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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!



Crawlspace Problems and Solutions

clock October 28, 2013 11:19 by author
Crawlspaces are often overlooked and forgotten. Install a vapor barrier if your crawlspace is wet and damp to prevent water damage.

Crawlspace Problems

The crawlspace is a very important part of your home. It supports the entire structure. If a problem arises with your crawlspace, it could possibly lead to major issues in other areas of your home. Some common crawlspace problems are moisture issues - water damage or water stains, mold, etc., and structural issues - failing supports, sinking or settlement. Fortunately, a professional foundation repair contractor can supply you with the necessary skills and tools to fix all of your crawlspace problems.

One very common issue that many homeowners struggle with is moisture in your crawlspace. Excess moisture in your crawlspace can lead to a lot of annoying problems, such as decayed supports, water stains or damage, and mold. The formation of mold is an especially dangerous issue, as the mold can infect the air. This might not seem like such a big deal, as you probably don't spend a whole lot of time on your crawlspace. Much of the air you breathe throughout your home, however, comes from your crawlspace or basement. This means that you and your family could breathe in the mold-infected air from your crawlspace! Some signs that your crawlspace may have a moisture problem are:

  • Mold or mildew in crawlspace
  • Musty odors in living area
  • Condensation on duct work, insulation, or water pipes
  • Rotting wooden framing
  • Pests or insects in crawlspace
  • Rusty metal surfaces in crawlspace
  • High humidity in living area
  • Buckled hardwood floor

If you notice any of these symptoms, chances are that your crawlspace has a moisture problem. Contact a specialist immediately to have your crawlspace repaired.

Another problem that can arise in a crawlspace is structural failing. This happen when your crawlspace starts to shift or settle, leading to cracks and other problems. If your crawlspace has structural issues, it is a serious danger to the rest of your home, as the entire structure rests on the crawlspace and relies on it for support.

Crawlspace Solutions

Crawlspace Problems, Crawlspace Solutions

The best way to prevent moisture from entering your crawlspace is to install a vapor barrier. Vapor barriers are moisture resistant materials such as plastic or foil sheeting that are installed over the entire area of your crawlspace to seal out moisture. This process is called crawlspace encapsulation. Not only will a vapor barrier protect your crawlspace from moisture problems, but it will also make your crawlspace look cleaner and more finished. If the water problem in your crawlspace is severe enough, you may also need to invest in a new or improved basement waterproofing system. This includes your sump pump system and your interior drainage system.

For structural crawlspace problems, you may need to invest in crawlspace support piers. Products such as a helical pier or steel push pier work well to support a failing crawlspace. Push piers and helical piers both work by driving into the ground, deep into stable soil beneath the void or shifting soil that is causing the problem. The difference is that helical piers, instead of merely being driven into the ground, are screwed into the ground to provide more support. Once the pier has been driven into stable soil, the weight of the structure is transferred onto it and it is raised to it's original position.

If you notice any of these crawlspace problems developing in your home, it is time to find a professional foundation repair expert. My Foundation Repairs can help you get in contact with an experienced foundation repair contractor to provide you with a variety of crawlspace solutions for your home.

 



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.



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