Why Foundation Crack Repair Kits Don't Always Work

clock February 10, 2014 11:34 by author

Why NOT use a Foundation Crack Repair Kit?

As a homeowner, when you see a foundation crack, it should not be ignored. Most homeowners first identify concrete cracks in their basement, either on the wall or on the floor. Foundation cracks can also be found on garage floors, patios or in-ground pools.These cracks will widen over time and result in water seepage or possibly loss of structural integrity. Foundation cracks can hinder the value of your home. Trying to repair foundation cracks using a foundation crack repair kit is not a permanent fix. If you notice large, recurring cracks or bulging walls in your home, don't try to fix these yourself. The cracks may indicate a more serious structural problem. A professional should be contacted to inspect your foundation to see if the cracks are a result of structural damage. 

You can find products in the stores for filling cracks in concrete walls, however, these products can fail after just a few years if your foundation continues to move slightly. The truth about foundation cracks is that the foundation problems never go away just by filling the foundation cracks with a sealant or patching kit. The longer you ignore these foundation cracks, the more complicated and costly the repair will be. It is important for homeowners to get their foundation cracks inspected by a professional who can give a permanent solution for foundation cracks. 

The professionals at My Foundation Repair and Waterproofing can inspect your foundation cracks and offer a better and permanent solution for your foundation crack repair.

Why are Epoxy or Polyurethane Injections a Better Option for Crack Repair?

For foundation crack repair, epoxy and polyurethane injections are a better option than fixing your foundation cracks using an at-home repair kit. The Earth Contact Products (ECP), epoxy and polyurethane injection resins are designed to seal cracks and eliminate water and air leaks from basement walls. The professionals at My Foundation Repair and Waterproofing can provide this effective permanent solution to leaking cracks. 

Epoxy injection is used to weld cracked concrete walls back together, restoring the structural integrity of the wall. This epoxy permanently repairs cracks and creates a bond that becomes stronger than the original wall. These injections are done from the inside of the basement and is completed in just a few hours. 

Polyurethane foam injection is ideal for filling wider cracks. The ECP polyurethane foams work for filling voids and sealing around pipes. Polyurethane foam injection is the best way to stop an active foundation wall leak. The expanding foam completely fills the crack and prevents future water leaks. The water will remain outside and will not be able to penetrate into the inside. 

These epoxy and polyurethane foam products are much more heavy duty than the crack repair kits you can buy in the store. They are designed to be used by professionals to permanently repair foundation cracks. Getting your foundation crack repair done right the first time will save you money in the long run. Trying to repair foundation wall cracks and having it fail in a few years, will only make the matter worse. The cracks will not be fixed and can cause more damage than if a professional is called to do it right the first time. Don't hesitate to contact My Foundation Repairs and Waterproofing to get a professional in to inspect your wall cracks and give you a permanent solution for your foundation wall cracks. 



Foundation Repair Cost - Deciphering Fact from Fiction

clock February 10, 2014 10:17 by author

The Cost of Foundation Repair

Foundation settlement is nothing to ignore. It can lead to major structural problems within your home. Foundation repair costs depends on how extensive the damage is and what method is needed to get the repair done. To confidently determine the cause of foundation damage and determine what foundatiaon repair is needed, it is impotant to have an experienced foudnation contradctor inspect your home and foundation and give you the best solution and best products for your foundation repair needs. The professionals at My Foundation Repair and Waterproofing has the experience and knowledge to give you the the facts regarding what is needed for your foundation repair. 

It is important to have a trustworthy foundation repair and waterproofing contractor who can provide you with the inspection and service you need for your foundation repair. While there are many differing opinions regarding how to repair a foundadtion and which solutions are best, My Foundation Repair and Waterproofing can provide you with a better understanding about your foundation repair needs. 

Repairing Rather Than Replacing 

It is a myth that replacing a damaged foundation with a new foundation is a more long-lasting solution than repairing the foundation. This is a needless huge cost to homeowners. An experienced foundation repair contractor can determine what has caused the foundation damage and correct the problem by using foundation repair products such as steel push piers and helical piers. The products used by My Foundation Repairs and Waterproofing are made by Earth Contact Products (ECP), the leading manufacturer of foundation repair products made in the industry. When these products are installed, the foundadtion can be leveled back to its original position. The results is a permanent repair that completed more quickly and for less cost than total replacement. 

When you think of foundation repair, you probably think you are going to need to empy your saving account to pay for it. The cost of the foundation repair depends on what the problem is and what it takes to get the foundation repair done. Determining the true cause of your foundadtion settlement can save you time and money. Let the professionals at My Foundation Repairs and Waterproofing inspect youe home and diagnose the problem and give your the best solution at the best cost for your repair needs. 

Not all Contractors are Created Equal

It is important to contact a foundadtion repair contractor that is properly licensed and insured. This insures that they have the proper training. When you contact My Foundation Repairs and Waterproofing, you will be getting a highly trained professional that will inspect your home and give you the solution needed to get your repair needs done. Finding out by a professional the true cause of your foundation settlement can save you time and money. Let a trained professional identify your foundation needs. 

Just as not all contractors are created equal, not all foundation repair products are made equally. There is not just one choice of

foundation repair product for all situations. Inferior products will only cost you money in the future. The products used by the contractors at My Foundation Repair and Waterproofing use only the best products made in the industry. They are manufactured by Earth Contact Products (ECP), the leading manufacturer of foundation repair products in the industry.

At the first sign of foundation problems, call the professionals at My Foundation Repair and Waterproofing. The sooner the problem is identified, the less it will cost in the long run. Waiting too long to get the repair done, will end up costing you more for the repair. Don't let the cost of foundation repair scare you. Repairing a settling foundation will keep your investment in the top-dollar range. Contact us today for a free estimate.



What is Pier Foundation Repair?

clock February 10, 2014 06:59 by author

What are Foundation Piers?

Making sure foundation repairs are done by professionals who are experienced and use the best products available in the industry is important. My Foundation Repairs and Waterproofing uses foundation repair products made by Earth Contact Products (ECP), the best underpinning products made in the industry. Underpinning your home and repairing your foundation with products such as steel piers, helical piers, helical tieback anchors, plate anchors, and hydraulic lift slab piers will insure that the integrity of your foundation. 

Foundation repairs are usually the result of soil-related problems such as poor compaction, overloading, poor waterproofing, soils that expand and shrink with changes in moisture content, and excessive organic materials. Foundation piers will permanently stabilize your home's foundation and lift your home back to its original level. If you have noticed cracks in your walls or floors, have doors or windows that stick, or notice uneven floors, you may be experiencing foundation settlement. My Foundation Repairs and Waterproofing has the experience and products to help stabilize your foundation. 

Foundation Repairs Using Steel Push Piers

Steel push piers are the most common foundation repair product used for foundation underpinning. The ECP steel piers are an easy, economical solution that will provide long-lasting results. These steel push piers are hydraulically driven deep down to load-bearingFoundation Repair using Steel Push Piers stratum or rock suitable to support the load. These piers are driven indidually and the entire structure works as the reaction. A friction reduction collar is attached to the lead section of the pier pipe. This collar is used to create an opening in the soil that has a larger diameter than the pier pipe. This reduces the skin friction on the push pier pipe as it is driven into the soil and allows the installer to load test and verify that the pier has encountered firm bearing stratum or rock. Push pier advantages are:

  • Can be installed in all weather
  • Steel push piers can reach greater depth than other options
  • Long life span - ECP steel push piers are resistant to corrosion
  • Does not require invasive equipment to install
  • Lifts foundation back to level position

High pressure hydraulic jacks are placed at multiple locations during the load transfer, reducting the load on each pier to only the design working load. ECP steel piers are the first choice for foundation repair professionals. 

Foundation Repair Using Helical Piers

Helical piers are ideal for foundation repair when there is a need to resist a tension or compressive force or both. These helical piers are used for both heavy structures and light structures such as stoops and decks. These helical piers are screwed into the earth until they reach stable soil. They are placed at pre-calculated intervals to spread the load of the structure. Brackets are then attached to the foundation wall base and the weight in transferred to the piers. My Foundation Repairs and Waterproofing uses the best helical piers made in the industry today. If you are in need of foundation repair, the experts at My Foundation Repairs and Waterproofing have the experience and products, such as helical piers, to stabilize your foundation. Don't ignore the signs of foundation settlement. We can help you with your foundation repair needs.

Foundaiton Repair Using Helical Tieback Anchors

Helical tieback anchors are used to straighten and stabilize bowing basement walls. These helical anchors are installed from inside the basement wall through a small hole. With exterior excavation, the basement wall can be immediately pulled back to its original level. They are installed using lightweight, portable equiment and are not affected by weather and can be load tested immediately upon installation. My Foundation Repairs and Waterproofing along with the ECP will match the correct helical tieback anchors to your application or load requirement. Helical tieback anchors not only can help with basement walls, but can also be used for:

  • Sea walls
  • Retaining walls
  • Shoring
  • Temporary wall support
  • Tilt up construction

If you have noticed tilting or bowing walls, the damage will only get worse over time. Walls that are damaged due to soil pressure, will also increase the likelihood of unwanted water in your basement. Don't hesitate to contact the experts at My Foundation Repairs and Waterproofing to get your bowing or tilting walls fixed using helical tieback anchors made by Earth Contact Products.

Foundation and Wall Repair Using Plate Anchors

Wall plate anchors are designed to stabilize cracking and bowed foundation walls. These plate anchors secure basement walls that areWall repair using wall plate anchors bowing or tilting due to excessive outside soil. The plate anchors made by Earth Contact Products, consist of an inside wall plate, an outside anchor and a high strength rod that ties them together. These plate anchors provide supplemental lateral force to help stabilize the bowed and cracked walls. The installation requires minimal excavation or disturbance to landscaping. My Foundation Repairs and Waterproofing can repair bowing, leaning and cracked basement walls using these plate anchors with little disturbance to your landscaping or home. Because the plate anchor assembly is made with hot dipped galvanized steel, they will be protected against corrosion for many years. 

Slab Repair Using Hydraulic Lift Slab Pier

Slab push piers are a unique type of resistance pier that are on concrete slabs. My Foundation Repairs and Waterproofing uses these slender steel slab piers made by Earth Contact Products to support concrete slabs. These slab piers work just like other resistance piers, as they are eng-bearing piers that don't rely on skin friction to produce support. The resistance slab piers are installed using a grid pattern with spacing that are no grater than five feet apart. After the piers are installed, the slab load is transfeerred across the piers uniformly and evenly by activating the hydraulic rams simultaneously with the ECP maniford lift system. Slab piers are used anytime you have a slab of four or more inches in thickness to stabilize and lift the slab that is failing due to soil conditions that are too weak to support the slab. The installation is accomplished inside the structure through an eight inch, core drilled access hole. These Earth Contact Product slab piers install quickly due to their minimal setup time. So if you are in need of slab repair, let the experts at My Foundation Repairs and Waterproofing install these hydraulic lift slab piers. 

For any of your foundation repair needs, contact the professionals at My Foundation Repair and Waterproofing for a free estimate.



House and Home Leveling -- Not a Do-It-Yourself Job

clock February 5, 2014 16:13 by author

House Leveling is Not an Easy Fix

Everyone knows that you can easily find Do-it-Yourself videos all over the Internet for anything you might ever need. From fixing your sink to playing an instrument, there are millions of them, and yes, they can help you fix or learn about something. The problem is, when it comes to foundation repair, How-to videos are not the smartest thing to go to to learn about fixing your foundation failure problems. These videos and directions on how to fix your foundation are not permanent solutions and can even cause further damage to your already failing foundation. No matter how big or small your foundation failure problem may be, it is always best to call the professionals, that way you can be guarenteed the safest repair. Do-it-Yourself videos may be a cheaper way to fix your foundation failure, but they will only provide temporary relief to a serious problem that could eventually harm your home and even its inhabitants. Foundation failure is not something to take lightly, especially when your home is one of your biggest investments. So, when it comes to finding a solution for your varying foundation failure problems, make sure to call My Foundation Repairs. Our repairs are sure to be a long-lasting and permanent solution; guarenteed. The products we use when repairing your foundation failure come from Earth Contact Products, one of the leading producers in foundation repair products, and with these products backing up our repairs, there will most certainly never be a reason to worry about that foundation failure ever again. For some of the most advanced foundation repair around, make sure to call us at My Foundation Repairs, we can promise a top-quality repair as well as fantastic service and the best foundation repair products there are.

When it comes to house leveling, more specifically, it is most definitely more responsible and much safer to call professional who know exactly what needs to be done and how exactly to do it so that it is permanently fixed. When the floors in your home begin to slope, your windows and doors seem to stick and become jammed, or your foundation walls or floors start cracking that you may need a serious repair like house leveling. This is a serious matter that can become somewhat dangerous if not taken care of relatively soon. If you and your home are experiencing problems such as these make sure to call the experienced and professional team at My Foundation Repairs for their advanced foundation repair solutions. We, of course, are happy to help in any and every way we can to help you fix your foundation failure.

Safe Foundation Repair Methods for House Leveling

My Foundation Repairs has a variety of different products and methods that can become a solution for your foundation failure. As mentioned before, our products are only the best from Earth Contact Products, one of the leaders in foundation repair products. Some of these products that help with house leveling include:steel piers for house leveling

  • Steel Push Piers
  • Helical Piers
  • Plate Anchors
  • Slab Piers

These are just a few of the different solutions to foundation failure, and more specifically, can help level your home. For more solutions and descriptions of each, follow this link. Each product has a different purpose, and it all just depends on your specific situations and the way your home was built. Steel push piers are one of the best solutions for homes that need to be lifted. Push piers are driven through to the rock and/or load bearing soils so that they are able to push your home back to its original position. From there, cracks can be sealed, windows and doors will stop stickin, and exterior cracks will disappear as well. Steel push piers will support and stabilize your home and is most definitely a permanent solution. This is most likely the best solution for home leveling.

Helical piers bear lighter weights, but nonetheless can help many foundation failure problems. Helical piers are driven deeply into stable soil. They can lift homes, stablize foundation, elevate walkways, and retain walls. They can even help to fix drywall cracks. Helical piers are one of the more desirable products, they have a variety of benefits and are a wonderful solution. They are easy to install and will barely cause any disturbance to the site. Helical piers are also a great solution.

Plate anchors are for providing support for cracking or bowing foundation walls, which are a side effect of a sinking foundation. They are effective and cause minimal disturbance. They can help our advanced foundation repair team to complete the job quickly and efficiently.

Slab piers are used on homes that are just built on a concrete slab instead of with an underground foundation. They can help to lift a sinking slab. They are also unobtrusive and are easily installed.

Every single one of these products are strong solutions for your house leveling needs. No matter your foundation failure problem, make sure to call us here at My Foundation Repairs. We have many more methods and products to help with many different types of foundation failure. Contact us today for a free estimate. We can promise that you will be happy with the results.



Dry conditions can leave homes on unstable foundations

clock January 31, 2014 05:47 by author

Reprint

Drought years lead to extra settling, cracks in walls

KANSAS CITY, Mo. —The dry weather conditions are causing serious problems with some homes in the Kansas City area.

 

Dry and clay soil gets even drier during droughts and the lack of moisture is causing an excess of problems.

 

"It was pretty obvious when someone walked into the room that there was a problem," said resident Cindy Geir."The door was just hard to open and close, and some of the windows wouldn't open anymore."

 

Small cracks and other problems inside the home can mean some major repairs outside.

 

The foundation in Cindy Geir's home sank up to three inches.

 

While it may seem like a small amount, the price tag for fixing the problem isn't.

 

"You're probably in the $5,000 range and up," said Mark Phillips of Arrow  Foundation Repair.

 

"Because the drought has really just continued," he said. "It's really been like this the last two years, just because we haven't had a lot of moisture, and that includes snow, so therefore, the ground is still pretty dry."

When it's this dry, soil pulls away from the foundation and causes the home to lose stability and sink.

 

While some experts recommend watering around the foundation to help prevent it from happening, it won't take care of all of the problems.

"It will alleviate and get the clay soils into a neutral mode, but inevitably, we're going to get into a drought again, and you're probably going to be right back to the same problem," said Phillips.

He said one thing people can do is keep their eyes open for cracked drywall or sticking doors and windows. Sometimes catching the problem early can mean saving a lot of money.

 

Arrow Foundation Repair said it usually sees about 100 repairs per year, but that number has risen over the past two years.







House Leveling Methods for a Sinking or Settling Foundations

clock January 9, 2014 08:10 by author
Need to level your settling or sinking house? We have the foundation repair solutions, so you can maintain a healthy foundation.

A home's foundation will sink or settle over time. Even new homes experience shifting and movement which can result to a formation
of small cracks in the foundation. But as homes age, foundation settlement can be critical especially if the soil around and under the foundation becomes over-saturated. Dry and hot conditions dehydrate the soil causing the foundation to sink. This type of movement causes many problems to your foundation. The question is, how do you level sinking or settling foundations? At My Foundation Repairs, we can help you find a professional engineer to inspect your foundation and determine the best solution for your settlement issues. Afterall, your home is one of your biggest investement so why not take care of it.

How To Avoid Sinking or Settling Foundations?

Identifying and knowing the causes of foundation settlement can help you maintain a healthy foundation. Follow these tips to
minimize the affects of soil erosion, compaction, and expansion:

• Make sure the soil is properly compacted.
• Repair minor cracks.
• Fix all leaky pipes.
• Maintain a consistent moisture level by not over-watering the soil around your home.
• Make sure your home has a ground slope away from your foundation.
• Clean your gutters on a regular basis.
• Install downspouts that are the right size and length to direct water away from your home.
• Make sure the landscaping is not too close to your foundation. It should be at least 5 feet away.
• Install an adequate waterproofing system in and around your home.

