If you’re in the market for foundation repair, you must understand some of the most common terminology used in the industry. This will help ensure that you can communicate effectively with your contractor and make informed decisions about your home. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most common foundation repair terms.
Slab On Grade: A foundation in which the concrete slab is laid directly on the ground.
Mudjacking: Lifting and levelling a concrete slab by injecting a mixture of soil, sand, and cement under its surface.
Underpinning: Stabilizing a foundation by extending it below the existing grade level.
Crawl Space: A shallow area underneath a home but above the ground.
Shimming: The process of using shims to level out uneven floors and walls in a structure.
House Levelling: The process of adjusting the foundation to make sure that it is even and level.
Frost Line Depth: The depth at which soil can potentially freeze, which must be considered when designing foundations in cold climates.
Piering: A common technique used to stabilize foundations by placing concrete or steel piers below them.
Beam And bracket system: An alternative method of house levelling whereby beams are attached to brackets fixed beneath the floor joists.
Steel piers: Piers made of steel, which are used to strengthen and stabilize foundations.
Cement piers: Piers made of cement, which are often used in combination with steel piers for extra stability.
Helical piles: A type of foundation pier that is screwed into the ground for added stabilization.
Radon mitigation: The process of reducing levels of radon gas in a home, usually by installing ventilation systems or sealing cracks and gaps in the foundation.
Footing trenches: Trenches dug around the perimeter of a house’s foundation to provide more stability and support.
Masonry repair: The process of repairing concrete, brick, mortar, or other masonry elements within a structure.
Wall bracing: Process of reinforcing walls with steel plates to increase stability.
Structural cracks: Cracks in a structure’s foundation, walls, or floors that can cause structural instability.
Pressure grouting: A technique used to fill voids and seal cracks in concrete by pumping fluid into them.
Epoxy injection: Method of sealing structural cracks using an epoxy resin.
Sump pumps: Pumps installed inside basements to pump out accumulated water and prevent flooding.
Waterproofing membranes: Materials applied to the interior or exterior of a home’s foundation to prevent moisture from entering the building.
Vapour barriers: Materials used to block moisture from entering a structure, usually in crawl spaces.
French drains: Trenches filled with gravel and covered with soil that is used to divert water away from the foundation of a home.
Drainage systems: Systems designed to collect and remove surface or groundwater around a house.
Ground anchors: Anchors installed into the ground to provide additional support for foundations or walls.
Geotechnical report: A document that outlines the properties of the soil around a structure, which is used to ascertain if any special precautions must be taken when building on it.
House jacking: Lifting an entire house off its foundation using hydraulic jacks and supports.
Earth retention systems: Structures or systems built to resist the forces of gravity and hold soil in place.
Piling: A foundation system consisting of wood, steel, or concrete posts is driven into the ground for extra stability.
Earthquake retrofitting: Reinforcing a structure to make it more resistant to seismic activity.
Foundation settlement: The gradual downward movement of a building’s foundation due to subsurface shifts or soil compaction.
Expansive soils: Soils with high amounts of clay can expand when wet and cause foundation damage.
Footing depth: The depth at which the footing of a house is installed, which must be considered when designing foundations in certain climates.
Crawl space encapsulation: Sealing a crawl space to prevent moisture and pests from entering the home.
Root barriers: Barriers installed around a house’s foundation to prevent tree roots from damaging it.
Concrete slab repair: Repairing damage or cracks in a concrete slab by either replacing sections or injecting epoxy resin into them.
Mud jacking: A method for lifting sunken foundations using a mixture of mud and cement poured beneath them.
Structural steel retrofitting: Process of reinforcing existing structural steel components with new, stronger ones.
Shear walls: Walls that are designed to support exterior walls during seismic activity or high winds.
Retaining walls: Walls built around a house’s foundation to hold soil in place and help prevent erosion.
Pier systems: Structures used to support foundations that are installed by driving cylindrical piers deep into the ground.
Anchor bolts: Bolts designed to anchor framing members of a structure to its foundation.
Concrete caissons: Large, hollow cylinders filled with concrete used as foundations or supports for bridges and buildings.
Flood vents: Vents that allow rising water levels to escape from basements during flooding events.
Seismic retrofitting: The process of reinforcing a structure against seismic activity by installing additional components or materials.
Wall anchors: Anchors that are installed into the walls of a home to provide additional support.
Underpinning: The process of installing additional support piers beneath an existing foundation.
Foundation repair contractors: Professionals who specialize in repairing foundation damage or settlements.
Pier and beam foundations: Structures consisting of beams placed over cylindrical concrete piers for extra support.
Drainage solutions: Systems designed to collect and redirect water away from a structure’s foundation.
Soil compaction: Compacting soil around a home’s perimeter to reduce settlement potential.
Stabilization systems: Systems designed to protect a structure from shifting and settling.
Steel piers: Steel posts driven into the ground to provide additional support for foundations or walls.
Concrete levelling: Filling low spots with concrete to level out a surface.
Leak detection: Detection of water leaks in basements, crawl spaces, or around windows and doors.
Pier rescreening: A process by which existing pier supports are resealed or reinforced with stronger materials.
Knowing the right terminology is essential when it comes to understanding foundation repair. The above important terminologies will help you better understand what needs to be done to fix your home’s foundation and the processes and materials used in these repairs. By arming yourself with this knowledge, you can decide which repairs are best suited for your particular situation. Last but not least, always consult a professional if you have any questions regarding foundation repair or repairs of any kind.