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Different Types of Home Foundations

clock October 28, 2013 10:13 by author
There are different types of foundations, so choose the right foundation to avoid settlement and slab cracks.

Home Foundations

Home FoundationsThough most home foundation are made of concrete, there are a few key differences in the many variations. Some factors that affect what type of foundation you should choose for your home include the soil type in the area, the climate, and the size and design of your home itself. Some soils require a home to have a very deep rooted foundation, while other soils are better at supporting the structure. Also, some types of foundation are not able to withstand cold weather or flood conditions as well as other types. Choose the right foundation to avoid foundation problems such as a sinking or settling foundation, or slab cracks.

The most common type of home foundation is a poured concrete foundation. There are many types of concrete foundations, including the slab foundation, and the basement foundation. In a slab foundation, a concrete slab that makes the foundation is poured onto a bed of crushed gravel. This improves drainage and makes the foundation ideal for areas where the ground does not freeze in the wintertime. A basement foundation is a bit different. This concrete foundation rests in a hole in the ground and is supported by concrete footings, which are poured pads that serve as a base for the walls. These footings are both wider and longer than the walls and work much like feet in distributing the weight of the wall and the above structure. They are often used in places that have cold winters.

The next type of home foundation is the crawlspace. This space is located between the bottom of your home and the soil, and is usually just tall enough for your to crawl into. This type of foundation is great for areas with lots of clay in the soil. They are also one of the most affordable types of foundation. A crawlspace does, however, need to be insulated to prevent water damage from occurring.

Home Foundation Options for Every Situation

For use in areas where the winters are very cold, a frost-protected foundation is the suitable choice. These foundations are usually T-shaped and the footings extend deep below the frost line to provide extra support for the slab. Frost-protected foundations can, however, be installed without digging below the frost line. These are called frost-protected shallow foundations (FPSF), and use insulated concrete to protect the foundation from the cold.

In areas that are prone to flooding, a raised foundation is best. There are two types of raised foundations: pier-and-beam and stem wall. Both require lots of care and planning, as they must protect against water as well as support the weight of the structure. A pier-and-beam foundation works by using concrete or brick blocks reinforced with footings. These blocks are placed about 8-12 inches apart to raise the home above the flood line. Stem wall foundations are similar, but instead of having spaced footings, they have continuous footings.

Permanent wood foundations are another type of foundation. They are recommended by many manufacturers as an alternative to crawlspace, basement, and stem wall foundations. This type of foundation is made of lightweight, preservative-treated, decay-resistant wood. Because they do not require concrete pouring or casting, permanent wood foundations are convenient and easy to install. They are also moisture resistant and easier to insulate than other types of home foundations.

To decide what type of foundation is best for you and your home, talk to a professional structural engineer. My Foundation Repair can connect you with some of the best in the business. Let us help you out today!

 



Commercial Foundation Repair

clock October 28, 2013 09:03 by author
For commercial foundation repair solutions, a licensed professional can use heavy duty helical piers to lift and stabilize sinking foundations.

Commercial Foundation Repair

Homeowners are not the only ones who struggle with foundation problems. Commercial property managers and business owners also have to deal with foundation related issues quite often. Whether it is an office building, business storefront, or a multi-family structure, any type of building is at risk of developing a shifting, settling, or cracked foundation. One thing that makes many commercial building especially susceptible to problems like these is the great weight of the buildings. Commercial buildings usually have wider and deeper footings, taller walls, and greater loads than the average home. For this reason, commercial foundation repair is becoming more and more popular.

The dangers of neglecting foundation repair are quite significant. If you fail to fix your foundation, your commercial building could suffer from cracks in the walls or floor, leaning walls, bowing walls, sticking doors and windows, sloping floors, and more. Foundation problems can even lead to water issues, especially on lower levels and around the foundation of the structure. These are issues that are not only annoying, but could also be dangerous to those working in and utilizing your structure. Foundation repair is no trivial matter - hire a professional foundation repair contractor to inspect and repair your commercial structure.

Methods and Products for Commercial Foundation Repair

Commercial Foundation RepairCommercial foundation repair solutions usually involve many of the same techniques as residential foundation repair methods. Some of the most well suited products for foundation repair are heavy duty helical piers and heavy duty resistance piers. These extra strong piers have a great lifting capacity, vibration free installation, and easy load verification. Piers like these are normally used to lift and stabilize a sinking foundation. They do this by driving or screwing (in the case of helical piers) into the ground under the failing section of the foundation. The weight of the structure is then transferred onto the pier. which is used to stabilize the foundation and raise the building back to it's original level. Other foundation repair products that are used in commercial foundation repair include helical tiebacks and plate anchors, used to straighten and support leaning or bowing foundation walls. This is accomplished by drilling a hole into the yard that is adjacent to the affected wall and driving an anchor into the ground. This anchor is then connected to a plate in the wall by a tie rod, relieving the pressure on the leaning or bowing wall. A qualified foundation engineer can help you choose the right products and methods to restore your commercial building to top condition.

Since foundation repair is a vital part of keeping your structure safe, it is important to hire an experienced foundation repair contractor that has been specifically trained in commercial foundation repair. Because of permitting rules and complicated factors such as structural weights, soil conditions, and live loads, a foundation engineer is usually required to perform commercial underpinning or structural work. Do not underestimate the importance of foundation repair; if you see an issue with any component of your commercial structure, contact a foundation engineer immediately to diagnose and treat the problem. My Foundation Repair can connect you to a foundation repair contractor with the expertise to take care of your foundation repair project.



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!

 



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