Foundations are probably the most important feature of any building. After all, a failing foundation can result in structural stress, concrete cracks, wall separations and damage to various construction materials. Most foundation failures are the result of soil problems. The soil that a building gets erected over needs to be tested, properly compacted and it needs to have reliable drainage. Poor drainage systems can cause a variety of issues such as soil movement and liquefaction. Contractors that provide Foundation Services in Hawaii should check for these kinds of problems so that the foundation is reliable and not subject to failing again.
Water is the most common reason that buildings shift. In most instances, the shifting is due to improper drainage or too much water accumulating under the foundation. The former is often the result of faulty gutters. Gutters collect the rain as it rolls off of the building. That liquid is then transferred to downspouts that should channel it into a trench or other system so it is carried it away from the building. Sadly, this is rarely the case, especially in residential situations. Some contractors may cut corners so that the gutters just empty onto a concrete sluice for dispersion. This doesn’t carry the water very far. Instead, it lets the liquid pool around the foundation where it can wash away the soil or let it liquefy. Liquefaction eliminates the support that compacted soil can provide and this results in the building shifting. Foundation Services in Hawaii can help by creating a stable base that prevents movement.
The type of foundation repairs often vary based on the building in question and the amount of movement that repairs require. Typical methods include the use of piers and piles. However, certain failures common to small buildings and residential structures can be fixed by raising the structure and pumping a slurry into the void. This technique is commonly known as slabjacking. Slabjacking requires the use of a very liquid form of concrete that can be forced beneath the foundation using extreme pressure. The slurry must also set quickly and it needs to be very strong. If the failure requires the use of piers or piles, then the contractor may need to excavate a lot of soil. Learn more about foundation repairs from experts such as Structural Systems Inc.
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