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Foundation Repairs and Summer Heat

clock May 30, 2010 11:00 by author blogadmin
The summer heat and dry weather causes foundation cracks, basement wall cracks and the need for foundation repairs.


As the outside temperatures start to rise and the rains slow down our focus needs to be on our foundations. Foundations are very susceptible to fluctuations in moisture level of soils. Spring brings moderate temperatures and steady rains. Summer brings high temperatures and fewer rains. These fluctuations cause movement in your home's foundation which can result in cracks in walls and sticky doors and windows.

During the spring the weather is mild and moist, which causes the soil to become saturated and swollen. These wet soils expand and become very dense around and under your foundation. Often you will notice new cracks in basement floors, drywall, and foundations. These rigid surfaces show these signs of stress because of the expanding soils surrounding them.

As summer starts soils begin to dry out and shrink. Generally, you will notice cracks to develop in your yard and the soil pulling away from the foundation. Over time this process happens deeper and deeper in your yard causing your foundation to settle. As the foundation starts to settle, new cracks will develop vertically in the foundation. These vertical cracks are due to differential settle or uneven settlement caused by different soil moisture levels around your home. The location of trees, flower gardens and shade will help determine the drying time and extent.

To prevent further damage caused by soil movement foundation repairs become necessary. Whether it is helical tiebacks during the spring rains or steel push piers in the heat of the summer, slowing or stopping the movement is the key to preventing major structural damages. Foundation repair methods are successful when they move the bearing surface of the foundation to soils that are not affected by moisture changes in the upper levels of soils. By bearing on deep soils the foundation remains stable and less affected by active soils.

As the temperatures increase in your area keep an eye on soil moisture levels and any new cracks in your home. These are signs of future movements and potential foundation problems. While some will tell you that you can reverse the effects of drying soils with soaker hoses, the amount of water necessary to do this is usually unpractical. A simple one-inch rain that falls on a 1,500 square foot roof equals nearly 1,000 gallons of water. When you add in the water that falls on your lawn it is simple to see replacing this quantity of water becomes very difficult and expensive.

Controlling Your Downspouts Discharge

clock May 18, 2010 11:18 by author blogadmin
Control your downspout discharge by installing a catch basin. This will collect storm water runoff and direct it away from your foundation.

To keep your basement dry, the first thing you need to do is control rain water runoff. The most common source of rain water is the water which comes from our roofs. This water can come in very large volumes and create a massive flow of water around your foundation. A two inch Spring rain is equal to almost 2,000 gallons of water from a 30 X 50 residential roof. If this 2,000 gallons of water is not directed away from your foundation, it can cause cracking and flooding inside the home.Directing your downspouts directly into a drain pipe is a fairly common and simple solution to controlling rain water runoff. This is as simple as digging a trench and laying a solid drain pipe inside this trench and directing it at least 10’ away from the foundation. The outlet can be a simple emitter, drain grate or if adequate slope is available, daylighting works. This type of system is very common and with proper pitch and sizing it can be very efficient. The downsides to a direct connection system are clogging or freezing.

Another very effective method of controlling downspout discharge is the use of a catch basin. The catch basin is placed directly below the downspout outlet and serves as a collection point which transfers the water to a solid drain pipe and then to an emitter or grate. The distinct advantage of the catch basin is the grate, which covers the top of the unit. This grating serves as a filter to prevent debris from clogging your underground pipe. Simply wiping off the grate periodically will keep the system working efficiently.

The other benefit of a catch basin is its ability to collect pooling surface water. If your soil is not adequately sloped away from the foundation, the catch basin can collect some of this surface water and drain it away just as it does with the rain water from the roof.

Catch basins come in a variety of sizes and outlet configuration which should be taken into consideration when designing your system. Basin selection will be a function of anticipated water volume, piping size and depth and water source layout. This is best done by a water management expert or landscape architect / engineer. Next is the fun part - grate selection. Catch basin grate selection is very broad to the point that you can pick color, style and material based on the aesthetics and volume required. Plastic, green and black being the most common, is the most economical. Brass, copper or chrome would be a more personal statement that can add to the overall landscape design, but more expensive.

Whichever method you choose, direct connection to a solid drain pipe or the catch basin design, the key is to collect storm water runoff and direct it away from the foundation. Remember, the goal is to protect your home from flooding and foundation damage.


ECP Receives Product Evaluation Report

clock May 13, 2010 17:31 by author blogadmin
ECP receives an evaluation report for their patented steel piering systems. These reports consist of thorough laboratory testing and analysis procedures.


On May12th, 2010 Earth Contact Products announced that they received a Product Evaluation Report for their patented steel piering system. Evaluation report #PER-09040 was approved and published by PEI after a thorough testing and analysis procedure.

Laboratory testing by the accredited engineering testing lab began in the fall of 2009 and continued until early 2010. The highly regarded Product Evaluation Report also required a complete manufacturing facility inspection along with quality control review and verification. Robotic welding procedures and a technologically advanced facility was credited with much of the quality control approval.

Earth Contact Products (ECP) manufactures a complete lineup of foundation repair and helical anchors for the residential and commercial construction industry. Their steel push piers have become the industry standard for underpinning systems across the country. ECP’s nationwide approved contractor network is trained and support by the manufacturer with product and engineering support.




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