In this episode of Ask the Expert, a customer from Moores Hill, IN asks Bobby about signs of foundation problems.
"In this area we have very expansive clay" -- explains Bobby. Clay soils are like a sponge. They expand when wet -- exerting enormous pressure on the foundation walls -- and they shrink during the dry season, withdrawing support to the structure, causing it to shift. Overtime the constant foundation movement will cause some structural problems such as foundation settlement and bowing of foundation walls.
Common signs of foundation settlement include:
• Cracks on drywall -- especially around windows and doors
• Stair step cracks on brick and brick veneers.
• Windows and doors that stick
• Foundation cracks
• Uneven or cracked floors
• Chimneys tilting away from the house.
The Basement Doctor of Cincinnati offers two types of solution to stabilize and restore the structural integrity of settling foundations: helical piers and push piers.
These two types of piers have different applications, but in both cases, steel piers are driven deep into the ground, past the moving clay soils, and down to load-bearing strata that is capable of supporting the structure. Braces are then attached to the foundation to help stabilize and in many cases lift the foundation back into its original position.
For bowing basement walls, Basement Doctor of Cincinnati offers the PowerBrace system. The PowerBrace system will counter the forces of nature to safely stabilize the basement wall right away, and in some cases, over time the PowerBrace will straighten up the walls and even bring them back to their original position.