“Foundation Damage:” The two words dreaded most by any Baltimore homeowner. Unfortunately, 60% of homes built on expansive ground will, at some point, have foundation damage; these problems are caused when only part of the foundation moves or settles, making the concrete uneven and causing cracks in the walls. There are several warning signs that you have foundation damage, and you should address the problem immediately, as delaying will only cause further, more severe damage and cost you thousands more. Exterior signs of foundation damage include a cracked foundation, cracked bricks, separation around windows, doors, garage doors, or walls, wall rotation, and misplaced moldings. Interior signs include cracks in the floors or walls, crooked doors or windows, and cracked sheetrock.
There are several causes for foundation problems. Building on moveable clay or dirt, improperly compacted dirt, or improper foundation maintenance can all lead to problems. No matter what the cause, however, experts on concrete in Baltimore have multiple options to fix the problem. The two most common techniques are slabjacking and piering. Slabjacking is usually used when the concrete foundation is sinking, which often happens when the home was built on improperly compacted fill dirt. First, workers will drill a series of holes through the concrete slab. Usually, these holes are 1 ½ and 2 inches across; the number of holes depends on the size of the slab. These holes are usually drilled three to eight feet apart and no less than a foot from the edge of the concrete slab. Next, the holes are filled with grout, which begins at the lowest point of the concrete slab. The heaviest grout is used in the areas that need to be lifted up the highest, and the expert on concrete in Baltimore will move from hole to hole as the concrete rises up inch by inch. He then goes back and repeats the process as needed. Finally, any excess grout is removed, and the holes are filled with mortar to even them off.
The second type of foundation repair done on concrete in Baltimore is piering, in which steel piers are installed on the sides of the foundation to stabilize the concrete and prevent further shifting. First, workers will dig a 3 ft x 4 ft hole around the foundation about 10 inches below the grade beam. They will then smooth out the concrete and clear away the extra dirt. Next, they will set up brackets and hydraulics with a guide sleeve through the support bracket. Strong starter and pier sections are installed, which exert a powerful pressure on the foundation of 50,000 pounds of force. Workers will cut the final section of pier about five inches above the support bracket and install a fastening plate on the top. They will then reconnect the hydraulics and use them to gradually raise the foundation. When it has been raised the desired amount, the fastening plate and support bracket are permanently affixed. Last, the soil is replaced and any bushes or flowers are replanted.
Though foundation repair is still an intensive process, with concrete experts in Baltimore, you will be able to restore your home or business safely and effectively without overly disrupting your family or business life. Visit our website at Armoredbasement.com. Like us on Facebook.
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