Is There Ever A Need To Lift Your Foundation to a Heave?

One of the things that concern me the most in performing foundation repairs for the last 15 years is seeing someone recommend lifting a foundation to a heave.

There is a logical reason why we don’t recommend this as a viable foundation repair technique.

Let’s start with the science behind the reason.

What Typically Causes a Heave?

A heave on a residence is caused by water getting under the building and causing increased moisture content in the soils, which cause the clays to expand. This expansion is like getting a sponge out of the packet and tossing it in water and watching it get bigger. That is the same way that our Yazoo Clays can react with changes in moisture content.

The remedy for a heave is to address what is causing the increased water content. To do this, you have to start diagnosing to see what the source of water could be. We have seen it range from the following plumbing breaks/drainage/improper construction/other water problems. This can be the hardest part of the repairs.

After the water problem is addressed, the residence should not continue to heave and over time has the potential to come back down but never to the original elevations. Then you monitor the residence to make sure that the source is found and the residence has calmed down on moving. If this is done, then we can determine if something needs to be corrected/lifted to make the residence blend better and not feel so out of whack.

What if you do lift to a Heave?

What if you have used a company that lifted the entire foundation to the heave? The residence will continue to move and they will have to come back and continue to adjust the foundation to the high area that is still moving so you are lifting to a moving target.

If you have made this mistake, then step back and start looking for the cause of the movement. Once that is determined and corrected, you will monitor the residence to make sure it is stopped moving. If it’s coming down, then you need to continue to wait until it has stabilized. Once it’s stabilized, then if needed, you can call the previous company back to make any adjustments to the existing foundation system.

If you have any questions about foundation repairs, or concerns for a foundation problem, please call us and we will be glad to assist you.