Many home owners are faced with problems associated with shifting foundations. Internal signs of foundation problems are cracks in the ceilings and walls, separation of architrave and skirting boards, doors and windows that stick and don’t open or close due to distorted door or window frames, cracks in the fireplace, soft or sloping floors, cracking in the tiles, tears or creases in the wallpaper.
External signs are cracks in bricks or mortar, corners not flush, separation of window and door frames, these are just some of the early warning signs that all is not well with the foundations. One of the big mistakes people make is to start renovating before they have had the sub-floor checked.
This results in a last minute phone call from the builder once works have commenced which brings unexpected additional costs to you the Owner and can postpone or delay your building works.
What Are The Foundations?
House & building foundations are the part of a building or structure located below the surface of the ground. The house or building foundations purpose is to distribute the weight of the building or structure over a large enough area to prevent the settlement and collapse of the building at any given point.
The information on this page aims to provide a good understanding of the underlying cause of these problems.
Reasons for Foundations Shift:
The shifting of house foundations is related to the soil on which the foundations rest.
Most clay soils undergo volume changes as the result of changes in soil moisture. A decrease in soil moisture is accompanied by shrinkage and an increase in soil moisture is accompanied by swelling. Typically, a layer of clay 300mmthick could undergo a 25mm change in thickness as it goes from a completely dry, to a completely saturated state, or vice versa. Thus, foundations located within the clay are susceptible to movement when the soil moisture changes.
The volume changes resulting from both shrinking and swelling of fine-grained soils are often large enough to seriously damage small buildings. Estimates are that shrinking and swelling soils cause thousands of dollars worth of damage to properties each year.
We can solve any structural, cracking or leveling issues that your home may have.
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There can be many different solutions when dealing with structural foundation repairs. Affordable Foundations Ltd will properly assess your particular situation and give you options for repairs, as well as a firm cost on your project. At Affordable Foundations Ltd, we believe in keeping all of our promises and keeping you, the customer, well informed.
When the problem is minor we will re-level the property. Re-leveling usually means raising the low portion of the house off the foundation piles until the house is level. The space between the bearers and the top of the foundation pile is then packed or the jack studs are completely replaced depending on the severity of the problem, the exterior is repaired where necessary.
When the problem is more serious completely repiling the foundation may well be your only option.
This will involve removing the existing sub floor structure and excavating new footings to accommodate new timber senton piles. All work will be carried out in accordance with local council building codes and can be overseen by an engineer.
The art of underpinning structures is as old as that of building itself, going back to ancient times. The purpose of underpinning is to increase the size or depth of a structure’s foundation. This is called remedial underpinning. Underpinning is a specialized form of construction and needs to be performed by experienced foundation specialists and engineers.
There are many methods of underpinning but the most common is placing friction type piles under the foundation wall. Holes are drilled under the wall to approximately 30 feet from grade level. These holes are filled with concrete and reinforcing steel to under the existing footing. Affordable Foundations Ltd has been underpinning homes for 25 years. We will answer any questions you have regarding underpinning.
We provide a complete foundation inspection service. Once the inspection is complete you will receive a written report detailing the condition of the foundation structure and the costs for any needed repairs.