Guide on Fixing Slab Foundations (Repair Guide)

When the moisture level of the concrete slab at home is changing, you will run into numerous issues in it. As a homeowner, you need to always keep in mind that water is the worst enemy of the foundation at home. However, you cannot put complete blame on water. That’s because numerous other reasons, such as irrigation system, landscape, improper drainage, and plumbing related issues can lead you towards issues in slab foundations.


Regardless of the reason you experience damage in the slab foundation, you should go for slab foundation repairs. It will help you to keep the slab foundation from being subjected to further damage.


Signs that indicate your slab foundation has to be repaired
There are few signs, which indicate that you should go ahead with slab foundation repairs. Here is a list of few such signs you need to keep an eye on.


If you notice one or more of these signs, you can suspect that your slab foundation is damaged. Hence, you can contact us and go for the repairs. All you have to do is to contact Academy House Leveling Services and seek our expert assistance.

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Our slab foundation repair services
You can get a variety of slab foundation repairs from us. The exact service would vary based on the nature of repair you need to go ahead with. Here’s a list of some of the most prominent services offered to repair your slab foundation.


Drilled concrete piers
Drilled concrete piers are created by drilling large scale holes in the ground. Then we fill them up with concrete. These piers are in a position to transfer the lateral or axial load into the striatum, which is located under the surface of the ground. Then we will lift your house and proceed with slab foundation repair. This is a time-consuming process and will usually take around 10 days.

Installation of pressed concrete
Installation of pressed concrete is the most common flab foundation repair service that you can get. If you want to keep your expenses low as much as possible, this will be the right option. On the other hand, you can end up receiving maximum returns for the amount you spend. In here, we will be using pressed concrete piers, which are specifically designed for your soil. This method can deliver quick results to you as well.


Steel piers
Placing steel piers will be a highly dependable method. Here, steel pipes will be pressed to the ground. These pipes will be overlapping with each other to create a continuous single pier. Then we will use cement-like grout in order to fill up the pier and continue with repairs. This method can take around three days for the repairs.


We offer the best slab foundation repair services
The team at Academy House Leveling Services will get to know about the nature of the problem you deal with and then take appropriate measures to deliver the repair services. Our technicians are trained and skilled to figure out the exact problem in your slab foundation and go ahead with the best repair service to restore the integrity of your foundation.
Go ahead and give us a call to get your slab foundation repairs now!

How to Fix Cracked Foundations

Do You Need Foundation Repair in New Orleans?

  Do you have damaged walls? Doors that will not close or huge breaks in the floorboards because all of these are symptoms, signs, and indicators of cracked slab concrete or pier and beam foundation issues New Orleans. Foundation troubles can lead to major architectural problems within your home. Fortunately, there are ways to fix a concrete foundation without having to split your home open, tear it apart, and start from the beginning of construction.

Reasons to Need Foundation Repair

  Foundation problems and its activity will demand fixes that are caused by building on extensive clay-based, unstable, or poorly compressed fill dirt or sand.  Additionally, it can be caused by inappropriate service around the fundamentals of the building foundation. Older homes are typically more vulnerable to cracked slab concrete or pier and beam foundation damages in New Orleans.  These damages exist especially in the semi-arid southeast area of the United States, places such as Austin.  Florida is riddled with slab concrete and foundation issues to almost all of their homes statewide.  

Whatever the cause, poor foundation cracked slab issues can eliminate the value and even provide risky habitation. If you see symptoms indications or warning signals that slab concrete and foundation problems exist, do not delay in getting the problem fixed. The longer you wait, the more your damaged concrete foundation will drain your resources and cause further costly damage to your New Orleans home dwelling or business building.

Signs That You Need Foundation Repair

  Take a look around the dwelling or building, and if you see protrusions in walls, damaged or impaired floorboards, and doors that won’t close these are all signs of cracked slab concrete or pier and beam foundation issues. Homes built on extensive dirt and sand usually suffer from serious foundation problems. The issue develops when only part of the connecting pier and beam stresses the foundation forming heaves, causing breaks and other damage.

This differential activity is essentially due to variations in ground wetness. Loss or gain of ground wetness can cause serious shrinking or inflammation to the structure of the dwelling.  Settlement breaks in New Orleans are nearly always straight.  They should not be wrongly identified as breaks that happen when surfaces are exposed to horizontal activity from ground pressure.

