Foundation Repair, Crawl Space Repair & More in Columbia, South Carolina

The experts at Tar Heel Foundation Solutions are proud to help the property owners of Columbia, South Carolina with their foundation repair or other structural repair needs, whether your home has a basement foundation, a slab foundation or a crawl space. Our professionals know the area and after inspecting the property can determine the best solution that can both fix the damage that has been done. Our number goal is to make sure your home or business is strong and stable.

Foundation Repair Solutions in Columbia

No one likes to hear that their home has foundation problems. It isn’t something most people plan for. It isn’t something anyone wants.

The thing about foundations, though, is that they tend not to fix themselves. The problems that the foundation issues are causing aren’t going to get better, only worse. Even if you fix the symptoms, if you don’t repair the foundation problems themselves, you’ll soon be faced with doing the same repairs again.

How do I know if my house has foundation problems?

foundation settlement, Blythewood

There are warning signs of foundation failure that you should watch out for, and they extend far beyond the foundation. If your home’s base is unwell, everything from the basement floor to the chimney can be affected.

Here are signs to watch out for when it comes to foundation problems:

  • Bowing or leaning basement walls: Sometimes bowing basement walls are a sign of foundation problems. Other times, they are caused by hydrostatic pressure from water in the soil alongside the building. Regardless of the cause, they should be fixed. While you could argue some of the items on this list are little more than annoyances, bowing walls are a serious structural problem regardless of if a different serious structural problem is causing them.
  • Cracks in floors or walls: Some cracks are signs of foundation failure, others are a natural byproduct of materials drying. That’s why knowing the difference is important. That means not just noting the location and direction of the crack but also monitoring if it is getting any larger. If you think the crack might be serious (or are unsure either way), schedule a free inspection with a foundation repair contractor like Tar Heel Foundation Solutions. Worst case, you waste a little bit of time. Best case, you can fix your foundation before even more serious problems arise.
  • Leaning chimneys: If a foundation settles unevenly, many parts of the house are going to end up slightly out of alignment. And with problems such as that, sometimes the higher up you go, the more noticeable the problem gets. That’s why sometimes a chimney can be an early warning sign of foundation failure.
  • Stairstep cracks in brickwork: When a portion of the house begins to settle, it will place stress on things such as a home’s brickwork. While horizontal and vertical cracks between bricks can have serious causes as well, stairstep cracks are a good indication of foundation problems.
  • Sticking doors or windows: Remember what we said about foundation problems cause everything to become at least slightly misaligned? Well when doors and windows are misaligned, they stick. On its own, this problem might for more into the annoyance side of the scale, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a sign of something more serious.
  • Water stains on floor and walls: Cracks can cause more issues than simply looking bad. Foundation and basement wall cracks or slab floor cracks are ideal for water to get into your home. Just because a crack is in a place you can’t see doesn’t mean water won’t find its way in.

How We Fix Foundations in Columbia

At Tar Heel, we believe in fitting the foundation repair solution to your specific problem and type of foundation. What works on a slab foundation, for instance, might either not work or need to be implemented differently for a pier and beam or crawl space foundation.

One of most common solutions we use, however, is foundation underpinning with helical piers or push piers.

What are Push Piers and Helical Piers?

The theory behind both push piers and helical piers is the same. The soil beneath the building isn’t properly supporting it, so we will find a layer that can. This is done through sinking steel rods deep into the soil, attaching them to brackets on the building’s foundation and then hydraulically lifting the foundation back to its normal height.

The weight of the house is then transferred onto these piers.

The differences also determine when each is at its best. Push piers are basically a steel rod (or series of steel rods). It is an end-bearing pier, meaning that it needs a very solid layer of soil to avoid sinking farther. Often this means bedrock. Push piers are ideal for soils where the piers can easily extend down to bedrock.

Helical piers are also long, steel rods, but they have helical plates attached to them, giving them the appearance of a screw or an auger. These piers are screwed into the ground, rather than sunk. The plates mean the pier doesn’t have to rely on its end to support all of the weight of the structure. Therefore, helical piers can often find a load-bearing strata of soil at a shallower depth than push piers.

