You gotta have a solid foundation or everything else will be unstable, both in life and in houses.
Today, Atlas Foundation Repair came to repair a cracked slab on our house. The 2 year drought in Texas has been devastating for concrete slab foundations. We call the soil ‘gumbo’ down here, because it’s a clay/sand mixture that either sticks to your boots like glue when it’s wet, or turns rock hard when it’s dry. Since it’s been so dry, the ground has cracked, sunk and shifted. We ended up with the back 1/3 of the house dropping off almost two inches, according to the digital instruments used to evaluate the damage.
This morning at 9:00 AM, a crew of about 6 men showed up with wheelbarrows, shovels, hydraulic jacks and a truck load of cement cylinder posts to drive into the ground. They dug their holes, nine of them, and began pressing those posts deep into the ground until they met resistance from a stable layer of rock. That depth turned out to be about 20 feet down. Here’s a video of that process:
Once the posts are all set, one man gets into each hole, inserts a manual pneumatic jack and begins the process of leveling the slab. The foreman uses a digital altimeter to instruct each man to raise his section of the slab. When it’s all leveled up, he rechecks it with a 4 foot level and the digital altimeter, then the piers are set. Additional posts are positioned and shimmed up, the jacks are removed and the holes are filled.
It was quite a process to watch, as the cracks in the walls squeezed back together, the window slid easily and the doors latched again. Now, we have to wait a few weeks for any settling then make our sheetrock repairs and paint those areas.
It just goes to show that just about anything can be fixed!