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Understanding Block Foundation Cracks

clock December 27, 2013 05:26 by author
Cracks can affect all types of foundations, including block foundations. By hiring a contractor to install a waterproofing system, you can stop the formation of cracks.

It is common to have a block foundation in many areas around the country. Block foundations can, after time, experience cracking due to conditions around that foundation. Understanding what each type of crack is can lead to getting the correct fix for those crack types. Some block foundation cracks can be very serious, and mean a costly fix if not taken care of right away. As a home or business owner, it is wise to inspect your foundation frequently and be on the lookout for cracks in your block foundation. We can help you understand what each type is, and then you can be prepared to get it fixed. It is also important to note that block foundation repairs usually should not be handled as a do it yourself project. It is important to consult a foundation specialist or engineer to make sure that your block foundation is fixed properly. Use our foundation engineer network to find a foundation repair expert in your area to make sure these block foundation cracks are fixed right the first time. So let's learn more about the different crack types.

Block Foundation Crack Types

Horizontal

Horizontal cracks in your block foundation mean that there is pressure being put on those walls from the outside of the foundation. Soil around your foundation may have too much water in it. This puts pressure on your foundation walls. This is called hydrostatic pressure. This is a serious sign that your block foundation walls are under strain. Bowing and leaning is a common occurence when there is too much pressure on the walls around your foundation. It means you need to seek immediate attention from a professional foundation repair engineer. If left untreated, this type of crack in your block foundation can lead to collapse or foundation failure. Wall anchors or carbon fiber strips can be installed to add long lasting support to bowing and leaning walls. This is a minimally evassive solution. They can be installed inside or outside the walls depending on the setup of your foundation walls. Carbon strips are considered a green solution and you won't even really notice that they are there. Wall anchors actually pull the walls back into their orginal position. Contact a professional to see what solution is right for you.

Vertical

These types of block foundation cracks are a sure sign of foundation settlement or heaving. These cracks form slowly, but due to the pressure of your home or business on it, will grow wider over time and allow water in at some point when left untreated. The good news is that if you contact a foundation repair expert, there are foundation supports and underpinning products such as helical piers or push piers  that can add that additional support needed when settlement and sinking occur. Cracks can be filled with epoxy injections or grouting solutionsto seal the water out and prevent further water damage. It is always recommended to have a waterproofing solution in place as well in case you do get water in your basement. Waterproofing solutions such as sump pumps can help with damage that might occur from water that comes in through vertical cracks. When you are fixing your foundation, ask your foundation specialist if they offer waterproofing solutions. You might be able to prevent further problems with your foundation if you have a proper drainage system installed on the interior and exterior of your home. Many foundation specialist offer both foundation repair solutions and waterproofing solutions. When you have both installed, you can be virtually guarenteed to not have further problems with your foundation in the future.

Stair Steps

Sometimes, when settlement or sinking occurs with your foundation, it doesn't occur evenly. This causes stair step cracks in your block foundation. When the soil around your home settles it causes shifting and changing, and the exact same thing is happening to your foundation. This is a serious problem that should be looked at promptly. Underpinning and piering products add support in the right places when your foundation is shifting unevenly. Remember that grouting and epoxy injections can also be used to seal cracks to prevent water leakage in the future so you don't have any water stains or a wet basement.

Be Cautious with Foundation Repair

Be careful when it comes to foundation repair. When you search the internet or watch do it yourself shows on TV, sometimes it seems that foundation problems can be fixed simply by caulk or by mortar. We would not recommend this at My Foundation Repairs. The best thing you can do as a home or business owner is be vigilant when it comes to your foundation. Inspect it frequently. Keep gutters and downspouts clear of debris so they function correctly. Make sure water flows away from your foundation. Install waterproofing systems and drainage to control the level of water in your soil. But remember, there are many other factors to the health of your foundation than just too much water! If the soil is too dry, it will shrink away from your foundation causing a lack of support for block foundation walls. Soil that was poorly compacted around the foundation can cause settlement as well. The foundation of your home or business is the most important factor in safety and health of that structure. Protect it, and make sure it is repaired the right way by a foundation expert. 

Some Solutions for Block Foundation Repair

Each foundation is different so each solution will be different as well. Depending on the weight of the structure, helical piers or piles or slab piers as well as other underpinning products can be installed beneath the active layer of soil around your foundation, deep into the earth. This provides long lasting support for the structure. Some foundation repairs are cosmetic. A reputable foundation repair company will let you know this. In these cases, it may just be grout of epoxy injections that need to be performed to seal up the cracks in the foundation. Get in touch with the right foundation repair team through My Foundation Repairs, and get started on the road to a healthy foundation today. Remember that knowing what you are up against is half the battle. The other half is knowing who to turn to to resolve the problem. Get started today!



How Clogged Gutters can Affect your Foundation

clock September 30, 2013 09:08 by author
Do you have standing water around your foundation? Clogged gutters can cause an accumulation of water and lead to serious foundation problems.