What are the Signs of Settlement?

wall cracks due to settlementYour home is one of your most valuable assets. Foundation settlement and sinking causes damaging affects to your home's structure. Understand the causes and warning signs of foundation failure before the problem gets worse. Look for the early warning signs of settlement. These signs include:

• Misaligned doors and windows
• Window hard to open or close
• Cracked chimney
• Leaning or tilting chimney
• Wall cracks
• Foundation cracks
• Gaps around windows or doors
• Cracks in mortar joints
• Water seepage
• Step crack in bricks
• Bowing or leaning walls
Sticking doors

If you notice any of these warning signs, a professional contractor can inspect your home for more damage. By avoiding foundation repairs, the problem will get worse over time and jeopardize your family's health and safety. Wall cracks could widen, creating an entry for rodents and insects. Larger wall and foundation cracks could also increase moisture levels causing mold and mildew growth. Prevent standing water and flooded basements by repairing your foundation today. Don't let these disasters happen to you. Contact us right away.

What Methods Are Used to Level Settling and Sinking Homes?

steel piers is a foundation repair solution

Hire a professional to level your settling or sinking home. A professional can use the latest products in the foundation repair industry. These products are manufactured by Earth Contact Products (ECP):

Steel Push Piers - This is a permanent solution for fixing foundation settlement due to soil shrinkage and erosion. Push piers are driven deep into the soil to lift the home back into its original position. It supports and stabilizes your home's load bearing walls.

Helical Piers - These piers are used to repair and stabilize foundations. They are great for slab foundations and light weight structures. During the installation process, there is little to no disturbance to your home.

Plate Anchors - Anchors supports cracked or bowed basement walls. The simple design allows the experts to complete the job quickly and effectively. There is little disturbance to landscaping which is a great benefit.

Hydraulic Lift Slab Pier - These piers are used to lift concrete slab for residential and commercial projects. 

Why You Should Contact a Professional Contractor

First of all, leveling your home is not a DIY project. Using your local handyman or making your own foundation repairs have many disadvantages:

1. It could cause personal injury or additional damage to your home.
2. You don't have the proper tools or equipment to make foundation repairs.
3. It can be difficult to assess foundation damages and find the source of the problem.
4. Making your own foundation repairs, could decrease the value of your home and make it difficult to sale. New home buyers usually want to buy homes that have professional home inspections and work repairs.
5. You may spend more money than expected. If your foundation repairs fail, then you would have to call a professional to fix it.

At My Foundation Repairs, we are committed to helping homeowners locate a professional foundation repair contractor in the area. Professional contractors provide quality service because they are trained with the latest technology and products. They are specialized to repair your foundation with quality ECP products such as steel piers, helical anchors, wall anchors or basement crack repair.
Hire a professional contractor today to avoid further damages to your foundation. Leveling your home will increase the longevity of your home. Request an estimate today so we will provide an experienced foundation repair specialist to inspect the condition of your home.



Concrete Pressed Piles

clock December 30, 2013 06:50 by author
Instead of using low quality concrete pressed piles, contractors use quality steel pier systems to repair settling or sinking foundations.

Why do some foundation repair contractors use concrete cylinders? Why do I see their advertising campaigns all over the internet and TV?

Concrete pressed piles are the most popular piering system in North Texas, and are expanding to other areas such as Oklahoma City, Kansas City and Nashville. This popularity is due to several factors that are advantageous to contractors but has very little advantages for your home.  Whether they call them concrete pressed piles, concrete cylinders or a cable locking system, they are all very similar in their limitations and effectiveness.

The concrete pier or pile section is usually a concrete cylinder that is six inches in diameter and twelve inches tall. The section in usually pushed into the ground using a cheap bottle jack that uses the weight of the structure as resistance. Most homes in Texas and Oklahoma are not very heavy and only allow three to four sections to be pushed into the ground before the building begins to lift. This shallow depth is only a temporary “fix” and will not permanently support your home. Without driving to bedrock or a very hard load bearing surface (often 15-25 feet deep) you cannot expect the piering system to permanently solve your homes sinking or settling problems.  

Due to the shallow depths that concrete pressed piles are driven to, many of these foundation repair contractors. Concrete pressed piles and their effectiveness attempt to place more piers than would otherwise be necessary. They even adjust the number of piers that they recommend by how many their crew can install per day.  Often they try to sell between 15-20 concrete piers around and in the home. These companies have crews that can place these, clean up and collect your money, in a day.

So if they are not very effective why would so many foundation repair contractors use them? Now this is the interesting part. These precast concrete cylinder sections can be purchased for less than two dollars apiece. So, if they sold twenty "piers" and they can only drive them four sections deep per pier, the contractor would only have a material cost of approximately $160 total. They would need some blocks and steel shims to build up between the top of the cylinders and the bottom of the house so this may add $20 per pier or a total of $400. So now we have a total of $560 for twenty piers or $28 per pier.

steel push pier

These contractors then charge their customers between $350 and $700 for each concrete pressed piling installed. This is why so many foundation repair contractors use these systems – high profit margins. Not because they work, not to permanently solve your problem they use them because they require very little equipment and they provide large profits.

What's the Solution?

So what should you do? One permanent solution is steel push piers. While initially these sound like a very similar system there are some major differences that allow these systems to provide a lifetime of foundation support. High quality steel push piers have been designed by engineers to provide maximum support, maximum life and unlimited adjustability. These systems use 42” long high strength galvanized pier sections, 35-40 ton drive cylinder, an engineer design drive stand and a manifold system that allows for precise stabilization or lifting.

The best steel push pier systems drive their high strength pipe straight down to bedrock or a load bearing layer that has the proven ability to support your home. An engineer designed  bracket system is placed on top of the deep driven pipe sections and can support between 50,000 and 100,000 lbs each. A top quality system like this require more effort, a little more money and much more time to install but, they do solve sinking and settling foundation problems permanently.

Do not get caught up in the advertising campaigns of low quality concrete pressed pilings, demand the best system for you home – a high quality steel pier system. To contact an approved installer of a high quality steel push pier go to www.myfoundationrepairs.com/contacts.asp



DIY Foundation Repair - Why NOT to Do It

clock December 27, 2013 09:26 by author
Avoid DIY foundation repair because it only puts a bandaid on the problem. Hire an expert to find a foundation repair solution in your budget range.

It's so tempting to consider do-it-yourself foundation repair. It is sort of like when you aren't feeling well, you Google search your symptoms on the internet, and find possible matches for your problem and consider not going to the doctor. The same is true for your foundation problems. You figure you can save money if you do it yourself, so you Google search the symptoms, and consider trying to fix your foundation problems yourself. The problem is, you are likely just going to put a bandaid on a much bigger problem. All over the internet and TV today you find websites and programs with DIY steps for fixing foundation problems. Most people do not have the tools that it would take to do what really needs to be done for foundation repairs. The problem is programs on TV and website make it seem simple, and bait their programs with the enticing "you could save a lot of money" tagline. 

Why DIY isn't the Way to Go

Your foundation is literally the most important part of your home. Most people are focusing on the cosmetic parts of their home. Paint, flooring, and the like. These very well might be good DIY projects for homeowners. When it comes to your foundation however, you really don't want to go the DIY route. Here is why:

1. It is hard to tell when foundation problems are leading to foundation failure. Sure, you might know the signs and symptoms of foundation problems. A homeowner should know the signs including bowing and leaning walls, floor cracks, wall cracks, drywall cracks, foundation cracks, leaning chimneys, water stains and leaks, and doors and windows that stick. But do you know when foundation failure is imminent? It takes a structural engineer to really know how serious the problems you have are. Special training is required to recognize these types of problems and the level of seriousness is envolved. So know the symptoms and make sure to act accordingly. 

2. You foundation can make or break the value of your home. Your foundation really is the most important part of your house. When an inspection is done on your home if you are trying to sell it, the inspector will absolutely know the difference between DIY foundation repairs and professional foundation repairs, and it WILL affect the value of your home. 

3. You likely don't have the right tools to perform foundation repairs. Many websites claim to offer DIY foundation repair "kits" but slapping some carbon fiber on a wall crack may not be all that you need. Some foundation repair jobs require piering products or underpinning products to lift or level a foundation. Some foundation repairs require grout or epoxy injections performed under high pressure. These require special equipment to complete. Some jobsites even require excavation to get to the root area of the problem. Again, you really won't know until you contact a foundation repair expert or structural engineer. 

4. You could cause yourself injury or cause additional damage to your home. It's okay to admit you might not know how to fix your foundation cracks, or bowing and leaning walls. It is a lot better to admit that than to hurt yourself because you don't know what you are doing. It is also very possible that you could make your foundation problems worse by not knowing what you are doing. There is no DIY foundation repair important enough to cause yourself injury or further home damage. If you aren't sure, or if you are following steps on a website or from a kit to do your foundation repairs, you probably don't have the skills required to do the job safely.

5. You might cost yourself more money in the end. Number 4 leads right into number 5. If you aren't sure what you are doing you could cost yourself a lot more money in the end. It is possible that you try to fix your own foundation and when it doesn't work, a foundation specialist comes in and has to undo what you tried to do to fix your own problem. This can result in higher costs for your foundation repairs. Your wallet is definitely something to consider when it comes to do it yourself foundation repairs. 

Skip DIY Foundation Repairs - Consult a Foundation Specialist

Of course it is understandable to try to save yourself some money when it comes to home repair. No one wants to spend more money than they need to when it comes to foundation repairs. The good news is, if you get in touch with a foundation repair specialist through My Foundation Repairs, we will get you in touch with a foundation repair specialist in your area that is licensed and reputable. They will work very hard to find a foundation repair solution in your budget range. They also won't try to find a problem where there isn't one. It may be that there is a less expensive solution available for the problems that you are having. You won't be lead down the wrong path. The other good thing about finding a foundation specialist through My Foundation Repairs is we only recommend foundation specialist that use the best foundation repair products available on the market today. Whether it be foundation piering or underpinning products, epoxy or grouting materials, or even waterproofing and drainage solutions, only the best products are utilized. This means long lasting foundation repair solutions for you and your home.



What Type of Foundation Do You Have?

clock December 27, 2013 07:50 by author
The common types of foundations are block, brick, cement, cinder block, and concrete. Know what type your home has to avoid foundation issues.

It is important as a home or business owner to know as much as possible about the type of foundation you have in your structure. This will help you know what type of foundation problems to look out for, so you can make sure to get the needed foundation repairs for your type of foundation. Here is a list of some of the most common types of foundation and little bit about each of them to help you know what to look out for in your home or business.

Common Foundation Types

Block Foundation: If you build a concrete block foundation the right way, the result can be an extremely strong foundation. Sometimes it is even stronger than a traditional poured concrete foundation. If it is not built correctly however, the result can be extremely costly foundation problems. These block basement retaining walls should be sealed completely, and sometimes "rebar" is used to add strength. If the extra steps aren't taken to strengthen these walls, water can get in through the blocks. Another problem frequently seen in these foundations is bowing and leaning. This is because pressure is put on the walls from the outside by a build up of pressure. This is sometimes caused by water in the soil around your home. The pressure that is built up by that extra water is called hydrostatic pressure. When the pressure is exerted on block foundation walls, bowing and leaning can occur. 

Brick Foundation:  It was very common in the early 1900's to use brick and mortar to build foundation walls. If you have an older home you may notice this is your foundation type. Red brick and mortar were a commonly used building material at the time. The problem with these foundation walls is that over time, they can become weak. Mortar can break down, bricks can start to peel. If you notice this happening, make sure to look at the walls closely for bowing and leaning of the walls. The soil around these foundations will exert pressure on them, and push them in. This occurs commonly when the brick and mortar breakdown. Sometime you can just have the mortar or brick repair by a masonry specialist, but sometimes the walls need to have added support. There are bracing and reinforcing tools that foundation repair specialists can use, so contact your local foundation support specialist to make sure the right repair is being performed. 

Cement Foundation:  The cement foundation is commonly used in building today, especially poured concrete foundations. These are considered strong foundations, easy to maintain. One of the main pluses of a cement foundation is it's fire resistance. Don't be fooled though. Cement foundations can still have problems. If you have a new construction home, it is a great idea to ask for new construction piers to be installed. This will add additional support for your poured cement foundation. If you have a cement foundation, you still need to watch for foundation cracks and leaks. The same factors that cause problems for other types of foundations such as block and brick foundations can wreak havoc on poured concrete foundations as well. If pressure is put on these walls they can bow and lean, and even crack. Be vigilant with any type of foundation, including cement foundations.

Cinder Block Foundation: Cinder block foundations aren't always a bad option. If you are building a home in a rural area, sometimes a ready-mix truck can't make it to your location to pour concrete. In these cases blocks or cinder blocks might be used. As long as they installed on firm, compacted, even ground and no short cuts are taken, then this can still be a great option in your home. If cinder blocks aren't sealed properly however, or the ground beneath them wasn't even and compacted prior to building, big problems can arise. Settlement can cause cinder blocks to crack, shift, and leak. It is important to monitor cinder block foundations for changes. Get to know your foundation by inspecting it frequently. This can make the difference between cinder block repair and complete foundation replacement. 

Concrete Foundation: Today there are some benefits to using concrete. Frost resistance concrete is even an option, which is a great benefit. T-shaped foundations are used where weather is cold as well. A t-shaped footing is installed below the frostline for added support. Slab on grade concrete foundations are common in some areas of the country as well. Again, when done right with no short cuts, these are very strong foundation solutions. Slab foundations however can crack and do sometimes require extra supports such as slab piers. Concrete can still shift and crack, and even collapse if voids open up beneath them. Flordia, for example, sees sinkholes frequently. If a void opens beneath a concrete foundation it can be a game changer. Void fill with grout is an option in these cases. If you live in an area where sinkholes and voids are come due to soluble rock in the area, it is smart to know the signs, which are very similar to the signs of foundation failure. 

No Matter the Foundation Type, Problems Can Occur

From reading above, you can probably see that no matter what type of foundation you have, from brick to concrete, problems can and will arise. Know your foundation. You are the best advocate for your home's health. Inspect your foundation frequently and contact a foundation professional in your area, or have a structural engineer inspect your foundation so you know better how to deal with your problem. Many foundation experts will give you a free estimate. This can take the guess work out of what type of repair you need. Regardless of the problem or cost, don't ignore foundation problems. Your foundation is the most important part of your home. If it is in good repair, your home will last for a very long time, and maintain a high property value. If your foundation is in poor repair, you can be sure the value of your home will plummet. Let My Foundation Repairs help by getting you in touch with a foundation specialist in your area today. We are here to help!



The Average Cost of Foundation Repair

clock December 27, 2013 07:01 by author
A licensed professional will assess your foundation damages and determine a foundation repair cost.

Many homeowners or business owners tend to ignore the signs of foundation problems because the cost of foundation repairs just seems to daunting. Understanding the costs of foundation repair is important because it may save you from larger problems in the future. Many foundation repairs don't cost as much as you think, but foundation failure IS a very large costing repair that you want to avoid. Foundation repairs can cost anywhere from 1,000 dollars to 10,000 dollars. Why the wide range you ask? There are so many factors that play into your foundation repair cost. Knowing what those costs will be will help you be prepared to find the right solution for your home or business.

What Factors into Foundation Repair Costs?

Foundation Inspection: Most people don't have the expertise to inspect their own foundation, although it is recommended to know the signs of foundation failure including bowing and leaning walls, wall cracks, floor cracks, foundation cracks, slab cracks, garage column cracks, sloping floors, bowing and leaning walls, and doors and windows that stick. Some engineers will provide you with a structural report to give to the contractor that will work on your job. These are usually first cost most people have is to have a formal inspection done on their foundation by a foundation engineer. They will point you in the direction of your next steps. 

Quoting: The next step is to find a qualified foundation repair expert in your area. My Foundation Repairs can point you in the right direction for a foundation contractor in your area. You will want to find someone that is licensed in your area. Some foundation repair experts offer free estimates. You can contact the National Association of Waterproofing and Structural Repair Contractors to get a referral as well. If the work needed is extensive, you may find that you have to pay for a quote or estimate for your foundation repair.

Foundation Repairs: You may find that all you need is simple repairs such as patching or filling of cracks or bricks. Other more extensive repairs can be much more complicated. This is why there is such a variance in price of foundation repairs. Sometimes excavation of the site will need to be done and this can lead to quite an expense, but in many cases piering and underpinning products can be installed with little to no site excavation. This makes the cost really vary from job to job. 

Other Considerations: Somes your lawn or landscaping will need to be disturbed during a foundation repair project. This may add additional costs to your specific foundation repair project. Trees may need to be removed, and may have even caused part of the problem in the beginning because roots from trees can disturb foundations and steal moisture in the soil around the foundation causing the soils to shrink away from the foundation removing much needed support.

It's Important to Repair Your Foundation

Usually one of two things is important to you when it comes to your home. You may plan on living in your home for a long, long time. In this case you want to make your foundation strong, and long lasting. But others are always keeping the resale value of their home in mind. A good foundation is the first thing many home buyers look at when they are shopping for a home. It is smart to trust that most savvy home buyers will know the signs of foundation failure and be looking for them. If they don't, when a home inspector does a home inspection, you can be sure that they will be looking for the signs of foundation problems. No matter what your reason for wanting to keep your home in good shape, it is smart to start with your foundation. It holds up the rest of your home's structure, so nothing else matters as much as your foundation. So take the questions out of foundation repair costs. As you can see, it isn't really easy to say WHAT the average foundation repair cost is. It really does depend on your home or business, the size of it, the problems that occurring, who you hire to do a structural inspection, and who you hire to perform your foundation repairs. Finding a structural engineer can be done by consulting the Foundation Engineers Network. We definitely recommend starting there first. Then use My Foundation Repairs to find a foundation specialist in your area. We have many resources you can use to get informed and find the right foundation contractor in your area. We only recommend providers that use the best foundation repair products for grouting, epoxy injections, piering and underpinning, and waterproofing. All the foundation repair specialist we recommend will be licensed to work in your area. So start today on finding out what you foundation repair costs will be. Knowledge is definitely power in this case. Protect the investment you have in your home today, from the foundation up. 



Understanding Block Foundation Cracks

clock December 27, 2013 05:26 by author
Cracks can affect all types of foundations, including block foundations. By hiring a contractor to install a waterproofing system, you can stop the formation of cracks.

