What's Really Going On Underneath Your House?
The earth beneath your home is constantly changing, and your home is changed with it.
The vast majority of homes in Kansas were built on top of layers of soil—as opposed to being built on bedrock, the rock layers beneath the soil. Unfortunately, all soils naturally compress to some degree. As the weight of the foundation pushes down on the soil layers and forces them to compress, the once-sturdy ground beneath your home starts to settle.
The degree to which a foundation settles depends on the makeup of the soil under your home. However, in Kansas, it is not so much a question of whether or not a home’s foundation will settle; it is a question of how much settlement will occur.
Extensive shifting is likely
**Most common soil type in Kansas** Soils which are rich in clay content have a much higher volume of voids than sandy soils. As a result, some clay soils can expand and contract by as much as 50% depending on the wetness of the ground. Expect significant shifting that occurs over a long period of time.
Extensive shifting is possible
Soils which are rich in organic matter tend to compress and expand in the same way as clay soils, thought to slightly lesser degree. Organic soils (like topsoil) tend to behave like a sponge, expanding when wet and shrinking when dried.
Expect minimal foundation shifting
Sandy soils contract and expand little with changes in moisture. Water passes through these soils instead of being absorbed by them. As a result, these sandy soils are some of the most stable and reliable on which to build a foundation. Sandy soils are much less likely to cause foundation problems than other soil types.
Here’s what that shifting ends up looking like for a typical Kansas home.
And don’t forget about the water damage…
Much of that water that is being absorbed by the ground around your home seeps through the newly-formed cracks of your foundation. This creates the mold, leaking, and flooding issues you’re experiencing in your basement.
But What's The Worst That Could Happen?
Gaps in your home’s foundation function like huge holes in the castle wall—your home’s enemies come pouring in.
You risk endangering your family’s health & safety.
If your home’s foundation or basement walls are breaking up, then you’re exposing the inside of your home to moisture that can quickly create mold. Left unchecked, minor cases of mold frequently turn into toxic black mold, or Stachybotrys chartarum. Toxic black mold can have severe health effects on your family, including allergic reactions, nausea, vomiting, nasal bleeding, and respiratory problems. In many cases, these symptoms will persist for months or years before a household makes the connection between the symptoms and the presence of mold.
In addition to mold, each new shift, crack, or break in your home’s foundation or basement walls creates a new safety hazard for your family and guests to your home. Braces in your basement loosen, pieces of your walls become dislodged, and your basement turns unsafe.
You risk forfeiting the value of your investment, making your home nearly impossible to sell.
Problems with your home’s foundation literally erode the value of your home. Homes with foundation issues notoriously appraise poorly, which will make it difficult for prospective buyers to get financing. In other words, even if your buyers don’t mind the state of your home’s foundation, their bank likely will—which could result in a dramatically lower valuation of your home.
Even beyond the sell-ability of your home, ongoing foundation and basement issues can complicate your plans for improving other parts of your home. Even if you don’t mind the foundation problems, they can put a damper on other upgrades you’d like to perform. For example, a constantly-shifting foundation can interfere with projects ranging from replacing windows and doors to adding decks, patios, or walkways. In other words, ongoing foundation settlement can prevent your house from ever feeling like your dream home, even with the nicest of upgrades.
You risk physically destroying your home.
There is no aspect of your home that is more responsible for your home’s structural integrity than the foundation. While total structural failure is rare among Kansas homes, avoiding foundation/basement repairs is the fastest route to that outcome.
There’s a saying among structural engineers: “Water always wins.” Leaks in your basement are not merely an inconvenience; they represent a stream of water gradually eroding your home’s foundation. If your home is 80+ years old, like many homes in the Wichita area, this erosion could be decades in the making.
And don’t forget about termite damage. As the wood in your home’s basement walls is exposed to the outside ground and moisture, termites make their way into your home. Even if you don’t see termites, they may be nested within your home’s basement walls, enjoying (and destroying) the perpetually damp wood there.
