SUPERIOR RESIDENTIAL FOUNDATION REPAIR
IN ATLANTA GEORGIA
Your home is one of your biggest investments. At Atlas Piers, we want to help you protect and maximize your investment by providing comprehensive, expert foundation repair services. We have an assortment of high-quality products to secure your home. We exclusively use products from AB Chance/Atlas Piers and Earth Contact Products (ECP), the industry leaders in quality. We would be happy to come out, assess your foundation problem, and develop a custom plan to fit your home’s needs and your budget. It’s in your best financial interest to take care of the problem immediately before it becomes a costly hazard.
UNDERSTANDING THE FOUNDATION’S PURPOSE
Your home’s foundation performs many vital functions like bearing the load of your house, providing a strong anchor against the elements, and protecting your house from ground moisture. Your foundation stabilizes the home structure during natural earth settlement and acts as a protective layer from shifting temperatures. Your home’s foundation can be compared to your body’s skeleton; the solid base that supports the rest of your body.
WHY UNSTABLE FOUNDATIONS ARE UNSAFE
Your foundation is what holds your home structure in its properly built formation. When the foundation is compromised, the home structure is likewise compromised. The structure begins to shift and fall in slight degrees until finally one day, it is unsafe to live in if the problem isn’t corrected early on.
THE BASICS OF FOUNDATION REPAIR
Your home rests on a large concrete footing foundation. As decades of pressure wear down the integrity of this footing, repairs are needed to stabilize the entire structure. This process is often referred to as foundation leveling or house leveling.
WHY IS HOUSE LEVELING NECESSARY?
The foundation is the base your entire home structure rests on. It must retain good structural integrity to keep your home stable and safe to live in.
SIGNS YOUR FOUNDATION NEEDS A REPAIR
As a homeowner, it’s important to be on the lookout for early signs of foundation failure. Some indicators of foundation failure are:
- Uneven or sagging floors
- Uneven, warped, or sagging ceilings
- Windows or doors that don’t fit correctly in their frames anymore
- Unlevel parts throughout your home
- Unexplained water damage or pooling water in your basement
- Cracked or crumbling outer foundation walls
- Long cracks on the inside of your basement or crawlspace walls
A foundation will settle naturally to a certain degree as it adapts to the surrounding soil conditions and environment. However, at some point, the settling may be more than is safe to continue supporting the home structure.
If you see any of these issues, don’t ignore them. In most cases, addressing residential foundation repairs in the early stages makes the process easier, faster, and more affordable than waiting. Foundation problems can threaten your home investment and may lead to structural damage, which can reduce your home’s value.
THE #1 CAUSE OF RESIDENTIAL FOUNDATION ISSUES
Foundation issues can be caused by a number of different culprits, but most of the time we see foundation repairs resulting from soil-related problems such as:
- Poor compaction
- Excessive organic material
- Expansion or contraction of soils around the foundation
Poor compaction generally means that the soil wasn’t compacted properly before building the foundation. As a result, the weight of the house has slowly compacted the soil over time, leading to damage to the foundation and a home that sinks into the ground.
Overloading simply means that the soil is structurally overloaded. It just doesn’t have the strength to hold up the home. In these cases, you may want to opt for a solution such as a helical pier. That relies on axial arms or blades that extend beyond the existing foundation so that your home is actually supported by different, nearby soil that has better composition.
With excessive organic materials, the solution can be to change the structure of the soil by adding certain elements. In other cases, adding underpinning or other supports can also help. Finally, with expansion and contraction, the water in the soil along with the freeze-thaw cycles has caused the home to shift. Again, in these situations, our experts can help you identify the best type of residential foundation repair for your needs.
ADDITIONAL CAUSES OF FOUNDATION DAMAGE
- Temperature Fluctuations – many believe that because they live in the southern United States their homes are immune to this damaging factor. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. Temperatures in Georgia can swing from the freezing point to 100+ Fahrenheit. During a rare winter freeze, moisture becomes trapped under the foundation creating pockets of ice. This ice can create small fractures in the foundation. When the weather warms, the soil again expands and widens the fractures.
- Water – Although the soil in many places is loamy or sandy and soaks up rain quickly, heavy rains can cause a recurring flow of excess water that damages the foundation. This situation gets worse if your home is at the bottom of a slope or a hill. Other causes of excess water can be poorly maintained downspouts or clogged downspouts that don’t properly redirect rainwater away from your foundation. During Georgia’s rainy season the high water table presses up against the foundation with increasing pressure. As this pressure builds, water will find its way into your basement through any concrete or block foundation through wall joints or pre-existing cracks. Sometimes the surrounding soil is wet in some areas and dry in others, causing the pressure on outside basement walls to be unevenly distributed. This is one of the most common causes of foundation cracks.