Contact Foundation Repair in New Orleans

  If you suffer from any of the following signs of cracked slab concrete or pier and beam foundational damage contact Academy House Leveling we are a foundation repair source in New Orleans.

Here are some early warning signals of needed foundation repair.
 
Warning Signs of Interior Foundation Repair

  •  Out of alignment Doors and Windows
  • Damaged cracked slab of sheetrock
  • Breaks in Floor

Warning Signs of External Foundation Repair

  • Wall Rotation
  • Separating around door, windows and/or walls out of alignment
  • Damaged bricks
  • Broken and/or cracked slab foundation
  • Removed Moldings

  If the structure of a house does not begin to change until after three or more years of acceptable performance, it is uncertain that the distortions is due to a full-depth base agreement, which is always confirmed by related breaks. Cracks happen at each side of and a portion of the pier and beam foundation disturbance of surfaces going through a constant downwards activity due to the ground continuing to fail.

Protect the building you love contact Academy House Leveling

How To Fix Pier and Beam Foundations

Once the damage has been discovered, what’s next? Finding a contractor who has expertise with repairing pier and beam foundations is imperative. The company chosen to estimate and repair foundation damage must possess a legal licensed and registered company that meet state and federal requirements.

Check to be sure the name and address of the chosen company is on the license and don’t just accept the license number or a copy of the license from a contractor, look it up or call to confirm the information just to be safe. The reason this is important is having a repair job shut down because the contractor isn’t legally licensed or registered can compound the cost and time the repair will be finished. Also all contractors must possess insurance.

Steps To Repair Pier & Beam Damage

First step is for the contractor to contact the utility company to contact the Underground Utility Location to make sure all underground utilities cables, pipes, etc. are clearly known and marked before any work begins. The service is free and it is also against the law for any contractor to not first contact the Underground Utility Location office.

Ultimately the extent of the damage, the amount of the square footage and the total number of joint that are involved in the main areas are determining factors in the cost of pier and beam foundation repairs, as well as the amount of time needed to stabilize the base. Keep in mind the highest cost is the labor, which is why you want to make sure you hire skilled contractors who know what they are doing.

The experience or inexperience of potential contractors must be considered when comparing prices because although you may get a lower estimate, if the laborers are less experienced you may save some money, but ultimately due to inadequate repairs, may end up costing you more when the work done isn’t up to pare.

The majority of foundation repairs necessitate piering, which requires a lot of skill as well as very specialized equipment. This foolproof process redistributes the weight of the structure and foundation to the more firm surfaces that go deeper down into the soil.

There are Foundation Helical Piers and Push Piers these are the two proven methods used to reinforce sinking foundations. Which of these methods to be used is determined by the professional you have contracted to inspect the structure/house. Once the inspection is completed they will be better able to determine which method is most appropriate for repairing the foundation. A system using SmartJacks is another option sometimes used in pier and beam repairs.

This Foundation Push Pier system is beneficial because it will permanently stabilize the foundation as life the house/structure back to the original level without a whole lot of expense or major disruptions. It uses steel pier sections that are highly strengthened and are driven down hydraulically making it possible for the sections to reach well below any substandard soils.

If there are visible exterior or interior wall cracks, door and window frame distortions or the chimney is tilted the damage is more extensive and the Helical Pier system will be the better choice for repairing the damage. This system will permanently restore the structures foundation and also life it back up to the safer position levels. The Helical piers are mechanically screwed into the soil, similar to how a corkscrew works.

This is accomplished by using either handheld equipment or straightforward construction equipment. Because these piers are screwed in, they can’t be pulled or pushed out. As soon as they reach the necessary depth, heavyweight steel brackets are installed under the structures footing.

How It Works

It is important to note that one of the biggest expenses in repairing pier and beam foundations occur when there is very little or even no space in the crawlspace. Adequate crawlspace is typically a minimum of 18 inches under floor joists, however a minimum of 24 inches is not only more desired but beneficial.

This allows the air to flow freely under the structure, which helps to keep the beams and the soil dry. Adequate crawlspaces also make it easier for inspectors to access the area under the structure. For homes that do not have adequate crawlspace, the cost is considerably higher and it will be a lot more time consuming because the floors will have to be removed to gain the crawlspace access.

