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Foundation Problems Explained

clock October 28, 2013 04:43 by author
Know the warning signs of foundation problems such as bowing walls, leaning chimneys, leaning walls, and wall cracks.

Foundation Problems: What to Look For

Foundation settlement is the movement of a home or building to a point below its original position. This is usually caused by the shifting or compaction of the underlying soil. This can be caused by changes in soil conditions and moisture content, construction on previously disturbed soil or backfill. Knowing the signs of foundation problems before they become an even bigger problem will save you time and money in the long run. Early warning signs can be easy to spot if you are aware of changes happening in and around your home. Some are easier than others to notice. A sinking or sloping floor can be pretty obvious. You may think that because a door or window is hard to open, it's just old window frames or dried paint. Windows and/or doors that become hard to open or latch is another sign that more investigation needs to be done to your foundation. Other signs are: cracks in walls, especially over a doorway or window, cracks in tile or vinyl floors, leaning walls or bowing walls, leaning chimney, garage cracks, and slab cracks

If you are aware of any of these signs, a little more investigation is needed by going outside and looking down the length of your foundation and notice if it is straight or if there are any bulges or divots. If you see bulges or divots, it is a sign that your foundation has shifted. Next, check the walls and see if there are any signs of bowing or leaning. If so, this means that the soil has contracted and expanded causing pressure against the walls. Underlying soil expands when it gets wet and shrinks when it dries. This causes voids underneath the foundaiton causing it to shift or settle. 

Basements and crawlspaces should be checked to make sure that the posts are straight and are firm underneath the beams they support. Check to see if framing is wet or if there are puddles forming. If that is the case, it is a sign of poor drainage around the foundation. This poor drainage can also cause the soil beneath the foundation to shift or settle.

 

Concrete Cracks and What They Mean

Concrete and block foundations normally have a few cracks because it shrinks when it cures causing it to crack. These hairline cracks are not signs of foundation problems, However, if a crack is wider than a quarter inch, or you see stairstep cracks in the masonary joints, these concrete cracks are signs of foundation settlement. Another sign that a crack is of concern is if they are horizontal. This is an indication that water-saturated soil has frozen and expanded causing it to push the concrete in and breaking it. 

Solutions

By recognizing any of the signs of foundation settlement, this will give you a heads up if you are looking at a home to buy, or for your existing home's safety. A foundation repair engineer, can analyze the situation and suggest a solution. My Foundation Repairs will send an expert in your area to examine your foundation and answer any questions you have. The experienced foundation repair specialists use only the best underpinning products in the industry. The steel push piers, helical piers, plate anchors or any product that is needed for foundation repair are made by Earth Contact Products (ECP), the leading manufaturer of foundation repair and basement waterproofing in the industry. 

My Foundation Repairs is committed to giving homeowners the most qualified and experienced foundation repair contractor in the area that uses only the best products available to repair any of your foundation problems. For a free estimate from an expert in your area, contact My Foundation Repairs today!

 



Be on the Lookout: Causes of Foundation Failure

clock October 1, 2013 06:52 by author
If you suspect your home has foundation failure, call a professional immediately. They have the knowledge and equipment to repair your foundation.

Foundation Settlement

The foundation of your home is the most important part of your home's structure. It is the base of your home. The frustration of foundation problems for a homeowner could be endless and financially draining if not properly addressed by a professional in the foundation repair business. The causes and signs of foundation failure are many. Homeowners need to be aware of what to look for and a professional in the business can find out what the cause is.

Focusing on the causes is important and can help the experts determine the best solutions to your foundation repair needs. Water is the leading cause of concrete foundation failure. The evaporation of soil can cause it to pull away from the foundation while excess moisture from drainage problems washes the soil away from the foundation. Improperly prepared soil when the home was being constructed can cause the soil to shift. The roots of mature trees that are close to your home can draw moisture from the soil beneath your foundation.

