If you’re a homeowner, odds are you’ve experienced the scourge of the leaning garage. Nothing ruins the look of your home like a slanted storage building, so it shouldn’t come as any surprise that many homeowners strive to return these eyesores back to their former upright glory.
While repairing a leaning garage is almost always better left to professionals, there are some steps aspiring handymen can take to start putting things right again. In this blog post, we’ll cover all the basics of how to fix a leaning garage, including proper foundation preparation and reinforcement techniques.
So whether your goal’s to get an old structure back in fighting erect or keep its successors from falling into disrepair, read on for our top tips on resolving any ground zero issues with your garage!
The Importance of a Structurally Sound Garage
A structurally sound garage is essential to the overall safety of your home. If the structure of a garage isn’t secure, it can lead to costly repairs or even worse, damage to personal belongings or injury.
Leaning garages typically occur when the foundation has been weakened due to moisture issues, soil erosion, or incorrect installation. This can lead to serious structural issues, and fixing a leaning garage is no small task. If your garage has started to lean, it’s important to take the necessary steps to ensure its stability.
Fortunately, with the right tools and know-how, it’s possible to fix this issue without needing to rebuild the entire structure. Below, we’ll cover the steps you need to take to make sure your leaning garage is structurally sound and safe for use.
Common Causes of a Leaning Garage
The most common cause of a leaning garage is poor foundation support. If the foundation wasn’t well built or was insufficient when constructed, it can lead to your garage leaning over time.
Poor soil conditions near the foundation can also play a role and cause settling or sinking which could result in your garage becoming tilted. Another potential culprit could be an issue with the garage’s structure itself, such as a weakening beam or post.
Other possible causes of a leaning garage include improper anchoring of the foundation to the soil and damage from an earthquake. Dry rot and wood decay caused by moisture can also cause structural issues that lead to a leaning garage. Finally, poor drainage in the area surrounding the garage can also contribute to this issue.
If you suspect your leaning garage is due to one of these causes, it’s important to take steps as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Repairing a leaning garage requires enough knowledge and skill that it’s best left in the hands of an experienced contractor or structural engineer.
A professional can help assess the cause and provide options for repairs that can address the problem. With their assistance and expertise, you can ensure your leaning garage gets back on track and remains structurally safe for years to come.
9 Methods on How to Fix a Leaning Garage
1. Check the Soil
The first thing you need to do when your garage is leaning is to check the soil around the foundation. If the soil is too soft, it can cause the garage to lean. You will need to add some sand or gravel to the soil to make it more firm.
If the soil is too sandy, you can add some clay to help compact it. Though this may seem like an easy fix, it is important to ensure that you use the right type of material for your specific soil type.
2. Check the Foundation
Another reason why your garage may be leaning is because of a problem with the foundation. You will need to have a professional inspect the foundation to see if there are any cracks or other damage that needs to be repaired.
If repairs are needed, the professional can advise you on what needs to be done. It is important to repair any issues quickly in order to prevent further damage to the structure of your garage. If you find a minor crack, you can try using epoxy or concrete patch to repair it on your own.
3. Add Support Posts
If your garage is leaning because of a problem with the foundation, you may need to add support posts to help stabilize it. This is a job that should be done by a professional. They’ll be able to assess the situation, determine what type of support posts are needed, and install them in a way that will ensure your garage is safe and secure.
Additionally, they can make sure the posts are properly secured to the foundation and that all of their connections are strong. Once the support posts are in place, your leaning garage should be back to its original shape.
4. Jack Up the Garage
If your garage is leaning because of a problem with the foundation, you may need to jack up the garage and then repair or replace the foundation. This is a job that should be done by a professional. Install a series of jacks at the corners and sides of the garage, lifting it as high as you can.
Have an engineer assess the situation and determine if the foundation can be repaired or if it needs to be replaced. Jack up any part of the garage that is sagging and then make necessary repairs or replace the foundation. When finished, lower the jacks and check to make sure that the garage is level and stable.
5. Install Helical Piers
If your garage is leaning because of a problem with the foundation, you may need to install helical piers into the ground around the perimeter of the garage. This is a job that should be done by a professional. Helical piers are basically steel rods that can be inserted in the ground to provide stability for a structure.
They use a screw-like system to be driven into the ground and can provide stability to structures in wet or unstable soil. Once installed, the structure can be lifted and leveled by attaching a hydraulic jacking system to the piers. This can drastically improve the condition of a leaning garage and may even extend its life.
6. Replace the Soil Around the Garage
If your garage is leaning because of a problem with the soil, you will need to replace it with new soil. This is a job that can be done by a professional or by yourself if you have experience working with soil.
If you decide to do it yourself, make sure that you use soil that will not compact easily and is the same type of soil that was used in the original foundation Once you have replaced the soil level it out and use a level to ensure that it is on all sides. Finally, you can pack the soil down using a tamper to make sure that it is stable and secure.
7. Remove Trees Nearby
If there are trees nearby that are causing problems for your garage, you will need to remove them. This is a job that can be done by a professional or by yourself if you have experience working with trees.
Make sure you take extra caution when removing trees as it can be a dangerous job. If there are roots that have grown around the foundation of your garage, you may need to call a professional to help.
8. Waterproof Your Garage
If your garage is leaking, it could be causing it to lean. You will need to waterproof your garage so that water does not get in and damage the structure. This is a job that can be done by a professional or by yourself if you have experience waterproofing structures.
Start by checking for the source of the leak and repairing it with waterproofing sealants or other materials. After that, you can apply a coat of waterproof paint to the exterior walls and a sealant to any cracks that may be present.
9. Check for Pests
If the leaning of your garage is caused by pests such as termites, you will need to take steps to get rid of them Start by looking for signs of infestation, such as mud tubes and damaged wood. If there is an active termite problem in your garage, you will need to get it professionally treated.
If your leaning problem is caused by other types of pests such as rodents, you can use traps and other methods to get rid of them. Once the pest problem is taken care of, you can begin repairs on your leaning garage.
All in all, it’s important to remember that when dealing with a leaning garage, the best course of action is to take it seriously and address the underlying faults quickly. By doing so, you’ll be able to save yourself time, money and hassle in both the short-term and long-term.
Overall, staying aware of your garage structure stability is key in achieving a major prevention measure from facing such issues in the future.
If you have any doubts or questions during the process of how to fix a leaning garage, hiring an experienced professional is your best option – they will ensure that repairs are completed correctly the first time around! So don’t hesitate any longer; investigate your leaning garage situation today!