It is common to have a block foundation in many areas around the country. Block foundations can, after time, experience cracking due to conditions around that foundation. Understanding what each type of crack is can lead to getting the correct fix for those crack types. Some block foundation cracks can be very serious, and mean a costly fix if not taken care of right away. As a home or business owner, it is wise to inspect your foundation frequently and be on the lookout for cracks in your block foundation. We can help you understand what each type is, and then you can be prepared to get it fixed. It is also important to note that block foundation repairs usually should not be handled as a do it yourself project. It is important to consult a foundation specialist or engineer to make sure that your block foundation is fixed properly. Use our foundation engineer network to find a foundation repair expert in your area to make sure these block foundation cracks are fixed right the first time. So let's learn more about the different crack types.

Block Foundation Crack Types

Horizontal

Horizontal cracks in your block foundation mean that there is pressure being put on those walls from the outside of the foundation. Soil around your foundation may have too much water in it. This puts pressure on your foundation walls. This is called hydrostatic pressure. This is a serious sign that your block foundation walls are under strain. Bowing and leaning is a common occurence when there is too much pressure on the walls around your foundation. It means you need to seek immediate attention from a professional foundation repair engineer. If left untreated, this type of crack in your block foundation can lead to collapse or foundation failure. Wall anchors or carbon fiber strips can be installed to add long lasting support to bowing and leaning walls. This is a minimally evassive solution. They can be installed inside or outside the walls depending on the setup of your foundation walls. Carbon strips are considered a green solution and you won't even really notice that they are there. Wall anchors actually pull the walls back into their orginal position. Contact a professional to see what solution is right for you.

Vertical

These types of block foundation cracks are a sure sign of foundation settlement or heaving. These cracks form slowly, but due to the pressure of your home or business on it, will grow wider over time and allow water in at some point when left untreated. The good news is that if you contact a foundation repair expert, there are foundation supports and underpinning products such as helical piers or push piers  that can add that additional support needed when settlement and sinking occur. Cracks can be filled with epoxy injections or grouting solutionsto seal the water out and prevent further water damage. It is always recommended to have a waterproofing solution in place as well in case you do get water in your basement. Waterproofing solutions such as sump pumps can help with damage that might occur from water that comes in through vertical cracks. When you are fixing your foundation, ask your foundation specialist if they offer waterproofing solutions. You might be able to prevent further problems with your foundation if you have a proper drainage system installed on the interior and exterior of your home. Many foundation specialist offer both foundation repair solutions and waterproofing solutions. When you have both installed, you can be virtually guarenteed to not have further problems with your foundation in the future.

Stair Steps

Sometimes, when settlement or sinking occurs with your foundation, it doesn't occur evenly. This causes stair step cracks in your block foundation. When the soil around your home settles it causes shifting and changing, and the exact same thing is happening to your foundation. This is a serious problem that should be looked at promptly. Underpinning and piering products add support in the right places when your foundation is shifting unevenly. Remember that grouting and epoxy injections can also be used to seal cracks to prevent water leakage in the future so you don't have any water stains or a wet basement.

Be Cautious with Foundation Repair

Be careful when it comes to foundation repair. When you search the internet or watch do it yourself shows on TV, sometimes it seems that foundation problems can be fixed simply by caulk or by mortar. We would not recommend this at My Foundation Repairs. The best thing you can do as a home or business owner is be vigilant when it comes to your foundation. Inspect it frequently. Keep gutters and downspouts clear of debris so they function correctly. Make sure water flows away from your foundation. Install waterproofing systems and drainage to control the level of water in your soil. But remember, there are many other factors to the health of your foundation than just too much water! If the soil is too dry, it will shrink away from your foundation causing a lack of support for block foundation walls. Soil that was poorly compacted around the foundation can cause settlement as well. The foundation of your home or business is the most important factor in safety and health of that structure. Protect it, and make sure it is repaired the right way by a foundation expert. 

Some Solutions for Block Foundation Repair

Each foundation is different so each solution will be different as well. Depending on the weight of the structure, helical piers or piles or slab piers as well as other underpinning products can be installed beneath the active layer of soil around your foundation, deep into the earth. This provides long lasting support for the structure. Some foundation repairs are cosmetic. A reputable foundation repair company will let you know this. In these cases, it may just be grout of epoxy injections that need to be performed to seal up the cracks in the foundation. Get in touch with the right foundation repair team through My Foundation Repairs, and get started on the road to a healthy foundation today. Remember that knowing what you are up against is half the battle. The other half is knowing who to turn to to resolve the problem. Get started today!



Causes and Signs of Failed Foundations

clock November 14, 2013 12:32 by author blogadmin
Know the causes and signs of foundation failure so you can protect your family and home.

Foundation problems can be caused by both homeowners and mother nature. No matter if you've lived in the same home for years or have purchased a newer home, it is good to know the causes and signs of a failing foundation. Unfortunatly, mother nature can cause foundations to fail and a home owner can't do much about it. Knowing the signs and getting your foundation fixed by a professional foundation contractor early can potentially save you thousands of dollars. Foundation problems don't go away on their own, they only get worse.

Causes of foundation problems that lead to failure

Most foundation problems are caused by the soil surrounding a home. Throughout the year the soil expands and contracts from moisture and temperature levels. Foundations fail when there is too much water or not enough. Sections of the soil can have different moisture levels causing the soil to swell and shrink at various locations. Some sections of the soil can become much drier or wetter than other parts causing stress on your home's foundation. These inconsistencies in the soil generally result from overloading, poor water management, faulty compaction, abundance of organic materials, and erosion.


Transpiration
The soil dehydrates from tree roots beneath the home. The soil shrinks because of this loss of moisture. The soil shrinkage causes homes to settle. 

Plumbing Leaks
Water can seep into the soil from leaky pipes. This causes too much water in the soil and can contribute to unneeded stress on yWater from leaour home's foundation.


Drainage
Poor drainage both on the exterior and interior of your home's foundation can cause exess moisture to build up in the soil. This may cause soil heaving. 

Poor Building Site Preparation
Commonly on building sites soil is removed from part of a building and piled on other soil. The soil needs proper stabilization before the structure is built; otherwise the soil may move below the structure.

Common Ways Homeowners Cause Foundation Falure

  • Overwattering lawns - this is common way to create the ununiform areas of wet and dry soil
  • Planting Too Close To House - It is important to keep plans a safe distance from the foundation, usually more than 5 feet. Roots can cause soil moisture differences and can also grow into the home's foundation.
  • Swimming Pools - seepage from a swimming pool can leak into the soil causing increased pressure on the foundation.
  • Gutters and Downspouts - gutters and downspouts not installed correctly can lead water directly down to your foundation. Be sure to fix leaky gutters and draw water away from the home.
  • Interior Remodeling - large changes to your home's structure can put pressure on your foundation. Hire a professional contractor to ensure the foundation can handle the structural changes.

 

A foundations movement and cracking may result from a wide range of hidden factors, which may include:

Swelling or Shrinking of clays caused by changes in moisture content

Compression of the ground as a result of the applied foundation loads

Soil softening

Frost heave

Improper back filling of the foundation

Variation in groundwater levels

Erosion or undermining of the foundation

Vibration from nearby construction

Hydrostatic Pressure on the foundation

Inadequate design of basement walls, footings and slabs traditionally account for 75 to 85 percent of all problems in homes built upon expansive clay soils. These failures are generally divided between two broad classes of failure – lateral pressure and differential settlement. Both classes of failure generally have few primary causative factors.

Lateral pressures on basement walls have four likely sources:

Pressure from soil weights

Pressure from soil swelling

Hydrostatic pressure

Pressure from frost

It is not difficult to identify lateral pressure, but accurately quantifying the  source is very difficult and should only be handled by a qualified engineer. The inward bowing of a basement or retaining wall is the simplest indication of lateral pressure. The bowing generally occurs when the external forces exceed the wall strength. The maximum bowing will often occur near the center of the wall because the adjoining perpendicular walls provide support in the corners. If bowing becomes severe, these walls can collapse inward.
 
           

Cracking can occur when lateral pressure exceeds the strength of the concrete or block wall. The most common crack pattern begins in the corners and move up or down at 45 degree angles in concrete walls. For block walls, the cracks move along the mortar joints in a stair step pattern. Often these cracks end at a long horizontal fracture that parallels the basement floor.
 

Lateral pressures may affect the overall integrity of a house. Severe structural damage results in a visible opening between the top of the basement wall and the structure. Since water is one of the main causes of these cracks, water infiltration becomes significant in the largest of the cracks. Filling these cracks with epoxy, without solving the water problem, only moves the lateral pressure to another section of the wall.

The difference of the outside ground level and the basement floor creates a mass of soil that must be retained thus causing a lateral pressure. Picture a walk out basement or tall retaining wall. The pressure of soil weight is typically considered during the design of an engineered wall using theoretical earth pressures.

Soils with heavy clay content undergo a change in volume when the moisture content of the soil changes. When expansive clays are placed against basement walls, the swelling of these soils can induce lateral pressures not accounted for in the original design. Cyclic shrink/swell can also reduce the shear strength of the backfill and thus increase the lateral pressures. The solution to this problem can be as easy as replacing clay backfill with gravel or other non-swelling material. When used in conjunction with a footing drain, gravel will prevent increased lateral pressure.

Hydrostatic pressure is pressure exerted by a fluid due to its weight. Hydrostatic pressure against a basement wall develops when water fills voids or “ponds” within backfill immediately adjacent to the wall. This water buildup can cause dripping, seepage, dampness or efflorescence (salt residual). Leakage during heavy rains or poorly designed/maintained drainage increase hydrostatic pressure. Like soil swell, hydrostatic pressure is not typically considered during design and construction of basement walls.

Water that accumulates in backfill and then becomes frozen may cause a large amount of lateral pressure on basement walls. Severe damage can result from frost causing lateral pressures much greater than even hydrostatic pressure. The expansive natures of water crystals have been know to create catastrophic structural damage.

Backfill, that is heavily laden with clay, present long term lateral soil pressure problems. Their cohesive nature makes it practically impossible to re-compact them to a uniform moisture content and density. Clay backfills require significantly stronger basement walls to withstand the larger horizontal pressures. The obvious solution is to backfill with non-cohesive aggregate with proper drainage.

Structural settlement is characterized as either total and /or differential settlement. Total settlement is a complete structure downward movement. Differential settlement is the difference in vertical movement between various locations causing structure distortion. Generally, total settlement is not a critical factor as long as it is uniform. Utility connections are affected to the greatest degree by total settlement. Even relatively small differential settlements can cause cracks in floor slabs, brick walls and drywall.
 
           

Some amount of settlement can be tolerated in most homes provided it is within specified limits. Small amounts of settlements are anticipated in most design work. When homes experience excessive settlement special procedures must be employed to stop or limit the amount of settlement. These special procedures usually employ the use of steel piers or helical anchors. A underpinning procedures.




Crawlspace Problems and Solutions

clock October 28, 2013 11:19 by author
Crawlspaces are often overlooked and forgotten. Install a vapor barrier if your crawlspace is wet and damp to prevent water damage.

Crawlspace Problems

The crawlspace is a very important part of your home. It supports the entire structure. If a problem arises with your crawlspace, it could possibly lead to major issues in other areas of your home. Some common crawlspace problems are moisture issues - water damage or water stains, mold, etc., and structural issues - failing supports, sinking or settlement. Fortunately, a professional foundation repair contractor can supply you with the necessary skills and tools to fix all of your crawlspace problems.

One very common issue that many homeowners struggle with is moisture in your crawlspace. Excess moisture in your crawlspace can lead to a lot of annoying problems, such as decayed supports, water stains or damage, and mold. The formation of mold is an especially dangerous issue, as the mold can infect the air. This might not seem like such a big deal, as you probably don't spend a whole lot of time on your crawlspace. Much of the air you breathe throughout your home, however, comes from your crawlspace or basement. This means that you and your family could breathe in the mold-infected air from your crawlspace! Some signs that your crawlspace may have a moisture problem are:

  • Mold or mildew in crawlspace
  • Musty odors in living area
  • Condensation on duct work, insulation, or water pipes
  • Rotting wooden framing
  • Pests or insects in crawlspace
  • Rusty metal surfaces in crawlspace
  • High humidity in living area
  • Buckled hardwood floor

If you notice any of these symptoms, chances are that your crawlspace has a moisture problem. Contact a specialist immediately to have your crawlspace repaired.

Another problem that can arise in a crawlspace is structural failing. This happen when your crawlspace starts to shift or settle, leading to cracks and other problems. If your crawlspace has structural issues, it is a serious danger to the rest of your home, as the entire structure rests on the crawlspace and relies on it for support.

Crawlspace Solutions

Crawlspace Problems, Crawlspace Solutions

The best way to prevent moisture from entering your crawlspace is to install a vapor barrier. Vapor barriers are moisture resistant materials such as plastic or foil sheeting that are installed over the entire area of your crawlspace to seal out moisture. This process is called crawlspace encapsulation. Not only will a vapor barrier protect your crawlspace from moisture problems, but it will also make your crawlspace look cleaner and more finished. If the water problem in your crawlspace is severe enough, you may also need to invest in a new or improved basement waterproofing system. This includes your sump pump system and your interior drainage system.

For structural crawlspace problems, you may need to invest in crawlspace support piers. Products such as a helical pier or steel push pier work well to support a failing crawlspace. Push piers and helical piers both work by driving into the ground, deep into stable soil beneath the void or shifting soil that is causing the problem. The difference is that helical piers, instead of merely being driven into the ground, are screwed into the ground to provide more support. Once the pier has been driven into stable soil, the weight of the structure is transferred onto it and it is raised to it's original position.

If you notice any of these crawlspace problems developing in your home, it is time to find a professional foundation repair expert. My Foundation Repairs can help you get in contact with an experienced foundation repair contractor to provide you with a variety of crawlspace solutions for your home.

 



Different Types of Home Foundations

clock October 28, 2013 10:13 by author
There are different types of foundations, so choose the right foundation to avoid settlement and slab cracks.

Home Foundations

Home FoundationsThough most home foundation are made of concrete, there are a few key differences in the many variations. Some factors that affect what type of foundation you should choose for your home include the soil type in the area, the climate, and the size and design of your home itself. Some soils require a home to have a very deep rooted foundation, while other soils are better at supporting the structure. Also, some types of foundation are not able to withstand cold weather or flood conditions as well as other types. Choose the right foundation to avoid foundation problems such as a sinking or settling foundation, or slab cracks.

The most common type of home foundation is a poured concrete foundation. There are many types of concrete foundations, including the slab foundation, and the basement foundation. In a slab foundation, a concrete slab that makes the foundation is poured onto a bed of crushed gravel. This improves drainage and makes the foundation ideal for areas where the ground does not freeze in the wintertime. A basement foundation is a bit different. This concrete foundation rests in a hole in the ground and is supported by concrete footings, which are poured pads that serve as a base for the walls. These footings are both wider and longer than the walls and work much like feet in distributing the weight of the wall and the above structure. They are often used in places that have cold winters.

The next type of home foundation is the crawlspace. This space is located between the bottom of your home and the soil, and is usually just tall enough for your to crawl into. This type of foundation is great for areas with lots of clay in the soil. They are also one of the most affordable types of foundation. A crawlspace does, however, need to be insulated to prevent water damage from occurring.

Home Foundation Options for Every Situation

For use in areas where the winters are very cold, a frost-protected foundation is the suitable choice. These foundations are usually T-shaped and the footings extend deep below the frost line to provide extra support for the slab. Frost-protected foundations can, however, be installed without digging below the frost line. These are called frost-protected shallow foundations (FPSF), and use insulated concrete to protect the foundation from the cold.

In areas that are prone to flooding, a raised foundation is best. There are two types of raised foundations: pier-and-beam and stem wall. Both require lots of care and planning, as they must protect against water as well as support the weight of the structure. A pier-and-beam foundation works by using concrete or brick blocks reinforced with footings. These blocks are placed about 8-12 inches apart to raise the home above the flood line. Stem wall foundations are similar, but instead of having spaced footings, they have continuous footings.

Permanent wood foundations are another type of foundation. They are recommended by many manufacturers as an alternative to crawlspace, basement, and stem wall foundations. This type of foundation is made of lightweight, preservative-treated, decay-resistant wood. Because they do not require concrete pouring or casting, permanent wood foundations are convenient and easy to install. They are also moisture resistant and easier to insulate than other types of home foundations.

To decide what type of foundation is best for you and your home, talk to a professional structural engineer. My Foundation Repair can connect you with some of the best in the business. Let us help you out today!

 



Commercial Foundation Repair

clock October 28, 2013 09:03 by author
For commercial foundation repair solutions, a licensed professional can use heavy duty helical piers to lift and stabilize sinking foundations.

Commercial Foundation Repair

Homeowners are not the only ones who struggle with foundation problems. Commercial property managers and business owners also have to deal with foundation related issues quite often. Whether it is an office building, business storefront, or a multi-family structure, any type of building is at risk of developing a shifting, settling, or cracked foundation. One thing that makes many commercial building especially susceptible to problems like these is the great weight of the buildings. Commercial buildings usually have wider and deeper footings, taller walls, and greater loads than the average home. For this reason, commercial foundation repair is becoming more and more popular.

The dangers of neglecting foundation repair are quite significant. If you fail to fix your foundation, your commercial building could suffer from cracks in the walls or floor, leaning walls, bowing walls, sticking doors and windows, sloping floors, and more. Foundation problems can even lead to water issues, especially on lower levels and around the foundation of the structure. These are issues that are not only annoying, but could also be dangerous to those working in and utilizing your structure. Foundation repair is no trivial matter - hire a professional foundation repair contractor to inspect and repair your commercial structure.

Methods and Products for Commercial Foundation Repair

Commercial Foundation RepairCommercial foundation repair solutions usually involve many of the same techniques as residential foundation repair methods. Some of the most well suited products for foundation repair are heavy duty helical piers and heavy duty resistance piers. These extra strong piers have a great lifting capacity, vibration free installation, and easy load verification. Piers like these are normally used to lift and stabilize a sinking foundation. They do this by driving or screwing (in the case of helical piers) into the ground under the failing section of the foundation. The weight of the structure is then transferred onto the pier. which is used to stabilize the foundation and raise the building back to it's original level. Other foundation repair products that are used in commercial foundation repair include helical tiebacks and plate anchors, used to straighten and support leaning or bowing foundation walls. This is accomplished by drilling a hole into the yard that is adjacent to the affected wall and driving an anchor into the ground. This anchor is then connected to a plate in the wall by a tie rod, relieving the pressure on the leaning or bowing wall. A qualified foundation engineer can help you choose the right products and methods to restore your commercial building to top condition.