How Clogged Gutters can Affect your Foundation

Although you may not think about it, the state of your gutters can affect many other areas of your home, including your foundation. If your gutters do not function properly, it could pose a threat to the overall integrity and safety of your home, lower the property value, or lead to foundation repairs and water issues. The most common problem that homeowners face with their gutters is that they fail to drain or channel excess rain water far enough away from the home.  If water is not able to travel through the gutter, it is most likely because the gutter has become clogged with leaves or debris. This is especially common in the autumn season when the trees are dropping their leaves. If you have clogged gutters often lead to costly foundation repairs that require extensive labor. Having your gutters regularly cleaned (at least once or twice a year) can prevent such problems from arising.

If your gutters have become clogged, it is important to understand and check for any other foundation problems that they may have caused. Overflowing water from clogged gutters will most likely end up pooling around your foundation. Over time, this excess water can lead to the erosion of soil around and underneath the foundation. The water could also leak directly into the basement through existing cracks in the foundation or basement walls, leading to multiple foundation issues, and water damage.

Erosion and pooling water around your foundation will weaken it, eventually causing foundation cracks or a shifting or settling foundation. These are serious problems that should be repaired as soon as possible by a professional foundation repair contractor. There are some telltale signs to look for when trying to determine if you have a settling foundation or sinking foundation. If you notice leaning walls or bowing walls in your home or in your basement, it is a good indicator that something is wrong with the foundation. Another quite obvious indicator may be foundation cracks, itself, wall cracks, or even ceiling cracks. Sticking windows and doors are another good sign that your foundation is in need of repair. Sometimes, a damaged foundation may even lead to a wet basement. If you find any of these problems with your foundation, contact My Foundation Repairs for the expert service that you need to take care of all your foundation repair needs.

Foundation Repair Solutions for Clogged Gutter Issues

My Foundation Repairs offers a variety of foundation repair services to insure that your home is returned to normal in the shortest amount of time possible. The most common fix for most of the above problems is to raise the foundation back to it's original position by a method called underpinning and then seal any cracks that may have formed in the foundation or walls. To do this, we use helical piers or steel push piers to support the foundation. These work by drilling into the stable soil underneath any voids that may have been caused by erosion or shifting soil. Then the weight of the house is transferred onto the helical pier or steel push pier and the house is raised to it's original position. We also provide epoxy and polyurethane grout crack injection to fill any cracks that may have formed and insure that water does not leak through them and into your home.

My Foundation Repair offers top solution for all of your foundation repair issues. We use quality methods and reliable materials from ECP (Earth Contact Products) to guarantee the welfare of your home. Don't let clogged gutters get the best of you; contact us for a free estimate today!



Sources of Basement Water Leaks

clock September 6, 2011 16:33 by author blogadmin
Clogged gutters and wall cracks lead to basement water leaks. Know what is causing your water issues so you can identify the source of the problem.

Basement Water Leaks

Basement waterproofing, wall cracksWhere is the water coming from? Basement water leaks can be elusive at times. The following will help you narrow down the source of your leak and guide you toward the best way to seal your basement.

1. Do you get the water after all rains or just on the heavy rains? If it doesn’t matter on the severity of the rain, and you experience seepage on a light rain or on a heavy downpour, you probably have an issue with your runoff grading or downspouts and gutters. If your basement is unaffected by the light and quick rains, but floods during prolonged storms, heavy downpours, or multiple days of rain, you most likely are dealing with the water table rising up due to the ground getting saturated and having no place to go except through cracks and openings in your basement.

2. Do you get water as soon as it starts to rain or does it come in the next day or hours after the rain has stopped? If the seepage occurs within 30 minutes or less of when it starts to rain, you most likely have an exterior problem. Once again, check your grading, downspouts and gutters and make sure the water is directed away from the house and gutters are clean. If it takes many hours or even the following day and you see moisture or puddles on the floor, this points to the water table taking its time rising up from below your basement floor and seeping in.

3. Does the water come from where the floor and the wall meet or does it come down the wall starting at eye level? When water comes from the wall at eye level and runs down the basement wall you most likely have an exterior problem. Eye level should typically coincide with where the grade meets the exterior of the house. If the water comes in where the floor meets the wall, this suggests the hydrostatic pressure from the water table underneath the basement slab and over saturated soils.

If your answer to these questions all lead to the water table being the source of your seepage, then the one and only way to permanently fix the problem is to install an sealed interior drain system. These interior drain tile systems are one of the more important aspects to keeping moisture from entering your home. This sealed interior drain system uses the most effective approach by using a perforated drain pipe that is installed inside the perimeter of the footing. They are building code approved when installed and sealed correctly by one of our professonals. The drain pipe drains the area to a lower level. 

Waterproofing Steps

Water problems are the main cause for foundation problems. Knowing the cause of water leaks will lead to the solutions needed to waterproofing your home. Determine if it is an interior or exterior problem. On the exterior, make sure the soil is properly graded areound the periometer of your home. If it is not, you may need re-grading or surface drainage installation. Check gutters and downspouts to make sure the run-off is draining away from the home. Look at the exterior concrete and make sure the concrete is not falling toward the home. If it is, the concrete may need to be taken out and replaced. Basements and crawlspaces also need an exterior drainage system next to footing. Sump pumps should be installed and determining the correct size of the sump pump is critical. It it is too small, it won't keep up with the amount of water coming in. A pump that is too big is also a problem because it will pump water so fast that the pump will 'short cycle' which will cause it to fail and replacement needed. Let a professional help you to determine what waterproofing solution is needed for your particular water problems. 

For a Free Estimate visit MyWaterproofing.com



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