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.

How to Fix Cracked Foundation

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 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 full-depth base agreement, which is always confirmed by related breaks. Cracks happen at each side of and portion of the pier and beam foundation disturbance of surfaces going through a constant downwards activity due to the ground continuing to fail.
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