Basement Foundation Repair in NJ & PA
When is foundation repair necessary? A foundation’s main job is to hold up the house. Often, however, the biggest load on the foundation is not the weight of the house, but the pressure of the soil around the foundation.
Called the lateral load, it is the amount of pressure exerted on basement walls and can vary widely. It depends on many factors, including what type of soil surrounds the foundation of your home, how wet that soil is and how deep the basement/foundation extends beneath the surface.
Coarse-grained, well-drained soils like sand and gravel apply the least lateral load, while fine silts and clays, especially if saturated, apply more load.
The deeper the basement, the greater the pressure. The designer and builder must understand the importance of these factors in order to design and build a foundation that can stand up to lateral loads. Since soil engineering is not an exact science and loads are hard to predict accurately, all foundations should have a large, built-in margin of safety.
Soils are mixtures of mineral particles, water, and air. They’re not quite solid and not quite liquid, but they can flow. The more water a soil contains, the more it behaves like a fluid. As water lubricates the small soil particles, they slip more easily past each other.
Clays are particularly affected by moisture: A clay embankment that stands up by itself when dry may turn to mud and slump like pudding when wet. That’s why effective drainage systems are a critical element when building in clay soils.
Groundwater exerts its own pressure on basement walls as it seeps through the earth. The water pressure against a basement when the soil is thoroughly soaked is called hydrostatic pressure. It can force moisture through pores in the basement wall and even crack or buckle the wall itself. Here again, proper drainage is the remedy.
Digging Deeper Increases Pressure
Hydrostatic pressure and soil pressure increase with depth. Just as a submarine experiences more stress on the hull as it dives deeper, a basement wall faces more lateral pressure deep underground than it does near the surface. Other things being equal, deep foundation walls need more strength than shallow ones.
Warning Signs That Should Not Be Ignored
Horizontal, open cracks are typically a sign that your basement wall is beginning to push in or even buckle. Horizontal cracks are often caused by frost heave (expansion of water when it freezes) against the wall or heavy wet soil from hydrostatic pressure. These types of cracks may denote a structural issue and should be addressed immediately.
Vertical cracks in poured concrete walls may be a result of settling. These types of cracks often occur inside the corner of a window opening or beam pocket. Vertical cracks in block basement walls is often a sign of blunt trauma to the outside wall often done during the back fill process.
Step cracks usually appear from minor settling in block basements. Fine step cracks in isolated areas are usually not structural. These may require minor repair to prevent moisture from leeching into your basement.
Open step cracks are more of a concern. This means that more substantial settling has taken place. If you see dirt, mud, sediment or stains on the wall or floors around the cracks, this means the soil outside is pushing through the cracks. This should be addressed immediately.
Bowed or bulging basement walls means your wall is buckling from the pressure exerted on it by the outside dirt and water. If this is not treated, eventually your basement wall may collapse and further damage may be caused.
A bowed wall typically can be repaired using structural support and wall bracing. It is also imperative to reduce the pressure on the outside wall. This typically requires the replacement of the exterior drainage system to reduce the soil moisture and hydrostatic pressure being exerted on the wall.
Cracked basement floors, where part of the slab appears lower than the rest, is a sign of floor settling. Large open cracks in the floors are gateways for water and insects to infiltrate your home and should be addressed.
Why Do Foundations Fail?
The foundation of your basement plays a vital role in holding up your house. Once the foundation of your basement fails, the entire structure of your home is at risk for irreparable damages.
There are many reasons why foundations fail, such as clogged or damaged drainage, shifting clay soil, and frost heave. Once you see signs of basement foundation failure, you should call professionals who can provide high-quality foundation repair or basement wall repair services right away.
Hiring professionals to provide basement foundation repair in Philadelphia, New Jersey, and anywhere else in the world is a cost-effective investment to warrant the safety of your household and the value of your property. Paying for professional foundation repair services will also ensure that your PA or NJ home remains durable, safe, and appealing for years.
Best Foundation Repair Services Throughout New Jersey & Pennsylvania
We at Basement Solutions pride ourselves on being the best company to provide basement wall repair and basement repair services. Foundation Repair in Phoenixville, PA and foundation repair in Delaware are just two of our sought-after services areas.
We have years of experience in the industry and have been keeping property owners living in New Jersey and Pennsylvania happy and safe through our foundation repair services.
What Kinds of Foundation Issues Should Be Addressed?
● Cracked Walls: Also known as a horizontal crack, cracked walls are signs that your basement wall is about to buckle or push in. This problem is often caused by frost heave or heavy wet soil from hydrostatic pressure outside.
A cracked wall is a sign of a structural issue that should be addressed right away. If you see any signs of cracked walls in your basement, call our company today.
Our foundation repair services extend to property owners in PA and NJ. Just let us know what kind of basement foundation repair service you are looking for, and our company will be there to help. Our basement wall repair services are readily available to different residents in NJ, so call us if you need help in repairing your cracked walls.
● Cracked Floors: Cracked floors are often caused by shrinkage as the concrete dries. These types of cracks usually occur after the basement floor is poured. This problem requires immediate foundation repair to prevent damaging other areas of your basement.
Regardless of how small you think the cracked floors are in your basement, call our company the moment you see this problem. If you’re living in NJ or Pennsylvania, you can maximize our foundation repair services and have your basement fixed.
● Bowed Walls: This foundation issue means that your walls are buckling from too much pressure exerted by the water and dirt. When left unaddressed, bowed walls can eventually cause the basement to collapse.
A bowed basement wall is a common problem that can be fixed using wall bracing and structural support. Our company provides foundation repair in Bucks County, PA, and basement foundation repair in Lehigh Valley, so call us today if you see signs of bowed walls in your basement. If you’re looking for a professional for foundation repair in Main line, PA, we’re the best company to help.
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Basement foundation failure is a problem that should be fixed as soon as possible. Neglecting the need to call the best company to provide basement wall repair and basement foundation repair services can result in bigger expenses and stress in the long run.
If you’re living in PA or NJ and suspect that your basement needs foundation repair, call us right away. We offer foundation repair in Montgomery County, PA, and other locations in PA and NJ, so call us right away!