No Chattanooga homeowner wants to see cracks in the walls of their home or deal with a problem foundation. But when these problems happen, it's important to repair the foundation as quickly as possible—and properly. Fortunately, at POWER Lift, we know that foundation crack repair is easier than many people think. It can be done in three steps:
Step 1: Determine if your cracks are caused by a shifting foundation
It's possible that cracks could be caused by other issues, such as water damage. Fortunately, it's usually easy to tell if the cracks in your home are caused by an uneven, settling foundation. In masonry, this often manifests as rows of blocks "pulling apart," especially near the corners of the home. It can also show up in the form of cracks in interior walls of the home. Some of the surest signs of a foundation problem are actually not cracks at all, but subtler signs: uneven floors and shifting doors and windows. If doors and windows won't close properly, or if the floors have any tilt to them, you can be certain that the cracks you've spotted are caused by a foundation issue.
Step 2: Have your house lifted and piers installed
There is only one method that stops the problem for good and that is raising the foundation. Foundation cracks are caused by settling (i.e. when part of the foundation is sinking into the ground). By raising it up and installing piers (supports) below it, the settling can not only be corrected but also prevented from happening again.
However, not all kinds of foundation piers are the same. Seek out steel piers that can be driven deep into the ground so that your house will ultimately be supported by bedrock. Other methods – like sliding concrete blocks under the foundation or "cable linking" multiple blocks – do not provide deep enough support and will not ultimately stop the problem.
Step 3: Patch cracks where needed
Once your foundation has been shored up with steel piers, you can simply patch the cracks wherever you find them. Masonry will often go back in place after being shored up, but fresh mortar can be applied between blocks. Plaster or filling compound can be used on interior walls and then touched up with paint. Note that patching the cracks without shoring up the foundation will not help, as they will pull open again.
What sorts of cracks have you observed in your home? Do you think they're related to the foundation? Call or contact us at POWER Lift to see if your home requires foundation repair!