Steel push piers are also commonly known also as micro piles, push piers, or resistance piers. Unlike concrete cylinders, these end-bearing piers do not rely on or require skin friction to produce support. Helical piers are used when there is a need to resist both tension and compression forces. Helical piers can be installed in all weather conditions, there is little to no disturbance to landscaping, and they can be installed below active soils. 

The warning signs of a foundation that has settled can be seen both inside and outside of your home. By looking for these signs and catching them early, can reduce further damage and save money in the long run. What to look for in the interior of your home: Cracks from the corners of interior walls, doors and windows that get stuck or don't open or close properly, warped or cracked floors. What to look for on the exterior of your home: Cracked bricks, shifting of walls, cracks in the foundation, separation of concrete around doors and windows or garage doors.

Earth Concrete Products (ECP) is the leading manufacturer of foundation and basement waterproofing products in the industry. Steel push piers and helical piers as well as plate anchors and wall anchors are some of the most commonly used solutions for foundation failure and foundation problems in our industry. 

ECP also offers carbon fiber repair. The bowing wall laminate and bowing wall fabric that can be installed to counteract the soil pressure placed on basement walls. Carbon fiber fabric is used over basement wall cracks to provide more strength to the cracked area. Floor stitching is a fiber stitching system used to bridge shear forces that cause cracks in floor slabs.

Protect your investment. Look for foundation failure signs both on the interior and exterior of your home. If you suspect that your foundation is in need of repair, call a professional. They have the knowledge and equipment to repair any of your foundation repair needs. 



Signs of a Sinking/Settling Foundation

clock October 1, 2013 06:24 by author
Leaning walls, bowing walls, and wall cracks are signs of foundation failure. Contact a professional if you notice any of these warning signs in your home.

From time to time it’s a good idea to walk around your home and look for signs of foundation problems. Some things to look for are cracks in walls or floors, leaning or bowing walls, leaning chimneys, even hard to open doors and windows. Don’t take any of these signs lightly. The longer you ignore them, the more devastating they can become to the home. If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to contact a professional that has experience in inspecting and suggesting the best solution to remedy the problem.  

A sinking or settling foundation needs to be taken care of as soon as you see any of these signs. The sooner it’s taken care, the less amount of damage and the less it will cost you in the long run. Foundation settling is caused by soil shifting due to an either poor construction when the home was built, poorly compacted soil, expansive soils, and deteriorating supports. 

As you inspect your home and find wall cracks, many homeowners believe that this was something that happened recently. However, this usually is a case where it has happened over time, and it’s important to treat these cracks as a potentially serious problem that needs to be inspected by a professional. 

Soil pressure can cause walls to tilt or bow because the wall is being pushed by soil pressure. Walls then crack when they tilt or bow. These cracks occur along joint lines between individual blocks. These cracked walls increase the chances of unwanted water in your basement or crawl space. Having these tilting and bowed walls checked early, can stop serious damage from occurring to your foundation. 

A leaning chimney is a sign that repair needs to be done on the support footing and foundation. The chimney is one of the essential and heaviest parts of the home, built on a small amount of space. The concrete footing that it is built on needs to be big enough to support it and keep it from sinking into the ground. If your chimney starts to pulls away from the house, gaps occur allowing water or bugs to enter causing further damage to your home.

Steel piers are a good choice for most of your foundation repair issues. They are economical and are a permanent solution for your home’s foundation. These underpinning piers are an end bearing pier that can provide safety and support because they do not rely on the soil skin friction.

Helical piers is another type of underpinning pier used. They are quick to install and excellent for foundation repair where limestone or load bearing soil are not easily accessible.

Plate anchors stabilize leaning or bowing walls and are the most economical method for stabilizing these leaning or bowed walls. The installation of these plate anchors are quick because the use handheld equipment and there is little disturbance to your yard and landscaping.

Earth Contact Products (ECP), is the leading manufacturer of foundation and basement waterproofing products in the industry. Contact a professional today for any of your foundation repair needs.



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