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Engineers and Foundation Repairs

clock July 31, 2009 17:17 by author blogadmin
Foundation engineers have specific responsiblitites to those that hire them. They are an unbiased professional that will keep your best interests in mind while evaluating and designing your your foundation repairs.


Overview of the Guidelines for theEvaluation and Repair of Residential Foundations

By the Texas Section of theAmerican Society of Civil Engineers 


The most common purpose of an engineering evaluation of a residential foundation is to assess its performance. This involves observation and evaluation of cosmetic(nonstructural) distress and structural damage. The evaluation may also provide opinions of probable causes of distress or damage, assessment of risk of further damage, recommendations for remedial measures, and cost estimates. If the evaluation determines that remedial measures are appropriate, the engineer may be asked to provide the design and construction documents. 


The evaluation and repair design shall be performed by a professional engineer licensed in the State that the work is being performed. Engineers in responsible charge of this type of work must be competent to apply scientific and engineering education, training, knowledge, skill and experience to the investigation and analysis of constructed facilities. This determines the cause and extent of diminished performance and the means of remediation. Engineers should be competent in the related disciplines or should retain outside consultants as needed. 

Professional Ethics

It is essential to avoid conflicts of interest to maintain the credibility of the evaluation investigation. The evaluating engineer must demonstrate qualities of character that will ensure impartiality. These qualities include objectivity, confidentiality, honesty and integrity. 


The engineer should recommend an appropriate level of investigation to fulfill the objective of the evaluation. However, the scope of services shall be jointly established and agreed to by both the client and engineer. The engineer should personally visit the site and be in responsible charge of the investigative activities. If requested by the client, the engineer may only provide evaluation of reports by others, but this should be described as consultation, not investigation. For the purpose of aiding the client in determining the type of evaluation desired or actually performed, the following three levels of investigation are offered as guidelines. 

Level A

This level of investigation shall be clearly identified as a report of first impressions and shall not imply that any higher level of investigation has been performed. This level of investigation will typically include, but is not restricted to:


 1.   Interview the occupant, owner and client if possible, regarding a history of the property and performance of  the structure                                              

 2. Request from the client and review the provided documents regarding the foundation, such as construction drawings, geotechnical reports, previous                    testing and inspection reports, and previous repair information

3. Make visual observations during a physical walk-through

4. Observe factors influencing the performance of the foundation

5. If requested by the client, provide a written report, containing at least the following:                        

a. scope of services

b. observations, site characteristics, and data deemed pertinent by the engineer

c. discussion of major factors influencing foundation performance and rationale in reaching conclusions concerning the subject residence

d. conclusions and any recommendations for further investigation and remedial or preventative measures 

Level B

This level of investigation should include a written report including the items listed above for a Level A inspection and also the following items:

 1. A determination of relative foundation elevations, considering floor finishes, in sufficient detail to represent the shape of the foundation or floor   adequately.

 2. A drawing showing relative elevations  

Level C

This level of investigation shall include the items listed above for Level A and Level B inspections and additional services, testing and related reports deemed

appropriate by the Engineer. These may include, but are not limited to, the following:


 1. Site specific soil sampling and testing

 2. Plumbing testing

 3. Material testing

 4. Steel reinforcing survey

 5. Post tensioning cable testing 

This level of investigation should also include a more detailed level of reporting, which may include the following:


 1. Scaled drawings

 2. Description of factors that affect soil moisture

 3. Observations of cut and fill

 4. Tree survey

 5. Photographs

 6. Detailed distress survey


Water Drainage and Waterproofing

clock July 30, 2009 16:31 by author blogadmin


If you want a dry basement and a sound foundation, you must have an adequate foundation drainage system. The water content in the soil surrounding your house can fluctuate seasonally. There is always a point at which you can dig and hit water. Geologists often refer to this as the water table. This water table rises and falls in response to the amount of precipitation in any given time period. The water table in many parts of the country can rise to within a few feet of the surface during wet spells. Water will take the path of least resistance. If there is no exterior waterproofing, water can go sideways through a crack in your foundation, or it can go down alongside your foundation into a pipe. I'm sure that you will agree that it is a better idea for the water to go down into the pipe.

Exterior foundation drainage systems, which are installed properly, serve an important roll. Foundation drain tile systems are the means by which groundwater can be transported away from your basement. Keeping water from pooling around your foundation is the most important step in keeping you home dry and your foundation stable. Water that is trapped around or under your home is the number one reason so many foundation repairs are needed across the country.

Interior drainage systems work extremely well for many customers. Depending on your circumstances, interior drainage may be an effective solution. Many water control system companies claim to be waterproofers and only offer this method as a solution to every basement water problem. If a company proposes opening the floor on the inside for any reason, they are offering an interior drainage system. Only an exterior excavation to the footer or bottom of the foundation accomplishes waterproofing. Everything else is water diversion. Never only contract for an interior water control system if dampness, seepage, and or cracking on the walls are your concern, as this may result in further damage to your foundation. In combination with exterior waterproofing and or structural repairs interior drainage can be very effective.

Be very care of companies that only offer and push interior drainage as the only solution to your water problem. While a good interior drainage system does a very good job of removing water from under your slab and diverting water vapor that penetrates walls they do nothing to solve the original problem of water forming around your foundation causing hydrostatic pressure and potential structural damage.


Earth Contact Products Hires New Engineer

clock July 24, 2009 08:21 by author blogadmin
Earth Contact Products hires a new engineer, Chad Banister. He is responsible for customer technical support, product testing and regional technical seminars.


Chad Banister has joined Earth Contact Products as a Staff Design Engineer at it’s Olathe, Ks. headquarters. Banister graduated from Kansas State University in 1994 with a BS in Architectural Engineering. Mr. Banister will be working directly under Don Clayton, PE ECP’s Senior Engineer along with consulting engineer Dr. David Kraft, Phd, PE. 

Banister is responsible for customer technical support as well as product testing and regional technical seminars. Earth Contact Products provides free technical support for the engineering community and its customers alike as it pertains to their products and the applications of their products. The preliminary design service is available to all contractors and specifying engineers in the foundation construction business, to assist in the design and application of its products.


Earth Contact Products is a manufacturer of steel foundation products for underpinning, new construction and the utility industries. From helical anchors and resistance piers to helical soil nails and wall anchors ECP is recognized as a leader in their set industries.



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