Since foundation repair is a vital part of keeping your structure safe, it is important to hire an experienced foundation repair contractor that has been specifically trained in commercial foundation repair. Because of permitting rules and complicated factors such as structural weights, soil conditions, and live loads, a foundation engineer is usually required to perform commercial underpinning or structural work. Do not underestimate the importance of foundation repair; if you see an issue with any component of your commercial structure, contact a foundation engineer immediately to diagnose and treat the problem. My Foundation Repair can connect you to a foundation repair contractor with the expertise to take care of your foundation repair project.



Foundation Problems Explained

clock October 28, 2013 04:43 by author
Know the warning signs of foundation problems such as bowing walls, leaning chimneys, leaning walls, and wall cracks.

Foundation Problems: What to Look For

Foundation settlement is the movement of a home or building to a point below its original position. This is usually caused by the shifting or compaction of the underlying soil. This can be caused by changes in soil conditions and moisture content, construction on previously disturbed soil or backfill. Knowing the signs of foundation problems before they become an even bigger problem will save you time and money in the long run. Early warning signs can be easy to spot if you are aware of changes happening in and around your home. Some are easier than others to notice. A sinking or sloping floor can be pretty obvious. You may think that because a door or window is hard to open, it's just old window frames or dried paint. Windows and/or doors that become hard to open or latch is another sign that more investigation needs to be done to your foundation. Other signs are: cracks in walls, especially over a doorway or window, cracks in tile or vinyl floors, leaning walls or bowing walls, leaning chimney, garage cracks, and slab cracks

If you are aware of any of these signs, a little more investigation is needed by going outside and looking down the length of your foundation and notice if it is straight or if there are any bulges or divots. If you see bulges or divots, it is a sign that your foundation has shifted. Next, check the walls and see if there are any signs of bowing or leaning. If so, this means that the soil has contracted and expanded causing pressure against the walls. Underlying soil expands when it gets wet and shrinks when it dries. This causes voids underneath the foundaiton causing it to shift or settle. 

Basements and crawlspaces should be checked to make sure that the posts are straight and are firm underneath the beams they support. Check to see if framing is wet or if there are puddles forming. If that is the case, it is a sign of poor drainage around the foundation. This poor drainage can also cause the soil beneath the foundation to shift or settle.

 

Concrete Cracks and What They Mean

Concrete and block foundations normally have a few cracks because it shrinks when it cures causing it to crack. These hairline cracks are not signs of foundation problems, However, if a crack is wider than a quarter inch, or you see stairstep cracks in the masonary joints, these concrete cracks are signs of foundation settlement. Another sign that a crack is of concern is if they are horizontal. This is an indication that water-saturated soil has frozen and expanded causing it to push the concrete in and breaking it. 

Solutions

By recognizing any of the signs of foundation settlement, this will give you a heads up if you are looking at a home to buy, or for your existing home's safety. A foundation repair engineer, can analyze the situation and suggest a solution. My Foundation Repairs will send an expert in your area to examine your foundation and answer any questions you have. The experienced foundation repair specialists use only the best underpinning products in the industry. The steel push piers, helical piers, plate anchors or any product that is needed for foundation repair are made by Earth Contact Products (ECP), the leading manufaturer of foundation repair and basement waterproofing in the industry. 

My Foundation Repairs is committed to giving homeowners the most qualified and experienced foundation repair contractor in the area that uses only the best products available to repair any of your foundation problems. For a free estimate from an expert in your area, contact My Foundation Repairs today!

 



How Sinkholes Form

clock October 24, 2013 05:00 by author
Sinkhole activity and foundation settlement have the same warning signs. Call an expert to inspect your foundation and soil so you can get foundation repairs.

Why You May need Sinkhole Repair

Homeowners, especially in regions that have a karst terrain, which means the ground below the surface is made up of soluble soil such as limestone, should be aware that sinkholes may be forming. The state with the most karst terrain and where sinkholes occur most often are Florida (which is number one), Texas, Alabama, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania. This type of terrain dissolves faster than other types of terrain, so when water moves through it, it creates spaces and voids. This is what causes a sinkhole. The ground will collapse. When we here in the news of a sudden, tragic event that has happened because of a sinkhole, these events are rare. What could be happening under the foundation of your home can be a slow forming sinkhole.

Looking for signs that a sinkhole may be forming are some of the same as foundation settlement. Some of the signs of foundation settlement signs are cracks in walls and/or floors, bowing walls, sloping floors, sticking windows, and leaning chimneys. Because these are some of the same signs that a sinkhole is forming and causing your foundation problem, some different signs can indicate that a sinkhole is forming. These include the cracks in the foundation form in a circular pattern and trees and fence posts are leaning. 

Being aware of how sinkholes occur and watching for the signs, will give you the knowledge needed to get the problem repaired before further damage is done. You don't need to worry about a sinkhole forming if you contact a professional at the first signs. They have the ability to fix these voids under your foundation using the best products available. The professionals that My Foundation Repairs will refer you to uses Earth Contact Products (ECP), the leading manufacturer of sinkhole repair and foundation repair products made in the industry. 

Cement grouting is done as one of the solutions for sinkholes. This grouting is applied to exact areas that need support and fill the void. It mixes with soft soil creating more support. Compaction grouting moves the soil and fills it in with a mortar-like grout. If you have observed your foundation sinking or leaning, call us for a professional to come and take a look. They are experts and have the equipment needed to evaluate the soil and find the solutions needed for the problem. 

It is important to look for any signs of foundation problems and to get a professional to take a look before the problem gets too big. Whether it be for foundation repair or taking care of a sinkhole that is forming, they will get it fixed and you will have peace of mind that your home is stabilized. The repairs that are made are long lasting and will keep your investment at the top of the market if you ever want to sell it. 

Don't lose sleep over the worry that a sinkhole that may be forming. Contact My Foundation Repairs for referrals to a professional who can examine your foundation and the soil surrounding it to give you the best solution to your sinkhole and foundation repairs.



Be Your Own Inspector for Your Foundation

clock October 23, 2013 06:04 by author
To prevent foundation failure, be your own inspector. Check for concrete cracks, poor drainage, water leaks, and the vegetation around your home.

Foundation Inspection and Foundation Failure

Every home will eventually need a new roof, new paint or routine cleaning. Homes are an expensive investment that requires routine maintenance. Every homeowner should take care of their investment as best as you can. At My Foundation Repairs, we can help you maintain your investment by providing you with tools of knowledge so you can maintain the value of your home. At My Foundation Repairs, we urge our clients to inspect four areas of their home. These four areas include concrete/slab cracks, drainage, vegetation, and water leaks. We are your foundation inspection and foundation failure service provider.

Inspect Your Concrete and Slab Cracks

First, inspect concrete/slab cracks and separations. As the foundation of the home ages, so does the concrete. You may start to notice small cracks, but there should not be cracks or separations if your home is new. Homes that are 10 years old should only have a hairline crack. As your home ages, you may notice wider cracks. Typically homes older than 10 years, may have deep foundation cracks. You may also start to notice garage column cracks or gaps around the doors/windows. If you start to notice these foundation repair signs, don't be alarm. Contact our team of professionals so we can provide a foundation inspection.

Inspect Your Drainage System

Do you have drainage problems in your home? Proper drainage is the second area of inspection. This area of inspection can be very hard to assess because small foundation cracks are usually not visible. Look at the drainage pattern on the exterior of your home. Are your gutters clean from debris or leaves? Are your drain spouts in place? Start by removing all the debris in your gutters to redirect the water away from the foundation. Water can accumulate around the home causing potential foundation damage. Our team of professionals can install a drainage system to divert the draining water.

Sloping lawns and shifting soil can also cause settling foundation and structural repairs. A downward slope can cause poor drainage resulting to water pools. Professional waterproofing contractors can install an interior or exterior drainage system into the ground away from the foundation. For shifting soil, they can support your foundation beneath your home. Our service teams can be your foundation inspection and foundation failure providers.

Inspect Your Vegetation

To find out if your home needs foundation repairs, inspect the vegetation around your home. Your beautiful plants might be a pleasant sight to look at and cause an unpleasant disaster. Over time, they can destroy your foundation if they are closer than 20 feet of your home. The roots draw in water from the soil causing  soil shrinkage. This process damages the foundation. Also, make sure your trees and shrubs aren't adjacent to your property. Trees that are growing next to your foundation can also cause problems. Foundation contractors can inspect your foundation and prevent foundation failure.

Inspect All Water Leaks

Expanding soil can cause foundation failure. Check all the water sources in and around your home which include swimming pools, fountains, leaking pipes, and sprinkler systems. Make sure all water connections are secure from dripping faucets and condensation drip pipes. If they are not functioning properly, repair these problems as soon as possible.

By inspecting your home in these four areas, you can help stop further damage to your foundation. These inspection recommendations are to help you inspect your home's exterior. At My Foundation Repairs, we will make sure you receive free estimates if you think your home needs attention. We are your foundation inspection and foundation failure service provider.



Moist Soil Equals Safer Foundation

clock October 23, 2013 05:10 by author
Dry soil beneath your home's foundation can lead to soil shrinkage and foundation damage. You can solve this issue by maintaining a steady moisture level.

Keep Soil Moist

Making sure your home's foundation has stability throughout the year takes some diligence on the part of the homeowner. When the soil beneath the foundation is not getting enough moisture, it will shrink. If you home is built on clay soil, this is especially true. Maintaining a controlled watering program is one of the first course of action that should be taken. During the hot, dry summers, the soil will crack. Then when it does rain, the water will travel into the cracks accumulate causing it to lose some of its load bearing capacity. When this happens, the home will sink or settle. By keeping the soil moist during hot, dry weather will prevent it from cracking. Maintaining a steady moisture level is important to keeping your foundation safe.

If the moisture level is not maintained during dry weather, when it does rain, the water will cause the soil to expand and move upward. This movement plus of contracting during dry weather, and expanding during wet weather put stress on your home's foundation and causes damage. By taking care of your foundation before damage occurs will save you money in the long run.

If you are vigilant and are taking the steps to keeping the soil moist, make sure the water is draining away from the foundation. Improper drainage away from the foundation will cause the water to pool in certain areas. This will make it more wet in one area and dry in another area of the foundation. Something else to consider is if the soil is not getting enough moisture, any trees or shrubs close to the foundation are also soaking up whatever moisture is left in the ground. Moist soil actually helps keep homes from settling unevenly leading to cracks in foundations. 

Foundation damage is caused not only by the moisture content of the soil but can also be cause by improper backfilled soil. If the proper process of compaction was not done at the time of building, the home will sink a few inches. This is deep enough to cause some serious foundation damage. 

Some of the signs that you may have a foundation problem are cracks in brick, bowing wallswindows and doors that stick, sloping floors, and leaning chimneys. If you notice any of these signs of foundation damage, My Foundation Repairs has the solutions. The products we use for foundation repair are made by Earth Contact Products (ECP), the leading manufacturer of foundation repair products in the industry. 

Steel piers are an excellent choice for repair issues caused by swelling clay soil, poor compaction and erosion or run off. These piers are an end bearing pier that does not rely on the soils skin friction to provide support. Helical piers have the capacity and longevity to support the foundation for years to come. They are installed quickly and can also not only be used to repair an existing foundation, but are used in new home construction. Plate anchors are used to stabilize cracked and bowed walls. These plate anchors can be installed quickly using handheld equipment with little disturbance to landscaping.

By being aware of how foundation settlement happens, homeowner's can help prevent foundation damage. But if you do notice any signs of foundation damage, contact My Foundation Repairs for a free estimate. We will be grad to answer any question you have regarding your foundation repair issues.



What the Cracks in Your Foundation and Walls Mean

clock October 22, 2013 11:23 by author
Homes with or without basements can develop wall cracks due to foundation issues. Contact a professional so they can determine if you need foundation repairs.

Common Foundation Cracks

Whether or not you have a basement, your home could be in danger of developing foundation or wall cracks. If your home is sinking or settling, you may find that cracks are beginning to form in the foundation. A sinking or settling foundation could cause cracks to form in the basement walls. Sometimes, voids form beneath your foundation, removing support from that part of the foundation and putting pressure on it. This causes the foundation to shift and crack. These voids often occur if the soil beneath the foundation was not properly compacted during construction of your home. They can also be formed by erosion or soil shrinkage in drought conditions. Soil expansion due to excess water can also cause cracks, as the more water the soil absorbs, the more the hydrostatic pressure builds up and puts stress on the foundation.

Foundation Crack Solutions, Wall Cracks, Foundation CracksNormally, cracks in your slab foundations indicate a settling or sinking foundation. If this is the case, the best solution is to use foundation underpinning methods to raise the foundation back to it's original position. The most common types of underpinning are done with steel push piers or helical piers. Both types of piers work in much the same way; they are driven into stable soil deep in the ground and the weight of the structure is transferred onto them. The main difference between these two types of piers is that while steel push piers are merely driven into the ground, helical piers are screwed in to provide a bit of extra stability. Other methods to fix slab cracks could be to fill the voids beneath the foundation by pressure grouting. This will stabilize your foundation and prevent more cracks from forming. If these methods do not completely close the cracks in your foundation, they can be filled or sealed with an epoxy or polyurethane grout.

Basement Wall Crack Repair Options

Basement wall cracks can also be a symptom of foundation failure. There are many different types of wall cracks, and different types indicate different foundation problems, usually bowing walls or settling foundations. Bowing walls are usually caused either by a settling foundation (especially if they are bowing outward), or by excess pressure from the soil around them. They can be fixed with the use of plate anchors or helical tiebacks, which provide lateral counter-pressure for bowing wall. If you find a wall crack in your basement walls, identify what type it is and contact a foundation repair contractor immediately to discuss repair options. The following list describes a variety of wall cracks and what they might mean.

  • Vertical - Settlement or Heaving
  • Horizontal - Bowing
  • Angled - Settlement
  • Angled and Horizontal - Bowing
  • Horizontal and Vertical - Bowing or Settlement
  • Converging in Center - Bowing or Settlement
  • Stair Step(usually in block or brick walls) - Settlement or Heaving
  • Wider at the Top - Side Settlement
  • Wider at the Bottom - Center Settlement

Cracks in your foundation or basement walls are an indication of serious foundation issues and should not be ignored. If you find a crack in your foundation, it could mean that your foundation is settling and needs to be repaired as soon as possible. Cracks in your basement walls most likely mean that you are suffering from either a sinking foundation or bowing walls. My Foundation Repairs can help connect you to a professional foundation repair contractor in your area.

 



Understanding Piering Products

clock October 22, 2013 10:11 by author
Helical anchors and steel push piers can be used to repair settling or sinking foundations.

Foundation Underpinning Products

For homeowners, a sinking or settling foundation can be a frightening issue. If your foundation is settling, it could cause various problems to arise throughout the home. These problems include cracks in your floor, walls, or ceiling, bowing or leaning walls, uneven or sloped floors, sticking doors and windows, and more. These can be dangerous issues for you and your family. If you notice any of these common problems, contact a foundation repair contractor immediately to have the problem taken care of. My Foundation Repairs can help connect you to a professional foundation repair specialist in your area.

The most effective way to repair a sinking or settling foundation is with a process called underpinning. Underpinning is the use of a pier or anchor driven into the ground to stabilize the foundation. These piers minimize stress to keep your foundation sturdy and close any cracks that may have formed. There are a few different types of piers - each have certain advantages, and it is good to examine all of your options before deciding which is the best solution for you.

Piering Solutions for Settling Foundations

The first, most common type of pier is the steel push pier. These steel piers, also known as resistance piers or steel piles, are a great option for foundation problems that arise from poor soil compaction, soil shrinkage, erosion, or improper footer embedment. Unlike concrete piers, steel push piers are end-bearing piers and do not rely on skin friction to provide support. During the installation process, they are individually load tested to ensure safety. They are driven into stable soil beneath your sinking foundation, and the weight of the structure is transferred onto the pier so that it can be lifted back to it's original level.

The next type of pier is a helical pier. Helical piers work in much the same way as steel push piers. The main difference is that instead of merely being driven into the ground, helical piers are screwed in to provide even more support. Once they have been screwed into the stable soil under the layer of active, shifting soil beneath your foundation, the structure's weight is transferred onto them and it is raised to it's original position. Helical piers are reliable enough to support your home for a long time to come. They also have a high load bearing capacity, making them the ideal choice to support your home. Helical piers can also be used in new construction instead of old fashioned concrete piers; this will help protect your home against future foundation problems. Also, helical piers are easy and quick to install in any type of weather, meaning that they are an efficient choice for your foundation repair needs.

Other types of underpinning and piering products include slab piers, resistance piers, and micropiles, all of which work in a similar fashion to steel push piers and helical piers. ECP (Earth Contact Products) offers reliable piering products for any foundation repair situation. If you notice the symptoms of a sinking or settling foundation, do not hesitate - let My Foundation Repairs help you get in contact with a professional foundation repair contractor right away!

 



Prevent Foundation Problems From the Start

clock October 22, 2013 10:04 by author
If you are building a new home in poor soil conditions, you may consider hiring an expert to install helical piers during new construction.

New Construction Piers

Because foundation problems are a major issue for many homeowners, it is important to do everything you can to prevent them before they arise. This is especially important if you live in areas where the soil is susceptible to movement and shifting. If you are building a new home in such an area, you may want to consider the fast spreading trend of installing helical piers under new construction. Though they are normally used in foundation repair, helical piers can be a great tool to prevent your foundation from sinking or settling. A sinking foundation can cause various issues throughout other areas of the home - cracks in your foundation or walls, bowing or leaning walls, windows and doors that stick, uneven or sloped floors, and more. My Foundation Repairs connects you with professionals that use innovative methods to help protect against foundation problems.

Helical piers, also know as helical anchors or piles, are used to lift and stabilize failing foundations. They are screwed deep into stable soil beneath the constantly shifting, active soil that supports your foundation. Then, the weight of the structure is transferred onto the pier so that the foundation can be stabilized and the structure lifted back to it's original position. This is how helical piers work in foundation repair situations. When they are used for new construction, they are installed in much the same way; the advantage to installing helical piers under new construction is that they can be installed more accurately and with much more ease.

