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Your Leaning Chimney May Spell Trouble

Photo of a red brick chimney attached to the right side of a roof against a blue sky.

Call Airlift Concrete Experts today with any questions.

It’s a beautiful summer day, and you’re outside doing yard work when you spot it: the chimney. You said you’d get to it all year long, but it never happened. It started with just a small tilt or a few missing bricks so many months ago, but now it has a definite lean and looks a little precarious. Luckily, Airlift Concrete Experts knows exactly how to help with that overlooked leaning chimney.

A leaning chimney could be a sign that there is a problem with the foundation supporting it. This does not only affect the area of the chimney, but it could extend to the entire foundation. Issues with the foundation should be addressed immediately because they compromise the safety and integrity of your home’s structure. Make sure to call right away especially if your chimney is tilting and there is space between chimney and siding, uneven mortar joints, or cracks in the chimney.

What causes these issues?

If your chimney is tilted or there is space between the chimney and siding, this has to do with a settling foundation, poor soil compaction before the initial construction, or an issue with the footings in the foundation. While there is initially some ‘give’ in materials because a building is expected to settle, there is a problem when there is a major shift or sink and the chimney settles as well into an unnatural and unsafe position. Settling can also lead to other issues like uneven floors and cracks in the walls.

How can Airlift Concrete Experts fix the issue?

There are two main options to fix a leaning chimney, and each will help not only your chimney but your foundation’s general integrity. The first option is to fix the foundation issue that is causing the leaning. The concrete below the chimney and house needs to be supported to resolve the settlement issues. This could be a fairly simple process depending on how serious the settlement is, and it would involve installing steel piers to lift and balance the concrete until it is stable and solid.

The second option is to to use polyjacking. Polyjacking is when polyurethane foam is placed into voids, or empty spaces, to balance out the settling process. This process will provide a less invasive way than mudjacking to correct settlement issues. By filling in these spaces, polyjacking provides a solid base for the concrete and creates a safe foundation environment.

If you see your chimney leaning, don’t ignore it! Call Airlift Concrete Experts today for a free consultation!

French Drains Could Save Your Foundation

Airlift Concrete Experts knows that the key to your foundation’s success lies within the surrounding soil and grass. It’s hard to imagine that cement or bricks could be significantly damaged by rainfall or puddles, but the reality is that over time this can present a huge problem to the structure and integrity of your foundation. If you have too much water in your yard, which then absorbs into the soil, it may build up around your foundation, causing hydrostatic pressure around foundation walls. This can cause bowing walls, wall cracks, and leaking into the crawl space.

Photo of a French Drain system which shows a trench dug in the dirt with two pipes near the bottom and gravel surrounding everything.

Example of a french drain system.

These foundation issues are important to address because they can lead to damage to the structural integrity and safety of your home, and they could cause unnecessary extra costs that could have been easily prevented. There are several options for proper drainage in a yard, but the best option for most people in Arkansas is a french drain.

The french drain is an affordable and efficient solution to this problem. To install a french drain, a trench is dug unto the yard, and a pipe (or two) are placed within the trench to redirect the water. Then, the pipes are covered with gravel to propertly direct water down and away from the home. This is a great idea for Arkansas homes because of the large amount of rain and humidity throughout the year. Plus, it doesn’t need to be an eyesore–you can easily cover the french drain with sod after it is installed for a polished look.

Your foundation will be protected for years to come with a french drain system, but in some cases, it’s also advisable to have a sump pump for any extra water issues.

Please contact Airlift Concrete Experts for a free consultation and to see what your options are for waterproofing and repair. We are happy to work with you every step of the way to ensure that you are getting the best fit for what works best for your yard and foundation.

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