation, too. What does street creep look like? You might notice foundation cracks, the garage floor pulling away from the garage wall, or cracks in the concrete slab of your driveway.
Why Call Alabama Foundation Repairs?
Your home is your most important investment. It protects you from storms, keeps you warm in the Winter and comfortable in the Summer. It’s where you and your family make lasting memories. These things would not be possible without a good foundation.
The only way to confirm and fix exterior foundation problems is to contact a foundation professional. Call or email Alabama Foundation Repairs for a free on-site consultation. We’ve been serving Alabama for more than 30 years.