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Moist Soil Equals Safer Foundation

clock October 23, 2013 05:10 by author
Dry soil beneath your home's foundation can lead to soil shrinkage and foundation damage. You can solve this issue by maintaining a steady moisture level.

Keep Soil Moist

Making sure your home's foundation has stability throughout the year takes some diligence on the part of the homeowner. When the soil beneath the foundation is not getting enough moisture, it will shrink. If you home is built on clay soil, this is especially true. Maintaining a controlled watering program is one of the first course of action that should be taken. During the hot, dry summers, the soil will crack. Then when it does rain, the water will travel into the cracks accumulate causing it to lose some of its load bearing capacity. When this happens, the home will sink or settle. By keeping the soil moist during hot, dry weather will prevent it from cracking. Maintaining a steady moisture level is important to keeping your foundation safe.

If the moisture level is not maintained during dry weather, when it does rain, the water will cause the soil to expand and move upward. This movement plus of contracting during dry weather, and expanding during wet weather put stress on your home's foundation and causes damage. By taking care of your foundation before damage occurs will save you money in the long run.

If you are vigilant and are taking the steps to keeping the soil moist, make sure the water is draining away from the foundation. Improper drainage away from the foundation will cause the water to pool in certain areas. This will make it more wet in one area and dry in another area of the foundation. Something else to consider is if the soil is not getting enough moisture, any trees or shrubs close to the foundation are also soaking up whatever moisture is left in the ground. Moist soil actually helps keep homes from settling unevenly leading to cracks in foundations. 

Foundation damage is caused not only by the moisture content of the soil but can also be cause by improper backfilled soil. If the proper process of compaction was not done at the time of building, the home will sink a few inches. This is deep enough to cause some serious foundation damage. 

Some of the signs that you may have a foundation problem are cracks in brick, bowing wallswindows and doors that stick, sloping floors, and leaning chimneys. If you notice any of these signs of foundation damage, My Foundation Repairs has the solutions. The products we use for foundation repair are made by Earth Contact Products (ECP), the leading manufacturer of foundation repair products in the industry. 

Steel piers are an excellent choice for repair issues caused by swelling clay soil, poor compaction and erosion or run off. These piers are an end bearing pier that does not rely on the soils skin friction to provide support. Helical piers have the capacity and longevity to support the foundation for years to come. They are installed quickly and can also not only be used to repair an existing foundation, but are used in new home construction. Plate anchors are used to stabilize cracked and bowed walls. These plate anchors can be installed quickly using handheld equipment with little disturbance to landscaping.

By being aware of how foundation settlement happens, homeowner's can help prevent foundation damage. But if you do notice any signs of foundation damage, contact My Foundation Repairs for a free estimate. We will be grad to answer any question you have regarding your foundation repair issues.



What the Cracks in Your Foundation and Walls Mean

clock October 22, 2013 11:23 by author
Homes with or without basements can develop wall cracks due to foundation issues. Contact a professional so they can determine if you need foundation repairs.

Common Foundation Cracks

Whether or not you have a basement, your home could be in danger of developing foundation or wall cracks. If your home is sinking or settling, you may find that cracks are beginning to form in the foundation. A sinking or settling foundation could cause cracks to form in the basement walls. Sometimes, voids form beneath your foundation, removing support from that part of the foundation and putting pressure on it. This causes the foundation to shift and crack. These voids often occur if the soil beneath the foundation was not properly compacted during construction of your home. They can also be formed by erosion or soil shrinkage in drought conditions. Soil expansion due to excess water can also cause cracks, as the more water the soil absorbs, the more the hydrostatic pressure builds up and puts stress on the foundation.

Foundation Crack Solutions, Wall Cracks, Foundation CracksNormally, cracks in your slab foundations indicate a settling or sinking foundation. If this is the case, the best solution is to use foundation underpinning methods to raise the foundation back to it's original position. The most common types of underpinning are done with steel push piers or helical piers. Both types of piers work in much the same way; they are driven into stable soil deep in the ground and the weight of the structure is transferred onto them. The main difference between these two types of piers is that while steel push piers are merely driven into the ground, helical piers are screwed in to provide a bit of extra stability. Other methods to fix slab cracks could be to fill the voids beneath the foundation by pressure grouting. This will stabilize your foundation and prevent more cracks from forming. If these methods do not completely close the cracks in your foundation, they can be filled or sealed with an epoxy or polyurethane grout.

