Your resource of foundation repair information and local contractors.

Need Info or Local Contractor? Call Us: 309-944-7296

Concrete Foundation Cracks

clock February 13, 2012 05:01 by author
Foundation cracks don't just magically disappear. Hire a foundation contractor to find out the severity and cause of your foundation cracks.

Is That Foundation Crack Serious?

Concrete Foundation Cracks, Foundation Repair, ECP

In a recent article by Christopher Solomon, Is that crack serious? Foundation problems 101, the seriousness of foundation cracks was addressed. This article spoke to the severe drought that began in Southwest Texas and slowly expanded to cover, Oklahoma City, Wichita and Kansas City. In its wake homes have settled, cracked and crumbled due to the soil drying out. The article went on to report - "The drought that some are comparing to the Dust Bowl has homes rockin' and rollin' as the parched ground beneath them cracks and settles. Homeowners are watering foundations - to keep their abode in place - and forgetting about their grass"

Being in the industry of foundation repair I have noticed the effects from this most recent drought. As the drought has grown the demand for foundation repair products has grown with it. Calls from foundation repair contractors have expanded in volume, frequency and territory. By watching the phone calls you could see how the drought slowly moved from San Antonio, San Angelo and Lubbock to Dallas, Fort Worth and Denton then slowly towards Oklahoma City and Muskogee followed by Wichita, Emporia and Kansas City. More and more homes have been affected by the drought causing them to settle and crack. The soil has been so devoid of moisture that it and anything set upon it has settled downward at an alarming rate. It has affected slab on grade homes, pier and beam homes and full basement homes with equal abandon.

Solomon goes on to explain "The reason: a black gunbo clay that was brought down during the last Ice Age". It also exists in the Atlanta area and in pockets elsewhere, including St. Louis and Denver. But even bedrock can move. The American Society of Civil Engineers has estimated that one-quarter of the nation's homes have suffered damage caused by expanding soil". With numbers like this it is easy to see what a serious problem we have throughout the Midwest and beyond. As with any major weather event homeowners are subjected to unscrouplous contractors and bad advice. Be very careful of contractors that are very aggressive or new to he industry. They do not care about your home like you do and will be off to swindle the next homeowner after they have collected your money. The best way to protect yourself and your home is to hire a professional foundation engineer to oversee any and all foundation repairs. Often this expense is not only something that gives you peace of mind but also can save you money by preventing bad contractors from doing more damage.

Foundation cracks are not something that goes away or fixes itself. The severity and cause of the cracks needs to be addressed by a professional foundation repair contractor or professional engineer. Then the right solution can be applied you your home to stabilize, lift or straighten your homes foundation. This is a highly specialized field to requires high quality products, professional training and a company that will stand behind what they do for years to come. This does not mean that the best solution is a written warranty that promises the moon in the large print and penalizes you in the fine print, but a written document provided by the foundation contractor that states he will stand behind his work and uphold his reputation. Dont fall prey to "lifetime warranties" that require arbitration and other tactics of poor contractors. If you have a future problem you need to know that the company will be around and willing to fix any unexpected problems willingly.

What to Look For

Later in the article Solomon goes on to say "Horizontal cracks across the foundation are often serious. Horizontal cracks are caused by hydrostatic pressure - basically, too much water behind the foundation. It pushes on the foundation". "Here's a tip: Look down the outside of your house. Does the home appear to be hanging over the foundation, especially in the middle, as if the home is too big for it's foundation? That's a tell-tale sign." On the other hand, a vertical crack often indicates a more serious problem. Vertical cracks often are indicators of settlement, like what comes during extreme droughts. Is the crack wider at the top than the bottom? If so this is a classic sign of settlement. As the foundation tries to settle the concrete foundation starts cracking and starts "tearing" the wall from the top down. First and second floor windows and doors will start sticking, windows will become harder to open and close and drywall cracks will start popping up. These classic signs are indicators that you need to find professional help immediately. 

 



Most Popular Foundation Repair Products

clock January 7, 2012 20:50 by author blogadmin
A foundation repair contractor can determine the cause of foundation failure and provide foundation products to repair wall cracks.