This fact makes them ideal for places where the bedrock is far below the surface.

Regardless, both methods are far less invasive and more effective than solutions involving pouring large amounts of concrete. Excavations must be dug down to the footer at the location of each pier, but those excavations can be relatively small, and no heavy machinery is needed.

We use Earth Contact Products (ECP) tools and products when it comes to foundation repair. These American-made products are the very best in the industry. Their tools have been load-tested and are proven to last. The products you may see us using include helical tiebacks, helical piers, and soil nails. Sometimes we have to tackle the problem at the source.

Crawl Space Repair and Encapsulation

If you have a crawl space foundation, you likely rarely give it much thought. If it isn’t properly maintained, however, it can cause your home a lot of problems.

CMU pier being installed

Crawl Space Problems and Their Causes

There are a number of problems that can affect your crawl space. The piers supporting the crawl space beams, for instance, could begin to settle or fail.

Most crawl space problems, however, have one root cause: moisture. Whether it is in the form of standing water or just high humidity, moisture can wreak havoc on a crawl space.

The problems include:

  • Mold and Mildew: The spores can get into your home and cause respiratory issues, especially among people with underlying conditions.
  • Musty Odors: If your cramp space is damp, there is a chance that your nose will know. The air and smell can easily work its way into your home.
  • Wood Rot: Wood often doesn’t take kindly to excessive moisture. If wood in your crawl space begins to rot, it can weaken the home’s structure.
  • Spongy Floors: You know how we just talked about wood rot? Imagine if it is the floor joists or the beams supporting them that are rotting. Improperly supported floors can feel spongy to walk on.

Crawl Space Repair Solutions

What repairs we do depend on how severe the damage is. If the beams just need additional support, we can install concrete masonry unit (also known as cinder block) piers in your crawl space to support the beams.

If wood rot or other problems have weakened the beams or floor joists too much, however, they might need to be removed and replaced with new ones.

Crawl Space Encapsulation

So your Columbia home’s crawl space has been repaired. The next question is, how do we keep the problem from happening again.

If water was the cause, you take steps to keep the water out.

Crawl space encapsulation typically involves the installation of an impermeable, tear-resistant vapor barrier on the crawl space walls and floor. This, along with other waterproofing and sealing measures, will keep the moisture from getting into your crawl space, preventing your problems from recurring.

Other services offered by Tar Heel in Columbia

Helical Tiebacks & Wall Anchors

Example of a bowing wall

Is your basement wall or retaining wall cracking horizontally and bowing? Helical tiebacks and wall anchors will anchor the wall in the adjacent soil, providing a counteracting force to the hydrostatic pressure pushing in on the wall.

Boardwalk Foundations

closeup of underneath boardwalk

Installing a boardwalk? Helical boardwalk anchors can secure the posts in the ground to provide a strong foundation for your boardwalk.

Pressure Grouting

pressure grout commercial foundation repair

Pressure grouting is when grout is injected into pre-drilled holes to bolster, eradicate cracks, amend faults, and diminish water flow.

Grouting can create pressure below where a structure is beginning to sink into unstable ground.

It is also creates a watertight seal when cured which can reduce the chances of water seeping into your home.

Carbon Fiber Installation

rhino carbon fiber

Another solution for bowing and leaning walls is the installation of Rhino Carbon Fiber strips.

Carbon fiber, which is even stronger than steel, can help strengthen and support a wall against the pressure being applied on it from the soil outside.

Looking for Professional Foundation Repair Service Near You in Columbia?

No matter what your foundation repair need is, you’ll find that Tar Heel Foundation Solutions is the answer to your problem. Our foundation repair service has been helping commercial and residential properties around Columbia for years. We have the experience and products to make sure your home or business is strong, stable, and secure.

Contact us for all your foundation and other structural repair needs. We’ll provide you with a free inspection and estimate and will work with you make sure you are happy with the project from beginning to end.

Tar Heel Foundation Solutions is proud to serve the Columbia, SC area for all of your foundation repair needs.

If you find yourself with foundation cracks or anything foundation problem, remember Tar Heel Foundation Solutions for all your foundation repair needs in Columbia. Call today!

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