When to Repair Your Atlanta Foundation

By July 19, 2018Blog

It’s unpleasant news when you discover your foundation needs repair. But, it’s better to know it, deal with it, and move on than it is to have no idea that yours is in need of repair.

 

If you wait too long, cracks in your foundation can eventually cause your basement’s walls to collapse. The framing of your home can bow and separate, leading to severe structural issues that cost even more to repair. At its worst, an unrepaired foundation forces you to completely rebuild your home. But, that’s only if you’ve let the problem go a long, long time.

Fortunately, foundation problems take some time to develop. So, you have plenty of time to identify them and get in touch with a foundation repair contractor in Atlanta.

We’ve been building and repairing home foundations in Atlanta for more than 27 years so we’ve seen quite a few problems that may indicate issues are present with your foundation:

  • Foundation wall cracks
  • Noticeable bowing in your foundation walls
  • Windows and doors which stick but didn’t used to
  • Cracks in your floor
  • Diagonal cracks forming at the corner of your home’s interior walls
  • Noticeably warped floors
  • Cracking in your brick
  • New separations around your garage door, windows, or doors in your home
  • Cracks in the caulk around the sides of your windows and doors
  • Water puddles around the base of your home
  • Sloping chimney
  • Dropping a ball on a floor and noticing the ball always rolls in the same direction
  • Separation of walls from the floor
  • Doorways show gaps at the top or bottom

Whew, that’s quite a list, but these are all things just about anyone can notice.

Before You Start Panicking about Foundation Problems…

Make sure the problem actually results from your foundation sinking or settling into the ground. These symptoms are signs that your foundation could be the problem, but they don’t guarantee the presence of foundation problems.

So what do you do? The key lies in calling a contractor who knows the difference, and it takes years of experience to judge whether those cracks you’re seeing are a superficial cosmetic problem or a more severe foundation problem.

At JSA Specialists, our owner is the fourth generation in his family to own and operate a foundation repair business. We have 27 years of experience performing foundation repair in Atlanta and can help you identify the true cause of the problems you’re noticing around your home. Contact us online or by calling 404-680-1525.

What Causes Foundation Problems?

Foundation problems arise from a number of different causes, and in our experience, they most often result from soil problems.

Soil Problems

It’s not even close – soil problems far and away are the most frequent cause of sinking and settling foundations. They can result from a host of different issues:

  • Construction contractors who didn’t compact the soil below the foundation. 95% is the standard, but unfortunately this doesn’t always happen.
  • Extremely dry or wet weather. A drought sucks away most of the moisture in your soil, while heavy rain saturate it with too much moisture. In either case, your soil softens, and the firm base on which your foundation used to rest is no longer present.
  • Inadequately watered vegetation – If you don’t water your trees and bushes enough, they drink what water remains in the soil. When they drink too much, the soil around your foundation softens, sometimes leading to sinking and settling.

Other Situations Causing Foundation Problems

So, those soil problems can lead to the need for Atlanta home foundation repair. While they are the primary cause, they’re far from the only cause.

We’ve also found the following situations often lead to foundation problems:

  • A landscape that slopes toward your home – In the profession, we call this a “negative slope.” If the land slopes toward your home, it encourages rainwater to run in the same direction. Over time, this again softens the soil around your foundation, potentially causing more problems.
  • Plumbing leaks – The major ones are obvious, but they don’t lead to problems because you have them fixed right away. However, minor leaks that you don’t notice can contribute to additional settling of your foundation.
  • Old foundations – Construction code and techniques have improved over the years. But, if you have an older home and foundation, code might have been looser or even non-existent back then. Now, unfortunately, the responsibility falls to you to repair the foundation.

How do You Fix Foundation Problems?

There’s a number of ways to repair foundation problems – pressure grouting, liquid grouting, and helical piers. But, pressure and liquid grouting are impermanent solutions to the problem. The same with helical piers, which are driven into the ground like screws. In all cases, you could have to call your contractor back multiple times over the years to keep fixing their work.

At JSA, 99% of the time, we’re going to recommend you use steel push piers to stabilize your home’s foundation because they:

  • Stabilize your home’s foundation permanent when used correctly
  • Are fast and easy to install
  • Allow us to keep your landscape intact because they only require light machinery to install

Here’s the process we follow to install these piers:

  • Inspect your home to ensure the foundation is the real problem
  • Install the piers
  • Anchor brick masonry to your framing, if necessary
  • Address cosmetic issues with your masonry, if applicable

Another thing JSA does differently than the average foundation repair company in Atlanta is that we handle your masonry repairs at the same time as the foundation repair. We don’t know of another contractor who does this because masonry repair is a completely separate skill from foundation repair.

When you call contractors separately, it also costs much more, and the masonry repair makes up the bulk of the cost in most cases. In most situations, because we know both skills, we can save you 75% off the cost of the masonry repairs, which adds up to thousands of dollars pretty fast.

If you want to see how installing steel push piers works, check out this video:

And if you need your foundation repaired, contact JSA online or by calling 404-680-1525.