New Contruction Piers, Helical PiersSolutions and Advantages of Helical Piers

Some advantages to using new construction helical piers are that they are extremely strong and effective, and the process is practically pain-free. Helical piers have an extremely high load bearing capacity; they are able to support over 200,000 pounds per pier. They can also be installed in nearly all weather conditions and the installation process itself is quick and non-invasive.

Many common foundation problems can be avoided through the use of helical piers in your new construction. Foundations built on active soil are likely to settle or develop cracks. Usually, a sinking or settling foundation is caused by shifting in the soil around and under the structure. This can happen when there is excessive rain and the soil retains moisture, leading to high hydrostatic pressure. This pressure can be too much for the foundation, and may cause it to shift or crack. Foundations can also shift if the soil under them erodes, creating voids under the foundation. Shrinking soil due to drought conditions can also form such voids. By installing helical piers under your new construction, you will ensure that your foundation is well supported no matter what the soil conditions are, since the piers rely on the stable soil deep under the ground.

 The ECP (Earth Contact Products) helical piers used by My Foundations Repair contractors are the most reliable piers available. We recommend the best products and services to keep your home healthy and safe. If you are building a new home, consider using new construction piers to prevent foundation problems down the road.

 



Common Foundation Solutions from ECP

clock October 1, 2013 07:11 by author
Hire a professional foundation engineer to install the right repair solutions. By using helical piers and wall anchors, they can increase the longevity of your home's structure.

Your home is the largest investment that you can make. Foundation problems can affect your investment by costing you thousands of dollars. At My Foundation Repairs, we offer foundation solutions to fix foundation problems before they cause serious structural damage. Detecting the signs of foundation problems can help you save time and money in the long run. Look for cracks in bricks, doors that stick, cracks in drywall, cracks in floor, and leaning walls. Foundation problems can be caused by soil-related issuses such as poor compaction, soil erosion, excessive organic materials, poor waterproofing, and soil shrinkage. These soil-related issues can cause stress on your home's foundation. Our ECP repair products include plate anchors, helical piers, slab piers and wall anchors. Let our professional team inspect your home today.

Plate Anchors
At Foundation Repairs, we use plate anchors to stablize your leaning or bowing walls. Plate anchors are designed to secure your basement due to excessive soil pressure. This type of soil pressure can be caused by excessive water in the soil surrounding your home. As the pressure increases, cracks begin to form followed by leaning or bowing basement walls.

Plate anchors are uniquely designed by ECP. They consists of an inside wall plate, an outside anchor and a rod  fastening them together. The plate anchors are reliable and protected against corrosion. They are the most economical method for stablizing bowed and cracked walls caused by pressure.

Helical Piers
There are many advantages to using helical piers. If you are building a new home, we can replace old concrete piers with helical piers.  They are quick to install.  Helical piers will increase the longevity to support your home. They are an affordable choice of underpinning. Contact our qualified professionals to install your helical piers.

Slab Piers
Slab piers are used for homes that are built on a concrete slab foundation. They are installed into deep intacted soil to level and stabilze your home. The concrete slab and interior walls are lifted. This type of foundation repair offers an underpinning solution that minimizes stress.

Wall Anchors
Does your foundation repair need wall anchors? To keep your foundation from collapsing, My Foundation Repair can support your foundation with wall anchors. The wall anchors slowly pulls the wall back in place. They are a traditional foundation repair technique for wall repair. A deep hole is dug in the soil near the foundation. A rod is driven through the foundation wall from inside. It is emerged in the hole of the ground. A steel plate is inserted in the hole and the end of the rod is fastened to it. A light plate is installed on the inside. As the rod tightens, the wall is pulled back in place and closes the cracks. The outside hole is filled.

My Foundation Repairs can inspect your foundation repairs and determine which repair solution is suitable for your home. Call us today to fix your foundation. We install plate anchors, helical piers, slab piers, and wall anchors. We are your foundation repair team. Contact us today!

wall anchor, foundation repair



Be on the Lookout: Causes of Foundation Failure

clock October 1, 2013 06:52 by author
If you suspect your home has foundation failure, call a professional immediately. They have the knowledge and equipment to repair your foundation.

Foundation Settlement

The foundation of your home is the most important part of your home's structure. It is the base of your home. The frustration of foundation problems for a homeowner could be endless and financially draining if not properly addressed by a professional in the foundation repair business. The causes and signs of foundation failure are many. Homeowners need to be aware of what to look for and a professional in the business can find out what the cause is.

Focusing on the causes is important and can help the experts determine the best solutions to your foundation repair needs. Water is the leading cause of concrete foundation failure. The evaporation of soil can cause it to pull away from the foundation while excess moisture from drainage problems washes the soil away from the foundation. Improperly prepared soil when the home was being constructed can cause the soil to shift. The roots of mature trees that are close to your home can draw moisture from the soil beneath your foundation.

Steel push piers are also commonly known also as micro piles, push piers, or resistance piers. Unlike concrete cylinders, these end-bearing piers do not rely on or require skin friction to produce support. Helical piers are used when there is a need to resist both tension and compression forces. Helical piers can be installed in all weather conditions, there is little to no disturbance to landscaping, and they can be installed below active soils. 

The warning signs of a foundation that has settled can be seen both inside and outside of your home. By looking for these signs and catching them early, can reduce further damage and save money in the long run. What to look for in the interior of your home: Cracks from the corners of interior walls, doors and windows that get stuck or don't open or close properly, warped or cracked floors. What to look for on the exterior of your home: Cracked bricks, shifting of walls, cracks in the foundation, separation of concrete around doors and windows or garage doors.

Earth Concrete Products (ECP) is the leading manufacturer of foundation and basement waterproofing products in the industry. Steel push piers and helical piers as well as plate anchors and wall anchors are some of the most commonly used solutions for foundation failure and foundation problems in our industry. 

ECP also offers carbon fiber repair. The bowing wall laminate and bowing wall fabric that can be installed to counteract the soil pressure placed on basement walls. Carbon fiber fabric is used over basement wall cracks to provide more strength to the cracked area. Floor stitching is a fiber stitching system used to bridge shear forces that cause cracks in floor slabs.

Protect your investment. Look for foundation failure signs both on the interior and exterior of your home. If you suspect that your foundation is in need of repair, call a professional. They have the knowledge and equipment to repair any of your foundation repair needs. 



Signs of a Sinking/Settling Foundation

clock October 1, 2013 06:24 by author
Leaning walls, bowing walls, and wall cracks are signs of foundation failure. Contact a professional if you notice any of these warning signs in your home.

From time to time it’s a good idea to walk around your home and look for signs of foundation problems. Some things to look for are cracks in walls or floors, leaning or bowing walls, leaning chimneys, even hard to open doors and windows. Don’t take any of these signs lightly. The longer you ignore them, the more devastating they can become to the home. If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to contact a professional that has experience in inspecting and suggesting the best solution to remedy the problem.  

A sinking or settling foundation needs to be taken care of as soon as you see any of these signs. The sooner it’s taken care, the less amount of damage and the less it will cost you in the long run. Foundation settling is caused by soil shifting due to an either poor construction when the home was built, poorly compacted soil, expansive soils, and deteriorating supports. 

As you inspect your home and find wall cracks, many homeowners believe that this was something that happened recently. However, this usually is a case where it has happened over time, and it’s important to treat these cracks as a potentially serious problem that needs to be inspected by a professional. 

Soil pressure can cause walls to tilt or bow because the wall is being pushed by soil pressure. Walls then crack when they tilt or bow. These cracks occur along joint lines between individual blocks. These cracked walls increase the chances of unwanted water in your basement or crawl space. Having these tilting and bowed walls checked early, can stop serious damage from occurring to your foundation. 

A leaning chimney is a sign that repair needs to be done on the support footing and foundation. The chimney is one of the essential and heaviest parts of the home, built on a small amount of space. The concrete footing that it is built on needs to be big enough to support it and keep it from sinking into the ground. If your chimney starts to pulls away from the house, gaps occur allowing water or bugs to enter causing further damage to your home.

Steel piers are a good choice for most of your foundation repair issues. They are economical and are a permanent solution for your home’s foundation. These underpinning piers are an end bearing pier that can provide safety and support because they do not rely on the soil skin friction.

Helical piers is another type of underpinning pier used. They are quick to install and excellent for foundation repair where limestone or load bearing soil are not easily accessible.

Plate anchors stabilize leaning or bowing walls and are the most economical method for stabilizing these leaning or bowed walls. The installation of these plate anchors are quick because the use handheld equipment and there is little disturbance to your yard and landscaping.

Earth Contact Products (ECP), is the leading manufacturer of foundation and basement waterproofing products in the industry. Contact a professional today for any of your foundation repair needs.



Foundation Repair - Not a DIY Project

clock October 1, 2013 06:06 by author
Don't hire your local handyman to fix your sticking windows and doors. A foundation engineer can repair your damages by using helical piers and steel piers.

Your home means the world to you and your family. On a regular basis you probably go around and check your foundation for any signs of damage. Any time you see a crack in the wall, you will need to investigate it further. Any type of crack can lead to further damage such as water leaking in or insects and critters making their way to your basement. When water leaks in, not only can your possessions get ruined, but the damage to your foundation walls puts your house at risk.

 Water damage often leads to bowed walls or leaning walls. When there is too much water in the soil, it puts pressure on the walls pushing them in and creating the bowing walls and making cracks in the foundation. When there is a lot of water in soil, it can get under your foundation and weaken the support under your house. Another thing you may notice is that your windows and doors are sticking. This may be due to weather conditions of humidity, but it also another signal to you that you may have foundation issues. No matter what the issue is with your foundation, you should always have a professional come out and take a look to assess any damage you are seeing.

Many homeowners often try to fix any problems themselves to save a little money. Foundation repair is not usually a do-it-yourself project. Filling in some of the gaps in the foundation with caulk may help for the moment. If there is more of a major issue, you are only putting off the help you may need from an experienced foundation repair company.  When you put off getting the extra help, you may be creating bigger problems that will cost you even more money. Many foundation companies use some of the best products on the market from Earth Contact Products (ECP).

A foundation repair contractor might suggest that helical piers and steel piers be used to support your foundation. These products are driven into the soil until stable bedrock is found. Now your house is lifted to level it should be at. This will take care of any settlement issues you may be having with your foundation. You may also need to have some plate anchors installed by your contractor to help brace your walls. The plate anchors will eventually straighten your leaning wall. Once you have done all this with your professional contractor, you may need to add interior and exterior drainage systems to your to do list. This will keep all the work you have done safe and your home stable.   



Leaning Chimney Woes

clock October 1, 2013 05:11 by author
Do you have a tilting or leaning chimney? Hire a foundation repair expert to support and lift your chimney back into its original position.

It's Autumn, and many of us are wanting to use our fireplaces, but some of us can't because we have a leaning or tilting chimney. The problem is, this isn't the only problem you will have if you have a leaning chimney. A leaning chimney is dangerous to you and to your neighbors. It can also be a really bad thing for your foundation. If you notice that you have a leaning or tilting chimney it is a good idea to contact a foundation specialists. There are things that can be done to repair your chimney that are minimally evasive and will protect your family and neighbors from a falling chimney. 

Helical Piers

Earth Contact Products produces the very best helical piers on the market. What is a helical pier? Helical piers have been around a very long time actually. They came about in the early 1800's. They are underpinning devices designed to carry a load, and are excellent to use when support has broken down beneath your foundation, or in this case, your chimney. A helical pier or two can be installed below your leaning chimney to provide support and lift the chimney back into its original position. This device is designed to be long lasting. 

 

If you notice your chimney is leaning, and important point to make is that this is not DIY fix it job. It is important to realize that if it is not fixed, or isn't fixed correctly, it can cause ill effects on the rest of your foundation. It can put extra strain on parts of your foundation which can cause bowing and leaning walls, wall cracks or foundation cracks. If you notice any these signs, myfoundationrepairs.com can point you in the right direction of a foundation specialist near you. We have a network of foundation specialists in many areas throughout the country. 

 

Earth Contact Products offers other solutions as well if you do notice bowing and leaning walls in your home. Plate anchors or wall anchors can be installed to stabilize, support, and straighten bowing and leaning walls. They are economical, and can be installed without causing too much disturbance to the yard around your foundation. 

 

So enjoy the Autumn and Winter months with your fireplace, not that you know your leaning or tilting chimney can easily be fixed with helical piers, you can look forward to a cozy season! So don't put it off. Get in touch with your local foundation team today and get started on fixing your chimney today.



Foundation Repair Solutions for You

clock September 30, 2013 11:25 by author
We have the foundation repair solutions to restore your bowing walls due to foundation settlement.

Foundation Repair Solutions

When faced with a foundation problem, it can be overwhelming to look at all the possible solutions. You might be tempted to ignore all the confusing terms and attempt to solve the issue on your own, but in order to truly solve the problem, it is vital to contact an expert right away. They will present you with some solutions that can service your foundation repair needs and prevent any future damage. 

Foundation Repair Options

Professionals have a wide variety of foundation repair options. They offer anything from helical piers to plate anchors to stabilize your foundation, and many in between. In order to understand the solutions, it is important to understand the problem. Foundation problems are caused by a multitude of factors, including bad drainage, ground movement, and faulty construction. When the temperature and moisture levels in the soil change, the ground under and around your home sinks and shifts. A sinking or settling foundation is a hazard to both your family and your home. Foundation issues can dramatically decrease the value of your home, and create a health hazard that threatens the safety of you and your family. When looking for signs of foundation trouble, keep an eye out for some common problems. Usually, bowing, leaning, or cracked walls, a cracked foundation, a leaning chimney, slab cracks, garage cracks, or sticking windows and doors are signs that your foundation is settling. 

Luckily, foundation repair solutions are likely to completely resolve the problem and prevent any further damage. Helical piers, for example, are a common solution. They provide a quick, easy way to support your foundation and stabilize the area. Helical piers are easy to install and create little to no disturbance to the job site. When looking for a foundation solution for a new construction site or an old home, helical piers are always a great choice. 

Steel piers are more commonly used for problems caused by poor soil compaction and erosion. They provide an economical and permanent solution without having to rely on friction from the soil to support your home. These underpinning solutions are always tested during installation, so their safety is guaranteed. 

While helical and steel piers are used to support and stabilize the foundation, plate anchors are used to stabilize the walls. Cracked and bowing walls are stabilized during installation because plate anchors create enough supplemental lateral force to hold them in place. Again, plate anchors create little disturbance to the installation site and are and easy, economically friendly foundation repair option. 

Other solutions, such as retaining wall tiebacks and basement tieback anchors, are also used to stabilize and strengthen the foundation. Many foundation repair solutions provide immediate and permanent repair to the installation site, and will prevent future problems. Earth Contact Products provide "the very best" tools for foundation repair. This high quality equipment is affordable and guaranteed to last. 

When looking to repair a settling foundation, contact a professional right away. Ignoring the problem or attempting to repair it yourself can create more damage and bigger problems for the future. An expert would be more than happy to come assess your situation, give you an estimate, and provide you with the best solution. Let us help you find a specialist in your area! 



How Clogged Gutters can Affect your Foundation

clock September 30, 2013 09:08 by author
Do you have standing water around your foundation? Clogged gutters can cause an accumulation of water and lead to serious foundation problems.

How Clogged Gutters can Affect your Foundation

Although you may not think about it, the state of your gutters can affect many other areas of your home, including your foundation. If your gutters do not function properly, it could pose a threat to the overall integrity and safety of your home, lower the property value, or lead to foundation repairs and water issues. The most common problem that homeowners face with their gutters is that they fail to drain or channel excess rain water far enough away from the home.  If water is not able to travel through the gutter, it is most likely because the gutter has become clogged with leaves or debris. This is especially common in the autumn season when the trees are dropping their leaves. If you have clogged gutters often lead to costly foundation repairs that require extensive labor. Having your gutters regularly cleaned (at least once or twice a year) can prevent such problems from arising.

If your gutters have become clogged, it is important to understand and check for any other foundation problems that they may have caused. Overflowing water from clogged gutters will most likely end up pooling around your foundation. Over time, this excess water can lead to the erosion of soil around and underneath the foundation. The water could also leak directly into the basement through existing cracks in the foundation or basement walls, leading to multiple foundation issues, and water damage.

Erosion and pooling water around your foundation will weaken it, eventually causing foundation cracks or a shifting or settling foundation. These are serious problems that should be repaired as soon as possible by a professional foundation repair contractor. There are some telltale signs to look for when trying to determine if you have a settling foundation or sinking foundation. If you notice leaning walls or bowing walls in your home or in your basement, it is a good indicator that something is wrong with the foundation. Another quite obvious indicator may be foundation cracks, itself, wall cracks, or even ceiling cracks. Sticking windows and doors are another good sign that your foundation is in need of repair. Sometimes, a damaged foundation may even lead to a wet basement. If you find any of these problems with your foundation, contact My Foundation Repairs for the expert service that you need to take care of all your foundation repair needs.

Foundation Repair Solutions for Clogged Gutter Issues

My Foundation Repairs offers a variety of foundation repair services to insure that your home is returned to normal in the shortest amount of time possible. The most common fix for most of the above problems is to raise the foundation back to it's original position by a method called underpinning and then seal any cracks that may have formed in the foundation or walls. To do this, we use helical piers or steel push piers to support the foundation. These work by drilling into the stable soil underneath any voids that may have been caused by erosion or shifting soil. Then the weight of the house is transferred onto the helical pier or steel push pier and the house is raised to it's original position. We also provide epoxy and polyurethane grout crack injection to fill any cracks that may have formed and insure that water does not leak through them and into your home.

My Foundation Repair offers top solution for all of your foundation repair issues. We use quality methods and reliable materials from ECP (Earth Contact Products) to guarantee the welfare of your home. Don't let clogged gutters get the best of you; contact us for a free estimate today!



Check Your Foundation Before Winter

clock September 30, 2013 04:58 by author
Before winter arrives look for these signs of foundation failure: bowing walls, leaning walls, and garage cracks. Make the necessary repairs to avoid further damages.

