Foundation Repair Terms

There is more to foundation repair than just laying a slab of concrete. Defining foundation repair terms help the consumer understand the language used to explain the cause and problems related to foundation repair.

Foundation Repair Terms

Active soils – A non load bearing soil mass that is moving due to changing moisture levels

Anchor and Pier Pile – A pile or pier connected to a structure by one or more ties to furnish lateral support or to uplift.

Backfill –  Replacing excavated aggregate into a hole or against a structure.

Bearing capacity of soil – The maximum pressure applied to a soil mass without causing shear failure. The pressure or stress caused by applying loads and transmitted to the soil by the foundation.

Bowing walls – Inner basement wall movement caused by excessive lateral pressure on the exterior of a structure.

Clay soil – Soil with a small percentage of clay as part of component makeup. Clay expands when coming in contact with water, resulting in clay particles losing their ability to bond.

Clay soil swell –   Clay expanding up and ranging from 4 inches to two feet under slab foundation. An uneven level of swelling under pier or beam foundation causing piers to move in uneven amounts.

Cleat anchor –  Non-active soils containing a deadman that provides lateral support to basement walls.

Compressible soil – The decreasing of soil volume when subject to loading. Clay, uncompacted fill and loose sand are examples of compressible soil types.

Concrete cylinder – A product used for the underpinning of a foundation.

Coring of foundation – Used to measure thickness and check for signs of deterioration by cutting out a sample of concrete.

Crawl space – A shallow foundation type incorporating an air space between the soil and the living space.

Cut and fill – Removal of excess existing soil (cut) to low or deficient areas (fill) for contouring purposes.

Floating slab –  Slab-on-grade or post tension slabs inferring that the slab will float upon the load bearing soil.

Foundation failure – The result of foundation tilt or differential movement across the foundation.

Foundation heave – The structure or foundation movement resulting from frost or expansive soil or rock.

Foundation root barrier – A material that inhibits root intrusion under a foundation.

French drain – A perforated pipe installed in a cut to intercept and divert the underground water. The cut is below the level of the intruding water, and graded to drain the accumulated water away from the site.

Hogging – The lifting of foundation center or dropping of foundation perimeter.

Mud jacking – A process whereby a water and soil cement or soil-lime-cement grout gets pumped beneath the slab, under pressure, to produce a lifting force which literally floats the slab to desired position.

Pier – A deep column foundation repair system created by boring a hole and filling it with steel reinforced concrete.

Plumbing leak – A break occurring in either a fresh water or sewer line.

Refusal – The pressed piling system reaches maximum depth possible.

Steel pier ( Also referred to as a resistance pier) – An underpinning device that is hydraulically driven into the soil to a load bearing stratum and provides its support.

Underpinning – Process of installing a deep foundation element such as a helical pile or resistance pier to depths below unstable or consolidating surface soils.

Void filling – The low pressure injection of a grout slurry to fill the space between the foundation element and the failing soil.

Wall plate – A heavy-duty steel plate designed to supply a bearing surface for lateral load anchors.

Waterproofing – To make impermeable to water by encompassing techniques for rerouting water to a common collection point.

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Texas Foundation Experts

Find out why Perma-Pier can truly say we “know your dirt.” Our knowledge of Texas soils — and what we do with that knowledge — are unmatched.

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