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Foundation Settlement Repair Solutions for Jefferson City Missouri


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There have been many different approaches to solving and repairing these foundation problems. Some work better than others. Two different companies, even with the same product, will have different costs and also different approaches to the same installation. And while the costs vary, less effective solutions can cost more both initially and later on, than effective ones.

These pages work to outline common solutions to the problems facing many homeowners as they confront the new or older homes with cracks, shifting or buckling slabs, uneven or tilting walls, and many other symptoms of unstable foundations. This site doesn't necessarily go into related problems such as masonry, or fireplace chimneys, or types of building construction.

We've worked to assemble an overview of options so you can inform yourself of their various advantages.

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Foundation Settlement Repair Solutions for Jefferson City Missouri

  1. 1. Home | Foundation Settlement | Foundation Problem Causes | Foundation Repairs | Contact UsFoundation Problems In Jefferson City, MOThe particular foundation and basement problems inand near Jefferson City, Missouri are due to the typesof soils we have. Owing to the clay deposited by wind-blown sediment, we have clayey soils over dolomitesandstone. It is the clay that is one source of ourproblems, as this can expand and contract - causingextreme stress on any building foundation or basement.The dolomite sandstone that forms the bluffs aroundand under our homes is also interesting, as it can beeroded by regular water activity and isnt as durable ashaving a granite base.And finally, formerly undisturbed land that had beennear creeks and run-off areas has been developed extensively, due to the growing housing demand.While early settlers could afford to pitch their cabin on high, well-drained soil - or the bluffs with theirrock base - our newer houses have been placed near or immediately on top of natural drainage lines.While our new technologies have provided us with various means of dealing with run-off, thesemoisture-affected areas can and do affect the security of our home foundations.The entirety of this site is designed to give you more information about cracks, settlement, bowedwalls, and shifting slabs. See the menu to the left or above for more information.1 Contact Gibbons Basement for more information.
  2. 2. SettlementYou may have asked yourself "What is the meaningof that crack in the side of my home, foundation orbasement wall?"You want to know if your home is slowlydisintegrating as you live in it. Or is there somemajor situation about to take place? Can those cracksbe related to the moisture in your basement or underyour home?Building on clay or clayer loess, improperlycompacted fill soils, or improper maintenance aroundfoundations causes ninety-nine percent of allfoundation settlement and movement in and aroundJefferson City, Missouri.Its not good to mix water and clay. They attract each other and cause repeated swelling and shrinkage.This is the beginning of the story which your cracks are trying to tell you.Soil and Water Interaction Moisture can move from outside to under your foundation through a property of soils known as suction. This is similar to placing the corner of an otherwise dry sponge in contact with a pool of water. In a short time, the sponge has drawn water completely through itself and increased in size and bulk. As long as a water source is present, the sponge will continue to absorb that fluid until it completely fills. And like a sponge in a bowl - even if you stop adding water, the sponge redistributes the water around inside so its all uniformly damp. But the sponge can still take more...That description explains how water can move completely through the soils under your foundation.Clayey soils draw water to themselves. And then grow in volume (heave or swell) causing yourfoundation to move or shift. The pressures can be very intense, since the clay has nowhere to expandinto.On drying outside, the soil around your foundation reverses the process. The moist soils will shrink andeven crack as soil moisture moves out from around your homes foundation causing it to shift andsettle. You can often see this out in your yard, where the soil opens up small and larger cracks in thesurface during dry periods. This clay in our soil is expanding and contracting every single day andmonth out of the year. Your foundation has to endure this stress.However, these shrinking and swelling soil motions ultimately lead to damaging your foundation andstructure. Other facts you may want to know: • Uniform changes in soil moisture are less damaging to your structure than localized changes.2 Contact Gibbons Basement for more information.
  3. 3. • We know the soil varies from location to location. • Soil also changes with construction, as you may have various soils and soil types added to fill a low spot or restore sod when a higher area is removed.The rest of this sites pages will tell you more about these water/soil causes and their solutions. At thispoint, you may want to do an inspection of your home and note the cracks you have. Also measure theirlength and any noticeable gaps. It is best to do this inspection after the next rain and on a regular basisafter that. Then your cracks will start telling you their stories.See the Causes and Repair Options sections above for more information.3 Contact Gibbons Basement for more information.
  4. 4. Bowed or Leaning WallsBowed or leaning foundation walls can cause seriousstructural damage if uncorrected.In many cases, a basement or foundation has actuallybeen known to "move out from under" a house.Fortunately, most situations are not this extreme.A simple explanation is that your walls are slightlybowed and have moved because of soil and waterpressures. This problem usually occurs whenhydrostatic pressure from excessive moisture, or itsinteraction with soil surrounding thestructure, creates soil swelling and exerts extremepressure. This forces the foundation or basement wallinward. When you see basement wall cracks, this is evidence that your structure is moving. We discussthis in more detail under our Causes section.A bowed wall tells of a problem with the soil around your house. It may not be moving uniformly.Parts and sections of your yard and immediate grounds are probably expanding and contracting at agreater extent than others. In these cases, it may be that you have a greater concentration of clayey soilson one side or in one part (particularly any area that was back-filled during construction) than otherareas around your home.Still another situation is where you might have water draining more rapidly on one side than another.Water will tend to pull itself into the clay around your house, and move through gravel or aggregateareas to find any other clay you have. The clay will then expand while wet and contract as it dries.This affects your concrete foundation or basement walls. They are working to take the load of yourhouse and also combat the side-pressure of that clay. Unfortunately, most concrete isnt designed orconstructed to flex with that much pressure. The result is that concrete then gets moved out of positionand then tends to stay in that new position.We have more data here under Causes and Repair options, which you can check out. These should giveyou data to resolve any scenario you may have under or around your own home.4 Contact Gibbons Basement for more information.