You risk unavoidable, massive repair and recovery costs.
A full foundation replacement can cost upwards of $100,000, many times exceeding the value of the home itself. But even short of a total replacement, the longer a faulty foundation goes on unchecked, the higher the costs of repairing or replacing that foundation climb.
So to put all the pieces together, allowing a cracked foundation to crumble dramatically reduces your chances of selling your home, crushes the value of your home, and gradually reduces your available repair options to just one: costly total replacement. And don’t forget— insurance very rarely covers costs related to foundation repair and replacement.
In most cases, you can likely afford to fix the root causes of your foundation problems before they get worse. But remember, the longer you wait, the less affordable fixing the problem is.
We Will Identify & Resolve The Root Causes of Your Foundation Problems
Repair Crawl Spaces
Water or moisture in your crawl space ends up throughout your home as it evaporates, creating mold and mildew issues for your family. We can add vapor barriers, keeping moisture and mold from infiltrating your home. We can repair and replace supports in the crawl space, which levels sloping floors and prevents further deterioration. Custom crawl space solutions for your unique Kansas home.
Install Piers & Piles
Does your home suffer from bowing or buckling basement walls? These solutions can permanently stop movement of walls, saving your home’s foundation. Anchors can be buried deep in your yard’s more sturdy soils, literally pulling your walls back to their correct places. Braces mitigate cracks in walls that allow water and moisture into your home.
Install Wall Anchors & Braces
If your home is like most in Kansas, it rests on a constantly compressing/expanding bed of clay soils. By installing piers and pilings, we attach your home’s foundation directly to more stable sandy soils and the bedrock deep below your home. This can halt shifting and save your home’s foundation.
Design Drainage Systems
Successful basement and foundation waterproofing begins with your gutter system and encompasses your whole drainage system. Not sure what that looks like for your home? Chances are, all streams lead back to your foundation, ensuring foundation problems for years. We’ll help you lay out a comprehensive drainage system that keeps your house safe, keeps the water out, and maintains your home’s value.
Install Protective Membranes
We surround problem areas of your foundation in a protective membrane that keeps water out, and then we replace compressible clay soils with much more foundation-friendly sandy soils.
Add Sump Pumps & Drain Tile
If you’ve got fairly minor water leakage issues, installation of drain tile and a sump pump may be sufficient to keep water out of your basement. While this solution doesn’t address the root cause of your water intake, we’ll still make this process easy.
Have foundation problems created unlevel concrete in your driveway, sidewalk, or patio? They’re a liability and an eyesore. By improving support of the concrete underground, we can level out those ugly areas. We can help get everything straightened out, improving your home’s curb appeal and decreasing your stress level.
Foundation problems don’t just affect the structure of your house—connected parts like stairs, stoops, and porches are kicked out of alignment, too. By pumping a support substance into surrounding concrete (a.k.a. mudjacking), we’re able to lift sunken areas and restore stability to these structures. All without replacing concrete, which means massive savings for you!
New Sidewalks, Driveways, Etc.
Need a simple sidewalk, driveway, or walkway added to your home? We’ll take care of this, improving your home’s curb appeal. We make sure these slabs are properly supported underground, ensuring they remain level for years to come.
What Makes Midwest Contractors Different?
WITH SO MANY WICHITA FOUNDATION REPAIR COMPANIES TO CHOOSE FROM, WHY PICK US?
For many of us, our homes are our largest investments. And yet we still tend to favor short-term solutions when it comes to foundation problems in our homes. There’s just one problem with short-term solutions… they only work for a while. And in many cases, the structural integrity of your home continues to erode, even with a short-term solution in place.
Bottom line: Many foundation repair companies tend to avoid the root causes of your foundation problems, instead opting to fix surface-level symptoms. Not us! We’re dedicated to digging deep and crafting comprehensive, as-permanent-as-possible solutions.
These solutions are designed to help you preserve your home’s value, protect your investment, and keep your family healthy and safe.
We look forward to the opportunity to work with you.