With winter coming, it's a good idea to check if your foundation is in need of any repair. The soil beneath your home shrinks and swells throughout the cycles of wetness and dryness. This poses a threat to your home's foundation. When your home starts the settlement plunge, you will notice the joints and floorboards start to make mysterious noises and creaking. The severity of the settlement is based on different factors such as how well the house was designed and constructed, and how well the soil was compacted that your foundation was going to sit on. If too much soil was excavated for a basement or crawlspace, then backfill is needed which requires more attention during the construction period.

 

Several other factors can cause your home to settle. If your have trees close to your home, their roots search for water which can come from beneath your foundation causing the foundation to crack. The roots disrupt the soil compaction which leads to settlement. One of the first indicators of foundation settlement is wall cracks. If you suddenly notice several cracks that appear at the same time or small cracks that suddenly get larger, these are signs that you need to call a professional to take a look at your foundation.

 

Some more alarming indicators that your foundation is in need of repair are bowing walls, leaning walls, leaning chimneys, garage cracks, and sticking doors and windows. Any of these signs requires a thorough inspection of your foundation by a foundation repair professional. My Foundation Repairs and Waterproofing has the experts that will inspect your home and suggest the best solution to any of your foundation repair problems.

 

Leaning walls can be taken care of by using minimal, non-evasive, cost efficient products to alleviate the pressure. Helical piers and steel piers are used to raise the home to its proper level. These piers are driven deep into the soil until they reach stable soil, then propped underneath your foundation. Helical piers are also used to repair a leaning chimney. These piers and be installed any time of year with little disruption to the surrounding area. Plate anchors may also be used to secure the walls that are bowing or leaning due to excessive soil pressure. Plate anchors consist of an inside wall plate and an outside anchor, then a rod is used tying them together. My Foundation Repairs and Waterproofing uses products made by Earth Contact Products (ECP), the leading manufacturer of foundation repair products in the industry.

 

Don't leave your foundation repair work to just anyone. My Foundation Repairs and Waterproofing has the experts and use the best products available in the industry to repair your foundation. By checking your foundation before winter, and getting the experts out to inspect, this will save valuable time and money if these repairs are done sooner rather than later. Contact us today for any of your foundation repair needs. We will be happy to answer any of your questions and give you the best solution to your foundation repair problems.

Inside of House: Cracks in drywall, Doors and windows that stick, Misaligned doors and windows, Trim or molding misaligned



ECP National Foundation Repair and Basement Waterproofing Workshop

clock September 23, 2013 06:39 by author
Contractors from ECP's National Network attend a full day workshop that covers every aspect of the foundation repair business.

 

Contractors from ECP's National Network of foundation specialist relax after a full day of Workshop presentations at the Royals game in Kansas City.

 

ECP is proud to announce that the 2013 ECP Contractors Workshop was a huge success. Contractors from across the country attended the educational workshop that covered subjects that ranged from Structural Repair of Walls to Understanding Cashflow in business.
"The 2013 Workshop was a success" according to Jeff Tully, GM of ECP. "The response from the contractors was very positive and the networking opportunity was fantastic", Tully went on to say.



Drought could cause foundation problems

clock July 31, 2013 06:50 by author
Droughts in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas are causing foundation problems for homeowners.

 

 

 

According to the US Drought Monitor, much of the Midwest is experiencing a drought. From Texas and Oklahoma to Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska about 30 percent is in an extreme drought situation. This is on the heels of a several drought condition for the past three years.

 When soil becomes too dry, foundations can settle or sink in to the soil. As the soils expand and then shrink, it leaves cracks in the yard around your home. The Better Business Bureau encourages consumers looking for foundation repair services to take the time to find a professional to avoid a major shift in their finances.

 According to Earth Contact Products, July, August and September is when cracks in the soil often appear. During times of excessive moisture changes you must inspect your foundation and note movement signs that signal a problem. Not all problems are disastrous; they may be a signal of something that can be corrected, and if caught early they can be easily remedied.

 

 BBB and ECP recommends the following tips for consumers in need of foundation repair services:

Check your coverage. Some homeowner’s policies will cover foundation repair, so check with your insurance coverage prior to signing a repair contract.

Do your homework. Check with BBB at bbb.org or through BBB’s free mobile app before choosing a contractor. Get referrals from friends and neighbors.

Request an on-site inspection. So that you can be given an accurate estimate, have the company come to your house to inspect the damage.

Hire a Professional Engineer to identify damage and provide a course of action.

Beware of red flags. High pressure sales tactics, full upfront payment or comparatively low estimates that may potentially increase before job end, are all red flags to look out for.

 Ask about warranties. Most businesses will offer information about how they plan to handle any repairs covered under a warranty. A manufactures product warranty and a workmanship warranty should be included with quality foundation repair contractors.

 Review your contract. Be sure to read, understand, and agree with everything listed in your contract. Do not sign a contract that has blank lines or items you don’t agree with.

 



New Homes Sales on the Rise

clock July 25, 2013 09:04 by author
New construction homes are growing at a fast pace in the last five years.

According to the NAHB sales of newly built, single-family homes surged 8.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted, annual rate of 497,000 units in June, their fastest pace in the last five years, according to data released today by HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau.
 
“New-home buyers are returning to the market in larger numbers as firming prices, shrinking inventories of homes for sale and improving local economies convince them that now is the time to make their move,” said Rick Judson, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Charlotte, N.C. “Meanwhile, the very low supply of new homes on the market is indicative of the difficulty that builders are having in keeping up with demand due to availability issues with regard to materials, credit, labor and lots for development.”
 
“The takeaway from this report is that the housing recovery is solidly on track and isn’t going to be derailed by slightly higher mortgage rates,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “After years of fence-sitting, buyers are back and are ready to move forward with an investment in homeownership.” Looking ahead, he said he anticipates further, though more incremental gains in sales through the end of this year.
 
Three out of four regions saw solid gains in new-home sales activity in June, with the Northeast, South and West posting increases of 18.5 percent, 10.9 percent and 13.8 percent, respectively. 
 
The inventory of new homes for sale declined to 161,000 units in June, marking a razor-thin, 3.9-month supply at the current sales pace. The months’ supply of homes for sale has not fallen below this level since March of 2004.  



Summer heat keeping foundation repair companies busy

clock July 16, 2013 04:26 by author
Hot weather conditions cause dry soil to pull away from the home's foundation. This leads to settlement issues and cracking due to the lack of soil moisture.

 

In a recent online article by Andrew Chung of KVUE he described how the start of hot weather brings on foundation problems for many homeowners in Texas and throughout the Midwest. It’s a cycle of weather that all homeowners must deal with as the soil dries out and their homes start settling.

In Pflugerville, Texas workers stabilized the foundation of Debby Krueger’s home by installing piers and lifting a section of her home. Inside her home, a crack on her bedroom wall is evidence of a foundation issue. 

Krueger says she's one of the luckier homeowners. Her foundation problems are minor compared to others.  "My doors - you can see there was a little bit of change at the doors, but I've never had 'em stick - but my neighbors did,” she said.

Mrs. Krueger, like many homeowners is getting ready to sell her home.  "They kind of said on a level that my house is not that bad, but because of people wanting to get loans for houses, you know, you have to be sure that you have that fixed,” she explained.

Enrique Comparan is a co-owner of the Foundation Repair Company working on her home. He said the front of Krueger's home was fine but the rear had to be supported.  "If you put it on (a scale)1 to 10 in her case, we're talking about like 3, 4, you know...she's taking care of her issue on an early, early time, which is good," he explained. By taking care of the problem in the early stages homeowners can save money compared to waiting and having more structural damage occur.

Foundation repair contractors in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri are getting more calls during the summer months to repair foundation problems.  Once the temperature starts moving upward the soils dry out and homes sink. As the temperature reaches 100 degrees the soil loses moisture very quickly and homeowners see cracking and settling issues arise.

Comparan said when some homeowners start seeing problems, they tend to water the ground next to the foundation, which isn't a good idea.  "What they'll do is they'll crank out the soaker hose for a few hours every day until the house basically heaves slightly, and closes the crack or makes that door work properly again, and then they think they solved the problem." He said that's when they stop watering on a regular basis - and the problem just comes right back.

After the workers put in high quality piering systems, most recommend customers not use soaker hoses to water their foundations. Simon Wallace, who is the owner of Quality Foundation Repair, agrees soaker hoses are not the way to go.  "The soaker hose is like a band-aid.  It's not really repairing the actual problem with the home," he said.

To keep your house from deteriorating to this point, experts recommend you maintain healthy landscaping that comes right up to the foundation - and water that landscaping regularly - within your city's rules.

"We actually recommend putting in a moisture barrier around the perimeter to stop the sun baking that soil around the perimeter of the slab, and that will control the moisture level and keep the foundation stable," said Wallace.  He also said it’s a good idea to make sure your home’s gutter system directs water away from the foundation.

The summer heat is keeping foundation repair companies busy, but once they're done with their work, they provide a warranty to prevent that sinking feeling.

 

Foundation of article provided by Andrew Chung http://www.kvue.com/news/Drought-keeping-foundation-repair-companies-busy-215462051.html



4 High-Pressure Home Improvement Sales Tactics

clock July 13, 2013 04:48 by author
Homeowners should not get pressured into buying anything, they should purchase solutions to their problems.

 

Representatives that are selling products related to the improvement of your home can be some of the most challenging salespeople to deal with. Why? Because, it's easy to convince people to spend money on their homes. You spend lots of time in and around your home and you want any upgrades you make to be done right and to last for years. What's more, these sales professionals often require a visit to your house. It's much harder to get someone out of your house than it is to walk away from someone in a store. With that in mind, here are some of the high-pressure sales tactics you might face so you can prepare yourself to handle them effectively and prevent them from scamming you.

 Upselling

 Not only might you be upsold on the product you originally intended to purchase. "Builder's grade? That's primarily used for commercial applications or apartment buildings. I almost never sell those to homeowners!", but once you have a salesman inside your house, they might feel free to point out other shortcomings or things you should consider purchasing. You might hear something like, "I noticed when we were in your basement that you recently finished it. It would be terrible if it flooded and ruined everything down there.” Or "as long as you're waterproofing your basement, why don't we take a look at your radon levels?"

  

Short Term Sales and Deals

 Once you've discussed your options and narrowed down what you want, the sales person should offer you a price, in writing, for the work you want done. But, in order to close the deal, you might be offered a sale or a price that is only valid for a very short time - say, “today and today only”.

 A deal is not a deal if you don't really want what you're being sold. Don't get pressured to buy now by what appears to be a one-time chance to save money. If there really is a sale that really is ending, it will probably come around again. There's also a chance that you could take your time to decide and, if you got a new quote six months later, you'd be offered the same deal. Besides, it’s your home, you are not looking for the “cheapest deal”, you are looking for a permanent solution at a fair price.

 

Unrealistic Warranties

 Lifetime warranty, it sounds great but is it realistic? How many products that you buy have lifetime warranties? If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Let's say you're considering having a window replaced, and one of the main differences between the mid-grade window and the high-grade window is the warranty. The mid-grade window comes with a lifetime warranty; the high-grade window comes with a double lifetime warranty. The lifetime warranty will only cover the window while you are the homeowner, whereas the double lifetime warranty will stay with the home no matter who owns it.

 If you have no plans to sell, this extra feature isn't worth the cost. Even if you are planning to sell, could you recoup the cost in the sales price of your home? If a buyer were looking at comparable sales when deciding how much to offer on your house, would they say, "But this house comes with a double lifetime warranty on all of its windows, so it's worth the extra $3,000 the seller is asking"? The subject probably wouldn't even come up. What's more, the double lifetime warranty does not cover accidental glass breakage, which is probably the window expense that people are most concerned about.

Scripted Sales Presentations

Often high pressure in home salesmen will rely of flashy and scripted presentations to sell the job. They follow a step-by-step program setup by their employer that is designed to keep you saying yes and designed to pull as much money from your wallet a possible. This is type of sales has been perfected by the vacuum sweeper industry. “I would like to clean one of your rooms” they say to get in your home, they then keep cleaning to present how their overpriced product can make your life easier. They continue to clean until you reach the breaking point when you pullout your wallet or throw them out the door.

This technique has been adopted by several home improvement service companies, but especially basement waterproofing contractors. Once they get in your home, they present then push and push until your reach your breaking point. Their scripted presentations are about them and the products they are instructed to sell, not about you and your current problem that needs to be solved.

A reputable contractor will provide you with a solution for your problem that you have both agreed upon. His solution will be comprehensive but addresses real problems not pie in the sky, what if scenarios. A reputable contractor does not pressure you to spend more and spend now, a reputable foundation repair contractor has the same goals that you have. He wants to solve your problem permanently and give you the peace of mind that your home has been improved by someone that shares your goals

 



Options for Foundation Repairs

clock July 11, 2013 02:40 by author
A professional foundation engineer can support and stabilize your home's foundation by using ECP foundation repair products.

Foundation Repair Options

We all need options and this is never more evident than when it comes to your home. Your concrete foundation provides critical support for your home and it is necessary that your foundation be kept in good repair at all times. Any type of damage to your foundation can cause many different problems, ranging from a leak in your basement to a problem with the stability of your home. You do not need any of these issues, so if you have an issue with your foundation, you should call in the professionals right away to give you some options for foundation repair. By working with a professional to solve your foundation issues, you can keep your home safe for your family and you can protect the long-term value of your home.

  

Options for Foundation Repair

 The best type of foundation repair is going to vary depending on a variety of different elements. Your location and the soils around your home has a large impact. Soils in Chicago for example and soils in Kansas City and soils in Virginia Beach each have unique profiles which have an impact on your foundation. The cause of the problem greatly impacts which method of repair is right for you. The extent of the problem also will play a role in what foundation repair method is best. Finally, your budget is going to have an impact in how your foundation is repaired as there are certain options that have a lower cost than other methods of repair.

  

The best way to choose the right foundation repair method is to have an experienced and qualified foundation repair expert come to your home, evaluate your situation and give you details on the different options available to you. A qualified foundation expert can help you weigh the pros and cons of each option, you can then make an informed choice and select the best foundation repair method that will provide a long-term and comprehensive solution to your issues.

  

Some of the different foundation repair options that you may wish to consider and that your foundation repair expert may tell you about include the following:

  

        Push Piers. Steel push piers provide support against settling or sinking basement walls. These highly engineered bracket systems are installed under your foundation and piers or piles are driven deeply into the soil to provide permanent support for your home.

         Carbon Fiber straps or strips. Carbon fiber uses straps to stop cracking or bowing of the foundation in your home. There is no need to do any outside excavating of your home when high quality carbon fiber is the chosen method of foundation repairs.

 

        Plate Anchors. This option involves the installation of steel reinforcement plates on the inside and outside of your basement wall, which then are attached to provide supplemental support for bowing or leaning basement walls. There is only minor excavation that needs to be done and can be completed very quickly.

 

        Crack injection. This is a very simple and straightforward solution when your foundation has cracked. A special polyurethane or epoxy can be used to fill the cracks in basement walls. Polyurethanes provide a flexible seal against water and epoxies are used as a structural repair to permanently seal basement wall or floor cracks.

  

These and other options should be discussed with your foundation repair expert so the right solution is found given the nature of your foundation issues.

Note: It is always recommended that you consult with a professional foundation engineer before beginning any structural foundation repair project.



Fixing Florida's Sinkhole Problem

clock March 14, 2013 02:17 by author
Sinkholes are a common problem in Florida that require immediate attention. Call a professional if your home has foundation issues due to sinkhole activity.

Florida Sinkhole Repair

Sinkhole repair, foundation repairIn the news we have all heard of the horrific and tragic sink hole in Seffner, Florida. But many do not understand what the cause of these formations or what can be done about them. Foundation repair techniques have been developed over the years that successfully deals with these sink holes. Well trained professional companies like Foundation Services of Central Florida have the equipment, foundation repair products and training to step in and assist you with your sinkhole problem. Foundation Services of Central Florida has become known as the foundation repair and sinkhole remediation experts of Central Florida. In northern Florida companies such as Foundation Professionals of Florida is the engineers choice for sinkhole remediation. Their experience and engineering background sets them apart from other sinkhole repair contractors in the area.

How Sinkholes Form

Sinkholes are a common feature of Florida's landscape. They are only one of many kinds of karst landforms, which include caves, disappearing streams, springs, and underground drainage systems, all of which occur in Florida. Karst is a generic term which refers to the characteristic terrain produced by erosional processes associated with the chemical weathering and dissolution of limestone or dolomite, the two most common carbonate rocks in Florida. Dissolution of carbonate rocks begins when they are exposed to acidic water. Most rainwater is slightly acidic and usually becomes more acidic as it moves through decaying plant debris.

Limestone in Florida are porous, allowing the acidic water to percolate through their strata, dissolving some limestone and carrying it away in solution. Over time, this continuous erosional process has created extensive underground voids and drainage systems in much of the carbonate rocks throughout the state. Collapse of overlying sediments into the underground cavities produces sinkholes.

When groundwater discharges from an underground drainage system, it is a spring, such as Wakulla Springs, Silver Springs, or Rainbow Springs. Sinkholes can occur in the beds of streams, sometimes taking all of the stream's flow, creating a disappearing stream. Dry caves are parts of karst drainage systems that are above the water table, such as Marianna Caverns. 

Other subterranean events can cause holes, depressions or subsidence of the land surface that may mimic sinkhole activity.  These include subsurface expansive clay or organic layers which compress as water is removed,  collapsed or broken sewer and drain pipes or broken septic tanks, improperly compacted soil after excavation work, and even buried trash, logs and other debris.  Often a depression is not verified by a licensed professional geologist or engineer to be a true sinkhole, and the cause of subsidence is not known.  Such events are called subsidence incidents.

 

Portions of this article were originally published March 03, 2013 Associated Press



The Cost of Foundation Repair

clock March 10, 2013 12:54 by author
There are several factors that influence the costs of foundation repair such as the size of the job, quality of material, and the complexity of the job.

