The thought of having the foundation of a Houston home repaired can make any homeowner feel overwhelmed. This is why many people tend to ignore the signs of a failing foundation until it becomes necessary to repair it. In some cases, repairing a foundation involves leveling it to its original position. This can be an intimidating and somewhat expensive undertaking. But the process can be made much easier with a little education on what to expect when your house is being leveled. Much of the anxiety that comes with foundation issues is because we are unaware of what is involved with the repair process. We will discuss what it means to level your home and how the process works with different types of foundations. What is house leveling?
At this point in the discussion, you are probably asking yourself what in the world it means to level a home. House leveling is a process that involves the repair of your home’s foundation in order to level it. This will lift your slab and floor back to their initial position and restore your home to its original state while allowing you to address any other foundation issues that may or may not be apparent. The longer you wait to do the repairs needed to your home’s foundation, the more aggressive the fix will need to be. Ignoring the signs of a bad foundation will result in spending more time and money to level your home and restore it to its original state.
The leveling process
There are several methods that can be used to level a home. The type of foundation a home has will determine which method will best address the problem. The other factor that will help determine which leveling method needs to be used is the type of underlying foundation problems that exist. A foundation repair expert will be able to advise you on which process will be best for your home after doing a thorough inspection. The single most important decision you will make in this process is finding a reliable team of professionals to level your home. They will walk you through the leveling process both before and during the repair.
Homes that sit on a slab-on-grade foundation and need leveling generally have their problems caused by the clay soil underneath the foundation. Clay soil that starts out solid beneath a home can change due to environmental factors. More specifically, the clay soil in climates like the one in Houston, where severe droughts alternate with heavy rains and flooding, is especially vulnerable to expansion and contraction. This can cause the soil underneath your home to shift. Once the soil shifts, the foundation will shift as well.
Fortunately, an experienced foundation repair company can easily fix a shifting foundation. To bring the home back to its original position or elevate it above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) and stabilize it there, the company you hire will come in and level the house by placing a series of piers beneath the foundation. The home will be jacked up and placed on the piers in order to accomplish the leveling process.
Pier and Beam Foundations
Pier and beam foundations will fail for many reasons. Water damage and termites are just two of the causes of a pier and beam foundation failing. Unlike a home with a slab-on-grade foundation, these houses already have piers beneath them. The house will be leveled by replacing the damaged piers with new concrete piers or by using additional piers to stabilize the structure. Then, the technicians will level the wood beams and joist beneath the home. All these will strengthen the existing structure and level the house for many years to come.
In addition, using braces and rods is an effective method for shoring up sagging floors and damaged supports. Another method is to fortify existing piers by installing pilings beneath them. The need to add or replace beams and piers will depend on the extent of the damage.
The first step in doing any home repair is to educate yourself. Talk to friends that have had similar work done to their homes. Read what the experts have to say on leveling a home in Houston. Last but not least, check with the BBB to avoid getting taken advantage of by unethical contractors.
You can save yourself many headaches and a lot of money by choosing the right foundation repair expert to level your home. Once you are able to find a reliable foundation repair contractor, the process becomes easier and much less stressful for you, the homeowner. Do not ignore the signs you are seeing. Educate yourself and fix your foundation before the home needs major repairs and foundation leveling!