Are the floors in your Northern California home sloped or uneven? If so, you might need foundation leveling to lift your floors back to a more desirable level.
What Is Foundation Leveling?
Foundation leveling is a repair method that corrects differential foundation settlement. Differential foundation settlement is when a foundation sinks into the ground unevenly. It’s usually associated with expansive soil. Here’s what happens…
All structures will settle into the soil slightly after they’re built. As long as the settlement is uniform, there’s nothing to worry about. The problem is differential settlement, or when a building is settling into the soil unevenly. See the graphic below for an illustration of uniform vs. differential settlement.
Differential settlement causes various issues because the entire structure is out of plumb. For example, you might notice uneven floors, doors and windows that no longer open and close properly, wall cracks, etc. Foundation leveling – also referred to as underpinning – is performed to correct differential settlement. For more information see, Foundation Settlement.
How Foundation Lifting, Leveling, and Stabilizing Works
The general foundation leveling process is as follows:
- Small excavations – typically a 3’ x 2’ square – are made along the foundation in the affected area, approximately six feet apart. (We will always mark the pier locations in the general area needed according to the engineered repair plans.)
- An engineered piering system will be utilized to begin the piering process. Resistance or helical piers involve having a galvanized steel pier bracket installed to the foundation.
- Once the bracket is installed, we will hydraulically drive steel pipe into the soil until reaching load bearing strata.
- Then we will hydraulically lift the foundation using a synchronized hydraulic system to restore the foundation back to level.
- Polyurethane Injections are often performed when there is a significant lift creating what is called a “void”. This is not always the case. Some homes are slab, while others are crawlspace and do not need polyurethane injections but, may need screw jacks installed to lift the interior flooring of the home to match lift.
- Lastly, we will backfill the pier locations with the soil excavated and if the contract calls for remove and replacing concrete we will replace concrete for a finish.
Underpinning and releveling your foundation isn’t as scary as you may think. Underpinning a foundation is a minimally-invasive procedure, and in most cases, just a portion of the foundation has settled. Therefore, only the problem area may need underpinning.
Does My House Need Foundation Leveling or Foundation Repair?
Foundation leveling is a type of foundation repair. It’s performed to correct differential settlement, which is the root cause of things like wall cracks, uneven floors, etc.
Choose Bay Area Underpinning For Quality Results
As a leading foundation repair contractor in the San Francisco Bay Area, we have performed work on thousands of foundations and have the experience to get you back on the level.
Contact us today for an evaluation and repair estimate.