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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.

 



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.



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