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What Type of Foundation Do You Have?

clock December 27, 2013 07:50 by author
The common types of foundations are block, brick, cement, cinder block, and concrete. Know what type your home has to avoid foundation issues.

It is important as a home or business owner to know as much as possible about the type of foundation you have in your structure. This will help you know what type of foundation problems to look out for, so you can make sure to get the needed foundation repairs for your type of foundation. Here is a list of some of the most common types of foundation and little bit about each of them to help you know what to look out for in your home or business.

Common Foundation Types

Block Foundation: If you build a concrete block foundation the right way, the result can be an extremely strong foundation. Sometimes it is even stronger than a traditional poured concrete foundation. If it is not built correctly however, the result can be extremely costly foundation problems. These block basement retaining walls should be sealed completely, and sometimes "rebar" is used to add strength. If the extra steps aren't taken to strengthen these walls, water can get in through the blocks. Another problem frequently seen in these foundations is bowing and leaning. This is because pressure is put on the walls from the outside by a build up of pressure. This is sometimes caused by water in the soil around your home. The pressure that is built up by that extra water is called hydrostatic pressure. When the pressure is exerted on block foundation walls, bowing and leaning can occur. 

Brick Foundation:  It was very common in the early 1900's to use brick and mortar to build foundation walls. If you have an older home you may notice this is your foundation type. Red brick and mortar were a commonly used building material at the time. The problem with these foundation walls is that over time, they can become weak. Mortar can break down, bricks can start to peel. If you notice this happening, make sure to look at the walls closely for bowing and leaning of the walls. The soil around these foundations will exert pressure on them, and push them in. This occurs commonly when the brick and mortar breakdown. Sometime you can just have the mortar or brick repair by a masonry specialist, but sometimes the walls need to have added support. There are bracing and reinforcing tools that foundation repair specialists can use, so contact your local foundation support specialist to make sure the right repair is being performed. 

Cement Foundation:  The cement foundation is commonly used in building today, especially poured concrete foundations. These are considered strong foundations, easy to maintain. One of the main pluses of a cement foundation is it's fire resistance. Don't be fooled though. Cement foundations can still have problems. If you have a new construction home, it is a great idea to ask for new construction piers to be installed. This will add additional support for your poured cement foundation. If you have a cement foundation, you still need to watch for foundation cracks and leaks. The same factors that cause problems for other types of foundations such as block and brick foundations can wreak havoc on poured concrete foundations as well. If pressure is put on these walls they can bow and lean, and even crack. Be vigilant with any type of foundation, including cement foundations.

Cinder Block Foundation: Cinder block foundations aren't always a bad option. If you are building a home in a rural area, sometimes a ready-mix truck can't make it to your location to pour concrete. In these cases blocks or cinder blocks might be used. As long as they installed on firm, compacted, even ground and no short cuts are taken, then this can still be a great option in your home. If cinder blocks aren't sealed properly however, or the ground beneath them wasn't even and compacted prior to building, big problems can arise. Settlement can cause cinder blocks to crack, shift, and leak. It is important to monitor cinder block foundations for changes. Get to know your foundation by inspecting it frequently. This can make the difference between cinder block repair and complete foundation replacement. 

Concrete Foundation: Today there are some benefits to using concrete. Frost resistance concrete is even an option, which is a great benefit. T-shaped foundations are used where weather is cold as well. A t-shaped footing is installed below the frostline for added support. Slab on grade concrete foundations are common in some areas of the country as well. Again, when done right with no short cuts, these are very strong foundation solutions. Slab foundations however can crack and do sometimes require extra supports such as slab piers. Concrete can still shift and crack, and even collapse if voids open up beneath them. Flordia, for example, sees sinkholes frequently. If a void opens beneath a concrete foundation it can be a game changer. Void fill with grout is an option in these cases. If you live in an area where sinkholes and voids are come due to soluble rock in the area, it is smart to know the signs, which are very similar to the signs of foundation failure. 

No Matter the Foundation Type, Problems Can Occur

From reading above, you can probably see that no matter what type of foundation you have, from brick to concrete, problems can and will arise. Know your foundation. You are the best advocate for your home's health. Inspect your foundation frequently and contact a foundation professional in your area, or have a structural engineer inspect your foundation so you know better how to deal with your problem. Many foundation experts will give you a free estimate. This can take the guess work out of what type of repair you need. Regardless of the problem or cost, don't ignore foundation problems. Your foundation is the most important part of your home. If it is in good repair, your home will last for a very long time, and maintain a high property value. If your foundation is in poor repair, you can be sure the value of your home will plummet. Let My Foundation Repairs help by getting you in touch with a foundation specialist in your area today. We are here to help!



The Average Cost of Foundation Repair

clock December 27, 2013 07:01 by author
A licensed professional will assess your foundation damages and determine a foundation repair cost.

