Did you know that on average, most homes can last about 100 years? While many factors such as building materials, location and usage can impact the lifespan of your home, you can feel confident that your home will generally last a long time.
However, if your home is reaching or over a century old, it may be time to look into ways to extend the life of your home. At Groundworks, we recommend bolstering your foundation as the first means of extending your home’s longevity as it supports the entire structure of your residence. In this article, we’ll look at different foundation repair options that can keep your home functioning well beyond 100 years.
Your Foundation Affects Everything
In many ways, the foundation is the most important part of a home. Without a reliable foundation, nearly every other part of a building’s structure falls apart. Foundations have comparable life expectancies to the other materials used to build your home—about 50-100 years on average.
Since the structural integrity of your home depends on the foundation, it’s important to make sure your home’s foundation is well maintained and supported. As time passes, your foundation will experience different forms of damage.
Concrete slabs may crack or sink into the ground. Crawl spaces might experience mold or wood rot. Basements may suffer from bowing walls and water damage due to leaks. All of these are caused by a combination of weather, soil, and time. Let’s explore various foundation repair options that can lengthen your home’s life.
Bolstering Your Foundation
Foundation repair comes in many shapes and sizes which depend on a few things—foundation type, symptoms of foundation damage, and causes of foundation damage. Different tools are needed to repair a cracked concrete slab rather than a leaky basement wall. Here’s the best solutions for common foundation problems.
Just as their name states, concrete slabs are made from pouring concrete into a sort of platform for your home to sit on. Since concrete is an extremely sturdy substance, these types of foundations can last for close to a century and sometimes more.
However, the reality is that weather and soil are likely to cause some kind of damage to these types of foundations. Concrete is strong, but that also means it is heavy. Anything that weakens the soil around a concrete slab is going to cause the concrete to sink into the ground. Soil can be weakened in three ways: washout, drought, and poor compaction.
Piers Fix Soil Problems
Since soil is often the biggest problem when it comes to concrete slabs, Groundworks has solutions that remove weak soils from the equation all together. One solution is using a pier system to support your foundation.
Piers are galvanized steel rods that are inserted below the ground into sturdy, load-bearing soils such as bedrock. Since these soils are so deep below the surface, they’re packed tightly and are not affected by weather or construction.
Piers come in three varieties, each with its own unique design. However, they all accomplish the same goal – stabilizing your foundation. Our piers include:
- Helical piers
- Slab piers
- Push piers
If your foundation is sinking or uneven, it’s important to call a professional as soon as possible. Leaving a sinking foundation unattended can lead to further foundation damage. Thankfully, piers are designed to keep your foundation protected permanently.
Crawl spaces are also affected by weather and soil, but in different ways. Long story short, the number one enemy of any crawl space is moisture. High levels of moisture lead to wood rot and mold, both of which can damage the crawl space as well as the home above it.
Weather and soil act as vehicles for moisture to enter a crawl space. Humid air can enter a crawl space through air vents built into the foundation and moisture levels rise within the crawl space. Rainy weather makes soil beneath the home wet, which eventually releases water vapor into the crawl space and also causes moisture levels to rise. In both situations, your crawl space becomes weak.
Encapsulate Your Crawl Space
Removing moisture is the solution to crawl space issues. Groundworks offers full encapsulation services for your crawl space. Our team of experts can install a vapor barrier, dehumidifier, sump pump or any other combination of waterproofing systems to keep your foundation protected.
We also offer SettleStop™ IntelliJack support beams to reinforce any damaged wood in your crawl space. With these tools, moisture stays controlled and your crawl space remains supported for years and keeps your home functioning properly.
Once again, soil and water are to blame for basement foundation problems. Specifically, a force called hydrostatic pressure can damage a basement. As water drains deeper into the ground, the pressure it exerts becomes greater. It is the same thing the happens as you dive deeper into a pool and the water pressure grows in your ears.
All this pressure from the water can cause soil to move. If your basement walls happen to be in the way, the pressure will continue pushing on those walls and may cause wall cracks and spring a leak. Your basement’s structural integrity is put at risk, and your home’s.
Waterproof and Support Basement Walls
Much like a crawl space, waterproofing options exist to mitigate water damage. Our team can install interior drains, vapor barriers, and sump pumps to keep the space dry.
Furthermore, our team can use wall anchors to prevent hydrostatic pressure from damaging your walls any further. Wall anchors strengthen the wall by connecting to a clamp on the inside of the foundation wall. This extra strength protects against hydrostatic pressure and closes any basement wall cracks simultaneously.
Make Your Home Like New Again
Foundation repair can keep a home going for another century, especially in combination with other household repairs. At Groundworks, we’re committed to providing the best foundation repair for seniors who are interested in boosting the longevity of their home.
No matter what foundation repair method is used, our team always installs with minimal disruption to your home and cleans up any mess we leave behind! If you want to learn more about how to increase the life of your home, call us today and schedule a free inspection!