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Summer heat keeping foundation repair companies busy

clock July 16, 2013 04:26 by author
Hot weather conditions cause dry soil to pull away from the home's foundation. This leads to settlement issues and cracking due to the lack of soil moisture.

 

In a recent online article by Andrew Chung of KVUE he described how the start of hot weather brings on foundation problems for many homeowners in Texas and throughout the Midwest. It’s a cycle of weather that all homeowners must deal with as the soil dries out and their homes start settling.

In Pflugerville, Texas workers stabilized the foundation of Debby Krueger’s home by installing piers and lifting a section of her home. Inside her home, a crack on her bedroom wall is evidence of a foundation issue. 

Krueger says she's one of the luckier homeowners. Her foundation problems are minor compared to others.  "My doors - you can see there was a little bit of change at the doors, but I've never had 'em stick - but my neighbors did,” she said.

Mrs. Krueger, like many homeowners is getting ready to sell her home.  "They kind of said on a level that my house is not that bad, but because of people wanting to get loans for houses, you know, you have to be sure that you have that fixed,” she explained.

Enrique Comparan is a co-owner of the Foundation Repair Company working on her home. He said the front of Krueger's home was fine but the rear had to be supported.  "If you put it on (a scale)1 to 10 in her case, we're talking about like 3, 4, you know...she's taking care of her issue on an early, early time, which is good," he explained. By taking care of the problem in the early stages homeowners can save money compared to waiting and having more structural damage occur.

Foundation repair contractors in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri are getting more calls during the summer months to repair foundation problems.  Once the temperature starts moving upward the soils dry out and homes sink. As the temperature reaches 100 degrees the soil loses moisture very quickly and homeowners see cracking and settling issues arise.

Comparan said when some homeowners start seeing problems, they tend to water the ground next to the foundation, which isn't a good idea.  "What they'll do is they'll crank out the soaker hose for a few hours every day until the house basically heaves slightly, and closes the crack or makes that door work properly again, and then they think they solved the problem." He said that's when they stop watering on a regular basis - and the problem just comes right back.

After the workers put in high quality piering systems, most recommend customers not use soaker hoses to water their foundations. Simon Wallace, who is the owner of Quality Foundation Repair, agrees soaker hoses are not the way to go.  "The soaker hose is like a band-aid.  It's not really repairing the actual problem with the home," he said.

To keep your house from deteriorating to this point, experts recommend you maintain healthy landscaping that comes right up to the foundation - and water that landscaping regularly - within your city's rules.

"We actually recommend putting in a moisture barrier around the perimeter to stop the sun baking that soil around the perimeter of the slab, and that will control the moisture level and keep the foundation stable," said Wallace.  He also said it’s a good idea to make sure your home’s gutter system directs water away from the foundation.

The summer heat is keeping foundation repair companies busy, but once they're done with their work, they provide a warranty to prevent that sinking feeling.

 

Foundation of article provided by Andrew Chung http://www.kvue.com/news/Drought-keeping-foundation-repair-companies-busy-215462051.html



4 High-Pressure Home Improvement Sales Tactics

clock July 13, 2013 04:48 by author
Homeowners should not get pressured into buying anything, they should purchase solutions to their problems.

 

Representatives that are selling products related to the improvement of your home can be some of the most challenging salespeople to deal with. Why? Because, it's easy to convince people to spend money on their homes. You spend lots of time in and around your home and you want any upgrades you make to be done right and to last for years. What's more, these sales professionals often require a visit to your house. It's much harder to get someone out of your house than it is to walk away from someone in a store. With that in mind, here are some of the high-pressure sales tactics you might face so you can prepare yourself to handle them effectively and prevent them from scamming you.

 Upselling

 Not only might you be upsold on the product you originally intended to purchase. "Builder's grade? That's primarily used for commercial applications or apartment buildings. I almost never sell those to homeowners!", but once you have a salesman inside your house, they might feel free to point out other shortcomings or things you should consider purchasing. You might hear something like, "I noticed when we were in your basement that you recently finished it. It would be terrible if it flooded and ruined everything down there.” Or "as long as you're waterproofing your basement, why don't we take a look at your radon levels?"

  

Short Term Sales and Deals

 Once you've discussed your options and narrowed down what you want, the sales person should offer you a price, in writing, for the work you want done. But, in order to close the deal, you might be offered a sale or a price that is only valid for a very short time - say, “today and today only”.

 A deal is not a deal if you don't really want what you're being sold. Don't get pressured to buy now by what appears to be a one-time chance to save money. If there really is a sale that really is ending, it will probably come around again. There's also a chance that you could take your time to decide and, if you got a new quote six months later, you'd be offered the same deal. Besides, it’s your home, you are not looking for the “cheapest deal”, you are looking for a permanent solution at a fair price.

