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Moist Soil Equals Safer Foundation

clock October 23, 2013 05:10 by author
Dry soil beneath your home's foundation can lead to soil shrinkage and foundation damage. You can solve this issue by maintaining a steady moisture level.

Keep Soil Moist

Making sure your home's foundation has stability throughout the year takes some diligence on the part of the homeowner. When the soil beneath the foundation is not getting enough moisture, it will shrink. If you home is built on clay soil, this is especially true. Maintaining a controlled watering program is one of the first course of action that should be taken. During the hot, dry summers, the soil will crack. Then when it does rain, the water will travel into the cracks accumulate causing it to lose some of its load bearing capacity. When this happens, the home will sink or settle. By keeping the soil moist during hot, dry weather will prevent it from cracking. Maintaining a steady moisture level is important to keeping your foundation safe.

If the moisture level is not maintained during dry weather, when it does rain, the water will cause the soil to expand and move upward. This movement plus of contracting during dry weather, and expanding during wet weather put stress on your home's foundation and causes damage. By taking care of your foundation before damage occurs will save you money in the long run.

If you are vigilant and are taking the steps to keeping the soil moist, make sure the water is draining away from the foundation. Improper drainage away from the foundation will cause the water to pool in certain areas. This will make it more wet in one area and dry in another area of the foundation. Something else to consider is if the soil is not getting enough moisture, any trees or shrubs close to the foundation are also soaking up whatever moisture is left in the ground. Moist soil actually helps keep homes from settling unevenly leading to cracks in foundations. 

Foundation damage is caused not only by the moisture content of the soil but can also be cause by improper backfilled soil. If the proper process of compaction was not done at the time of building, the home will sink a few inches. This is deep enough to cause some serious foundation damage. 

Some of the signs that you may have a foundation problem are cracks in brick, bowing wallswindows and doors that stick, sloping floors, and leaning chimneys. If you notice any of these signs of foundation damage, My Foundation Repairs has the solutions. The products we use for foundation repair are made by Earth Contact Products (ECP), the leading manufacturer of foundation repair products in the industry. 

Steel piers are an excellent choice for repair issues caused by swelling clay soil, poor compaction and erosion or run off. These piers are an end bearing pier that does not rely on the soils skin friction to provide support. Helical piers have the capacity and longevity to support the foundation for years to come. They are installed quickly and can also not only be used to repair an existing foundation, but are used in new home construction. Plate anchors are used to stabilize cracked and bowed walls. These plate anchors can be installed quickly using handheld equipment with little disturbance to landscaping.

By being aware of how foundation settlement happens, homeowner's can help prevent foundation damage. But if you do notice any signs of foundation damage, contact My Foundation Repairs for a free estimate. We will be grad to answer any question you have regarding your foundation repair issues.



Seal Crawlspace Moisture Out of Your Home

clock May 1, 2012 07:16 by author
Seal moisture out of your home that is entering from your crawl space. A properly sealed crawl space makes your home safer and healthier.

Crawlspace Moisture

 

 

Crawlspace, crawlspace encapsulation, ECPHomes with crawl spaces are very similar to homes with a basement, but with one major difference – the floor is dirt. As if a home had a dirt floor basement, wet crawlspaces can cause odors and serious health issues.

Compared to professional foundation and waterproofing contractors, homeowners are not experienced when it comes to crawlspace moisture problems and taking preventative measures to properly waterproof the space. Unfortunately, the effects from dampness and moisture can damage your health, crawlspace, above ground living areas and your home's overall structure.

Most homeowners are inexperienced and believe that doors, windows, and vents are responsible for all moisture problems in your home, but that isn't always the case. Factors such as humidity, moisture and wetness in your crawlspace are the source and can cause structural problems.

Structural Integrity

Are you having questions or concerns about structural integrity of your home? If you fall into this category, do not fear. Routine examinations can protect your home from structural problems. Below are some signs to look for:

              Uneven floor

               Warped floors

              Cracks in interior walls

              Damaged floor joists

Uneven floors, caused by moisture in your crawlspace, are very common problems among homes. If you believe these describe your situation, make sure to take action immediately with a professional foundation contractor. It's more cost friendly to make small repairs than to wait and be forced to replace an entire foundation.

Mold and Mildew

There are several different forms of mold that can quickly invade your above ground living levels. A majority of the time when a home is occupied with bad smells and odors, it is a sure sign your crawl space has a hidden problem with mold.

A damp environment is perfect for wild animals, insects and pests to thrive making for some extremely unhealthy and destructive conditions. A crawl space that isn't sealed and protected against moisture can develop mold and mildew issues. Black mold and dry rot can even develop!

The best and most effective way to rid your home and crawlspace from bad smells and odors is to schedule an appointment with a waterproofing or foundation expert. It is also a good idea to perform routine inspections looking for mold, dry rot or damaged wood. By taking measures to protect your home and crawl space from these elements, you will protect your families health. A waterproofing expert will identify the source of the water intrusion and provide the necessary repairs and sealing the crawlspace.

 

Crawlspace Encapsulation

Solution

The best and most effective way to protect your home from moisture, structural weakening, bad smells and odors is to contact a professional crawl space contractor. A professional foundation contractor will complete an on-site inspection, provide a professional consultation, provide a free estimate and recommend the best and most cost efficient way to solve the problem.  Whether it requires a full crawlspace encapsulation or a simple drainage system you need a solution now. Our experts will also discuss your options and give you plenty of time to make the best decision to remove moisture from your crawl space and help make your home and family healthy again.



Minimizing the Effects of Expansive Soils

clock June 9, 2010 13:21 by author blogadmin
Expansive clay soil and inconsistent soil moisture levels are the causes of foundation failure. Follow these steps to decrease the effects of expansive soils.

 

For those of us that live in areas that have expansive clay soils foundation problems are as predictable as the rising sun. Expansive clay soils contain minerals such as smectite clays that are capable of absorbing water, hence they exhibit volume change. Expansive soils can cause heave and settlement depending on the time of year and overall moisture content of the soils.

Some movement is likely to occur in homes built on expansive soils.We can minimize cracking and major structural damage through maintaining more consistent soil moisture levels around our homes. Using some simple steps, outlined below, and common sense we can protect our homes from the potential devastating effects of expansive soils.

A.      Yard Drainage – All areas should drain away from the home. 5% slope within the first 10’ of the foundation and at least 1% after that.

B.      Roof and Gutter – Gutters need to be maintained and downspouts should be routed beneath grade in PVC pipe at least 10’ away from the home.

C.      Driveway and Sidewalk – Concrete areas should be slope away from the foundation and kept at or below grade to prevent ponding.

D.      Plumbing – Unexplained increases in water consumption should be investigated immediately. Plumbing leaks are a very common cause of heaving beneath structures.

E.       Subsurface Drainage – Maintain and or add foundation drain systems. Make sure pipes are free-flowing and drain into a sump basin or to daylight away from the foundation.

F.       Trees and Bushes – Trees should be 1 – 1-1/2 times their height away from the structure. Trees are a major contributor to settling foundations.

By following the above steps you will decrease the effects of expansive soils. If water is your enemy, the solution is water management. By maintaining a constant soil moisture content, your home will remain stable and unaffected by the dramatic effects if expansive soils supporting homes are allowed to become too wet or too dry.



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