Foundation Repair Cost

 

 

Quality of  Materials, Size & Complexity are All Factors In Foundation Repair Costs

Some foundations that are in need of attention do not require much repair work. They can be fixed more as a preventative measure than a reactionary one. If the foundation problem has been ignored, however, then costs quickly escalate because other issues tend to show up

While many foundation repair problems are alike, each one requires a customized solution to provide the best value and long term performance. Accepting anything less than a permanent customized solution is risking a less than permanent repair. We take pride in maing the costs of these repairs as clear and easy to understand as we possuibly can, our reputation relies upon it.

To assist you in deciding if one of our permanent solutions is right for you, our contractors provide free foundation repair quotes. Each quote includes an on-site inspection, professional assessment of your foundation problem and a detailed quote that we build with you for your home. To schedule a free quote, contact us today!

Foundation Repair Solutions

Settling problems of an older home will require a foundation engineer's expert opinion. For example, adding piers to stop further cracks in your foundation, without skilled advice, could cause the pressure to shift elsewhere creating a worsened situation. Costs will vary greatly depending on the problems and solutions recommended, but hiring an expert could save you money on hasty, unnecessary and expensive mistakes.

Underpinning is done using steel push piershelical piers, helical tieback anchors, and plate anchors. The products used by My Foundation Repair and Waterproofing are all made by Earth Contact Products (ECP), the leading manufacturer of foundation repair and basement waterproofing products in the industry. Using an experienced professional that uses only the best products made, you can be assured that once the repair is done, it will last for many years to come. 

On average foundation repairs will cost between $6,000 and $12,000, depending on the problem and the right solution. Settling foundations tend to be the most costly, while leaning, bowing walls or cracked walls generally are less expensive. The key to not wasting money is in hiring experts that have the education, equipment and ethics required to permanently repair your home.



How to protect your home's foundation from melting snow

clock March 5, 2013 18:59 by author
Have a flooded basement due to wall cracks? Call a foundation expert to protect your foundation from melting snow.

Protect Your Home's Foundation From Melting Snow

 

The following has been reposted from http://www.kshb.com/dpp/weather/weather_news/snow-melt-could-cause-foundations-big-problems

 

 

OLATHE, Kan. - You may think your winter blues will go away after the sun melts off all the snow, but homeowners may find their problems are about to get bigger.

Foundation repair, ECP

Foundation repair companies said Tuesday they are bracing for an influx of emergency phone calls next week after the sun has melted all the snow on the ground.

They said the water runoff can seep through all of those cracks nature caused last summer during the drought. That water may find cracks in basement walls and leave many basements flooded. As the snow melts and the water finds these cracks in your foundation, the temperature may suddenly fall again causing the water in those cracks to freeze. This will cause the cracks in your foundation to grow even bigger. With the ground still frozen, the snow melts and water forms around the foundation.  Fixing your foundation problem as soon as you see it can help prevent permanant damage to your home. 

When moisture in the soil freezes after a snow melt then freeze, caused enormous pressure against your foundation walls. This causes existing cracks to become even larger. Foundation cracks caused by soil pressure are generally horizontal cracks or stair-step cracks. These cracks often get worse over time and require a professional to repair the foundation. These cracks will weaken the structural integrity of your home. 

Karri Johnson has already learned the hard way. The Olathe resident faces a $32,000 foundation repair bill. "Do not put it off. It will not repair itself," she said. "It will get worse. It won't go away."

 

Keep Foundation Problems at Bay

Repair companies suggest homeowners be proactive.

Here are some tips to keep foundation problems at bay:

  • Make sure gutters are clear of debris so water can drain through a downspout
  • Make sure downspouts drain at least 10 feet away from the house
  • Make sure sump pump drains at least 10 feet away from the house
  • Get a professional to install underground pipes to drain water away from the house
  • Have a professional fill basement cracks
  • Move trees at least 15 feet away from the house


For more information, go to  www.myfoundationrepairs.com



Read more: http://www.kshb.com/dpp/weather/weather_news/snow-melt-could-cause-foundations-big-problems#ixzz2MjGq3OFB



Keeping your Basement Dry as the Snow Melts

clock March 5, 2013 07:23 by author
An adequate waterproofing system will keep your basement dry as the snow melts.

Keeping Basement Dry During Thaw

 

 

 

After 18 months of severe drought in Kansas City we now have experienced two large snow storms and the moisture that galong with it.Keeping basement dry as the snow melts Homeowners across the metro area, especially Olathe, Overland Park and Leawood that recorded the highest snow totals, are facing the next issue of possbile basement flooding. While the possiblity of foundation repairs has not dissappeared most homeowners are going to be focused on basement flooding problems.

 

 

Repost from http://www.kmbz.com/Keeping-your-basement-dry-as-the-snow-melts/15715703

 

Is there anything you can do to stop your basement from leaking once all of the snow melts? Jeff Tully with My Foundation Repairs in Olathe says homeowners are in for some problems with the spring thaw, mostly because last summer's drought made deep cracks in the soil, allowing the water to get closer to the foundation. Because of the drought that we experienced, the soil beneath the foundation dried out losing cohesion and volume, and less able to support your home. Even when precipitation such as snow increases, the drought zapped the soil of moisture. This caused cracks to form in your foundation. As the thawing of snow happens, the cracks in the foundation take in water. 

If you basement has not been waterproofed, the winter months can be a problem. Because the ground is frozen, as the snow melts it accumulates near your home and seeps in through the cracked foundation caused by the severe drought. Then is the temperature suddenly drops, this water that has seeped into your foundation freezes, causing the cracks to grown even bigger. Calling the professionals at My Foundation Repair and Waterproofing can help you with your foundation repair and basement waterproofing needs.

Minimize the Snow Melt Impact

 
However, he says there are a few things that can still be done to minimize mother nature's impact.
"Getting the downspouts ten foot away from the house and getting the sub pump discharged ten foot away from the house will be the biggest thing and making sure that gutters are not clogged or blocked with ice," says Tulley.

Check that your sump pump hose does not have low spots where water can collect. The hose should flow away from your home freely. If it collects and freezes, your sump pump could stop working or even cause permanent damage to it. 

He says if your basement does start leaking it is always best to consult a professional.



Midwest Drought Continues in 2013

clock February 25, 2013 05:35 by author

 

Drought and Foundation Repair

The National Weather Service has predicted the two-year long drought will persist from Dallas, TX through Oklahoma City, OK and KansasFoundation repair, foundation settlement City. That means homeowners in Tulsa, Fort Worth, Wichita and other communities throughout the Midwest will have to keep an eye on their foundation in the coming months.

 

 Annual Weather Summary: November 2012 to October 2013

Winter temperatures will be higher than normal, on average, with precipitation and snowfall near normal in the east and below normal in the west. The coldest periods will be in late December, early January, and early and mid-February. The snowiest periods will be in mid- to late November, mid- to late December, early January, and early March.

April and May will have near-normal temperatures on average, with hot temperatures in late May.

Summer will be drier and slightly cooler than normal, on average, despite hot spells in late June, mid- and late July, and mid-

August.September and October will be slightly drier than normal, with near-normal temperatures.

But even with sufficient rain, Midwestern area homes are still extremely susceptible to foundation problems. Foundation damage is common in Plains because of an active zone of clay soil. This zone of clay acts like a sponge—swelling when wet, shrinking when dry. Foundation engineers know that these soil pressures can do major damage to your homes foundation.

The current drought has such a problem in the Midwest area that city and state officials in all areas have approved foundation watering to continue even though there are watering restrictions in place for many residents. Watering the foundation can help keep the moisture levels more consistent, especially on slab foundations. But since a homeowner is not able to measure soil contact under the slab, it’s still somewhat of a guessing game.

 If you do water, make sure there is no “ponding” of water near the foundation. The water should drain at least 10’ away from the foundation. If you are using drip irrigation or soaker hoses, the best method is to place them 3 to 4 feet away from your foundation and not directly next to the concrete. Gutters and downspouts should be maintained to keep water flowing away from the foundation.

Frankly, it looks like the drought conditions will persist. Your home will be stressed at its very base. You will notice the foundation settling and cracking while on the inside, drywall cracks and sticking windows will provide clues to foundation problems.

Most methods of foundation repair fail to provide long-term, permanent support for concrete slab foundations along with basement foundations. When you are in need of foundation repair, hire a professional foundation repair contractor. These contractors install only proven, reliable, and permanent methods to correct the problem. Steel push piers are engineered to provide the stability and strength to withstand the changing soil conditions under your home, while reaching down below the active clay soils. Helical piers are used both for underpinning foundations and as tiebacks for basement and retaining walls. Once again this method of foundation repair will restore the security of foundations in homes from Dallas to Kansas City.



Foundation Repair Myths

clock February 22, 2013 06:54 by author
Before you believe the myths of foundation repairs, hire a foundation engineer so you can get advice.

The Myths Behind Foundation Repair

When you own a home, the last thing you want is a cracked or settling foundation. Unfortunately, it happens all too often, resulting in theFoundation repair, foundation settlement
need for professional foundation repairs. When it comes to something as serious as structural problems, quite a few myths exist. It's important to dispel misinformation and wild claims to get to the root of the problem and obtain the professional help you need from engineers and foundation repair professionals.

 Foundation Repair Myths

1. Foundation repair scares off potential home buyers

Real estate law requires full disclosure when it is time to sell your home. If you've had foundation repair work done on your home, you have to let potential buyers know. While hearing that you've had foundation repair may scare a few inexperienced buyers off initially, most will not, if you have the documentation and have used an experienced and respected foundation repair contractor. If you also have a report from a foundation engineer that explains the original problem and then signs off on the repair the prospective buyer can be assured that it is a permanent fix.

 The simple fact is, the majority of homes experience some sort of structural foundation problems during their lifetimes. Purchasing a home with a professionally repaired foundation, means buying a home that should never need similar foundation repairs again.

2. Foundation repair means a destroyed yard

Hiring a professional foundation repair company doesn't necessarily mean your lawn will be destroyed. While some repair techniques require excavation of earth around the foundation walls, others can be performed from inside and require little or no  exterior excavation. For example, methods such as installing high quality steel push piers inside your basement can be accomplished without exterior excavation. Also, crack repair, epoxy and polyurethane is a relatively simple repair done on the inside, when performed by an expert foundation repair contractor.

Remember, not every crack calls for the same repair technique. Before deciding on a foundation repair method, an experienced foundation repair specialist should find the root of your problem. He then will let you know if digging up the earth around your home is required.

3. Foundation repair is expensive

 When most think of foundation repairs, you probably picture yourself emptying your retirement account to pay for it. Today that has changed. Finding a crack in your basement wall doesn't mean you are about to break the bank. Modern foundation repair methods and techniques have come to your rescue. The cost depends on the cause of the crack and a settling foundation can even be done cost effectively.

Often foundation repairs consist of a simple, inexpensive polyurethane injection to prevent water intrusion or other procedures. Determining the true cause of your foundation cracks and settling can save you time and money. Call a foundation repair professional to diagnose your home's problem.

 4. Get three bids and take the cheapest

Not all contractors are created equally. The lowest bid is not always the best choice. This is your home, a home for your family, do research and hire professional engineers and high quality foundation repair contractors. Just because you do things correctly does not necessarily mean that you will spend more money.

Find a contractor with proper experience, training and insurance. How long have they been around? Are they backed by a national manufacturer? Will they still be there in the future if you have more problems? Are they approved by your foundation engineer? An experienced company offers solid warranties that protect you against unforeseen problems. Cheap and inexperienced contractors will give you just that – cheap work.

Nothing speaks for a contractor's work like his reputation. Ask around and find customers who have used them for similar projects. You can't go wrong with a contractor who has a good reputation with happy former customers and engineers that like to work with them.

While this list is not all inclusive. Searching http://www.myfoundationrepairs.com/ will provide you with the information about foundation repair that will educate you so you can dispel other myths about foundation repair.

Hiring a Foundation Engineer

 

Hiring of a foundation engineer is the most important piece of advice. These foundation engineers will evaluate your structure and write an analysis of the structure. They will know what type of foundation repair is needed and what products are needed to get the repair done correctly. Whether it be helical piles, steel push piers, wall anchors, or wall tie-backs, your foundation engineer will have the answer. Make sure your foundatiaon is protected by a nationally respected manufacturer that stands behind their products. 



How much does it cost to fix a settling foundation?

clock February 19, 2013 04:13 by author
By ignoring the early signs of foundation problems, the issues will get worse and the cost of foundation repairs will increase with time.
 
 
 

Cost of Foundation Repair

The cost of foundation repairs is the number one question that homeowners ask. The issue when answering – the answer can be as complex as the foundation repair. Foundations can be fixed more as a preventative measure than a reactionary one. If the foundation problem has been ignored, however, then costs quickly increase because other issues tend to show up, such as cracks in basement flooring or foundation walls.
Quantifying the cost of a foundation repair can be difficult due to all the variables that can affect each home or structure. Your cost for a foundation repair will depend on your homes particular situation. Factors that impact cost include how accessible the sunken portion of the foundation is, the cause of foundation failure and the method of repair.
If the cost of foundation repair seems high at first, keep two things in mind: It is a structural repair and your home is probably your largest investment. In the end, the cost will be worth it because your property will be safe, sound and marketable.

Factors to Consider for Foundation Repair

A few of the factors that foundation engineers and foundation repair contractor must consider are listed below.
Type of Foundation
The type of foundation can greatly affect the cost of foundation repairs. There are three main types of foundations. These include monolithic slab, pier and beam, and t-shaped foundations (spread footing and wall). Each of these foundation types, due to differences in design, requires different materials or different amounts of similar materials. For instance, pier and beam foundations require insulation, unlike the other types. Because different materials or amounts of materials are used from one foundation to another, the repair cost may not be the same from house to house, even if damage is similar and square footage is approximately the same.
The Stability of the Soil
In Kansas City, homes situated atop a great amount of unstable soil tend to need more interior piers to counteract the shrink-swell characteristics of soils. Each house sits on a unique mixture of soils and some soils have greater shrink-swell potential than others. Another factor that contributes to the stability of the soil is proper drainage. Improper drainage can cause erosion underneath a structure which will adversely affect the foundation, and cause it to sink. More interior piers will be needed to counteract the erosion.
House Size
The size of the house can lower or raise foundation repair costs, because the larger the house, the more materials must be purchased for the repair. Larger houses also can be more expensive to repair because they involve more weight and structure complexity.
The Amount of Foundation Settlement
Settlement refers to the extent that a structure is unlevel. If the home is experiencing severe signs of foundation problems, such as bowed walls, large cracks in the ceiling or walls, or doors that will not open or close properly in a majority of the house, it is feasible that the foundation will need to be stabilized with interior piers to a greater extent than houses with a lesser deviation. The more stabilization a house needs, the more the repairs will cost.
On average, repairing a failing foundation of a house costs between $5,000 and $10,000. This assumes that there won’t be any additional problems to fix while repairing the foundation, such as replacing plumbing. Although the average is around $8,000, simple jobs can get as low as just over $2,000, while complex jobs might push close to $20,000.
In addition to the complexity and scope of the problem, other variables that can add to the cost of repairs include:
 •Hiring a structural engineer to assess the damage (typically $300 to $1,500).
 •Getting a soils report prepared by a geotechnical engineer, if needed (about $500 to $3,000).
 •Obtaining a local building permit, if required ($75 to $150).
 •Dealing with hidden obstacles in the ground, such as old repair methods, extra-deep footings, or tree roots (may add an average of $1,000 to $2,500 to the overall cost).
One of the biggest aspects of foundation repair cost is who does the repair. Professional foundation repair contractors are more likely to do the job quickly and efficiently and to do better quality work. Newer companies, in contrast, may “sell” customers with low prices but end up costing more in the long run because their inexperience may translate to more hours on the job. For this reason, it may be worth it to hire the company that offers an initially higher bid for the repair.
 Although the total cost of foundation repair can be substantial, your home is often your biggest investment and these repairs (properly done by a reputable foundation repair contractor) can be essential to protecting your equity and keeping your home safe, sound and marketable.
 
 


Continuing Drought Causes Foundation Problems Across Metro

clock February 14, 2013 14:31 by author
Ongoing droughts in Kansas City are responsible for foundation settlement.

Drought Causing Foundation Problems

 

The following post comes is reprinted from KC Fox 4 News website.

 

Click here for foundation repair video from reporter

 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City area is nearly 17 inches short of average rainfall for the year, and the ongoing drought is taking a toll on more than just crops and lawns — it’s hurting metro homes as well. Foundation and mudjacking companies say they are busier now than they have ever been, and with no major rainfall events in the forecast they say that they don’t expect to slow down anytime soon.

Homeowner Tom Kammerer has lived in his home for over 40 years but just recently he began noticing cracks — the tell-tale sign of a troubled foundation. “We noticed it in the garage, the floor, about an inch and a half had moved away from the wall there,” said Kammerer.

Dennis Morgan, the president of Pro Foundation Technology Inc., says that Kammerer isn’t alone. Morgan says that he hasn’t been this busy in 34 years of business. “I’ve never seen anything like it, nothing even close to it and our phones are still ringing and this is usually our very slow time,” said Morgan. He says that a year without rain is to blame for most of the major foundation problems homeowners across the metro are facing. “Our soil here is very plastic — it’s clay soil, it shrinks and swells,” said Morgan. “You need to have hydration in this clay to keep it stable. Unfortunately we haven’t had any water so the soil has shrunk. The footings are setting in that soil, consequently the house will shift and move many times.”

Morgan says that the average repair job can cost between $8,000 and $15,000, and that if you suspect that your home has a foundation problem, the first step would be to hire a structural engineer to evaluate your home, then pick a contractor to make the repairs. He says that his company is backed up into the spring with foundation repair work.

Kammerer says that he’s taking a big financial hit, but says that it could be worse. “It happened to us — otherwise we’ve been really lucky in life so I’m not complaining that much,” said Kammerer. “But it is a cost you don’t expect to get involved in.”



Foundation Problems as Drought Continues

clock February 14, 2013 07:13 by author
The weather conditions in Kansas City can affect your home's foundation by causing settlement. Protect your home by hiring a professional to install ECP helical piers.

