Classic signs your home needs concrete leveling are raised sidewalks and slabs, but there are many other signs that you need the soil stabilizing effects of concrete raising and repair. When your house was built, structural elements such as walls, floors, windows, and doors were installed on what was then a level building.
If the soil around the home was not properly compacted, the house settled, or erosion carried away some of the dirt, the result could be that all parts of the house are no longer equally supported.
Signs Your Home May Need Concrete Leveling
As a result of this unequal support, you may find problems that need to be remedied:
- Windows and doors may have cracks around them or stick as a result of being misaligned when you try to open them.
- Interior hardwood floors can warp, while tiles can lift, crack, or sag.
- Cracks develop in the basement floor, which can be the entry point for water, moisture, and radon gas. These problems will be apparent in an unfinished basement, but can develop under floor coverings in a finished basement.
- The walls develop cracks or separate from the floor or ceiling so that there is an apparent gap.
- Cracks in exterior brick, stone, or siding can result if part of the home becomes unlevel.
- The chimney can develop cracks or pull away from the home so that gaps appear between the chimney and exterior walls.
- Water can pool up on flat surfaces such as driveways, sidewalks, and patios. While part of this may be due to the grading, these problems can result from unstable soil as well.
- Porches pull away from the house or appear un-level, a safety hazard when entering or exiting the house.
Call in the Pros to Minimize Damage
When these problems occur, you need to call in professional advice. In many cases, the problem results because of issues with the soil. By using concrete leveling techniques that employ a cement based slurry or foam-based materials, a professional concrete jacking company can fill in the voids in soil, binding it together and making it more stable.
In some cases, the problem is with the foundation rather than just the soil, and other techniques such as piering or anchoring may be needed with or without additional concrete raising. A professional can make a judgment as to whether the relatively inexpensive lifting process can undo many of the problems noted above, or whether more costly techniques are needed.
Look at Drainage Issues to Prevent Recurrence of Problems
In the midst of any repairs, a professional should also verify that the property was correctly graded to provide for drainage in the case of storms. A house at the bottom of the hill will have continual problems unless the soil is built up around the house or unless an effective drainage system is added.
Once the soils under and around the house are stabilized, many of the misalignments that occurred previously may go away or need one-time repair, while further problems are held at bay. To prevent small problems from turning into large ones, the best time to have an evaluation done of cracks and problems with walls, floors, windows or doors is early on.
Concrete leveling from Lift Right Concrete can fix cracks and the problems caused by unstable soils while alerting you to the need for more extensive foundation repairs.