Your resource of foundation repair information and local contractors.

Need Info or Local Contractor? Call Us: 309-944-7296

Concrete Foundation Repair - What to Do When Concrete Problems Occur

clock February 11, 2015 09:56 by author

Concrete Foundation Repair

If you notice changes in the concrete around your home, it could be a sign that your concrete foundation is in need of repair. Some of changes in concrete to be aware of are:

  • Concrete scaling - Concrete scaling is the loss of surface mortar
  • Concrete spalling - Concrete spalling is easy to see as the concrete becomes rough and flaky
  • Concrete cracks
  • Concrete heaving
  • Concrete shrinking

If you notice any of these changes with your concrete, it can also mean that your concrete foundation may be in need of repair, too. Your foundation concrete is not as obvious to see as the concrete surrounding your home. When the concrete surrounding your home is damaged, this can mean that the soil beneath your concrete along with beneath your foundation has shifted and moved. This shifting of the soil beneath both your concrete and foundation will also cause them to shift and move as well. Knowing if your concrete foundation is damaged, you need to look around your home for some of the signs that may indicate that the foundation has shifted and moved. Some of these signs are:

  • Sloping floors
  • Wall cracks
  • Floor cracks
  • Ceiling cracks
  • Bowing or leaning walls
  • Leaning chimney
  • Sticking doors and windows

Any of these signs can mean that your foundation may be in need of repair. It is important that if you find any of these signs, to have an expert in foundation repair come and inspect your home and foundation. My Foundation Repairs has contractors that can come and give you a free inspection. These contractors use only the best products for foundation repair. These products are manufactured by Earth Contact Products (ECP), the leader in foundation repair products in the industry.

Foundation Repair Solutions

After the conctractor from My Foundation Repairs inspects your foundation and determines that it is in need of repair, they will find the best solution for your repair needs. To repair your foundation, we use underpinning products such as helical piers and steel push piers. We also repair concrete foundation walls using toebacls amd wall anchors.

Both the steel piers and helical piers are driven deep into the ground until they reach a solid soil layer. Then the piers are individually load tested and then using hydraulic jacks, the entire weight of the structure is lifted on the piers to lift and stablize the foundation.

Helical tieback anchors are used to stabilize and strengthen bowing concrete basement walls. These helical anchors are installed from inside the basement wall through a small hole and with small exterior excavation, the basement wall is immediately pulled back to its original design. These helical tieback anchors also strengthen the wall so that there won't be any future bowing or leaning of the wall.

If you see the concrete surrounding your home is damaged, then it is important to have a professional in foundation repair come and make inspect your foundation, too. The sooner the foundation is repaired, the lease amount of structural damage will occur throughout your home. Don't hesitate to contact My Foundation Repairs and let a contractor inspect your foundation.



Sloping Floors? Hairline Cracks? Time for House Leveling!

clock February 11, 2015 05:52 by author

Sloping Floors? Hairline Cracks? Time for House Leveling!

Have you noticed that your floors are sloping or that you have hairline cracks in your walls, floors, tiles and drywall? These are all signs that you may have foundation problems. There are several reasons why a home may settle. Some of the most common reasons are:

advanced foundation repair with underpinning and piering methods

  • Improper backfilled soil -  If the soil beneath the foundation was not properly backfilled during construction, the soil will shift causing the foundation to shift and settle.
  • Tree roots - If trees are too close to a home, the roots will drink up all of the water beneath the foundation, creating voids. The foundation will sink into these voids.
  • Expansive soils - Expansive soils such as clay soil will expand when wet and shrink when dry. This constant heaving and shrinking of the soil will cause the foundation to shift and move.

When a home's foundation has settles, it will cause the entire home to be unlevel. Some of the signs of an unlevel house are:

  • Leaning chimney
  • Doors and windows that stick
  • Sloping floors
  • Wall cracks
  • Ceiling cracks
  • Drywall cracks

If you see any of these signs that your home's foundation has settled and has become unlevel, it is important to have a professional come and inspect your home and offer house leveling repair to get your home back to its original level. My Foundation Repairs has the experts that can come and give you a free inspection and offer you the best repair solutions for your house leveling needs.

