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Foundation Repair Shim Adjustment

There are a lot of homes in the Houston area that have had foundation repair completed. Over time these homes may need to have an adjustment made to the piers that were used to support the home. If AAA Foundation Service completed the repair, there is no cost as we provides a lifetime warranty to home owners on all foundation repairs. That is not the case for all companies in the area and you may have a cost associated with adjusting your foundation.  Also, not all home owners will be able to provide who worked on the foundation depending on the age of the repair if you bought your home that had prior foundation work. In order to make adjustments to a previous foundation repair, the home will need to be re-shimmed and we can help you get the job complete.

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What is a Shim?

Most people are familiar with a shim. It is a piece of wood or metal that is triangular in shape, has one flat end and gradually increases in size on the other end. Shims are often used when something needs to be leveled or gradually raised. Shims have many uses in construction such as ensuring doors and secure and straight as well as ensuring counter tops are level. When it comes to foundation repair, shims are the last thing that get placed above piers after the home is level. These shims act as the final resting place for the home foundation when a repair is made.

Does My Foundation Need to be Re-Shimmed?

The concept of deflection comes up regularly with respect to foundation inspections. Deflection refers to the extent of bending observable in a structural element. For instance, the shape of a structural beam that has been loaded with an excessive amount of weight will become distorted. The pressure will cause it to take on a curved shape.
Engineers express deflection in terms of the degree of deviation from a straight line. Deflection is often measured through what is known as a floor elevation survey. This type of survey measures any changes in the height of your floor. While useful, this information can be difficult to evaluate properly without further breaking down the concept of deflection.

Two principal types of deflection exist: overall deflection and local deflection. When evaluating a foundation, overall deflection tends to be much more useful. It gives the best picture of the dimensional aspect of the entire foundation. Changes on this level almost always stem from problems with the foundation. For instance, one side of the foundation may be gradually sinking due to insufficient anchoring.

As you can probably guess, local deflection involves measured amounts of deflection that occur within an area smaller than that of the entire foundation. Local deflection can easily trick less experienced inspectors into believing a foundation problem exists. In fact, the issue often involves only the building materials of the floor – and not the foundation that lies beneath.

How Are Shims Adjusted or Added?

First, we will take a base measurement of the interior of the home and mark what is off level. Then, if AAA Foundation Service performed the repair we will have a map of the home and will have an idea on where we place piers before we dig. If we did not do the work, we will go around the exterior of the home with a long metal bar that will be inserted into the earth every 6″. Once we identify a pier location we will mark the area with tape. Once all pier locations have been identified we will then dig out the piers just enough to access the piers that were placed. We will then make adjustments using hydraulic jacks and the initial measurements. This typically includes adding new shims for additional height, and in some cases removing some shims. Next, we will take interior measurements once again. We then make the final adjustments and secure the pier area with dirt.

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