Many homeowners or business owners tend to ignore the signs of foundation problems because the cost of foundation repairs just seems to daunting. Understanding the costs of foundation repair is important because it may save you from larger problems in the future. Many foundation repairs don't cost as much as you think, but foundation failure IS a very large costing repair that you want to avoid. Foundation repairs can cost anywhere from 1,000 dollars to 10,000 dollars. Why the wide range you ask? There are so many factors that play into your foundation repair cost. Knowing what those costs will be will help you be prepared to find the right solution for your home or business.

What Factors into Foundation Repair Costs?

Foundation Inspection: Most people don't have the expertise to inspect their own foundation, although it is recommended to know the signs of foundation failure including bowing and leaning walls, wall cracks, floor cracks, foundation cracks, slab cracks, garage column cracks, sloping floors, bowing and leaning walls, and doors and windows that stick. Some engineers will provide you with a structural report to give to the contractor that will work on your job. These are usually first cost most people have is to have a formal inspection done on their foundation by a foundation engineer. They will point you in the direction of your next steps. 

Quoting: The next step is to find a qualified foundation repair expert in your area. My Foundation Repairs can point you in the right direction for a foundation contractor in your area. You will want to find someone that is licensed in your area. Some foundation repair experts offer free estimates. You can contact the National Association of Waterproofing and Structural Repair Contractors to get a referral as well. If the work needed is extensive, you may find that you have to pay for a quote or estimate for your foundation repair.

Foundation Repairs: You may find that all you need is simple repairs such as patching or filling of cracks or bricks. Other more extensive repairs can be much more complicated. This is why there is such a variance in price of foundation repairs. Sometimes excavation of the site will need to be done and this can lead to quite an expense, but in many cases piering and underpinning products can be installed with little to no site excavation. This makes the cost really vary from job to job. 

Other Considerations: Somes your lawn or landscaping will need to be disturbed during a foundation repair project. This may add additional costs to your specific foundation repair project. Trees may need to be removed, and may have even caused part of the problem in the beginning because roots from trees can disturb foundations and steal moisture in the soil around the foundation causing the soils to shrink away from the foundation removing much needed support.

It's Important to Repair Your Foundation

Usually one of two things is important to you when it comes to your home. You may plan on living in your home for a long, long time. In this case you want to make your foundation strong, and long lasting. But others are always keeping the resale value of their home in mind. A good foundation is the first thing many home buyers look at when they are shopping for a home. It is smart to trust that most savvy home buyers will know the signs of foundation failure and be looking for them. If they don't, when a home inspector does a home inspection, you can be sure that they will be looking for the signs of foundation problems. No matter what your reason for wanting to keep your home in good shape, it is smart to start with your foundation. It holds up the rest of your home's structure, so nothing else matters as much as your foundation. So take the questions out of foundation repair costs. As you can see, it isn't really easy to say WHAT the average foundation repair cost is. It really does depend on your home or business, the size of it, the problems that occurring, who you hire to do a structural inspection, and who you hire to perform your foundation repairs. Finding a structural engineer can be done by consulting the Foundation Engineers Network. We definitely recommend starting there first. Then use My Foundation Repairs to find a foundation specialist in your area. We have many resources you can use to get informed and find the right foundation contractor in your area. We only recommend providers that use the best foundation repair products for grouting, epoxy injections, piering and underpinning, and waterproofing. All the foundation repair specialist we recommend will be licensed to work in your area. So start today on finding out what you foundation repair costs will be. Knowledge is definitely power in this case. Protect the investment you have in your home today, from the foundation up. 



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. Call My Foundation Repairs today to get in touch with a contractor near you!

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 may require 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. 

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.

Block Foundation Crack Types

Horizontal Cracks

horizontal block foundation cracks

Horizontal cracks in your block foundation mean that there is pressure being put on the walls from the outside of the foundation. This pressure can come from water that is built up around your foundation. This hydrostatic pressure is a serious sign that your block foundation walls are under strain.

Your walls may begin bowing and leaning when there is too much pressure. 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. These products can be installed inside or outside the walls depending on the setup of your foundation. 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 original position. Contact a professional to see what solution is right for you.

Vertical Cracks

vertical block foundation cracks

Vertical block foundation cracks are a sure sign of foundation settlement or heaving. These cracks form slowly but will widen over time due to the pressure of your home or business. If left untreated, they could allow water to enter the building.

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 solutions to 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 the 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 specialists offer both foundation repair solutions and waterproofing solutions. When you have both installed, you can be virtually guaranteed to not have further problems with your foundation in the future.

Stair Step Cracks

stair step cracks block foundation

Sometimes, when settlement or sinking occurs with your foundation, it doesn't occur evenly. This causes stair step cracks in your block 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 DIY 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.

The best thing you can do as a home or business owner is to 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. 

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 resolve the problem. Get started today!



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