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Foundation Repair Solutions for You

clock September 30, 2013 11:25 by author
We have the foundation repair solutions to restore your bowing walls due to foundation settlement.

Foundation Repair Solutions

When faced with a foundation problem, it can be overwhelming to look at all the possible solutions. You might be tempted to ignore all the confusing terms and attempt to solve the issue on your own, but in order to truly solve the problem, it is vital to contact an expert right away. They will present you with some solutions that can service your foundation repair needs and prevent any future damage. 

Foundation Repair Options

Professionals have a wide variety of foundation repair options. They offer anything from helical piers to plate anchors to stabilize your foundation, and many in between. In order to understand the solutions, it is important to understand the problem. Foundation problems are caused by a multitude of factors, including bad drainage, ground movement, and faulty construction. When the temperature and moisture levels in the soil change, the ground under and around your home sinks and shifts. A sinking or settling foundation is a hazard to both your family and your home. Foundation issues can dramatically decrease the value of your home, and create a health hazard that threatens the safety of you and your family. When looking for signs of foundation trouble, keep an eye out for some common problems. Usually, bowing, leaning, or cracked walls, a cracked foundation, a leaning chimney, slab cracks, garage cracks, or sticking windows and doors are signs that your foundation is settling. 

Luckily, foundation repair solutions are likely to completely resolve the problem and prevent any further damage. Helical piers, for example, are a common solution. They provide a quick, easy way to support your foundation and stabilize the area. Helical piers are easy to install and create little to no disturbance to the job site. When looking for a foundation solution for a new construction site or an old home, helical piers are always a great choice. 

Steel piers are more commonly used for problems caused by poor soil compaction and erosion. They provide an economical and permanent solution without having to rely on friction from the soil to support your home. These underpinning solutions are always tested during installation, so their safety is guaranteed. 

While helical and steel piers are used to support and stabilize the foundation, plate anchors are used to stabilize the walls. Cracked and bowing walls are stabilized during installation because plate anchors create enough supplemental lateral force to hold them in place. Again, plate anchors create little disturbance to the installation site and are and easy, economically friendly foundation repair option. 

Other solutions, such as retaining wall tiebacks and basement tieback anchors, are also used to stabilize and strengthen the foundation. Many foundation repair solutions provide immediate and permanent repair to the installation site, and will prevent future problems. Earth Contact Products provide "the very best" tools for foundation repair. This high quality equipment is affordable and guaranteed to last. 

When looking to repair a settling foundation, contact a professional right away. Ignoring the problem or attempting to repair it yourself can create more damage and bigger problems for the future. An expert would be more than happy to come assess your situation, give you an estimate, and provide you with the best solution. Let us help you find a specialist in your area! 

The Art of Foundation Repair

clock November 9, 2010 04:29 by author blogadmin
A professional foundation repair expert is trained to lift and stabilize shifting foundations by using quality ECP helical piers and helical anchors.

Foundation repair is defined as: the art of underpinning or stabilizing a structure that has moved from its originally constructed design. To underpin a home or structure one must extend the current foundation into a soil strata or layer that is deeper and more stable than the current soil that the foundation is resting upon. This is accomplished by providing additional support from the current footing or wall via piers, piles or anchors. Methods of foundation repairs include push piers, wall plate anchors, helical anchors or piers and concrete piles.

Those responsible for designing and instituting these methods include foundation engineers and professional foundation repair contractors. A foundation engineer is responsible to evaluate the structure in question and then provide a proposal for his design. Generally an engineer will recommend a foundation repair contractor to carry out his proposed plan for repair and then sign off on this plan upon the completion of fixing your foundation problem. While it is not always legally necessary for an engineer to be involved it is highly recommended anytime structural repairs are performed.

Poor soil conditions are the result of several primary factors. With suitable building sites becoming more scarce many home builders have been building houses on less than ideal lots. These subpar lots have less than suitable soil conditions to support many structures. There are also homes built on expansive soils that shrink and swell as rainfall and moisture levels change. Due to these conditions foundation support products must be utilized to supply support from deeper layers that are not as affected by fluctuating moisture levels. Underpinning provides a system to lift the home to an acceptable level and prevent additional settlement or movement.

Concrete slab on grade or pier and beam foundations are the most susceptible to weak or expanding clay soils. Due to the nature of having a large surface area resting on the uppermost soil layers these foundations have a tendency to move as the soil moves. Most concrete slab on grade homes are monolithically poured with the slab and beams cast together creating a rigid foundation. This rigid foundation becomes susceptible to differential settlement when moisture levels under the slab do not remain consistent. This can result from broken water lines, poor drainage or even inadequate guttering. Trees can also affect soils by their roots drying out areas under these slabs while the rest of the slab has normal moisture levels.

