When someone starts a new business or a new coach takes over a team or a CEO takes over at a big company, they all talk about creating a solid foundation.
It may sound cliche, but there’s a good reason for it. A foundation is what everything is built upon and without a solid foundation everything can come crumbling down very quickly and very easily.
The same is true of a house. When it comes to a home, a strong foundation is paramount. Regardless of what type of foundation a home has—crawlspaces, full basements and concrete slabs are the most common—a weak foundation can lead to major issues.
You may be wondering, how does a home’s foundation become weak or a house become unlevel? There are multitude of reasons, which could include: too much soil moisture, an aging house, plumbing issues, drainage issues and even tree roots.
You also might be wondering how you might tell if you need house leveling help at your humble abode. Some telltale signs include:
- Cracks in the walls and ceiling
- Sloping floors
- Cracks in the drywall
- Stuck windows
- Leaning chimneys
So know that you know the telltale signs of trouble, you might be wondering what you can do about it. The simple truth is that when it comes to house leveling, even the handiest of handymen can have trouble with these kinds of repairs. But if you’re set on doing house leveling as a DIY project, here are some steps you can take to bring everything back into balance:
- Get a hold of a foundation contractor: Even the newest of homes can have foundational issues. Before you set out to doing anything, it’s a good idea to consult a house leveling repair company or at least a foundation contractor. They will be able to give you some pointers before you start off on your own and realize you’ve made a costly mistake.
- Figure out how bad it is: At the start of your house leveling endeavor, you need to find out exactly how much your home is off-kilter. This can be accomplished by using a level and making a mark from one side of the foundation to the other. This will help you figure out where they are sagging floor joists (if any) and you’ll also be able to determine where the lowest portion of the foundation is.
- Jack up the house: If you need to stabilize a sagging part of your home’s foundation, you can easily use a jack to do so. You can use a jack at the center of your home’s foundation and then use support blocks on both sides for support. You can also build temporary support posts upon which the foundation can rest once the house has been lifted to a level spot. Materials like wood and concrete are good choices for making temporary posts. If in the event you encounter additional foundational shifts, you can use more posts to create a level foundation on all sides.
- Put in permanent supports: Once you’ve used jacks and temporary supports to get your house level again, the next step to your house leveling project is to install permanent supports. These beams will be made of sturdy material that will help keep your home level. In the process of installing new beams, make sure to seal them to keep off moisture. A high-quality sealer will help you keep the moisture off. As has been established, moisture can be Public Enemy No. 1 when it comes to home foundations and you don’t want to leave your new supports at risk.
It doesn’t matter what kind of home your foundation is resting on—crawlspace, slab or basement—every home is susceptible to water damage. In fact, it’s estimated that more than 98% of basements fall victim to water damage. By no means is fixing your home’s foundation and making it level again an easy task. But by using the process described above, you can better learn how to keep an eye out for foundation issues, take steps to fix them and ensure the structural integrity of your family’s home.
If you need help getting started, consulting foundation repair contractors for advise is a good way to go.