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Foundation Problems?

clock April 17, 2010 18:53 by author blogadmin
If you are having foundation problems, such as leaning and bowing walls, there are competent foundation repair contractors that are available to help you.



The one thing that nobody tells you about homeownership is the major problems that can happen. There are appliances that quit working, roofs that leak and basement walls that crack or settle. Foundation settling or shifting can be caused by many things. Before any foundation repairs can be made these items have to be identified and accepted. In the medical world the old adage is “cure the disease, and then treat the symptoms”. This is applicable to foundation repair also, we need to find out what is causing the issue, why is it causing a problem and then finding a solution to the problem.

The most common reason for foundation problems is water. Often it’s a lack of moisture and sometimes it is too much water. Issues with gutters, downspouts or drain tile are common. Drainage blocks are mostly due to leaves, debris, or failure. In a few cases the blockage causes the sump pump to reuse water that erodes and saturates soils along the basement. Rain water should be diverted away from the foundation to stop hydrostatic pressure on the foundation and floors. In times of drought water might need to be applied near the foundation to maintain more consistent soil moisture content.

Many times foundation problems, followed by foundation repairs, manifest themselves in the form of serious cracking of slabs or basement floors. Basement floor slab cracking can happen for several reasons. They can be significantly thinner than the plan requested or the sub base of stone may be significantly thinner than originally called for. Heaving often ends cracking as well.

Most drywall cracks appear in the corner of doorframes or windows and result from differential movement between framing and the drywall. Some wood frame movement can be due to standard processes such as shrinkage or temperature expansion.

Homes with a crawlspace sometimes show recurring damage patterns. Often a few vertical cracks in the crawlspace open and close seasonally. Due to their shallow foundation nature these cracks grow noticeably during intense times of drought or rain. Among several potential factors , these shallow footings may rest on expansive soil that experiences more acute cycles of shrink and swell, which is often aggravated by landscaping.

Repairing damaged foundations represents the greatest engineering challenge for a known problem. Wrongly supported pilasters, concrete piers , random crack filling, misapplication of carbon fiber strips and the engineering conviction that wider footings stop settlement are  examples of potential ill-conceived foundation repair methods.

The foundation fix starts with a total foundation inquiry by a competent foundation engineer. This engineer will visit the symptoms and measure the settlement of the structure while reading the appearances of damaged foundations. Upon completing his inquiry he will then give a written outline of the problems with suggestions for a cure.

Possible cures can be steel resistance piers, helical anchors, micropiles, tie-backs, plate anchors or waterproofing. With correct drainage, when these underpinning products are installed, per manufacturer’s specifications and under the guidance of the foundation engineer you can be warranted that your problem will be solved.

So, if you are having foundation problems, don’t panic. There are solutions to help, there are qualified engineers to help you and there are competent foundation repair contractors available to enact these solutions.


What the Farmers Almanac says about Home Repairs

clock August 22, 2009 10:15 by author blogadmin
According to the Farmers Almanac, the best time to make home repairs are August 21 to October 19. Avoid further foundation damages, by calling an expert.


According to the Farmers' Almanac, the Best Days for Home Repair are upon us. The 2009 Farmers Almanac reports that the timeframe to perform home repairs are August 21 to October 19. Do not hesitate, schedule your foundation repair and other home improvement projects to take advantage of the weather and other general conditions. Whether it be heaving, a settling basement, bowed walls or a water problem foundation problems will not go away until you focus your attention upon them.


Once you have had your foundation underpinned, the Farmers Almanac says that the best days to go fishing are September 3rd thru the 6th. You will not want to miss these days of relaxing and spending time with a friend fishing and enjoying this great time of year.


Other “best days” of note are listed below:


            Aug. 23rd – Cut firewood, mow to increase growth, dig holes, go hunting, wax floors


            Aug. 24th – Bake, cut firewood, mow to increase growth, dig holes, go hunting, wax floors, get married, buy clothes, entertain friends, host a party


            Aug. 29th – Cut firewood, mow to increase growth, castrate farm animals, dig holes, wean, potty train, wash windows, advertise to sell, travel for pleasure


                        Sept. 4th – Cut hair to retard growth, mow to retard growth, castrate farm animals, dig post holes, wean, quit smoking, potty train, wash wooden floors, paint, start a diet to lose weight, kill wild onions and weeds, host a party


            Sept. 8th – Dry fruits and vegetables, cut hair to retard growth, mow to retard growth, pick apples and pears, quit smoking, perform demolition, wash wooden floors, start diet to lose weight


            Sept. 14th – Can fruits and vegetables, harvest, get married


Now that your next few weeks are planned for you visit for the newest engineered solution for foundation repairs.


The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

clock June 21, 2009 06:27 by author blogadmin
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 made significant changes to the energy efficiency tax credits that applies to products.


On February 17, 2009, The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 made significant changes to the energy efficiency tax credits. These changes apply to products "placed in service" in 2009. The highlights are: 

·         The tax credits that were previously effective for 2009, have been extended to 2010 as well.

·         The tax credit has been raised from 10% to 30%.

·         The tax credits that were for a specific dollar amount (ex $300 for a CAC), have been converted to 30% of the cost.

·         The maximum credit has been raised from $500 to $1,500 total for the two year period (2009-2010). However, some improvements such as geothermal heat pumps, solar water heaters, and solar panels are not subject to the $1,500 maximum.

·         The $200 cap on windows has been removed, but the requirements for windows has been increased significantly. Not all ENERGY STAR qualified windows will qualify.   


Federal Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency includes:

·         Tax Credits for Consumers

o    Tax credits are available at 30% of the cost, up to $1,500, in 2009 & 2010 (for existing homes only) for:

§  Windows and Doors§  Insulation§  Roofs (Metal and Asphalt)§  HVAC§  Water Heaters (non-solar)§  Biomass Stoves

o    Tax credits are available at 30% of the cost, with no upper limit through 2016 (for existing homes & new construction) for:

§  Geothermal Heat Pumps§  Solar Panels§  Solar Water Heaters§  Small Wind Energy Systems§  Fuel Cells

**Please note, not all ENERGY STAR qualified homes and products qualify for a tax credit. These tax credits are available for a number of products at the highest efficiency levels, which typically cost much more than standard products. If, for whatever reason, you decide not to purchase a product covered by the tax credit, you may still consider purchasing an ENERGY STAR product. ENERGY STAR distinguishes energy efficient products which, although they may cost more to purchase than standard models, will pay you back in lower energy bills within a reasonable amount of time, without a tax credit. 

Tax Credits for Consumers: 

Home ImprovementsTax credits are now available for home improvements:

·         must be "placed in service" from January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2010

·         must be for taxpayer's principal residence, EXCEPT for geothermal heat pumps, solar water heaters, solar panels, and small wind energy systems (where second homes and rentals qualify)

·         $1,500 is the maximum total amount that can be claimed for all products placed in service in 2009 & 2010 for most home improvements, EXCEPT for geothermal heat pumps, solar water heaters, solar panels, fuel cells, and small wind energy systems which are not subject to this cap, and are in effect through 2016

·         must have a Manufacturer Certification Statement to qualify

·         for record keeping, save your receipts and the Manufacturer Certification Statement

·         improvements made in 2009 will be claimed on your 2009 taxes (filed by April 15, 2010) — use IRS Tax Form 5695 (2009 version) — it will be available late 2009 or early 2010

·         If you are building a new home, you can qualify for the tax credit for geothermal heat pumps, photovoltaics, solar water heaters, small wind energy systems and fuel cells, but not the tax credits for windows, doors, insulation, roofs, HVAC, or non-solar water heaters. 




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