- Landscaping & Wildlife – If your property has large bushes or trees close to the home structure, the roots can grow large enough to cause foundation damage. The roots grow and expand, pushing against the basement walls. They have also been known to enter existing cracks while small and create larger sections of damage as they increase in size. Sometimes tree roots will grow underneath the foundation itself, lifting the entire structure. Wildlife frequently dig tunnels along the foundation. When it rains, water flows through these tunnels directly to your basement walls.
WHEN YOU SEE THESE SIGNS – CALL US!
– Basement cracks that extend from floor to ceiling
– Doors that suddenly begin sticking
– Stuck windows
– Wall cracks
– Floors that sag
– Puddles of water on basement floors
– Wet crawl spaces when it hasn’t rained
– Uneven floors or ceilings
– Any of these signs when you have an older home
WHICH SIGNS ARE URGENT AND WHICH ARE LIVEABLE?
Seeing a cascading plaster crack in your wall for the first time can be disturbing. But not all cracks are bad. It’s normal for a foundation and house structure to “settle” in the first few years after construction.
But horizontal cracks on exterior basement walls often indicate a lot more than just the expected settling. They are more serious than vertical cracks because they show the effects of massive external water pressure on your foundation. Serious cracks are generally more than .6” and constitute an urgent situation. A professional assessment would be a wise investment at this time to make sure deterioration is not happening at a fast pace. It should be inspected before the remedy for this situation becomes urgent and very costly. Most reputable companies offer free estimates for repair.
Vertical cracks are commonplace and non-threatening. They do not threaten the integrity of the foundation and can easily be repaired with polyurethane injections or epoxy.
TYPES OF HAZARDOUS FOUNDATION CRACKS
There are two main types of foundation cracks that require immediate attention and correction. These are:
– Horizontal Wall Displacement – When a large amount of excess moisture is allowed to pool near the house structure, it swells the surrounding soil around the foundation. Over time, this hydraulic pressure increases allowing more soil to push inward against the foundation walls. Most of the time this can be corrected by bracing the basement walls.
– Vertical Settlement – Most homes settle after construction and you won’t even know it has happened. However, the vertical settlement that warrants foundation correction happens when the house structure tips in one direction as a unit. This is definitely detectable and stressful for the occupants. It often results in cracked walls, windows jamming, doors sticking, and floors cracking. This type of situation should be rectified as soon as possible. Most of the time it will involve piering to correct the load-bearing of the foundation.
HOW CAN FOUNDATION DAMAGE BE PREVENTED?
Some foundation damage can be expected in any home, especially in older homes. But there are some steps you can take to mitigate this. These steps include the following:
– Balancing the soil base. The soil surrounding your foundation should be kept at a certain level of moistness. If the soil is too wet or too dry the process of expanding and contracting begins to create an unstable foundation. To keep the soil at the proper moisture level, consider installing a sprinkler system with timers to prevent cracking and deterioration.
– Landscaping design – Properly designed landscaping can be your partner in protecting your foundation. It isn’t just flowers and fruit trees. Landscape gardeners use science and strategy in the placement of bushes and other plants to draw excess moisture away from your foundation.
– Downspouts – Most homeowners ignore their downspouts until they become clogged. This is unfortunate. Keeping your downspouts cleaned on a regular basis helps them direct excess water away from your foundation. Don’t wait with clogged downspouts. It could cost you dearly later. If your spouts don’t direct the flow far away from your foundation have extensions installed that will do the job.
– Efficient drainage. If your home sits at the bottom of a hill or slope this is very important. If proper drainage was not installed when the home was built, you should correct this sooner rather than later. Solutions include installing a sump pump or a French drain.
WHY YOU NEED A FOUNDATION PRO
Your home’s foundation is the solid base for the entire structure. Attempting to repair it yourself can end up being very costly. Not only is it a technical skill that takes years to master, but it could also be dangerous if you do it wrong.
Foundation repair involves years of training, proper heavy equipment, licensing and permits, and expertise. Without these factors, fixing it yourself could end up making the problem worse.
TYPES OF FOUNDATION REPAIR
Just as there are different types of houses and varying types of soil, foundations also come in many variations. The type of foundation depends on the load-bearing requirements and the type of soil the structure will rest on.