Foundation Repair Causes

What causes foundation failure? There are many reasons why your foundation may be failing. Hot and dry weather conditions could cause soil to pull away from your foundation. This results to moisture imbalance causing cracks in the interior and exterior of the home. Your landscaping could also cause foundation failure. Trees and shrubs planted too close to the foundation causing transpiration. During transpiration, tree roots dehydrate the soil underneath the home leading to soil shrinkage and settlement of your home. Make sure all leaking pipes are repaired. Leaky plumbing can lead to foundation problems. As a homeowner, make sure you have the best waterproofing solution. Having proper drainage, can eliminate moisture build up that causes soil to expand. Clean all of your gutters and make sure you have the downspouts to redirect the flow of water away from your foundation. Poor building site preparation and ground preparation are also key factors leading to foundation issues. Knowing the causes of foundation failure will save every homeowner time and money in the long run. Repair these issues as soon as possible before it is too late.

Foundation Failure Signs

There are crucial signs to look out for when identifying foundation failure. These signs can be in the interior and exterior of your home as well as the garage. Walk around the perimeter of your home and look for cracks in the bricks, gaps around the window frames, a leaning chimney, concrete cracks, and garage column cracks. Look inside of your home for cracks in the drywall, sticking windows, concrete cracks, misaligned doors/windows, and sloped floors. Check your basement for cracked floors, water stains on floors and walls, and bowed walls. Don't forget to check your crawl space. It can be an area that many homeowners overlook. Inpsect this area for tilting or leaning walls, bowing walls, insect infestation, and cracks in the foundation. There may also be a musty odor due to high moisture and mildew.  Without foundation repairs, these conditons can get worse costing you time and money in the long run. Don't  jeopordize your family's health by exposing them to dangerous mold.

Foundation Repair Methods

When homeowners notice cracks in the foundation along with doors and windows sticking many realize that they know nothing about these structural defects nor do they even know what their options are. Just knowing your options can lead many people to a solution that fits their home, situation and budget. Knowledge is power when it comes to the structural foundation repairs.

The chart below provides which foundation repair underpinning and wall support products are used across the country. This data is a cross section of information gathered over the past decade.

foundation repair products

Contact your local foundation repair contractor or professional foundation engineer to find the best solution for your foundation problems. Your foundation repair contractor will inspect the situation and repair it.



New England Foundation Repairs

clock December 19, 2011 12:44 by author
Even in extreme cases New England Foundation and Stabilization Company can assist homeowners with their foundation repair needs by using quality helical piers.

New England Foundaton Repair Project

New England Foundation RepairsOf the many projects New England Foundation and Stabilization Co. has reviewed and worked on, this small house is on the top of our list for the most severe settlement we have witnessed. Our company had reviewed this project several times under different owners until finally the settlement required repair of the structure or the city would declare it condemned. The entire perimeter of the structure had settled over years, but drastically along the front of the house. In some cases the structure had settled over 12 inches in less than a span of 12 feet. At one time, this neighborhood was a large dump site and the depth of fill in some areas exceeded 80 feet.

Large cracks were somewhat visible from the exterior and interior of the house. However a thin layer of fiberglass coating was parged onto the foundation to hide the deteriorating condition of the foundation to new buyers. The foundation had also rotated out from underneath the house up to 5”.

The interior of the structure also showed every significant sign of settlement in some of the most extreme conditions. From an extreme sloping floor, to sticking doors, floating walls, misaligned windows and frames, and cracked drywall.

The Foundation Repair Solution

The ECP Resistance and Helical Piles proved to be the perfect solution for this house. The Steel Piers are hydraulically pressed piles that fasten to the foundation and advance through the poor bearing soils that allowed the structure to settle. The Helical Piers are small “screw” piles that are torqued through the poor soils into good bearing strata. A total of 20 ECP Model 350 Piers were installed on the inside of the foundation wall. A total of 4 Helical Piles were installed for the new column supports at the beam. The average depth of the ECP Push Piers was 65 feet.

Once all the piers were installed the foundation was lifted using the ECP Resistance Piers. The center beam was also temporarily shored and lifted as we raised the foundation. Due to the concrete condition our lift was limited and a full restoration was not possible. However, in some areas we were able to achieve a lift of 8”. Once the foundation and beam was lifted, new columns were installed on the ECP Helical Piers. The foundation wall was also pushed back in effort to re-straighten the wall.

The owner of the property purchased it in hopes of restoring and flipping the house. His crews removed some areas of the horse hair plaster where cracks had occurred due to the large lift. They then re-plastered and refinished the interior finishes.

After several weeks completing the full renovation, this house was placed on the market. The new owners will be pleased to know that their foundation will no longer sink being guaranteed for 25 years by our manufacturer ECP Steel Pier System and New England Foundation and Stabilization Co.



FIND A CONTRACTOR IN YOUR AREA

CHOOSE STATE:

Month List

Sign in


Go Back to MyFoundationRepairs.com    RSS comment feed RSS