Differential soil or foundation settlement causes slab on grade foundations to rise on the perimeter or fall around the perimeter. Steel push piers and helical piers are generally an engineer’s recommended solution for these conditions. These piers penetrate through unstable soils down to a more consistent soil layer that has adequate strength to support the structure. These piering systems provide a deep foundation that can now be used to lift the foundation and to regain lost elevation levels.

In the case of homes with basements, expansive clay soils that have been over saturated with water can cause hydrostatic pressure on walls. This newly imposed pressure can cause wall bowing and concrete cracking. In extreme cases, catastrophic failure can occur from these wall stresses. When basement homes are originally designed it is with normal moisture content. Poor drainage often causes undue pressure to build behind basement walls exerting forces on the basement foundation. This is often the source of concrete cracking and water to infiltrate the space. Once again it is generally the differential movement that causes the foundation repair problem.

There are two common methods of fixing bowed basement walls. Plate Anchors (wall anchors) are an effective solution for many homes. These wall anchors are imbedded into competent soils beyond a zone of influence surrounding the structure. Threaded rods are then connected to these anchors on one end with the opposite end being attached to a wall plate inside the basement. With this system total excavation is not required and because of this additional soil load, wall recovery is accomplished over time with continued tightening of the anchor rods.

Next, there are helical tiebacks. This system of basement or retaining wall anchoring involves the complete excavation of the affected area. Helical anchors are screwed into the soil hydraulically, and then attached with a wall plate situated inside the basement wall. With the full excavation the wall can be instantaneously pulled back to plumb. The helical anchor can resist very heavy loads due to their design and the fact of their installation force equates to their resisting force.

The art of underpinning or stabilizing a structure that has moved from its originally constructed design must be performed by foundation repair expert under the guidance of professional engineers.


Cost of Foundation Repair

clock September 3, 2010 05:27 by author blogadmin
Low bids for the cost of foundation repair look enticing but they do not guarantee quality underpinning service. Hire a professional engineer to help you.

No matter what the source of your foundation problems, whether it is water, settlement, heaving or a combination of these factors foundation repair is a problem that must be taken seriously. The signs can be water in the basement, cracks in drywall, cracks in basement or concrete slabs or even misaligned doors and windows. When these signs are noticed your first thought becomes – What are these repairs going to cost me? Where do I start?

Unfortunately, this question is difficult to answer and cannot be answered with one statement across the board. Do you need basement wall cracks filled? Do you need tieback anchors or carbon fiber support for bowing basement walls? Is you slab foundation sinking or heaving? There are many questions that need to be answered and must be answered by a foundation expert like a foundation engineer or a qualified foundation repair contractor. These services can range from free for an opinion to several thousand dollars for a soil boring and a professional engineers full report. Generally foundation repair contractors offer their opinions free or for a nominal charge depending on the detail. Professional engineers can be hired to protect you throughout the repair process for a few hundred dollars to a full report and soils analysis for $2,000 - $2,500.

Now that we have determined the cause of the damage and the method of repair that is best suited for your home it is time to hire a qualified foundation repair contractor. The tendency here is to look for the lowest bid. The problem is that the lowest bid does you no good if the contractor is not qualified or uses inappropriate foundation repair methods. If you hired a professional engineer he can help you with the contractor selection process and may even have a list of preferred contractors.

So, we have our engineer and he has helped select a qualified foundation repair expert. You are now able to determine a cost for your repairs. Below is a list of typical repairs and a range of costs associated with each repair method.

·         Crack Injection - $400 - $600 per crack

·         Carbon Fiber Reinforcement - $350 - $500 per strap

·         Tieback or Wall Anchor - $400 - $650 per placement

·         Underpinning Piers - $650 - $2,100 per pier (large range due to different construction standards throughout the country)

·         Sump Pump Upgrading - $700 - $1,500 

Remember the costs associated with repairing your foundation are relative to the safety issues and decreased value that would be associated with an unrepaired foundation. The overall repair bill may be $1000 - $10,000, but if not repairing your home decreases the value by more you will be money ahead. While having foundation issues may seem overwhelming, the process can be fairly painless unless you do not follow the steps above. Inappropriate repair methods or repairs performed my unqualified contractors can create larger issues than your current state of affairs. Remember, if you hire an independent professional engineer you have an expert on your side who will lookout for your best interests.




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