As a homeowner you’ve probably heard of the terms foundation repair and house leveling. When it comes to house leveling, you should not attempt to do it by yourself. This is not the kind of DIY project you’d want to involve yourself in because it’s risky and making mistakes may cost you a lot.
How do you know if your house needs leveling? Let’s find out.
What Is House Leveling?
House leveling involves lifting your home back to a level position (similar to when it was first erected). When a house starts to move and shift out of its original position, house leveling is done to get it back to level. Majority of homeowners fail to notice changes to their home’s foundation elevations until it becomes quite severe.
You see, all houses are built on a strong and solid foundation but over time this foundation can move and it can crack, settle or sink. There are various factors that cause the foundation to move including problems with the soil, foundation that is poorly done and soil that has too much moisture. If the foundation of your property has moved you should have it repaired right away. Foregoing foundation repair or house leveling can lead to structural damage and significantly reduce the value of your home.
Does Your House Require Foundation Repair Or House Leveling?
Ideally, the best way to know if your house needs foundation repair or house leveling is to ask professional foundation repair specialists. Nonetheless, there are several signs that will help determine if your house needs repairs. Cracks in you ceilings or walls and outside your home. Doors that stick out or don’t properly shut . If your floor dips and sags or feels soft then you definitely need to seek the help of experts.
What Are The Different Foundation Types?
There are two main types of foundations – Pier & Beam and Concrete Slab.
Pier & Beam
A Pier & Beam foundation consists of three parts. The first part is a concrete footing, or chain wall, that’s built around the perimeter of the house. The second part are concrete columns or piers that are installed on the concrete footing, and the third part are wood beams that are placed on the concrete columns or piers.
Concrete is the main component of slab foundation. It basically consists of a massive slab of concrete that is directly poured in the ground. Standard thickness is between 4 to 6 inches. The outer parts of the slab have a depth of around 24 to 36 inches.
How Is House Leveling Done?
House leveling makes use of various techniques. The technique or process used is going to depend on your house’s foundation type. Each type of foundation can be repaired in various ways. Regardless of the technique used the ultimate goal is to level the foundation.
Pier and Beam Foundation Leveling
Each case requires a specific set of tools. If your house has a Pier & Beam foundation affixing concrete or steel pilings under specific locations under the concrete perimeter beam can level the foundation. The interior can be adjusted by either removing or adding shims on top of the columns or piers. Often times the movement is caused by incorrectly installed or damaged wood, or excessive moisture.
Concrete Slab Foundation Leveling
For concrete slab foundation leveling, certain areas under your home have to be excavated in order to make room for the installation of concrete pilings or concrete piers. And then the level of the home is adjusted with hydraulic jacks and the level is maintained by the new pilings.