When the soil beneath your house structure shrinks or it is unable to bear the weight of the structure any more, foundation settlement is experienced. It leaves the house owners in utter confusion. Should the foundation be replaced? Or is it best to repair it? To answer these questions, the following comparison must be studied to choose the option that suits you best.
Causes of foundation settlement
If you want to get a house foundation replacement, you must first study the causes of foundation settlement.
Changes in soil
There are several changes that naturally occur in the soil such as shrinking, drying up, softening, moistening, swelling, or compacting. These changes are vital to the foundation of the house because they can alter the stability of the foundation. If the walls of your house are buckling, it is a sign of changes in the soil. It shows that the soil under the foundation has expanded. It usually happens in soil rich with clay. When clay soil absorbs water, it expands.
It is dangerous for the soil to expand. It can create immense pressure that causes the house walls to bend inwards. It must be noted that bent walls or dry and wet soil do not fix on their own. Once the house walls have been damaged, they will continue to get worse. It is best to find a solution to the problem rather than leaving it as it is.
Repairing the house foundation
When you contact a foundation repair contractor, he will first identify the cause of the foundation settlement. If your house walls are all buckled up, the contractor will most likely suggest the anchor solution. Anchors are installed in the walls to prevent the walls from buckling. Make sure that the anchors being used by your contractor come with a warranty. Such anchors successfully solve various structural problems.
The best thing about foundation repair is that your contractor not only fixes the structure of your house but also addresses the cause of the problem which is the bad soil. If the structure of your house is not beyond repair, the contractor will suggest using wall anchors to support the buckled walls as well as push piers. Push piers are remarkable solutions to bowed walls. They permanently support the house foundation by extending way past the bad soil, under the foundation of the house, and anchoring itself to the bedrock.
Replacing the house foundation
House foundation replacement is a time-consuming process. The contractor will bring in heavy equipment to dig around your house to reach the foundation. This is a destructive process because it requires breaking and removing anything surrounding the house, be it a porch, a walkway, or foliage. To support the house temporarily, it will be jacked up using temporary supports. Meanwhile, the bowed walls and the floor of the house will be removed.
After the new foundation is ready, temporary supports are removed. The house is slowly lowered back onto the foundation. The bad soil is removed so that the problem can be stopped to some extent. If any porch, walkway, or garden surrounding the house was destroyed or removed during the house foundation replacement, it is reconstructed. It is an expensive process and it disrupts the daily routine of the house inhabitants.
While it may be clear that foundation repair is a much better process than foundation replacement, however, both of these methods have significance. As mentioned above, in some cases, buckled house walls are beyond repair. The buckling is so intense, it is impossible to support them even by using the strongest wall anchors. In such a circumstance, it is best to resort to foundation replacement. If your house walls are not beyond repair, there is still time to fix the problem. Get a hold of a professional contractor and start the process right away. Bowed walls do not magically get fixed, thus, it is important to get your foundation repaired as soon as possible.