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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.
 
 


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