In the cases of inadequate or no crawlspace access, the soil can be dug out under the pier and beam foundation, however this also increases the potential of the additional danger of water amassing in the dug out area. This can also undermine the original pier supports and new supports will have to be added. All of which will increase the cost of the foundation repairs.

The number of piers to be added will be dependent on the board length of the beam needed to correct the damaged areas. Every 12 foot length of beam will have three or four installed piers under them. If the original piers have deteriorated, one to two new piers will need to be installed next to them. Depending on the damage however, they may need to be removed and completely replaced. All piers have either a four inch, 16 inch or 20 inch square concrete pad on the ground below them.

A three foot by four foot dig adjacent to the foundation is created at about 10 inches below the grade beam first. All sticky soil will be removed by scrapping from the bottom footing and the foundation, which is made even to expedite the accurate fit of the support brackets.

The hydraulics and brackets are then installed with a sleeve that acts as a guide is moved forward all the way through the support brackets. At this point the starter and pier sections are pierced using close to 50,000lbs of total driving penetration power force. Cut about five inches above the support bracket the last pier section is fastened at the top of the pier column.

At this point hydraulics are then reconnected and run in a consecutive method to raise the structure/house. Once the structure/house is lifted to the proposed height, the support brackets and fastening plates are permanently attached to the pier columns. Once it is determined the structure is secure and firm, the readings for the pressure, depth and elevation are recorded for each pier.

The removed soil is put back and compacted and all concreate and shrubbery removed in the beginning are put back into place, completing the installation and repair process.

Keys to Preventing Huge Pier and Beam Foundation Repair Bills

The main key to the ensuring years of durability and endurance of Pier and Beam foundation homes is controlling moisture around and under the surrounding areas of the structure/home. Louisiana is known for high humidity levels, high humidity means high moisture so making sure your structure/home has adequate air-flow under its structure is important. The newest method for high humid areas is to seal off the foundation of the structure and invest in a de-humidifier to get rid of any excess moisture that might get into the crawlspace.

This cannot be said enough, water is your home’s worst enemy! When it gets into the crawlspace whether it is from cracks in the beam or the air, it will lead to soil damage and erosion over time. The best way to combat this enemy is with a great drainage system!

The ground under the foundation can become incredibly dry in hot weather, and water can end up under the house after a heavy rain, which often leads to some serious ‘shifting’ problems. A good drainage system, like the French drain system is the most effective way to prevent water from pooling or ‘ponding’ around the house and it’s foundation.

When water is left to pool it leads to the erosion of the soil, not to mention rotting of the wood beams. The French drain system uses cap spaces with grates in the key areas with trenches in between them. Large river rock is then added to prevent the drain from clogging as well as stopping termites from getting into the home.

A less expensive but adequate drainage system is to use what is called, Surface drains. These are collector boxes that are buried with drain grates and buried solid pipes which will drain water towards an appropriate drain field or the streets. Sump pumps can be integrated to mechanically pump the water should there be no natural gravity to work the drain.

Roof gutters that have the correct down spouts capture water on the roof and direct it away from the house. It’s important to make sure the gutters are big enough and the down spouts are directed into a pipe that will keep rain water six to 10 feet away from the structures foundation. If you don’t have gutters installed, now is a good time to do so.

5 Signs of Foundation Issues

  • Cracks in Exterior Walls – If you happen to notice cracks in the walls of your home you might have early signs of a foundation issue or the foundation settling. If you notice any large or growing cracks in the exterior walls you should hire a foundation repair company to have your foundation inspected.
  • Uneven Floors – Do you have uneven floors inside your home? Don’t worry just yet uneven floors are common in older homes but that’s likely because the foundation has moved over time. If you notice your home floors aren’t level anymore you may want to hire a foundation company to inspect them to ensure this.
  • Cracks in Concrete Slab – Having a cracked slab really only calculates to one thing, the ground underneath has shifted causing the slab to become level and crack.
  • Windows or Doors Sticking – Doors and Windows have their own frames with inside the frame of your home and usually when the homes frame shifts the doors and windows will not, so if you notice they are sticking then this can be an early sign of a foundation issue.
  • Damp Crawl Space – Crawl spaces with a lot of moisture or ones that are wet all the time. Being that we are in Louisiana and we see significant rainfall this can lead to foundation issues.

