You could replace popped nails and the damaged walls they came from, but this doesn’t offer a solution to the larger problem – foundation damage. Simply replacing nails might make the house look better for a time, but eventually, foundation settlement is going to cause the same problem to occur again. The best step you can take to address drywall nail pops is to contact a professional foundation repair service like Tar Heel. With a professional solution, you can prevent foundation problems from arising in the future, especially with pier systems that support your home independently of soil.
A sump pump is a kind of drainage system that collects water into a pit and then pumps it out of and away from the foundation. It’s a perfect device for homeowners who have basement flooding problems and need to keep that part of the house as dry as possible. If you already have a sump pump in your basement, you should know that it may not be enough to have just one.
Living in Northern North Carolina means that your property probably sees a lot of water. It would be worth investing in a second or even a third pump for your sump pump in order to keep up with the incredible amounts of water that flows around your foundation. If your sump pump gets overworked because of all the water it has to continuously pump, it will have a shorter lifespan and malfunction sooner than it should. When this happens, your basement will quickly flood, and the structural damages as a result of that failure will cost more than a second pump. All of the sump pumps in our SafeDri™ series can all be installed with a backup battery system that will guarantee a dry basement at all times.
If you’re unsure if you need another pump, simply observe your sump pump during the summer. Summer is the rainiest season in North Carolina, so watching the sump pump when it’s at its most active will give you all the information you need. If the water is flowing into the pit at an excessive rate, you need to invest in another pump. Doing so will ensure that the device functions for years without failure.
When slab foundations settle, the consequences can be even worse than crawl space and basement foundations. When there is settling, water is more likely to seep through the foundation because of the cracks on the broken walls and floors. When you have a basement or crawl space, the flooding isn’t very impactful because it normally doesn’t reach your actual living space. Although settling is a terrible thing to deal with as a homeowner regardless of what kind of foundation you have, slab foundations are a special case. There’s a difference between finding water in a basement or crawl space versus finding water in your closet or kitchen.
Because slab settling is so disruptive, many homeowners rush to a solution without doing their research. Many times, they resort to the wrong solution, like replacing the foundation instead of repairing it. If the slab foundation is settling and cracking, it may seem sensible to try to replace it. After all, if something as important as a home’s foundation is broken, getting an entirely new one makes the most sense, right? Actually, repairing the slab using slab piers is what’s best for your home’s foundation and it’s what’s best for you, the homeowner.
Slab piers are driven deep into the ground until they reach load-bearing soil that does not shift. They’re attached to the slab and not only stabilize it, but they also bear the load of the entire house, effectively solving the issue of an unstable foundation. If the settling is caused by soil shrinking and expansion, building a new foundation won’t stop that. The new slab will eventually fall to the shifting soil, while the piers remain stable no matter how much the topsoil shifts. Slab piers are ultimately the superior option if you need a quality, long-term solution.
Uneven concrete is all about the soil that’s used as a foundation. When it gives way or shrinks and loses its topsoil volume, a void remains and there’s nothing supporting the concrete. This is something that cannot be prevented, and very little can be done in the face of earthquakes and floods, but certain measures can be taken in order to prevent soil erosion and shrinkage.
The type of soil used as the foundation for the driveway impacts how severe and how quickly the settling is. Soils with big, grainy particles tend to wash away because water is able to pass through easily. It’s the kind of soil that doesn’t compact well, so it’s loose and shifty. It’s vulnerable to floods, snow, rain, and earthquakes.
Expansive soils (often clay soils) compact well, so they are denser and make for a much better foundation. However, because of the clay content in the soil, expansion occurs at a higher rate. The more the soil is able to expand, the more it’s able to shrink. Despite its swell-shrink capacity, contractors still use clay soils because it compacts easily. This makes it easier to manipulate and saves time when laying down the foundation.
Soil shrinkage occurs when the moisture in soil dries out. As the moisture leaves the soil, the individual particles come together since there is nothing between them anymore. The soil becomes denser, but due to shrinkage, it loses surface volume.
Once the soil loses surface volume, there is nothing supporting the concrete. With the added weight of cars, snow, and people walking on the driveway, the concrete gives way and settles on the soil. Soil shrinkage is a naturally occurring process that can’t be controlled or predicted, but placing a canopy over the driveway will limit the concrete’s exposure to the elements and mitigate the damage done by soil shrinkage.