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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!

 



How Sinkholes Form

clock October 24, 2013 05:00 by author
Sinkhole activity and foundation settlement have the same warning signs. Call an expert to inspect your foundation and soil so you can get foundation repairs.

Why You May need Sinkhole Repair

Homeowners, especially in regions that have a karst terrain, which means the ground below the surface is made up of soluble soil such as limestone, should be aware that sinkholes may be forming. The state with the most karst terrain and where sinkholes occur most often are Florida (which is number one), Texas, Alabama, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania. This type of terrain dissolves faster than other types of terrain, so when water moves through it, it creates spaces and voids. This is what causes a sinkhole. The ground will collapse. When we here in the news of a sudden, tragic event that has happened because of a sinkhole, these events are rare. What could be happening under the foundation of your home can be a slow forming sinkhole.

Looking for signs that a sinkhole may be forming are some of the same as foundation settlement. Some of the signs of foundation settlement signs are cracks in walls and/or floors, bowing walls, sloping floors, sticking windows, and leaning chimneys. Because these are some of the same signs that a sinkhole is forming and causing your foundation problem, some different signs can indicate that a sinkhole is forming. These include the cracks in the foundation form in a circular pattern and trees and fence posts are leaning. 

Being aware of how sinkholes occur and watching for the signs, will give you the knowledge needed to get the problem repaired before further damage is done. You don't need to worry about a sinkhole forming if you contact a professional at the first signs. They have the ability to fix these voids under your foundation using the best products available. The professionals that My Foundation Repairs will refer you to uses Earth Contact Products (ECP), the leading manufacturer of sinkhole repair and foundation repair products made in the industry. 

Cement grouting is done as one of the solutions for sinkholes. This grouting is applied to exact areas that need support and fill the void. It mixes with soft soil creating more support. Compaction grouting moves the soil and fills it in with a mortar-like grout. If you have observed your foundation sinking or leaning, call us for a professional to come and take a look. They are experts and have the equipment needed to evaluate the soil and find the solutions needed for the problem. 

It is important to look for any signs of foundation problems and to get a professional to take a look before the problem gets too big. Whether it be for foundation repair or taking care of a sinkhole that is forming, they will get it fixed and you will have peace of mind that your home is stabilized. The repairs that are made are long lasting and will keep your investment at the top of the market if you ever want to sell it. 

Don't lose sleep over the worry that a sinkhole that may be forming. Contact My Foundation Repairs for referrals to a professional who can examine your foundation and the soil surrounding it to give you the best solution to your sinkhole and foundation repairs.



Be Your Own Inspector for Your Foundation

clock October 23, 2013 06:04 by author
To prevent foundation failure, be your own inspector. Check for concrete cracks, poor drainage, water leaks, and the vegetation around your home.

Foundation Inspection and Foundation Failure

Every home will eventually need a new roof, new paint or routine cleaning. Homes are an expensive investment that requires routine maintenance. Every homeowner should take care of their investment as best as you can. At My Foundation Repairs, we can help you maintain your investment by providing you with tools of knowledge so you can maintain the value of your home. At My Foundation Repairs, we urge our clients to inspect four areas of their home. These four areas include concrete/slab cracks, drainage, vegetation, and water leaks. We are your foundation inspection and foundation failure service provider.

Inspect Your Concrete and Slab Cracks

First, inspect concrete/slab cracks and separations. As the foundation of the home ages, so does the concrete. You may start to notice small cracks, but there should not be cracks or separations if your home is new. Homes that are 10 years old should only have a hairline crack. As your home ages, you may notice wider cracks. Typically homes older than 10 years, may have deep foundation cracks. You may also start to notice garage column cracks or gaps around the doors/windows. If you start to notice these foundation repair signs, don't be alarm. Contact our team of professionals so we can provide a foundation inspection.

Inspect Your Drainage System

Do you have drainage problems in your home? Proper drainage is the second area of inspection. This area of inspection can be very hard to assess because small foundation cracks are usually not visible. Look at the drainage pattern on the exterior of your home. Are your gutters clean from debris or leaves? Are your drain spouts in place? Start by removing all the debris in your gutters to redirect the water away from the foundation. Water can accumulate around the home causing potential foundation damage. Our team of professionals can install a drainage system to divert the draining water.

Sloping lawns and shifting soil can also cause settling foundation and structural repairs. A downward slope can cause poor drainage resulting to water pools. Professional waterproofing contractors can install an interior or exterior drainage system into the ground away from the foundation. For shifting soil, they can support your foundation beneath your home. Our service teams can be your foundation inspection and foundation failure providers.

Inspect Your Vegetation

To find out if your home needs foundation repairs, inspect the vegetation around your home. Your beautiful plants might be a pleasant sight to look at and cause an unpleasant disaster. Over time, they can destroy your foundation if they are closer than 20 feet of your home. The roots draw in water from the soil causing  soil shrinkage. This process damages the foundation. Also, make sure your trees and shrubs aren't adjacent to your property. Trees that are growing next to your foundation can also cause problems. Foundation contractors can inspect your foundation and prevent foundation failure.

Inspect All Water Leaks

Expanding soil can cause foundation failure. Check all the water sources in and around your home which include swimming pools, fountains, leaking pipes, and sprinkler systems. Make sure all water connections are secure from dripping faucets and condensation drip pipes. If they are not functioning properly, repair these problems as soon as possible.

By inspecting your home in these four areas, you can help stop further damage to your foundation. These inspection recommendations are to help you inspect your home's exterior. At My Foundation Repairs, we will make sure you receive free estimates if you think your home needs attention. We are your foundation inspection and foundation failure service provider.



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