Foundation Settlement in Kansas City

 

 

 

Foundation repair, helical piers, steel push piers, ECP

The severe drought in the Midwest is effecting many homeowners that are forced to repair damage to their homes' foundations. Local foundation repair companies and structural engineers can't keep up with the torrent of phone calls and waiting list extend for several weeks just to get an inspection or quote. The culprit is the clay soils throughout Kansas and Missouri that becomes baked by months of dry weather. The soils act much like a sponge, as they dry out the shrink and pull away from the foundation and as they get wet they seem to grow and expand moving the homes' foundation.

When a home's foundation cracks and shifts, problems manifest themselves on the upper levels of the home with jammed doors and windows along with cracks in drywall. No style or design of a home can hide from these forces, nor are they spared from foundation repairs. "We're seeing a lot more settlement issues across the board, from stone foundations in Brookside to new foundations in the suburbs", says Joe LaGue of Olson Foundation Repair in Olathe, Ks. The phone calls are coming from all across the Midwest, calling about cracks and settlement in their foundations. Homes with larger trees that are close to the home are more vulnerable to soils drying out around the foundation. The trees are using every last bit of the moisture in the clay soil trying to stay alive. The trees are competing with the foundation for moisture and the trees are winning.

The drought started in September of 2011 int he Kansas City area and it continues in the first quarter of 2013 with not real relief in site. Earth Contact Products, a leading manufacturer and national distributor of foundation repair products based in the Kansas City area has seen dramatic growth during the severe drought. They have seen the drought expand from Texas up through Oklahoma and Kansas and then eastward through St. Louis, Chicago and Indianapolis. According to ECP, this drought has created over two years worth of work for foundation repair contractors throughout the Midwest.

Foundation Settlement Solutions

 

The dry conditions are even more damaging when they reach below the deep footings below basement or crawlspace walls. Once a foundation has significant settlement the only way to solve the problem is to push it back up. The product of choice in much of the Midwest and especially in the Kansas City area is with steel push piers. These steel piers are driven deeply, well beyond the soils that are affected by moisture fluctuations, providing a good base to lift basement or crawlspace walls. ECP, the leading steel push pier manufacturer, provides foundation repair contractors with several types of push piers. From concentric resistance piers, where the steel bracket and pile is placed directly below the foundation walls to eccentric push piers that are place on the side of the footing. Both styles are highly effective in pushing foundations upward, but must be designed by a foundation repair expert based on the needs of the individual structure.

During foundation repair, underpinning strengthens and stabilizes the foundation. Underpinning is accomplished by extending the foundation in depth so it rests on more stable soil stratum or distributes its load across a greater area. ECP has developed and patented several types of piling systems. With the professionals and the best products available, you will be assured that your foundation repair is done right and you will have peace of mind that it is stable. 



Concrete Press Piles for Foundation Repair

clock October 3, 2012 00:11 by author
Concrete press piles do not meet local building codes. If you need foundation repairs, demand the use of helical and steel piers to repair your foundation.

Foundation Repair Products

foundation repair, concrete press pilesIf your home is experiencing foundation failure, such as cracks in the foundation or soil separation, then you may need foundation repairs. Finding the right foundation repair specialist can be a difficult proecess because each company offers different repair methods for fixing your home's foundation. That is why it is important to know important details of every foundation repair method, so you know if you are getting quality products.

There are many different types of foundation repair products available to repair your home. These include steel resistance piers, helical piers and concrete pressed piles. Unfortunately they all do not perform well or even meet the building code.

Concrete Press Piles vs. Other Piers

Concrete pressed piles or concrete cylinders do not meet local building codes for several reasons. First of all, they do not meet depth requirements. The depth of the pile or pier or any type of deep foundation system is probably the most important factor for an effective foundation repair system. No matter what foundation repair system is being installed, if this pier is not deep enough, it becomes a useless pier. Unless the pier system is installed below the active zone or zone of influence (as many engineers refer to it) it will not be able to support your home.

Concrete pressed piles are considered a friction pile – one that relies on skin friction with the soil to produce load holding characteristics. When these piers are installed in the active soil zones (typically 15’ or less), the addition or subtraction of soil moisture causes concrete pressed piles to move with the soil. Due to their diameter and blunt surface they are very difficult to drive past this active soil zone without doing damage to the home.

Steel piers and helical anchors not only do not rely on skin friction for support but also are designed to penetrate beyond the zone of influence which provides a stable pier to support your home. These piers are designed with the ability to go very deep if necessary, well beyond any moisture fluctuations in the soil. Steel piers have a much more slender nature which greatly helps their ability to penetrate dense soils, which are present during droughts or extended heat spells. Helical piers are screwed through the soil and use helix shaped flights or mini-footing to support your homes load. When installed beyond the active soil layers helical pier provide a very solid support for your foundation.

Next, concrete pressed piers do not provide a true connection between cylinders. This not only poses a problem with meeting building code minimum requirements but also creates a major problem for homeowners. As the concrete cylinders (12 inches each) are pressed into the soil they often times become misaligned. Picture a stack of blocks sitting on the floor. Now apply a force to the top block. You will notice that the blocks start to move side to side as more pressure is added. This exercise is consistent with how concrete pressed piers act when a bottle jack is used to force them into a hard soil.

Steel pier and helical anchors use a mechanical connection between the pier sections to maintain alignment and provide consistent support for your foundation. Helical anchors, due to their design, provide an additional benefit in that they equally resist upward and downward movement upon proper installation.

Often, foundation repair contractors that use pressed piles, will place a cable or reinforcing bar down the center of the pile to help compensate for their alignment downfall. This attempt in maintaining alignment is admirable but not effective. As the concrete cylinders move through the soil they will encounter varying soils which cause them to turn or curve. Once this takes place, any large force that is not exactly centered on a concrete cylinder can cause it to crack or break. Once the concrete cylinder has cracked you can expect your foundation to settle at this point.

While all foundation repair methods require proper training and education to provide any long term solution to your foundation problem, concrete pressed piles, due to their very nature, are prone to the unique issues covered above. Their design causes them to be driven shallow and often times at angles that do not provide long term support. Even if your city does not require foundation repair methods to meet building codes, as your home is your most valuable asset, you should demand the use of steel piers and helical piers by your foundation repair contractor. Manufacturers like Earth Contact Products design and engineer their systems to provide long term support as well as educate their network of foundation repair experts in the science of foundation repair.



Kansas City Drought

clock August 24, 2012 05:07 by author
Foundation repairs and droughts go hand in hand due to settlement. Foundation repair contractors report record numbers of drought related work in Kansas City.

Foundation Settlement During Drought

Foundation repair, Foundation settlement
In a recent article in the Kansas City Star, Drought takes a toll on home foundations , Kevin Collins described the home settlement issues that many homeowners are experiencing. These drought related settlement issues have forced many homeowners to hire a foundation repair contractor to install steel push piers or helical piers to support their homes. This record breaking drought has had a yearlong hold on the Midwest for over a year, which will cause millions of dollars of damage to foundations of residential and commercial properties.
 
“Local repair companies and structural engineers can’t keep up with the torrent of phone calls, and waiting lists extend for several weeks just to get an inspection”, reported Collins. With no end in sight homeowners are faced with the reality of repairing their homes. They also face many questions such as, do I hire a foundation engineer? Do I use steel push piers or helical piers? What local foundation repair contractor do I use? How bad are my foundation problems?
 A national website www.MyFoundationRepairs.com was designed to answer these questions and more for homeowners in Kansas City and all around the United States. From basement wall cracking, foundation settlement and expansive soil problems My Foundation Repairs describes the issues and solutions related to the foundation repair industry.

 

Foundation Repair Solutions

Earth Contact Products, the largest national supplier of steel push piers in the country, is based in the heart of the drought plagued area. The Kansas City Star also reported that “nearly all of Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri and Illinois are in extreme or exceptional drought”. According to Jeff Tully, GM of Earth Contact Products, this has caused increased business for foundation repair contractors in this area along with numerous companies attempting to enter this market. “These opportunistic companies do not have the experience or knowledge to properly and permanently repair foundation”, Tully went on to say. Properly trained contractors and foundation engineers are a homeowners best friend when it comes to repairing foundations.
Steel push piers are the most common foundation repair product used today. These steel push piers are an end-bearing pier that does not rely on nor requires skin frictio to produce support. Each pier is load tested after installaton. They are able to develop a factor of safety because the piers are load tested individually using the maximum weight of the structure as the reaction force. 
Helical piers are ideal for applications where there is a need to resist a tension or compressive force or both. These helical piers consist of a shaft made from either solid square steel bar or tubular steel. On the piers is welded either one or more helical plates. Extensions of various lengths are available and supplied with couplings and hardware for attachment to the lead allowing the ECP helical piers assembly to reach the desired depth.
 
 
 
 


Seal Crawlspace Moisture Out of Your Home

clock May 1, 2012 07:16 by author
Seal moisture out of your home that is entering from your crawl space. A properly sealed crawl space makes your home safer and healthier.

Crawlspace Moisture

 

 

Crawlspace, crawlspace encapsulation, ECPHomes with crawl spaces are very similar to homes with a basement, but with one major difference – the floor is dirt. As if a home had a dirt floor basement, wet crawlspaces can cause odors and serious health issues.

Compared to professional foundation and waterproofing contractors, homeowners are not experienced when it comes to crawlspace moisture problems and taking preventative measures to properly waterproof the space. Unfortunately, the effects from dampness and moisture can damage your health, crawlspace, above ground living areas and your home's overall structure.

Most homeowners are inexperienced and believe that doors, windows, and vents are responsible for all moisture problems in your home, but that isn't always the case. Factors such as humidity, moisture and wetness in your crawlspace are the source and can cause structural problems.

Structural Integrity

Are you having questions or concerns about structural integrity of your home? If you fall into this category, do not fear. Routine examinations can protect your home from structural problems. Below are some signs to look for:

              Uneven floor

               Warped floors

              Cracks in interior walls

              Damaged floor joists

Uneven floors, caused by moisture in your crawlspace, are very common problems among homes. If you believe these describe your situation, make sure to take action immediately with a professional foundation contractor. It's more cost friendly to make small repairs than to wait and be forced to replace an entire foundation.

Mold and Mildew

There are several different forms of mold that can quickly invade your above ground living levels. A majority of the time when a home is occupied with bad smells and odors, it is a sure sign your crawl space has a hidden problem with mold.

A damp environment is perfect for wild animals, insects and pests to thrive making for some extremely unhealthy and destructive conditions. A crawl space that isn't sealed and protected against moisture can develop mold and mildew issues. Black mold and dry rot can even develop!

The best and most effective way to rid your home and crawlspace from bad smells and odors is to schedule an appointment with a waterproofing or foundation expert. It is also a good idea to perform routine inspections looking for mold, dry rot or damaged wood. By taking measures to protect your home and crawl space from these elements, you will protect your families health. A waterproofing expert will identify the source of the water intrusion and provide the necessary repairs and sealing the crawlspace.

 

Crawlspace Encapsulation

Solution

The best and most effective way to protect your home from moisture, structural weakening, bad smells and odors is to contact a professional crawl space contractor. A professional foundation contractor will complete an on-site inspection, provide a professional consultation, provide a free estimate and recommend the best and most cost efficient way to solve the problem.  Whether it requires a full crawlspace encapsulation or a simple drainage system you need a solution now. Our experts will also discuss your options and give you plenty of time to make the best decision to remove moisture from your crawl space and help make your home and family healthy again.



Concrete Foundation Cracks

clock February 13, 2012 05:01 by author
Foundation cracks don't just magically disappear. Hire a foundation contractor to find out the severity and cause of your foundation cracks.

Is That Foundation Crack Serious?

Concrete Foundation Cracks, Foundation Repair, ECP

In a recent article by Christopher Solomon, Is that crack serious? Foundation problems 101, the seriousness of foundation cracks was addressed. This article spoke to the severe drought that began in Southwest Texas and slowly expanded to cover, Oklahoma City, Wichita and Kansas City. In its wake homes have settled, cracked and crumbled due to the soil drying out. The article went on to report - "The drought that some are comparing to the Dust Bowl has homes rockin' and rollin' as the parched ground beneath them cracks and settles. Homeowners are watering foundations - to keep their abode in place - and forgetting about their grass"

Being in the industry of foundation repair I have noticed the effects from this most recent drought. As the drought has grown the demand for foundation repair products has grown with it. Calls from foundation repair contractors have expanded in volume, frequency and territory. By watching the phone calls you could see how the drought slowly moved from San Antonio, San Angelo and Lubbock to Dallas, Fort Worth and Denton then slowly towards Oklahoma City and Muskogee followed by Wichita, Emporia and Kansas City. More and more homes have been affected by the drought causing them to settle and crack. The soil has been so devoid of moisture that it and anything set upon it has settled downward at an alarming rate. It has affected slab on grade homes, pier and beam homes and full basement homes with equal abandon.

Solomon goes on to explain "The reason: a black gunbo clay that was brought down during the last Ice Age". It also exists in the Atlanta area and in pockets elsewhere, including St. Louis and Denver. But even bedrock can move. The American Society of Civil Engineers has estimated that one-quarter of the nation's homes have suffered damage caused by expanding soil". With numbers like this it is easy to see what a serious problem we have throughout the Midwest and beyond. As with any major weather event homeowners are subjected to unscrouplous contractors and bad advice. Be very careful of contractors that are very aggressive or new to he industry. They do not care about your home like you do and will be off to swindle the next homeowner after they have collected your money. The best way to protect yourself and your home is to hire a professional foundation engineer to oversee any and all foundation repairs. Often this expense is not only something that gives you peace of mind but also can save you money by preventing bad contractors from doing more damage.

Foundation cracks are not something that goes away or fixes itself. The severity and cause of the cracks needs to be addressed by a professional foundation repair contractor or professional engineer. Then the right solution can be applied you your home to stabilize, lift or straighten your homes foundation. This is a highly specialized field to requires high quality products, professional training and a company that will stand behind what they do for years to come. This does not mean that the best solution is a written warranty that promises the moon in the large print and penalizes you in the fine print, but a written document provided by the foundation contractor that states he will stand behind his work and uphold his reputation. Dont fall prey to "lifetime warranties" that require arbitration and other tactics of poor contractors. If you have a future problem you need to know that the company will be around and willing to fix any unexpected problems willingly.

What to Look For

Later in the article Solomon goes on to say "Horizontal cracks across the foundation are often serious. Horizontal cracks are caused by hydrostatic pressure - basically, too much water behind the foundation. It pushes on the foundation". "Here's a tip: Look down the outside of your house. Does the home appear to be hanging over the foundation, especially in the middle, as if the home is too big for it's foundation? That's a tell-tale sign." On the other hand, a vertical crack often indicates a more serious problem. Vertical cracks often are indicators of settlement, like what comes during extreme droughts. Is the crack wider at the top than the bottom? If so this is a classic sign of settlement. As the foundation tries to settle the concrete foundation starts cracking and starts "tearing" the wall from the top down. First and second floor windows and doors will start sticking, windows will become harder to open and close and drywall cracks will start popping up. These classic signs are indicators that you need to find professional help immediately. 

 



Cracked Foundation Repair with Steel Push Piers

clock January 16, 2012 04:19 by author
Steel Push Piers are the most popular form of foundation repair for settling homes. When installed by trained foundation repair contractors steel push piers will provide years of structural support.

Foundation Repair using Steel Push Piers

Foundation repair, steel push piers

One of the advantages of using push piers (resistance piers) for foundation repair is that they use quiet vibration free hydraulic equipment to  install the steel resistance piers. All of the installation equipment is highly portable and can be easily transported on the jobsite. After all of the steel push piers are installed and load tested, the structure can be immediately restored or lifted by transferring the load of the home to the piers. There's no time wasted, waiting for concrete to cure, and no soil to remove from the site. A measured factor of safety is verified, as the piers are 100% load tested to a force greater than the actual working load. This all means that you will get verified structural support for many years when you require steel push piers to be used on your home’s foundation.

Remember to always consult with an independent professional engineer before starting any structural foundation repairs and these repairs should only be performed by trained foundation repair contractors.

Steel Push Piers Installation

Below, the following steps the typical installation procedure for the largest selling Steel Push Piers:

1. Site survey: Pier placements are located around the structure and the location of underground utilities verified.

2. steel push piersExcavation: Small excavations or the entire perimeter is dug for access at each placement location. The space required at the foundation is usually about 3 feet square.

3. Prep of the foundation: This includes notching the concrete footing to place the push pier bracket under the stem wall, preparing the bearing area under the footing to a smooth and level condition, and adjusting the face of the stem wall to vertical at the point of bracket attachment.

4. Bracket Attachment: The steel resistance pier bracket is secured to the footing using anchor bolts. Attachment of the drive stand and the hydraulic cylinder that is used to force the pier pipe into the soil is mounted on the drive stand.

5. Push Pier Pipe Installation: The steel pier pipe is advanced into the soil using the structure as the reaction force with a 10,000 psi hydraulic pump and cylinder combination. The piers may be installed from outside or inside the structure. Pier installation continues until rock or suitable bearing-strata is encountered below the unstable soil near the surface.

6. Load Test: Every resistance pier is load tested by increasing the force on the pier to insure the rock or bearing-strata will support a load greater than needed to guarantee a factor of safety. Typically an engineer will determine the load of the structure and the desired factor of safety before the load tests are performed.

7. cracked foundation repairPreps for Restoration: Once all push piers have been installed, load tested, and the installation data at each placement recorded; lifting head assemblies and hydraulic lifting rams are placed on the steel piers. The lifting cylinders are connected with one or more manifolds and operated using a hydraulic pump.

8. Restoration: Under careful supervision, the load is transferred from the existing failing strata under the foundation, to the load tested piers. The structure can be transferred gently and evenly lifted to as close to the original elevation or to the recommendation of the engineer. The nuts at the pier caps are secured at each placement and the lifting equipment is removed.

9. Clean Up: The soil that was excavated at each steel push pier placement is now replaced and compacted. The site is left clean and neat.

Foundation Repair Solutions

If you have noticed cracks in your drywall, brick or foundation you might need steel push piers to provide structural support foundation repairs. Whether your foundation is concrete block, poured concrete or composed of stone, steel push piers should be your first choice as a foundation repair solution. Foundation repair or structural underpinning projects, with steel push piers, are usually completed in just days, not weeks.



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