House Leveling / House Raising
Also see article: Pier and Beam Foundation Repair / House Leveling
Leveling a structure is an art, and a science, involving many different techniques and skills that require years of training and a lot of experience. Let me tell you why.
When a structure settles, it goes down, and as it goes down, it causes the walls above it to rotate outwards. This is called rotation. It can be seen in brick walls where the brick has ‘rotated’ away from a window frame, or has rotated away from the garage door. A fireplace will ‘rotate’ outwards away from the house as it settles.
You may notice that the rotation cracks are small at the bottom, and they get larger at the top. This ‘rotation’, is pulling the structure outwards also, and with that pulling, what do you think happens to the roof structure?
The ceiling joists and roof rafters are also being pulled with the rotation. Probably the most damaging effects from foundation settlement is in the roof. As the rafters are pulled, they also pull against the roof shingles, causes roof leaks. You may see in many houses with foundation settlement that the rafters have pulled apart from the ridge plate at the top of the roof. Sometimes the purlins or collar ties in the roof are separated, and often one can see a sag in the roof, all because of the foundation settlement.
Lifting up a foundation, and trying to rotate the walls back into place is an art, and can only be partially successful. Even the best levelers can only do so much, because they cannot nail back the nails in the structure that have been pulled out from the rotation and twisting of the wood members.
Lifting a structure involves lifting a great amount of weight, weight that is not always centered and plumb, and against soil that is not always that stable. The job can be dangerous, and it is always risky. If a structure is over-raised, it can pop out the wall, and it will all come tumbling down. Brick that has rotated out has pulled out it’s wall ties, and it can fall out and to the ground on top of the workers. Windows can break.
A good leveler knows what areas need to be raised first, what needs to be raised together, and at the same time, and what areas have up-heaved in the foundation that do not accurately represent the benchmark of the leveling process. Raising the wrong area first can not only be dangerous, but it can cause severe, unnecessary damage to the structure.
Nowhere in Texas is there a requirement for experience and licensing in the foundation repair trade, other than a simple registration or home repair license. Anyone can start repairing foundations, and without good and qualified experience, the inexperienced contractor can leave a homeowner with devastating damages and losses.
The average employee at Bedrock has at least 8 years experience. Bedrock has over 25 employees with over 20 years of experience, each. It has engineers on staff. Each worker knows what to do, and what to do in each stage of the leveling process. Experience counts, and in the end, the homeowner receives a quality repair, and everyone is happy.