When it comes to foundation repair in south Louisiana there are a variety of factors in play. The most prevalent issue is that our homes are built upon unique clay-laden soil. It’s this soil that can wreak havoc on a home’s foundation. Of course common foundation problems can be presented in cracks, unaligned doors, slanting floors and more. An option during foundation repair is to actually lift the house. The ultimate goal in lifting the structure is to place the slab on piers that will create a stable foundation. It could also be a means in reversing some of the cosmetic damage that’s been caused. So, how do we know how much to lift?
When a house is being lifted there are several factors to consider. It is also important to remember that when we “lift” we are only moving the structure between ¼” and 1 ½” based on the severity of the settlement. Anything beyond this, for example having a home lifted from a flood zone would be a job for a shoring specialist.
The first factor in lifting is determining the signs of distress and identifying where the cracks are located. Once this information is collected, the supervisor closely monitors these issues while doing the lifting countdown. After about 10 pumps of the hand controlled jack, the inside of the home and impacted areas are inspected. Are the cracks closing up? Is there any movement at all? Once these questions are answered, the decision to continue or stop is made. If the supervisor feels confident that continued lifting will not cause any structural damage, he will make that call. More often than not, after this process is complete cracks will close and doors and windows will be realigned.
But what if these visible issues don’t go away after lifting? This doesn’t mean that the job was unsuccessful. Now that your home is resting on our piers, the settlement issue has been resolved and your home is now safe and stable. Most structural engineers prefer that as little lifting as necessary is done.
The main factor for limiting lifting is the amount of tension on the jacks. As soon as they start to resist, that is our cue to stop. Continual force and attempts to lift can cause significant structural damage to both the framing and plumbing. Sometimes homes won’t lift in the same fashion as they fell. This means reversing the damage isn’t possible.
So while creating a stable and safe foundation for your home while reversing the visible effect of foundation damage is the ideal outcome, it isn’t always possible. The ultimate goal is to restore the safety, value and structural stability. Attempting to force the slab in order to align doors or seal cracks can do the exact opposite, and that is a risk we can’t take. Although some additional cosmetic repairs may be required after our repair, you can be assured that your home is stabilized and covered by our lifetime warranty. For over 30 years WCK Foundation Repair has been helping homes and homeowners restore their foundations with the only proven method for our unique soil. For more information, click here.