There are several signs you might find that could lead to you needing foundation repair, here are five of them we listed to help sort out the major causes. If you are looking to have someone provide you foundation inspection services in the New Orleans, LA area then give Academy House Leveling a call today and let us provide you with a hassle free estimate.

New Orleans House Leveling Jacks

Uses Of House Leveling Jacks: House-Raising

House-raising is a process that involves separating or temporarily raising a house from its foundation with house leveling jacks or hydraulic jacks. House-raising is similar but different from house-moving, which involves raising and transporting a house by some distance to an entirely different location. After a house is raised, it is temporarily supported with hydraulic jacks.

Hydraulic or house leveling jacks are stronger than other types of jacks and can lift much heavier loads higher that is why they are referred to as house leveling jacks. Hydraulic jacks depend on force that is generated by pressure and one fundamental principle is important when it comes to lifting loads. Firstly, the plunger is drawn back, opening the suction valve ball which draws oil to the pump chamber. When the plunger is propelled forward, the oil moves across an outer discharge check valve to the cylinder chamber, then the suction valve closes, resulting in pressure building in the cylinder. Moving forward, there are certain things a homeowner must consider before his/her house can be raised.

Considerations for the Homeowner

Homeowners can decide to raise their houses due to the following reasons;

• A house can be raised in order to add living space.

• A house can be raised if the foundation needs repair.

• A house can be raised to provide flood protection. Frequently wet basements are prone to mold growth. This problem can be permanently rectified if the basement is raised above the water table. Raising your house for flood protection can also reduce flood insurance rates.

• House-raising can balance excessive settling.

• House-raising can be done to move and rotate a building for aesthetic purposes. For example, building structures are rotated to avoid the unpleasant noise of nearby highways. Houses can also be raised (rotated) to fine-tune where and when the different parts of the house will receive sunlight.

If a homeowner decides to raise his/her building (either by contracting a professional or by himself/herself) he needs to do further considerations so as to ensure the work is/was successfully done. Considerations such as ensuring the condition of the foundation is carefully assessed to see if it is in good shape or if it is cracked. If it is cracked, then you might need to fix it before your house can be raised. A homeowner should hire a professional to check for signs that the raising process didn’t degrade the structural integrity of the house. He\/she should anticipate the kind of impact that raising the house will have in the neighborhood. For example, street parking might be halted temporarily while house-raising is taking place.

You have to check on height restrictions before doing house-raising. You can ponder on questions like, do my building plans exceed the height restrictions set by the authorities? A municipal inspector may be required to confirm this and approve the work. The homeowner should also make sure that items in the property that can be moved, such as furniture, be taken out of the structure until the house-raising is completed. Finally, before beginning the raising process be sure to shut off and disconnect the power, gas and all electrical connections in the structure.

How House-raising is done

House-raising is a very hefty task, as all utilities must be disconnected and later reconnected. Truckloads of dirt need to be excavated, and new concrete walls need to be built. The actual lifting or raising of the house involves using hydraulic jacks and long steel I-beams. It is possible to lift a house speedily, although, in some situations, like trying to avoid damage to drywall, a building might be raised by 1\/8-inch per day.

A homeowner can pay about $10,000 to raise a 1,200-square-foot building by a few feet. Older structures may present a challenge when it comes to lifting, as they weigh more and because they are made with sturdier wood and plaster construction. After the raising is done, the building is temporarily suspended above its foundation for as long as the project takes with the aid of a steel beam and wooden cribs.

How you can raise your house by yourself with house leveling jacks

If your home is sagging or becomes uneven as a result of sinking foundations, you can use a jack to lift or raise it back up to level. All you need to do is to look for the area where the sagging beams are and bring them to the right level with a hydraulic jack, many of which can hold up hundreds of tons and concrete support pillars. After putting your house on the right level, what’s left to do is to put the concrete pillars beneath the beams to keep the raise in place.

Then get below your building and find the support beams that help hold up the structure. If the foundation of your property is sinking then, you should jack up or raise the sinking side. Then look for the bowed beams that are submerged lower than their compatriots, or for places where a sinking floor above might mean a problem beam below.

