Is Your Building's Foundation Sinking? (All About Commercial Repairs)

September 29, 2022

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Property owners should never put off needed commercial foundation repair for their structures. The longer you ignore cracks, chips, leaks, and other issues, the worse that damage becomes! In turn, minor repairs might become major issues, and even costlier repair bills.

Additionally, ignoring needed foundation fixes can risk a building sinking. When this happens, a structure might suffer secondary damage, which also increases repair costs! Moreover, a damaged foundation often affects property values.

However, some property owners put off needed foundation fixes simply because they don’t recognize signs of damage. To ensure you’re keeping your commercial structure in good repair, note a few of those signs here! Then, discuss your property’s condition with a commercial foundation repair contractor as needed.

concrete slab foundation repair for business

Why do buildings sink?

To better understand signs of foundation damage, you might note why buildings sink. First, consider the weight of a structure on a foundation. Second, imagine that foundation beginning to weaken due to cracks, leaks, and other issues.

As this happens, the structure’s weight presses down on that weak area. Next, the structure’s weight might begin to shift to one side or the other. In turn, the building puts more weight on that section of the foundation. Consequently, the building might begin to outright sink into the ground!

This sinking pulls on building materials and surfaces, both inside and outside the structure. As a result, cracks often form along walls, ceilings, rooftops, and other areas. Sinking also pulls framing and plumbing pipes out of position.

Lastly, consider that added weight along one part of a foundation or another creates even more foundation damage. After all, a foundation is designed to disperse that weight evenly! One side of a foundation is not meant to support excess weight. In turn, a sinking building makes foundation damage even worse, the longer it’s allowed to sink and settle.

First signs of foundation problems

Addressing foundation damage at the first sign of problems is the best choice for keeping repair costs low! Also, if you schedule repairs when needed, you can keep that damage from spreading. Check out some common signs of foundation damage you might notice around your property. If so, be sure to call a repair contractor right away!

Moisture seeping into foundation cracks

Foundation cracks often let moisture into interior rooms. This moisture can risk a range of issues inside your structure. In turn, be sure to look out for any of these potential issues:

  • Dampness inside your structure, and especially along concrete floors.
  • Mildew forming underneath carpeting and area rugs.
  • Water stains along drywall.
  • Mold along floors and walls.
  • Musty odors.
  • An overly humid environment.

Cracked and uneven surfaces

A structure’s wood framing can absorb moisture seeping in through foundation cracks. In turn, that framing might split, crack, rot, or otherwise weaken. As it does, this increases the risk of a building leaning or sinking along one side or the other. In turn, you might notice:

  • Cracks along interior and exterior walls.
  • Ceiling cracks or sagging ceiling sections.
  • Cracked and buckled hardwood floors.
  • Floor tiles coming out of position as they pull away from their adhesives.
  • Obviously uneven surfaces such as shelves or door and window frames.
  • Doors and windows that begin to stick or become difficult to lock properly.
  • Doors that hang open on their own.
  • Drywall pulling away from wall studs; popped drywall nails.
  • Crown molding and baseboards coming away from the wall or ceiling.
  • Gaps between walls in room corners.

Damaged plumbing and roofing

You might not associate a damaged foundation with plumbing or roofing issues. However, a sinking foundation pulls on these materials as a structure settles. In turn, you might notice cracked roof materials or missing nails and connectors. That sinking can also risk damaged flashing or cracked chimney stacks.

Also, pulling on plumbing pipes risks cracks and breaks, or loose connectors. Consequently, your structure might suffer water leaks and resultant mold. Those leaks also let out water needed to move solid waste along the pipes. In turn, a weak foundation can mean plumbing clogs!

crack in a building in a commercial property

Can a sinking foundation be fixed?

The good news for property owners is that a contractor can almost always fix a sinking foundation. There are a few different methods he or she might use, depending on a foundation’s design:

  • Pier and beam foundations might need shimming. Shims are wedge-shaped pieces of wood or metal, pounded between those piers and beams. These shims lift a foundation back into place and keep it supported.
  • Additionally, a contractor might suggest replacing severely damaged piers or beams. In turn, your new foundation materials will stay strong for years to come!
  • Underpinning offers an excellent solution for basements. For this process, a contractor inserts heavy-duty pins into the ground, next to basement walls. Next, the pins attach to the foundation, lifting it into place.
  • For slab foundations, he or she might pour concrete cylinders under the foundation, also lifting it into position.
  • Slab jacking or leveling uses specialty grouts or slurries, injected underneath a foundation. These slurries dry and float a foundation back into place.

Note, too, that a contractor might suggest more than one repair method for your structure. For example, they might use underpinning and slab jacking. Also, he or she might need to perform leak repair and patching along with leveling. He or she can explain the best method for your property.

How much does it cost to fix a foundation that is sinking?

Foundation repair costs vary according to the property’s size, damage extent, materials used, and so on. However, most property owners can expect to pay at least $2000 and upwards of $10,000 or more. While this might seem costly, note that most repair methods are considered permanent! In turn, you can trust those repairs to last for years if not indefinitely.

Springfield Foundation Repair Specialists is happy to provide this information about commercial foundation repair. Hopefully, you found it helpful in determining how to maintain your building! When you’re ready for expert fixes, call our Springfield foundation repair contractors. We offer guaranteed services that start with FREE inspections. To find out more, give us a call today.

 

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