Homeowners with basements need to be well-aware of the structural integrity of this area of the home. Over the years, a basement can be subject to wear and tear due to water damage, shifting of the foundation, etc. As the home owner, you must be sure that your foundation is sound and the basement is not in need of reinforcement. If you do find that the walls of your basement are starting to buckle, reinforcement is necessary to ensure the integrity of your home. But what type of material is best used? A knowledgeable contractor will be able to provide you with an evaluation of the reinforcement need and suggest the right material to use, but in the meantime, read on to see what options are commonly used in basement areas.
In an older home, wooden beams will be used to hold up the flooring as well as support the internal structure of the home. As the home ages, the wooden beams will begin to be subject to cracking as well as rot. This can mean your flooring in the first floor of the home can start to sag and you may have major issues. While this wood can be replaced, it is recommended that you go with something stronger such as steel I-beams or laminated beams. Wooden beams in older homes are often replaced with such materials to create a stronger foundation for the home.
Steel beams are a good choice for the home due to the material type. Steel is very strong and will be able to support a heavy load. Steel is also resistant to cracking and rot. However, the material can also rust if located in a wet area. If you have a basement that is damp or subject to water damage, it is best to clean up the area and have waterproofing put in place before having the steel beam installed. This will ensure that no damage comes to the beam after installation.
When strong reinforcement is needed for the foundation of your home in the basement area, a helical pier may be your best option. A helical pier is similar to a large screw, a very large screw! The option is a long steel shaft that has spiral plates that are known as helices. The pier is driven into the ground with a bit that is quite large and rotates. The bit completes a torque test to determine that the pier is engaged in the ground enough to provide support. The piers provide quality foundation support to ensure the integrity of the home, including the basement space, for years to come.
As a homeowner, you probably have little to no experience in foundation support or reinforcement. Contact a professional to have your home evaluated to see which material option will work best to provide reinforcement in the basement space. Rest easy knowing that your home is supported and ready to function properly for years to come.