The type of repair will depend on which type of foundation your home has and what solution is required for your existing problem. The most common types of foundation repair are:
– Piering – When foundations are failing, one method to correct it is called piering. There are two types of piers used in this process. Push piers that are made from epoxy-coated or galvanized steel pipes are driven into the soil using a hydraulic ram. Helical piers consist of screw piles with a steel shaft. One lead section with one or more helixes attached solves the load-bearing problem. In both cases, the piering materials are mounted into rock or hard soil layers and connected to the foundation. Piering is also used to secure patios, decks, porches, hot tubs, and more. Piering is a low-cost method that doesn’t disrupt everyday life in the house or the yard. Adjacent landscaping is removed for the process and replanted when it is complete.
– Anchoring – If basement walls are bowing more than a couple of inches, anchoring can be a solution. Wall anchors are constructed of steel plates and a shaft. They are placed on the interior and exterior walls of the basement and torque is applied to move the walls back into place as much as possible and prevent further movement. Excavation up to 10 feet from the house is needed to install anchoring. If your basement walls are bowing less than 2 inches, tie-backs are an alternative to anchoring. It costs more than anchoring but is less disruptive.
– Sealing – Although concrete foundations are quite durable, over time gases and water seep in via small cracks and pores in the material. This can eventually lead to cracking and basement flooding if no waterproofing was installed during the construction of the home. Waterproof sealing can be performed on an existing foundation. A mastic coating is applied to the foundation followed by drain boards which direct any water away from the foundation and force it outside.
– Polyjacking – Also known as polyfoam injection, poly-lifting, and slab jacking, this method is used when houses settle unevenly. The foam is injected under the house structure from above and raises it. It is extremely strong when it dries and is commonly used to correct uneven surfaces like highways, driveways, and patios. The process involves injecting polyurethane foam beneath the home using specifically-designed nozzles. When the lifting process is completed the holes are “corked” with concrete to close them. There may be holes in your flooring from the process which can be covered or patched, or left as is. The polyjacking method normally takes a couple of days to complete.
WHICH FOUNDATION REPAIR METHOD IS BEST?
The method used to repair your foundation depends entirely on the problems your foundation has. Your local foundation repair experts conduct a meticulous inspection of your foundation and create a solution using one of these trusted methods.
A licensed, professional foundation repair team arrives on-site to assess the current status of your foundation. They take into consideration the age of your home as well as what method will produce the most desired result in the long term.
Reputable firms will sit with you and go over every detail of the recommended process and answer any questions you may have. They will take into consideration your concerns about time-frame, disruption of home life, the risk to existing landscaping, etc. Please feel free to ask questions before beginning the repair project. Your peace of mind should be as important to the foundation repair team as it is to you.
HOW DO I CHOOSE THE RIGHT REPAIR COMPANY?
There are hundreds of foundation repair companies operating in Georgia. Before you select a company for your project, due diligence is recommended. Visit area companies’ websites and read online customer reviews. Check their BBB and Angie’s List rating.
A reputable foundation repair company will answer any questions you have and conduct assessments in a timely manner and provide quotes free of charge. Their team will have decades of expertise and a verifiable record of successfully completed projects.
EXPERTISE & SUPERIOR PRODUCTS EQUAL PROFESSIONAL, LONG-LASTING RESIDENTIAL FOUNDATION REPAIR
To achieve the goal of providing top-notch service and repairs, we start with quality products. We have an assortment of high-quality products to use in your home. We exclusively use products from AB Chance/Atlas Piers and Earth Contact Products (ECP), the industry leaders in quality. We would be happy to come out, assess your foundation problem, and develop a custom plan to fit your home’s needs and your budget. It’s always best to take care of the problem immediately before it becomes a costly hazard.
To set up a residential foundation repair or to assess whether or not you need one, contact us today. At Atlas Piers of Atlanta, we have worked with multiple homeowners over the last 30 years, and our clients are repeatedly happy with our services.
ANSWERS TO YOUR FOUNDATION
Foundation problems can threaten your home investment and may lead to structural damage, which can reduce your home’s value. Most of the time we see foundation repairs resulting from soil-related problems such as:
- poor compaction
- excessive organic material
- expansion or contraction of soils around the foundation
Our knowledgeable team has the answers to your questions about residential foundation repair. We are available to answer your questions and do on-site assessments and quotes.
IF YOUR FOUNDATION IS DAMAGED, DON’T DELAY.
CALL US TODAY!ll