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Foundation Cracks – Diagonal basement wall cracks

clock April 24, 2011 19:45 by author blogadmin
If you notice diagonal cracks on your basement walls, hire a foundation expert to repair your foundation before water leaks destroy your home's structure.

 

Tips to help determine the cause of diagonal foundation cracks in basements:

In building corners in cold climates - frost heave, shallow footings, water problem, or poor backfill. In a raised ranch with a garage located in part of the basement, often you will find step cracks in the front and rear foundation walls on the garage-end of the home. These cracks may correspond to some related observations:

(1) If a downspout or gutter spills rain water against the home, these forces will often combine to make more severe frost cracks appear on the garage side of the home.  

(2) There may be less backfill against the front and rear foundation walls at the front of the garage.

(3) The decrease in backfill combined with an un-heated garage may expose these building corners to more frost damage

In the foundation wall anywhere, wider at bottom than top – often due to foundation settlement.

From corner towards adjacent opening, wider at top than bottom - often due to foundation settlement, expansive clay soil, frost damage, or damage from a shrub/tree close to the foundation wall.

Under a ground floor window, from sill to ground, sill bowed up - often due to foundation heave, clay soil, frost, shallow or missing footings.

Over a window or door, straight or diagonal - may appear as horizontal along top or bottom of header, vertical at ends of header (possibly due to differences in thermal expansion of different materials of header vs. wall) or vertical/diagonal at center of header (loading failure) or at corners (possible point-load failure)

Cracks in a poured concrete basement walls which are diagonal or vertical and which are generally uniform in width, or which taper to an irregular hairline form, usually in fact a discontinuous crack in the hairline area, are usually shrinkage cracks and should not be ongoing nor of structural problem, though they may invite water entry through the wall.

 



4 Steps to an “Economical Foundation Repair”

clock April 14, 2011 04:14 by author blogadmin
Homeowners need a professional engineer to provide a home inspection and to determine if your home needs foundation repair.

 

In the trying times of a recession, one doesn’t like to spend money on non-essential items.  Having your foundation repaired is an essential item, buying a new 50” Flat Screen TV on sale is a non-essential item.  Foundation problems do not fix themselves.  The signs of foundation problems might leave as the season change, but will return with greater possibilities of more damage.   Therefore, how can a homeowner receive an “Economical Foundation Repair”?  This can be accomplished by following four easy steps:  Hire a Professional  Engineer, Follow Recommendations of the Professional Engineer, Hire a Professional Contractor, Proper drainage.

1.       Hire a Professional Engineer:

Why do you need a professional engineer?  You want a professional engineer first to look and assess your foundation problems. This will explain why it has happened and how to fix the problem.  Therefore, when it is time to solicit bids for your project all contractors need to bid what is required by the professional engineer.   How do you find a professional engineer?  Search www.foundationengineersnetwork.com   or  your yellowpages book for the heading Engineers, from here look under subheadings for Structural. 

 

2.       Follow recommendations of the professional engineer: 

Engineers are not doing work for the sake of doing work.  They have been trained in school as well as in the field of what is right or what is wrong.  How much experience do you have?  The recommendations should be carried out, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t question the reason why.  A good professional engineer will explain the reasons for the recommendations.   He or she is only looking out for the safety of you the customer and your home.

 

3.       Hire a professional contractor:

When hiring a professional contractor ask your professional engineer for referrals to call.  Get a couple quotes on the exact work the engineer has requested to be done. Make sure your contractor is licensed and insured with referrals of similar work.  Review and have the contractor explain all work he is quote.

 

4.       Proper Drainage:

After all work is completed, make sure you have the correct drainage completed.  This might involve new gutters, down spots, French drains, or foot drain and sump pumps.  The major contributing factor to foundation problems is water.  Make sure you get water away from you foundation as quickly as it appears.  If you take the steps in proper drainage you could save money down the road from having to get other parts of your foundation repaired.

 

In conclusion, as a homeowner, to get an economical foundation repair one must get a professional engineer involved.  This will save you time and money in the long run by fixing your foundation correctly the first time.  The contractor you have chosen should complete the work required by the engineer.  Then it is your obligation as a homeowner to make sure your house has the correct drainage.  If you have questions on the correct drainage, be sure to ask your structural engineer. If one follows the 4 steps mentioned your success rate of economical foundation repair can be achieved; as well as, preventing future foundation problems elsewhere in your home.   After your home has been repaired in the most economical fashion you then can go out and purchase a new flat screen TV to enjoy in your structurally sound home.

 



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