The next step is to place the hydraulic jack underneath the sinking beam. Then jack up the beam till the house is level. Using other, non-sagging beams is ideal as they can bring all of you house’s beams back to a level arrangement. Make sure you jack the affected beam up slowly and in a way that it gradually readjusts and becomes level again. In a case where it is multiple beams that need attention, you should use multiple jacks simultaneously.

Next, you need to place a concrete pylon underneath the beam so that the newly arrived level remains when the hydraulic jack is eventually removed. These pylons act as spacers that need to fit into the gap created underneath the beam. Finally, place the pylon at a point that is near the hydraulic jack, and centered on the beam so that after the hydraulic jack is taken out the pylon will carry the weight that the it was holding up.

Helpful Foundation Repair Information

When it comes to foundation repair information, you have come to the right place! Our goal is to combine all the foundation repair help available in one web location. If you’re in need of resources, we have just that.

Foundation repair specialists will tell you that there are a limited number of things that create the need for repair help: foundation cracks, basement and\/or crawlspace moisture and cracking concrete. Foundation cracks happen when the environment eats away at the foundation. This is a huge issue because the entire house rests on the foundation. A shifting foundation can cause a myriad of other issues: windows can shift, doors can shift, cracks can start in walls or the ceilings. Moisture is another culprit in the world of foundations. If water isn’t directed away from the foundation, the years can cause enough damage that it starts to compromise. Finally, crumbling concrete can be a visual sign of a foundation problem.

If you’re in the market for a foundation repair, be sure that you take the necessary precautions when it comes to finding a foundation specialist. As with any hired contractor, you have to check out the possibilities before you sign anything. Ask friends, family and acquaintances for referrals. Once you get them, do some research on each potential contractor you are considering. The internet is a great resource when it comes to reviews. Check out the websites and social media reviews of contractors. This can be telling.

Also, as the individual contractors what they are going to cover. Remember that in the world of business, providers are not created equal. One provider may include ten services, while another one may consider all ten add-on services that come with additional costs. Do your own studying up on what you need and who can offer you the best options. Once you decide on a contractor, be sure you have enough dialogue with the chosen contractor to understand exactly what they are doing for you. Again- get all repair details in writing.

When it comes to foundation repairs, they normally fall into a few major categories. One is shifting of the foundation. Of course there is a cause for the shift, but a good contractor should be able to diagnose the root cause. He or she should also be able to give you suggestions to stop the cause so it doesn’t continue to damage the foundation. Another cause of foundation issues can be water. If water isn’t directed away from the foundation, over years and years of flow it can eat away at strength of the foundation. Finding ways to seal the leak also can help to mitigate damage to a compromised foundation. There are many ways to manage water. Polyurethane foam sealants are popular. Finally, disasters such as earthquakes, flooding and tornadoes can cause problems with foundations. Natural disasters are cause for much concern when it comes to foundation issues. The biggest issue with them is that for the most part they are unavoidable. Remember too that when an entire neighborhood is victim of a natural disaster, contractors come out of the woodwork to “help.” Be sure if this happens, you are thinking clearly and know how to make wise decisions.

Once your contractor figures out what the issue is, he or she can better formulate what the best solution will be. Sometimes shoring up the foundation with posts can do the trick. To get the posts installed though may require detailed, and dangerous, lifting of the entire house or a portion of it. For bulging foundation walls, joists and anchors can be used. They will also shore up the foundation and take some of the weight of a house off the main beams. A contractor can also use pins to secure walls into their proper places. Again- a foundation repair specialists will work to come up with a battle plan to tackle your foundation before they begin. You will be able to make the best decision for your specific needs.

Foundation repair help is available, but taking careful steps to finding it is crucial. If you check out all your options, you can find the perfect foundation repair specialist to work on your house. Remember that a lot rests on the foundation of your house. Protecting it should be a number one priority.

How to Diagnose Foundation Issues

Your home is one of the most expensive investments you’ll ever make. That’s why it’s important to know how to diagnosis foundation issues.

When inspecting your foundation it’s good to keep this in mind: What begins as a small dip or crack in one area of your house can grow to become a very large problem. Contacting an experienced foundation repair expert when you first notice complications, can avoid foundation failure and reduce cost.

