If the building’s foundation is buckling or in need of repair, there are several options available. There are two main methods for repairing a foundation that rely on a wooden structure known as bracing, and there is also a more modern option, known as a Building foundation Reinforcement (BR). Although bracing was the traditional method of building foundation support, the modern alternative embodiment of a strong structure is a concrete slab or a steel beam supported by flexible metal. A concrete slab is used where the ground does not have a good drainage foundation, or where the soil is too soft for a wooden structure to stand the test of time. In this case, a steel beam is used, where the soil is firmer and more supportive.
In many cases, if the foundation has been in place for a long period of time, and the soil has hardened, a wooden structure may not be able to withstand the weight of the expanding soil on top of it. This often leads to the superstructure buckling, or the beams and columns falling down. To prevent this, building foundations must be doubly reinforced – one layer of bracing must be placed directly below the next layer. The two layers of bracing must be woven together using high-quality steel yarn or tubing, with each layer having steel anchor bolts to strengthen the surface. To reinforce the soil further, stakes are placed throughout the perimeter of the foundation repair area, then filled in after weathering.
When a structure is built, a series of masonry steps or pillars are required for its support. These run from the base of the building to the first floor, and up through the roof system. Each of these pillars has a minimum number of rings or ribs, called rams, which are spaced equitably throughout the length of the step. When these rams or rings become misaligned, the foundation of the building can begin to shift, with the weakening of the masonry stems. When this occurs, the stresses on the supporting beams will cause them to buckle, with the resulting movement causing the whole weight of the building to shift downward. Visit Atlaspiers.com to know more about developing a custom plan to fit your home’s needs and your budget.
Figuring out when a foundation repair needs to be done is much more difficult when it comes to the area around the building’s exterior. This is because the support system is placed at an angle when the structure is built. A misalignment here could mean that the exterior faces the wrong way, or worse – might not face the right way at all! It is therefore common for an engineer to create a cross-section of the area where the foundation is supported to check that the supports are holding up correctly.
For some buildings, the engineers will need to take a different approach when it comes to testing foundation repairs. Rather than taking a full-fledged cross-section, they will simply need to take a more detailed, angled view of the area by using a camera fitted to a robotic arm. This allows the engineers to look for specific areas where a support system is likely to become misaligned. Once a misalignment is spotted, it can usually be easily corrected.
This example illustrates just how difficult it can be to find a solution to a problem. Even when the problem is on the visible exterior, it may be hidden under landscaping. As a result, misalignments will remain undetected unless an observer closely inspects the site. The correct remedy in this case would be a controlled, angled camera installation. This example is one of the reasons why a methodical and accurate method for inspecting and detecting building foundation problems is so important.