It is impossible to imagine sleeping comfortably on beds or walking about one’s home without floors and foundations. Failing to repair damages in the floor or foundation of a structure can result in problems like water seepage, framing issues, and deep wall cracks. Thus, one must repair such damages through tried-and-tested methods to avoid further deterioration and ensure habitable conditions. Here are some common and effective floor and foundation repair services and methods:
Steel pressed piling
In this process, steel piles are inserted into the ground through a hydraulic ram, which is a cylindrical water pump powered by hydropower. In some cases, hollow steel piles are filled with concrete to provide additional support to the piles and alleviate the risks posed by erosion. Steel-pressed piling is simple, hassle-free, and effective and is typically not time-consuming.
Slab jacking refers to elevating one side of a concrete slab from below. This process results in re-leveling of the slab and typically takes some hours to complete. Nowadays, polyurethane foam, as opposed to mud or concrete, is the preferred substance used to raise concrete in the slab-jacking process. Slab jacking requires specialized equipment and should be undertaken only by professionals with considerable experience in the activity.
Sealing cracks is a temporary solution to the foundation and floor damage. Adhesive sealants are typically used to fill up the cracks on the pavement surface. However, crack sealing should not be a permanent resort; it is an effective method to prevent further damage until other permanent procedures like steel-pressed piling are employed.
Soil modification is a process in which gaps in soil layers are filled with chemical substances to facilitate soil stability and stiffness. The process is similar to slab jacking; however, it requires considerable expertise and should be carried out only by trained professionals. Moreover, it is more expensive than other foundation-repair methods and requires high maintenance.
This is a type of grouting used for repairing underground pipes or tunnels. This process is used to repair cracked concrete surfaces, particularly those caused by water leakage. However, the cost involved in this process is considerably high; therefore, it is usually not employed to fix shallow or pattern cracks. As a temporary solution, crack sealing is a more economical method to fill up cracks.
Gravity filling method
This technique is among the most basic crack-filling methods, wherein gravity-filling machines fill gaps in floor surfaces. These machines have basic designs and are easy to use, contributing to the popularity of this technique. Furthermore, gravity fillers do not employ a recirculating mechanism and do not require expertise.
Concrete pressed piling
In this process, deep holes are drilled into the structure to be repaired, then filled with concrete, reinforcement, and, sometimes, precast concrete piles. This procedure involves low costs and does not require heavy equipment. However, avoiding this procedure as a long-term solution for cracked floors and foundations is advisable.
While installing steel piers is an excellent long-term solution, it is relatively expensive and is avoided by individuals with strict budget limits. The procedure involves inserting galvanized steel posts deep into the earth, allowing it to penetrate the foundation and reach the bedrock. The procedure may be carried out in any soil condition and is durable.
Poured concrete piers
Here, a deep hole is dug underneath the foundation and filled up with wet concrete. These concrete piers may be used in different soil conditions and are bell-bottom-shaped for additional support.
Shimming involves shims, or small pieces of steel or other material, stacked until the stack attains the desired height. Shimming is a common process used to fill gaps in foundations and floors. These shims are durable and provide considerable support to foundations; hence, they effectively facilitate long-term foundation repair.
These toppings are made of thin layers of polymer-modified concrete containing sand. They are applied to brushes or trowels and typically dry quickly; thus, this technique is time-saving and popular for foundation repair. However, the resulting texture of the surface depends on the expertise with which the micro-topping is applied to the floor. Typically, one can begin walking on the treated surface after about 42 hours from the time of application.
Stamped concrete surface treatments
This procedure is commonly employed to treat external as well as internal floor surfaces. A thin layer of stamped concrete is applied to an existing slab, and a stamping tool is then used to texture the stamped concrete layer, ensuring that the layer resembles brick or tiled surface. A coat of concrete sealer is applied as the final step.
Dry packing involves manually placing a mortar with low water content, followed by ramming the mortar into place. The low water content ensures that the surface is durable and prevents shrinkage.
Helical piers, also called screw piles or anchors, are installed to repair fragile foundations and support weak structures. These piers may be used to repair various types of damage, including cracks on interior plaster walls, uneven floors, leaning chimneys, and popping up of nails on the ceiling. They may also be used to repair industrial floors.