House Leveling Solutions

The contractors at My Foundation Repairs use underpinning products such as helical piers and steel push piers that are the best in the industry. These products are manufactured by Earth Contact Products (ECP), the leader in foundation repair products in the industry.

Steel push piers are an end-bearing pier that does not rely upon nor requires skin friction to produce support. These piers are driven deep into the ground through the unstable soil layers until they reach a solid soil layer. Each steel push pier is installed and load tested individually using the maximum weight of the structure as the reaction force. After installation and load testing, hydraulic jacks are placed at multiple locations and then the entire weight of the structure is transferred onto the piers. The home will be leveled and stabilized for many years to come.

Helical piers are used for applications where there is a need to resist a tension or compressive force or both. These helical piers look like a large screw and are individually installed and load tested after they reach a solid soil layer. Then the entire weight of the structure is lifted onto these helical piers to lift and level the house and foundation.

These piers offer many benefits including:

  • Can be installed year-round
  • Have a warranty
  • Restores the structural integrity
  • The piers are resistant to erosion
  • Made in the USA

If you see any of the signs of foundation settlement such as sloping floors or hairline cracks throughout your home, let the constractors at My Foundation Repairs come and inspect your home and find the best repair solution for your needs. We will get your house leveling done with the best products in the industry made by ECP. Your repair will last for years to come. Contact My Foundation Repairs today!



Causes and Signs of Failed Foundations

clock November 14, 2013 12:32 by author blogadmin
Know the causes and signs of foundation failure so you can protect your family and home.

Foundation problems can be caused by both homeowners and mother nature. No matter if you've lived in the same home for years or have purchased a newer home, it is good to know the causes and signs of a failing foundation. Unfortunatly, mother nature can cause foundations to fail and a home owner can't do much about it. Knowing the signs and getting your foundation fixed by a professional foundation contractor early can potentially save you thousands of dollars. Foundation problems don't go away on their own, they only get worse.

Causes of foundation problems that lead to failure

Most foundation problems are caused by the soil surrounding a home. Throughout the year the soil expands and contracts from moisture and temperature levels. Foundations fail when there is too much water or not enough. Sections of the soil can have different moisture levels causing the soil to swell and shrink at various locations. Some sections of the soil can become much drier or wetter than other parts causing stress on your home's foundation. These inconsistencies in the soil generally result from overloading, poor water management, faulty compaction, abundance of organic materials, and erosion.


Transpiration
The soil dehydrates from tree roots beneath the home. The soil shrinks because of this loss of moisture. The soil shrinkage causes homes to settle. 

Plumbing Leaks
Water can seep into the soil from leaky pipes. This causes too much water in the soil and can contribute to unneeded stress on yWater from leaour home's foundation.


Drainage
Poor drainage both on the exterior and interior of your home's foundation can cause exess moisture to build up in the soil. This may cause soil heaving. 

Poor Building Site Preparation
Commonly on building sites soil is removed from part of a building and piled on other soil. The soil needs proper stabilization before the structure is built; otherwise the soil may move below the structure.

Common Ways Homeowners Cause Foundation Falure

  • Overwattering lawns - this is common way to create the ununiform areas of wet and dry soil
  • Planting Too Close To House - It is important to keep plans a safe distance from the foundation, usually more than 5 feet. Roots can cause soil moisture differences and can also grow into the home's foundation.
  • Swimming Pools - seepage from a swimming pool can leak into the soil causing increased pressure on the foundation.
  • Gutters and Downspouts - gutters and downspouts not installed correctly can lead water directly down to your foundation. Be sure to fix leaky gutters and draw water away from the home.
  • Interior Remodeling - large changes to your home's structure can put pressure on your foundation. Hire a professional contractor to ensure the foundation can handle the structural changes.

