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Foundation Repair Your Underpinning Options

clock September 28, 2010 18:11 by author blogadmin
Avoid foundation repair contractors that take short cuts to make foundation repairs. Choose one that provides quality jobs and master the foundation methods.

 

 

Understanding all foundation repair or underpinning methods will help with your decision when deciding upon a foundation repair contractor. Some unscrupulous foundation repair contractors advertise that they can put in every type of piering system. Professional contractors concentrate on just one or two piering methods and master them. The contractors that claim to be a “jack of all trades” usually are the master of none. They generally take short cuts and due to the fact that they are not thoroughly trained in each specific method. Professional foundation repair contractors that pick a system or two and stick with it generally can master the methods and provide a better quality job. They may not have the answer for every situation but they will generally provide better quality work on the jobs that they accept. They are also more likely to be recommended by professional engineers. If an engineer is putting his reputation on the line they generally will recommend professional underpinning contractors to perform the work they specify.

Knowing the positives and negatives of each foundation repair system is one more step in getting a job well done. All commonly accepted methods have their place or application where they shine. Some methods, like steel push piers and helical anchors, are more adaptable to unique situations, yet even they have their limitations. Using the correct method for your particular application is the difference between a job well done and job that is less than satisfactory.

Steel push piers have an advantage over most systems in the fact that they are individually tested as they are installed. Professional underpinning contractors will monitor and record pressure readings and then compare them withstructural weights to determine capacities. They will also use a manifold lifting system to perform any lifting required to make sure that the lift does not put any undue pressure on the structure. Professioanl engineers prefer manifold lifting systems espeecially high pressure (10,000psi) systems that can be controlled from a single place.

Helical pier systems are another very popular system recommended by many professioanl engineers. Helical pier are "screwed" in the soil using a helical gear motor or torque motor. Once again pressures and torque reading are montiored and recorded to establish capacities. Without carefully monitoring these reading a verifiable capacity cannot be assumed. Professioanl engineers generally want to review these readings to verify that the helical piers have reached soil layers that can support the structure. Manifold lifting systems are once again the preffered method of lifting.

Simply, homeowners need to ask questions of engineers and underpinning contractors before choosing a contractor. Stay away from the jack of all trades and also be wary of the contractor who does not use a manifod lifting system. Many of these contractors use simple bottle jacks in their attempt to lift structures. These are all simple clues that you need to keep looking for a professional contractor to work on your most valuable asset, your home. As always hiring a independent professional engineer is the best course of action before any foundation repairs are started.

 

 



French Drain

clock September 17, 2010 12:57 by author blogadmin
Keeping your foundation safe and dry is important. The invention of the french drain helps prevent ground water from entering your basement.

French drains, a form of subsurface drain, utilizes a buried perforated pipe installed in a gravel bed with a geo-textile fabric envelope lining the trench. Water from the surrounding soil enters the gravel bed, flows into the drain pipe and utilizes gravity to flow towards the discharge point.

The three most frequently used type of french drain pipe systems for residential and commercial applications are smooth sewer and drain pipe, corrugated plastic pipe and poly drain pipe. Smooth wall sewer and drain pipe is rigid and manufactured from PVC or Polyethylene. Due to its rigid nature it is easier to maintain a continuous slope in critical areas by spanning over uneven trenches. Corrugated pipe is manufactured from high density polyethylene and is available in 10' - 250' rolls. Since corrugated pipe is flexible, it can follow contours of the ground and wrap around corners without couplings or elbows. Poly drain pipe (EZ-Flow) is a self contained french drain system that combines corrugated pipe with a poly aggregate wrapped in geo-fabric. This system eliminates the need for gravel sepaate geo-textile cloth.

Each of the above mentioned drain pipe systems have perforations or slits to allow water in and directing this water down stream to a discharge point. Discharge points can be grates, drywells or popup emitters. French drains are the most common method for evacuating excess ground water which has infiltrated into the soil. If the gravel is run to the top of the trench you can also direct surface water down through the aggregate to the pipe system preventing water in unwanted areas such as near foundations or across patios and sidewalks.

A well designed and installed french drain system can prevent foundation repairs and basement flooding. By stopping surface and ground water from coming into contact with foundation components, basements will stay dry and foundations will remain more stable. Understanding water flow and pipe capacities are key components to a well designed french drain system. Many foundation repair and basement waterproofing contractors have been trained to diagnose and solve ground water issues, but it is always advisable to consult with a professional engineer when dealing with foundation issues.



Is your sump pump ready?

clock September 12, 2010 12:46 by author blogadmin
Sump pump performance becomes very importand when heavy rains start. Knowing whether your sump pump is ready with determine whether or not your basement will stay dry.

 

Many homeowners never think about their sump pump except when it is raining. Neglecting your sump pump can lead to basement flooding and foundation repair problems.

Recently, Earth Contact Products tested leading sump pumps side by side to test efficiency and performance. One of these tests pitted the ECP BSP-50 against a leading competitor for a one minute performance test. The test can be seen on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiXTSbCJpio .

Sump pump performance becomes evident during periods of heavy rains. While other sump pumps cannot keep up with heavy rains, ECP sump pumps have upto 50% more capacity while using less electricity. When combined with an efficient sump pit these sump pumps even become more efficient by eliminating short cycling. You can find even more information about ECP's lineup of sump pumps at their website http://www.earthcontactproducts.com/SUMP_PUMP.asp .

Earth Contact Products is known as the leading supplier of foundation repair and waterproofing products in the industry. Their extensive testing and engineering allows them to deliver the highest quality products to their contractors who serve homeowners throughout the United States.



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