If you have been looking for ways to fix your foundation online, you may have come across the term “shim.” Shims are layers of material that are placed between the foundation and the soil. Continue reading if you are curious in the meaning of this phrase and how it relates to the process of repairing foundations.
What exactly is the Shim?
In construction projects as a whole, shimmies are a fairly typical sight. In addition to foundation repair, they have a variety of other applications in the building industry. A shim is a thin piece of material that is inserted beneath another part in order to help attain certain level or to ensure that it fits properly. Shims can also be used to ensure that a part fits properly.
In addition to that, you may utilize them to properly align surfaces. Shims are used while fixing foundations to fill gaps, modify, level, or assure appropriate fit in order to maximize support and alignment. They can also be used to ensure proper fit.
Shims are a common component of piers, pilings, and other forms of underpinning support that are located underneath the slab of a foundation when performing foundation repair work. Shims are placed in between various parts in order to optimize the fit, level the elements, or change how they interact with one another.
The following are the various kinds of shims that can be utilized in the process of foundation repair:
Foundations located in crawl spaces
These foundations almost always consist of wooden tapered shims and are typically found in homes that have crawlspaces. They have a tapered or wedge-shaped profile, as the name might suggest. These shims are constructed entirely out of wood. They are utilized to offer a better fit in crawlspace foundations, where they are installed.
Shims come in a wide variety of forms and are typically utilized in slab foundations. Shims made of concrete blocks are among the most popular forms of shims used in foundations like these. It is possible to bridge the space between the bottom of the concrete slab and the pier by placing concrete block shims on the pier in the appropriate positions. Shims of a smaller thickness could potentially be utilized to bridge the gap, providing a better fit as well as additional support.
There are a variety of additional materials besides shims that can be utilized for the foundation of concrete slabs. Plastic and steel are two examples of them. Because of its lack of strength and durability, plastic is not a material that is often used. Shims made of stainless steel are preferable than shims made of plastic. However, you will have a difficult time locating them. As a result, they are not utilized very often.
The procedure of repairing foundations in Texas involves the installation of foundation shims and the subsequent adjustment of those shims. The re-shimming of concrete slab foundations and pier and beam homes are both common applications for which many contractors find these useful. Shims for steel foundations are tiny pieces of manufactured steel that have a thickness of about one quarter of an inch. They are put to use in the process of fixing the foundations of homes that are supported by foundation piers made of pressed concrete.
Reasons Why Foundation Repair Is Done Using The Shims
They are utilized in Texas due to the fact that they render concrete slab foundations and pier and beam homes even. It is very uncommon for house foundations to undergo significant movement over the years, which can lead to the floors being uneven over time. Because of this, one of the sides will end up being lower than the other.
When re-shimming a foundation as part of performing slab foundation repair or servicing a pier and beam construction, these little pieces of steel are placed one on top of the other in order to achieve the desired effect. They are piled on one on top of the other until they reach the required height. In addition, shimming is frequently performed as a component of the pier and beam foundation restoration process.
Shim blocks are what are typically used as a base for foundation shims, which are then placed on top of the shim blocks. The home foundation is being supported by steel shims, which are in direct contact with the foundation. A concrete cap can be found beneath the shims. Piers made of concrete serve as the basis for that structure, and they are set into the ground in various locations.
When making adjustments to a foundation, the structure may call for the installation of extra spacers or a reduction in the total number of shims that have been put in place. Contractors who specialize in foundation repair are able to assess exactly what must be done in order to make an uneven foundation even.
Repairing A Foundation
When repairing a foundation, it may be necessary to put an additional 2-4 shims in specific areas of the structure or it might call for fewer resources. There is no denying that the process of installing foundation shims requires both time and effort. A contractor will be able to give you an accurate estimate for the cost of shimming a foundation after doing a thorough inspection of your slab or pier and beam foundation to evaluate whether or not it requires repair.
It is important to keep in mind that it is quite conceivable that what you truly require are additional foundation piers. When there is significant damage to a building’s foundation, it takes more than a few of shims to get the structure back to its original level.
If this is the case, new concrete piers can be installed beneath the sections of your foundation that require raising. When a foundation has gone through significant settling, this nearly invariably turns out to be the case. The only way to know what needs to be done is to have a professional properly analyze your foundation. This is the only way to know what needs to be done.
Different Kinds Of Shims Used For House Foundations
Shims are a critical component in home foundation repair and are employed in a variety of other elements of the home construction process as well.
Shims made of wood are made up of from cedar shingles and have dimensions of approximately 8 inches by 16 inches, with some changesin size and a tapering shape.
They are constructed of metal are made up of fabricated steel, and the dimensions are equivalent to that of a note card, measuring 3 inches by 5 inches.
Plastic shims are the least preferred option and are more frequently utilized in different house construction tasks that are not concerned to the foundations.
The Benefits And Drawbacks Of Wood And Steel Shims
Shims’ main purpose in leveling a crawl space house is to make it feasible to give the wood beams or sill that are used to construct the home’s foundation appropriate support and spacing. To distribute the weight more uniformly and make the most of the available surface area for support, shims are put between the floor structure and the sill beams.
Let’s compare and contrast the advantages and disadvantages of employing steel and wood shims now that we are aware of how well each material can perform this function over the long run.
The Benefits and Drawbacks of Steel Shims
Steel is resistant to rust and insects, which is an added benefit.
PRO: durable and great for repairing slab foundations
CON: Limited thickness and surface area variants are available
Due to size and thickness limits, it is possible for humps to form in the floors of homes with crawl spaces.
CON: hard and inflexible in comparison to the softer materials used for wooden floor structures
The Benefits and Drawbacks of Wood Shims
PRO: it’s not too heavy, and it’s simple to operate and control. A greater size allows for maximum support to be provided by the sill beam and improved weight distribution.
PRO: because to the tapered edge, it is extremely exact; there are no thickness constraints, so it may snugly fit.
Cedar material is resistant to rot and termites, which is a pro. Additionally, it is more flexible to give together with the other wooden components of the foundation.
CON: It’s costly for what it is, which is essentially just a small piece of wood
CON: the fact that there are no other drawbacks to enumerate is itself a con.
What Kind Of Shims Are Ideal For The Foundation Of A Crawlspace?
When considering the benefits and drawbacks of each option, it should come as no surprise that using wood shims to rebuild the foundation of a crawl space home is the superior option. When it comes to house leveling projects, Foundation ME always goes with red cedar since they believe it is the best material available.
Because steel shims are so effective at repairing slab foundations, we never have any problem working with them and do not consider them to be an annoyance in any way. For a job involving the leveling of a pier and beam or block and base foundation, we have the unshakeable conviction that using wooden shims is the one and only option.
Do you suspect that there may be issues with the foundation? If you need foundation repair in the Texas or if you need the shims on your foundation altered, please get in touch with Foundation MD so that we can provide you with a free estimate.