Be Familiar With Foundation Repair Terms For Your Peace Of Mind

Gaining a Greater Understanding of Foundation Repair


Our staff at Perma-Pier Foundation Repair of Texas is well aware that foundation problems often cause a great deal of stress for a home or commercial building owner. If you find yourself needing our foundation services, we want you to know that we are on your side, and will do our absolute best to ensure your structure receives our best efforts and will work diligently to create a successful repair scenario based on your structure’s unique situation.

In order to help set your mind at ease, we have put together a list of important foundation repair terms. We have found that clients who educate themselves with these terms gain a greater understanding of the repair process, and in general, are able to communicate their concerns clearly to our staff.

  • active soil – refers to a soil mass that is shifting due to fluctuation of moisture levels
  • backfill – refers to the replacement of soil into a hole or against a structure
  • bottle jack – a bottle-shaped hydraulic device used to temporarily lift and support heavy objects
  • bowing walls – the inward fluctuation of a wall due to lateral pressure on the structure’s exterior
  • carbon fiber strips – strips of carbon fiber material that may be bonded to the wall to stop cracks from growing but are only utilized in very limited situations
  • cleat anchors – an anchor placed in non-active soil to provide external lateral support to walls
  • consolidating soils – a process in which soil volume is reduced by applying stress or pressure to said soil
  • crawl space – a shallow foundation type that by default creates an air space between the soil and the bottom of a structure
  • differential settlement or movement – the difference in vertical movement between different areas of the structure, which results in damage and distortion
  • earth anchor – a device that stabilizes basement and retaining walls
  • expansive soils – soils that expand due to water absorption
  • footing – an enlargement at the bottom of a foundation wall, pier, or column, designed to more evenly distribute the weight of a building
  • footing drain – a pipe placed near or just below the level of the footing designed to clear excessive water from the base of a structure
  • foundation cracks – cracks in the concrete walls or concrete slab upon which your structure is built
  • foundation movement – detectable or noticeable movement of a shifting foundation, often accompanied by visible signs of damage such as cracks in drywall or concrete
  • foundation repair – leveling, replacement of piers, footings, shimming, or replacement of any part of the floor system due to a foundation shifting from its original intended existence
  • heaving – a situation that exists because soil has expanded, causing the foundation to be raised beyond its original level
  • load bearing stratum – a layer of soil that can bear the weight of a foundational structural element
  • mud jacking – the process of injecting grout into a space that occurs between failing soil and the foundation
  • pier – a vertical cement column that supports beams
  • plate anchor – an implement that may provide permanent stability to a wall
  • pressed concrete pier – a concrete pier that is driven into the soil beneath a foundation, usually by bottle jacks
  • sinking walls – downward vertical movement that occurs when soil that supports a building settles or is consolidated
  • skin friction – the friction that occurs between soil and the surface of a structure or between the soil and a pier or pile that is driven into said soil
  • slab jacking – inserting pressurized grout into a void that occurs between a cement slab and consolidating soil, similar to mud jacking
  • structural damage – visible damage to a building, such as cracked drywall, cracked concrete, doors that will not close due to bent frames, etc.
  • sump pump – a pump that removes accumulated from a designated sump pit
  • synchronized lift – a process whereby a structure regains elevation and is stabilized to prevent further structural damage
  • total settlement – refers to the total downward movement of a structure
  • underpinning – refers to the process of inserting a helical pile or resistance pier deep into the soil so that it rests below unstable soils
  • void filling – the injection of grout into a space between the foundation and an area of deteriorating soil conditions, similar to mud jacking and slab jacking

We understand the stresses that you may experience when facing a foundation repair. Learning as much as possible about foundation repair may help alleviate some of your anxiety. For more information about what is involved in a foundation repair, or to schedule a pre-repair inspection, contact us today. Our experienced, highly trained professional technicians are waiting to hear from you!

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