 

Unrealistic Warranties

 Lifetime warranty, it sounds great but is it realistic? How many products that you buy have lifetime warranties? If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Let's say you're considering having a window replaced, and one of the main differences between the mid-grade window and the high-grade window is the warranty. The mid-grade window comes with a lifetime warranty; the high-grade window comes with a double lifetime warranty. The lifetime warranty will only cover the window while you are the homeowner, whereas the double lifetime warranty will stay with the home no matter who owns it.

 If you have no plans to sell, this extra feature isn't worth the cost. Even if you are planning to sell, could you recoup the cost in the sales price of your home? If a buyer were looking at comparable sales when deciding how much to offer on your house, would they say, "But this house comes with a double lifetime warranty on all of its windows, so it's worth the extra $3,000 the seller is asking"? The subject probably wouldn't even come up. What's more, the double lifetime warranty does not cover accidental glass breakage, which is probably the window expense that people are most concerned about.

Scripted Sales Presentations

Often high pressure in home salesmen will rely of flashy and scripted presentations to sell the job. They follow a step-by-step program setup by their employer that is designed to keep you saying yes and designed to pull as much money from your wallet a possible. This is type of sales has been perfected by the vacuum sweeper industry. “I would like to clean one of your rooms” they say to get in your home, they then keep cleaning to present how their overpriced product can make your life easier. They continue to clean until you reach the breaking point when you pullout your wallet or throw them out the door.

This technique has been adopted by several home improvement service companies, but especially basement waterproofing contractors. Once they get in your home, they present then push and push until your reach your breaking point. Their scripted presentations are about them and the products they are instructed to sell, not about you and your current problem that needs to be solved.

A reputable contractor will provide you with a solution for your problem that you have both agreed upon. His solution will be comprehensive but addresses real problems not pie in the sky, what if scenarios. A reputable contractor does not pressure you to spend more and spend now, a reputable foundation repair contractor has the same goals that you have. He wants to solve your problem permanently and give you the peace of mind that your home has been improved by someone that shares your goals

 



Options for Foundation Repairs

clock July 11, 2013 02:40 by author
A professional foundation engineer can support and stabilize your home's foundation by using ECP foundation repair products.

Foundation Repair Options

We all need options and this is never more evident than when it comes to your home. Your concrete foundation provides critical support for your home and it is necessary that your foundation be kept in good repair at all times. Any type of damage to your foundation can cause many different problems, ranging from a leak in your basement to a problem with the stability of your home. You do not need any of these issues, so if you have an issue with your foundation, you should call in the professionals right away to give you some options for foundation repair. By working with a professional to solve your foundation issues, you can keep your home safe for your family and you can protect the long-term value of your home.

  

Options for Foundation Repair

 The best type of foundation repair is going to vary depending on a variety of different elements. Your location and the soils around your home has a large impact. Soils in Chicago for example and soils in Kansas City and soils in Virginia Beach each have unique profiles which have an impact on your foundation. The cause of the problem greatly impacts which method of repair is right for you. The extent of the problem also will play a role in what foundation repair method is best. Finally, your budget is going to have an impact in how your foundation is repaired as there are certain options that have a lower cost than other methods of repair.

  

The best way to choose the right foundation repair method is to have an experienced and qualified foundation repair expert come to your home, evaluate your situation and give you details on the different options available to you. A qualified foundation expert can help you weigh the pros and cons of each option, you can then make an informed choice and select the best foundation repair method that will provide a long-term and comprehensive solution to your issues.

  

Some of the different foundation repair options that you may wish to consider and that your foundation repair expert may tell you about include the following:

  

        Push Piers. Steel push piers provide support against settling or sinking basement walls. These highly engineered bracket systems are installed under your foundation and piers or piles are driven deeply into the soil to provide permanent support for your home.

         Carbon Fiber straps or strips. Carbon fiber uses straps to stop cracking or bowing of the foundation in your home. There is no need to do any outside excavating of your home when high quality carbon fiber is the chosen method of foundation repairs.

 

        Plate Anchors. This option involves the installation of steel reinforcement plates on the inside and outside of your basement wall, which then are attached to provide supplemental support for bowing or leaning basement walls. There is only minor excavation that needs to be done and can be completed very quickly.

 

        Crack injection. This is a very simple and straightforward solution when your foundation has cracked. A special polyurethane or epoxy can be used to fill the cracks in basement walls. Polyurethanes provide a flexible seal against water and epoxies are used as a structural repair to permanently seal basement wall or floor cracks.

  

These and other options should be discussed with your foundation repair expert so the right solution is found given the nature of your foundation issues.

Note: It is always recommended that you consult with a professional foundation engineer before beginning any structural foundation repair project.



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