  5. 5. Foundation CracksStresses, Cracks, and Your HomeMost walls are engineered to withstand the average forces present instandard/normal soil conditions. Of course, no soil is textbook. Twoadjacent building plots can have different soils, even if the grass orlandscaping on top looks nearly identical. When a concrete wallencounters stress forces from outside elements like expansive soil, theportions of the wall that are experiencing tension will crack. Crackingin concrete or masonry is a natural phenomenon because it is strong incompression, but very weak in tension.Some of the forces that can act against your foundation on a regularbasis include: • Changes in grading due to landscaping or soil erosion over time • Seasonal temperature changes • Seasonal soil swelling and shrinking due to weather and wateringIn some cases, foundation walls have been reinforced or otherwise altered due to high ground water orsoil concerns. Our soil is a mixture of expansive and contractive soil or sand and clay. In many homes,your foundation has probably not been properly prepared to withstand the soil conditions present in ourarea.Occasionally, the addition or removal of plants, shrubs, or trees can also affect your concretefoundation.Three Crack Types You Should Know AboutYou will usually see your foundation or basement wall cracks occur in three ways: vertically,horizontally, or diagonally from a stress concentration. Vertical Cracks This type of crack is a shrinkage crack and occurs as moisture in the wall evaporates, causing the concrete to shrink into voids created by the escaping water. If the crack is 1/8 inch or less, is nearly vertical, has no lateral separation (spreading), is not very deep, and does not have moisture present, then it should be watched. Just because a wall has cracked doesnt mean thatit has failed as long as the crack is small and unchanging.Horizontal CracksResidential Concrete Magazine has stated that all horizontal cracking should be checked out bya foundation repair industry professional as soon as possible because these cracks tend to grow rapidlyand usually indicate that a wall is bowing under tension. Horizontal cracks require more attention. A5 Contact Gibbons Basement for more information.
  6. 6. horizontal crack tells you the concrete is ripping or splitting due to excess tension in that area.Diagonal CracksYou may notice cracks spreading out from a corner diagonally. If thesecracks deepen, thicken or grow, it is time to consult an expert aboutreinforcing the area - since the stress concentration is breaking downthe concrete. "Re-entrant cracks" can be found whenever concreteforms a sharp angle. There is stress concentration that almost alwaysresults in tiny, surface cracks.Tapered CracksThere is one type of crack that is always a concern: tapered cracks. This occurs where a crack is largerat one end. It indicates shifting and other movement in the foundation.It is always wise to get a professional inspection and advice if you are concerned about any cracks inyour foundation or basement walls.6 Contact Gibbons Basement for more information.
  7. 7. Sinking Concrete SlabsMost of the problems with soils are that they have either erodedaway due to water action, or were never properly compacted whenthe slab was installed. The third option, for very old slabs, is thatthe local landscape has shifted over a very long time.Soils consist of solid particles and the spaces (voids) betweenthese particles. However, void (open) spaces in soil can cause bigproblems for buildings and concrete slabs. Concentrated loads canliterally squeeze air and water from soils. As this happens, the soilsinks and the buildings or slabs follow closely behind.Concrete slabs, whether your basement floor, a patio, or just asidewalk by your home - all are subject to the same natural forces.When they shift or crack, this is an indicator of what is happeningaround or beneath them.Many construction sites will fill in low spots with differentmaterial than the surrounding soil. This can cause a differingexpansion and contraction rate. Also, if the low spot is a naturaldrainage line, the moisture will tend to keep running in that spot, carrying away material as it does.The ground around and under slabs can have different water conditions. Running water is one of thebiggest concerns about your slab. Water can carry away particles over time and leave cavities that areunseen. The concrete is still solid, but wont let you see the gaps below it that it is bridging over. Asthese gaps get larger, the surrounding soil will compress and move into those gaps. This is where yourslab settles.As water finds the clay deposits, these will swell and push up at the slab. Similarly, when they dryout, the slab will tend to ride that clay lower as it settles. And just like walls, the moisture and soil areaffecting these slabs in a constant manner. Water is entering and leaving the soil beneath the slab everyday.Your first action is to really inspect the areas around your home for any non-level areas, slopes orbuckling in the slab, noting any cracks that may be present. Note the lengths and widths of thesecracks. The next time it rains, re-inspect these to see if there is any difference. Keep notes of anychanges in these conditions to see how much of a problem you have.Well cover solutions to this in other pages, which can be accessed in the menu above.7 Contact Gibbons Basement for more information.
  8. 8. Related SitesFoundation Repair Fulton, MOCrawl Space Repair Columbia, MOCrawl Space Repair Jefferson City, MOCrawl Space Repair Fulton, MOBlogs of Interest:Missouri Foundation Repair Jeff CityFoundation Repair Jeff City MOFoundation Repair Review - Jeff City MOJeff City Missouri Foundation RepairJeff City MO Foundation Repair Presentations Copyright © 2010 - All Rights Reserved Sponsored by Gibbons Basement Systems - visit for more information8 Contact Gibbons Basement for more information.