If you see any of the following signs, please contact us immediately:

  1. Foundation/Wall/Floor Cracks
    Have you noticed cracks in your house or commercial property? It could most definitely signal a foundation problem. Floor cracks, wall fissures and a broken chimney can also mean trouble. Over time houses in Southern Louisiana may experience foundation movement due to expanding and contracting soil, as well as inclement weather.
  2. Foundation Settling Or Sinking
    If your house appears to be sinking or having settlement issues, have it checked out. Settling is another sign that you may have a foundation dilemma. Over time, you may notice that one side of your house is lower than the other, or you may observe that the center of your home is sinking. If so, your foundation may need to be lifted and require the installation of interior or exterior foundation piers.
  3. Sagging Or Uneven Floors
    Sagging, bowing or dipping floors could indicate trouble. When foundation problems impact pier and beam foundations, floors have a tendency to sag and squeak. When it comes to concrete slabs, floors are prone to be uneven or out of level. Since slab foundations are positioned directly on the ground and pier and beam foundations are not, they are impacted differently. While both may have flooring issues, the signs of damage don’t look the same.
  4. Doors That Stick Or Don’t Open And Close Properly
    Sticking doors is a common indication of foundation issues. When interior doors are affected, they tend to drag at the top while exterior doors hang down at the top and appear uneven.
  5. Gaps Around Window Frames Or Exterior Doors
    Homeowners in Southern Louisiana often notice gaps around their exterior window frames and exterior doors. This is a common indicator of foundation issues.

What To Do If Your Property Is Showing Foundation Issues:
The first thing to do is contact Academy Housel Leveling for a thorough and comprehensive foundation inspection. We’ll come up with an affordable and custom plan to meet your house leveling needs.

House Leveling Process New Orleans

No matter how professional the foundation of a house is, it still has the tendency to settle after some years. It is rare but not impossible to also see new houses settling or experiencing some movement of foundation.

The pattern of house settling is one in which a house foundation or floor sinks or slopes the center. Surely nobody wants a house such as this as it can be a serious inconvenience and even a pressing danger for homeowners. Selling such a house could also prove to be problematic as people seeking to buy property will hardly, if ever, pick up such a property because of the dangers involved in living in the house as is, or the extra costs involved in leveling the house.

When a decision is finally made to fix the problem by engaging in the house leveling process, it has to be decided whether the homeowner should undertake the house leveling himself or give the job out to a professional contractor.

First off, can house leveling even be performed by a regular homeowner who is an amateur in building and construction? Obviously, house leveling is not garden pruning or lightbulb fixing but yes, it is possible for a homeowner to level his house himself. It’s also obvious that this type of endeavor should not be attempted without requisite experience because unfortunately, there is no room (pun intended) for trial and error.

The actual work of house leveling may be challenging but there are still bigger issues like knowing the details of home construction, understanding how weight is distributed in a house and having the right equipment on the ground and on standby in the eventuality of a mishap. An inadequate supply of any of the above can result in being trapped for a long stretch under a collapsed building or even death.

Based on your level of experience and your knowledge of the dangers involved, you can make an informed decision on who should perform the house leveling of your home and which will be more beneficial for both you and your house. (Note that in most states, a homeowner without certain licenses for special construction jobs can still perform them on his house as long as it is only used as a personal property and not rented out).

So how exactly is the process of house leveling carried out?
The process starts with assessing the structure of the building and as such a Structural Engineer should be consulted whether the leveling is being done by the homeowner or the contractor. Usually, contractors for house leveling (who specialize in foundations, underground areas, basements and crawlspaces) have trainings in Structural Engineering and so this moves the process along quickly. Assessing the structure is important because simply going to straight to work could complicate the problem at hand.

The slope of the house has to be accurately measured so that the exact distance the house is to be jacked up by is known from the onset. The distance of the slope can be determined by laser level, water level or by simply using a taut string.

Using concrete or wooden blocks, a temporary post, located on firm and stable ground is erected under the house flooring at the lowest point. To improve the stability of the blocks, they are alternated horizontally and vertically on each other.

At this point, one of the most essential tools of the whole exercise comes in: the jack. By jack, we are not referring to ordinary hydraulic jacks; they are simply unfit for the job. Even the toughest automotive jack in any auto shop or garage will simply be crushed under the weight of a regular-sized home and will be unable to lift the house. The jack used is a special house leveling jack: most are screw jacks but a few are also hydraulic jacks.