 

A foundations movement and cracking may result from a wide range of hidden factors, which may include:

Swelling or Shrinking of clays caused by changes in moisture content

Compression of the ground as a result of the applied foundation loads

Soil softening

Frost heave

Improper back filling of the foundation

Variation in groundwater levels

Erosion or undermining of the foundation

Vibration from nearby construction

Hydrostatic Pressure on the foundation

Inadequate design of basement walls, footings and slabs traditionally account for 75 to 85 percent of all problems in homes built upon expansive clay soils. These failures are generally divided between two broad classes of failure – lateral pressure and differential settlement. Both classes of failure generally have few primary causative factors.

Lateral pressures on basement walls have four likely sources:

Pressure from soil weights

Pressure from soil swelling

Hydrostatic pressure

Pressure from frost

It is not difficult to identify lateral pressure, but accurately quantifying the  source is very difficult and should only be handled by a qualified engineer. The inward bowing of a basement or retaining wall is the simplest indication of lateral pressure. The bowing generally occurs when the external forces exceed the wall strength. The maximum bowing will often occur near the center of the wall because the adjoining perpendicular walls provide support in the corners. If bowing becomes severe, these walls can collapse inward.
 
           

Cracking can occur when lateral pressure exceeds the strength of the concrete or block wall. The most common crack pattern begins in the corners and move up or down at 45 degree angles in concrete walls. For block walls, the cracks move along the mortar joints in a stair step pattern. Often these cracks end at a long horizontal fracture that parallels the basement floor.
 

Lateral pressures may affect the overall integrity of a house. Severe structural damage results in a visible opening between the top of the basement wall and the structure. Since water is one of the main causes of these cracks, water infiltration becomes significant in the largest of the cracks. Filling these cracks with epoxy, without solving the water problem, only moves the lateral pressure to another section of the wall.

The difference of the outside ground level and the basement floor creates a mass of soil that must be retained thus causing a lateral pressure. Picture a walk out basement or tall retaining wall. The pressure of soil weight is typically considered during the design of an engineered wall using theoretical earth pressures.

Soils with heavy clay content undergo a change in volume when the moisture content of the soil changes. When expansive clays are placed against basement walls, the swelling of these soils can induce lateral pressures not accounted for in the original design. Cyclic shrink/swell can also reduce the shear strength of the backfill and thus increase the lateral pressures. The solution to this problem can be as easy as replacing clay backfill with gravel or other non-swelling material. When used in conjunction with a footing drain, gravel will prevent increased lateral pressure.

Hydrostatic pressure is pressure exerted by a fluid due to its weight. Hydrostatic pressure against a basement wall develops when water fills voids or “ponds” within backfill immediately adjacent to the wall. This water buildup can cause dripping, seepage, dampness or efflorescence (salt residual). Leakage during heavy rains or poorly designed/maintained drainage increase hydrostatic pressure. Like soil swell, hydrostatic pressure is not typically considered during design and construction of basement walls.

Water that accumulates in backfill and then becomes frozen may cause a large amount of lateral pressure on basement walls. Severe damage can result from frost causing lateral pressures much greater than even hydrostatic pressure. The expansive natures of water crystals have been know to create catastrophic structural damage.

Backfill, that is heavily laden with clay, present long term lateral soil pressure problems. Their cohesive nature makes it practically impossible to re-compact them to a uniform moisture content and density. Clay backfills require significantly stronger basement walls to withstand the larger horizontal pressures. The obvious solution is to backfill with non-cohesive aggregate with proper drainage.

Structural settlement is characterized as either total and /or differential settlement. Total settlement is a complete structure downward movement. Differential settlement is the difference in vertical movement between various locations causing structure distortion. Generally, total settlement is not a critical factor as long as it is uniform. Utility connections are affected to the greatest degree by total settlement. Even relatively small differential settlements can cause cracks in floor slabs, brick walls and drywall.
 
           

Some amount of settlement can be tolerated in most homes provided it is within specified limits. Small amounts of settlements are anticipated in most design work. When homes experience excessive settlement special procedures must be employed to stop or limit the amount of settlement. These special procedures usually employ the use of steel piers or helical anchors. A underpinning procedures.




FIND A CONTRACTOR IN YOUR AREA

CHOOSE STATE:

Month List

Sign in


Go Back to MyFoundationRepairs.com    RSS comment feed RSS