Basement Wall Crack Repair Options

Basement wall cracks can also be a symptom of foundation failure. There are many different types of wall cracks, and different types indicate different foundation problems, usually bowing walls or settling foundations. Bowing walls are usually caused either by a settling foundation (especially if they are bowing outward), or by excess pressure from the soil around them. They can be fixed with the use of plate anchors or helical tiebacks, which provide lateral counter-pressure for bowing wall. If you find a wall crack in your basement walls, identify what type it is and contact a foundation repair contractor immediately to discuss repair options. The following list describes a variety of wall cracks and what they might mean.

  • Vertical - Settlement or Heaving
  • Horizontal - Bowing
  • Angled - Settlement
  • Angled and Horizontal - Bowing
  • Horizontal and Vertical - Bowing or Settlement
  • Converging in Center - Bowing or Settlement
  • Stair Step(usually in block or brick walls) - Settlement or Heaving
  • Wider at the Top - Side Settlement
  • Wider at the Bottom - Center Settlement

Cracks in your foundation or basement walls are an indication of serious foundation issues and should not be ignored. If you find a crack in your foundation, it could mean that your foundation is settling and needs to be repaired as soon as possible. Cracks in your basement walls most likely mean that you are suffering from either a sinking foundation or bowing walls. My Foundation Repairs can help connect you to a professional foundation repair contractor in your area.

 



Understanding Piering Products

clock October 22, 2013 10:11 by author
Helical anchors and steel push piers can be used to repair settling or sinking foundations.

Foundation Underpinning Products

For homeowners, a sinking or settling foundation can be a frightening issue. If your foundation is settling, it could cause various problems to arise throughout the home. These problems include cracks in your floor, walls, or ceiling, bowing or leaning walls, uneven or sloped floors, sticking doors and windows, and more. These can be dangerous issues for you and your family. If you notice any of these common problems, contact a foundation repair contractor immediately to have the problem taken care of. My Foundation Repairs can help connect you to a professional foundation repair specialist in your area.

The most effective way to repair a sinking or settling foundation is with a process called underpinning. Underpinning is the use of a pier or anchor driven into the ground to stabilize the foundation. These piers minimize stress to keep your foundation sturdy and close any cracks that may have formed. There are a few different types of piers - each have certain advantages, and it is good to examine all of your options before deciding which is the best solution for you.

Piering Solutions for Settling Foundations

The first, most common type of pier is the steel push pier. These steel piers, also known as resistance piers or steel piles, are a great option for foundation problems that arise from poor soil compaction, soil shrinkage, erosion, or improper footer embedment. Unlike concrete piers, steel push piers are end-bearing piers and do not rely on skin friction to provide support. During the installation process, they are individually load tested to ensure safety. They are driven into stable soil beneath your sinking foundation, and the weight of the structure is transferred onto the pier so that it can be lifted back to it's original level.

The next type of pier is a helical pier. Helical piers work in much the same way as steel push piers. The main difference is that instead of merely being driven into the ground, helical piers are screwed in to provide even more support. Once they have been screwed into the stable soil under the layer of active, shifting soil beneath your foundation, the structure's weight is transferred onto them and it is raised to it's original position. Helical piers are reliable enough to support your home for a long time to come. They also have a high load bearing capacity, making them the ideal choice to support your home. Helical piers can also be used in new construction instead of old fashioned concrete piers; this will help protect your home against future foundation problems. Also, helical piers are easy and quick to install in any type of weather, meaning that they are an efficient choice for your foundation repair needs.

Other types of underpinning and piering products include slab piers, resistance piers, and micropiles, all of which work in a similar fashion to steel push piers and helical piers. ECP (Earth Contact Products) offers reliable piering products for any foundation repair situation. If you notice the symptoms of a sinking or settling foundation, do not hesitate - let My Foundation Repairs help you get in contact with a professional foundation repair contractor right away!

 



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