The most commonly used is a 20-ton special house leveling jack although some contractors use a 40-ton jack because of the extra power and the fact that the 40-ton jack costs only a fraction more than the 20-ton jack. These jacks are usually purchased instead of rented because the job takes quite a number of days, with the rent usually sky-high and it makes more economic sense to purchase the jack than to rent it. Also, depending on the arrangement you have with your contractor, multiple jacks are advisable for it makes the process easier.

The jack is inserted between the temporary post and the floor and the lifting begins. The area underneath is checked for weak areas or soft spots to ensure that the jack does not shift during lifting. As the floor goes up, smaller blocks are added to give the center of the house better support at its changing levels of elevation.

When the lowest point reaches the level of the next lowest point, the jack is removed and allowed to rest on the erected temporary post. At this point, problems caused by the heaving of the house are checked (for example crumbling plaster and drywall or sheetrock cracks), to be addressed before moving on to the next lowest point.

At the next lowest point, the process is repeated: a temporary post is erected, the jack inserted and the floor of the house raised to the next highest point again. This is done multiple times especially if the floor did not take on a straight slope or took on multiple slopes.

Some time is usually given to the house to settle after each small lift before moving on.

At the end of the process, when the floor of the house is completely level and is in no danger of toppling from the temporary posts, permanent posts are then put in. The supports previously used in the house can still be reused if they are examined and show no form of decay or any other deterioration. The center of the house can then be reinforced to prevent future sloping by cutting of the top of the center supports and then inserting a beam on them.

New Orleans Foundation Repair

All houses settle over time and that includes those in the New Orleans and Mandeville areas. Some unevenness or signs of “give” are to be expected. But how do you know the big warning signs that require attention? Let’s say you have a door that starts jamming. It may be the wet season, so you decide to wait it out. Summer comes and that door still keeps on jamming, only even more. Or, let’s say you see a small crack in the drywall around a doorway, where the wall and ceiling meet or by a window. That can be a sign for concern. If you notice a small crack be sure to take a picture of it. Wait a month or so and take another picture. Do you see any changes? Is it longer? Wider? All these may be telltale signs of a foundation repair looming in your near future.

So what should you do if you suspect a New Orleans foundation repair or Mandeville foundation repair is needed? First, do a visual inspection of the foundation from outside. Step away from your house to look at the condition. Walk far enough away to get a clear eye line and see if the foundation looks level. Close one eye and try to follow the line of your house from one end to the other. It should look horizontally sound. If you see any crookedness in your eye line, there may be an issue. Although a visual inspection can give you a hint of a problem, the real tests will prove whether or not you need foundation repair help.

For a better judgment with the level test, try using a level. This is a tool that indicates a perfectly horizontal plane. There is a bubble of air housed in a case of liquid. There are also little tick marks to signify the exact center of the little compartment. When the bubble is perfectly centered between those tick marks, it means the level is perfectly horizontal. You can get fancy with a level and purchase one that has vertical plumb lines too, but a good cheap one should give you the indicators you need just fine. Hold the level horizontal on a few different locations of the foundation. Every time the bubble should reach center signifying your house is even. If the bubble shifts off to one end or the other, that may be the time to call a repair man for an official assessment.

You can also use your level around your house. See if there are any areas that are shifted. This is the kind of thing that is going to give away any compromises in the foundation. Remember that shifts are small at first. You won’t see a huge problem. But catching problems with foundation repair in Baton Rouge or Mandeville early is key to saving costs.

If your house has concrete poured around its perimeter, do some inspecting. See if there are any chips. A chip can be a sign that the concrete is experiencing heavy pressure and buckling. Foundation repair may be needed to shore up those compromised areas. Of course there are other reasons why your concrete may be chipped or cracked. It may have been mixed improperly or that area may take more wear and tear. Here is where a professional can come in and give you a more detailed assessment of the chipping.

You also should go to the basement or crawl space. Do another visual assessment of posts or concrete supports. You want both to be standing perfectly straight. Again, here is where a level can help. Use it up against the bottom of your posts and supports to make sure they are perfectly horizontal. Also, do an inspection of the post’s foundations. You want to make sure the entire bottom is securely resting on the ground and the entire top is supporting the entire ceiling. Any compromise here can show a problem with a shifting foundation in need of repair.

The bottom line with New Orleans and Mandeville foundation repair is that it is important. Your entire house rests on that slab. This is why foundation repair and knowing how to check for issues is critical knowledge for any homeowner.

Foundation Repair Guide New Orleans

Foundation Repair Resources
If you’re a Baton Rouge-area homeowner you likely are accustomed to caring for your beautiful house. The city is known as a historically important one in the state of Louisiana. Although the aesthetics are important, your home’s security starts with its foundation. The foundation is the strength of the house. If you’re looking for information on keeping it in tip top shape, this is the Foundation Repair Guide you need.

First of all, consider that your house’s foundation supports your life. That is not an overstatement because your house is where you valuable items are. Furniture, electronics, appliances all find their way under your roof and cost thousands. Beyond “things”, your house protects your family. Sure you can replace things, but your family is the major concern.

Any homeowner knows that protecting what is in the house starts with a healthy foundation. There is a lot of stress on it too. Consider how much it holds- the full weight of the beams, furniture, people, vehicles, windows, doors, etc. All these items are piled on the foundation. On top of that, the elements hit the foundation and that can be the start of disaster. Over time, these environmental stresses can cause settling, shifting and\/or cracking.

It is estimated that about $4-billion is spent annually to repair foundations. Locations in Louisiana are no different. Baton Rouge foundation repair and Covington foundation repair costs are equally high as compared to the overall market. Part of the problem is that homeowners rarely see the initial signs of a faulty foundation. Remember that foundation repair normally comes from years and years of damage. It may be ten years before a foundation problem is visually apparent to the untrained eye.

Even though as a homeowner you aren’t an expert, you can still take layman’s precautions to ensure a healthy foundation lasts. Here are some guidelines when it comes to Baton Rouge foundation repair and Covington foundation repair.

New Orleans Foundation Repair
In particular older homes are known to have structural issues. Again- this is just because of consistent abuse from the environment over the course of decades of time. If you live in an older home you likely have become accustomed to that floorboard that makes a popping sound when someone steps on it. You have come to enjoy the one step going down to the basement that squeaks when someone steps on the right corner edge. Not all noises are cause for concern, but some can be. Remember that damage can be subtle and take a long time to truly show itself.

Another, and more definitive, sign to watch is a crack. Cracks are almost never negligible. There is a reason why they show up. Sure at times they can be the result of a faulty drywall installer and nothing more, but that’s highly unlikely. Usually a crack is the most telling sign of a Baton Rouge foundation repair or a Covington foundation repair need. Your best bet if you see a crack is to get a few professional opinions right away.

When it comes to knowing the signs of a foundation repair, there are some clear ones that are going to point you to an expert. Here are some signs to watch out for:

1) Cracking in your chimney. Poor drainage can cause a chimney to crack or lean. Either one is not good.

2) Cracked walls. A cracked walls is a sign that you need a professional to assess the issue. Again- it could be something simple like a misplaced drywall sheet, but what if it isn’t? You want to get it taken care of as soon as possible.

3) Sagging floors. Anytime you see warped or sagged floors, get a professional to at least look at the issue.

4) Jamming doors\/uneven door frames. This may be the single-most telltale sign of problems to come. A door that shifted and is jamming or showing signs of unevenness is likely the victim of a foundation issue.

5) Water issues. If you have a bad drainage system, that could mean disaster for your foundation. You want water to be directed away from your home. If that isn’t happening, it can slowly eat away at your foundation over years and years of abuse.

Who is Affected

Some people mistakenly believe that if they don’t have a slab foundation, then they are immune from problems with their foundations. The reality is that a slab foundation, full- or half-basement or crawl space can all be victims to the environment. Regardless of which type of foundation you have, be sure to do a yearly assessment of interior and exterior tells.

You want to look at leaks, moisture issues, cracks, warping, unevenness, bowing, jamming doors, cabinets that aren’t hanging right, windows that may have shifted and doors that don’t fit right anymore. These are all signs that you may be in need of Baton Rouge foundation repair or Covington foundation repair company.

A good tip is to take pictures of any issues you may see. That way, when you do another assessment 6-months to a year or more down the road, you have something to compare. You can clearly see any more damage and act accordingly.