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House Leveling Methods for a Sinking or Settling Foundations

clock January 9, 2014 08:10 by author
Need to level your settling or sinking house? We have the foundation repair solutions, so you can maintain a healthy foundation.

A home's foundation will sink or settle over time. Even new homes experience shifting and movement which can result to a formation
of small cracks in the foundation. But as homes age, foundation settlement can be critical especially if the soil around and under the foundation becomes over-saturated. Dry and hot conditions dehydrate the soil causing the foundation to sink. This type of movement causes many problems to your foundation. The question is, how do you level sinking or settling foundations? At My Foundation Repairs, we can help you find a professional engineer to inspect your foundation and determine the best solution for your settlement issues. Afterall, your home is one of your biggest investement so why not take care of it.

How To Avoid Sinking or Settling Foundations?

Identifying and knowing the causes of foundation settlement can help you maintain a healthy foundation. Follow these tips to
minimize the affects of soil erosion, compaction, and expansion:

• Make sure the soil is properly compacted.
• Repair minor cracks.
• Fix all leaky pipes.
• Maintain a consistent moisture level by not over-watering the soil around your home.
• Make sure your home has a ground slope away from your foundation.
• Clean your gutters on a regular basis.
• Install downspouts that are the right size and length to direct water away from your home.
• Make sure the landscaping is not too close to your foundation. It should be at least 5 feet away.
• Install an adequate waterproofing system in and around your home.

What are the Signs of Settlement?

wall cracks due to settlementYour home is one of your most valuable assets. Foundation settlement and sinking causes damaging affects to your home's structure. Understand the causes and warning signs of foundation failure before the problem gets worse. Look for the early warning signs of settlement. These signs include:

• Misaligned doors and windows
• Window hard to open or close
• Cracked chimney
• Leaning or tilting chimney
• Wall cracks
• Foundation cracks
• Gaps around windows or doors
• Cracks in mortar joints
• Water seepage
• Step crack in bricks
• Bowing or leaning walls
Sticking doors

If you notice any of these warning signs, a professional contractor can inspect your home for more damage. By avoiding foundation repairs, the problem will get worse over time and jeopardize your family's health and safety. Wall cracks could widen, creating an entry for rodents and insects. Larger wall and foundation cracks could also increase moisture levels causing mold and mildew growth. Prevent standing water and flooded basements by repairing your foundation today. Don't let these disasters happen to you. Contact us right away.

What Methods Are Used to Level Settling and Sinking Homes?

steel piers is a foundation repair solution

Hire a professional to level your settling or sinking home. A professional can use the latest products in the foundation repair industry. These products are manufactured by Earth Contact Products (ECP):

Steel Push Piers - This is a permanent solution for fixing foundation settlement due to soil shrinkage and erosion. Push piers are driven deep into the soil to lift the home back into its original position. It supports and stabilizes your home's load bearing walls.

Helical Piers - These piers are used to repair and stabilize foundations. They are great for slab foundations and light weight structures. During the installation process, there is little to no disturbance to your home.

Plate Anchors - Anchors supports cracked or bowed basement walls. The simple design allows the experts to complete the job quickly and effectively. There is little disturbance to landscaping which is a great benefit.

Hydraulic Lift Slab Pier - These piers are used to lift concrete slab for residential and commercial projects. 

Why You Should Contact a Professional Contractor

First of all, leveling your home is not a DIY project. Using your local handyman or making your own foundation repairs have many disadvantages:

1. It could cause personal injury or additional damage to your home.
2. You don't have the proper tools or equipment to make foundation repairs.
3. It can be difficult to assess foundation damages and find the source of the problem.
4. Making your own foundation repairs, could decrease the value of your home and make it difficult to sale. New home buyers usually want to buy homes that have professional home inspections and work repairs.
5. You may spend more money than expected. If your foundation repairs fail, then you would have to call a professional to fix it.

At My Foundation Repairs, we are committed to helping homeowners locate a professional foundation repair contractor in the area. Professional contractors provide quality service because they are trained with the latest technology and products. They are specialized to repair your foundation with quality ECP products such as steel piers, helical anchors, wall anchors or basement crack repair.
Hire a professional contractor today to avoid further damages to your foundation. Leveling your home will increase the longevity of your home. Request an estimate today so we will provide an experienced foundation repair specialist to inspect the condition of your home.



Concrete Pressed Piles

clock December 30, 2013 06:50 by author
Instead of using low quality concrete pressed piles, contractors use quality steel pier systems to repair settling or sinking foundations.

Concrete Pressed Piles

Why do some foundation repair contractors use concrete cylinders? Why do I see their advertising campaigns all over the internet and TV?

Concrete pressed piles are the most popular piering system in North Texas, and are expanding to other areas such as Oklahoma City, Kansas City and Nashville. This popularity is due to several factors that are advantageous to contractors but has very little advantages for your home.  Whether they call them concrete pressed piles, concrete cylinders or a cable locking system, they are all very similar in their limitations and effectiveness.

The concrete pier or pile section is usually a concrete cylinder that is six inches in diameter and twelve inches tall. The section in usually pushed into the ground using a cheap bottle jack that uses the weight of the structure as resistance. Most homes in Texas and Oklahoma are not very heavy and only allow three to four sections to be pushed into the ground before the building begins to lift. This shallow depth is only a temporary “fix” and will not permanently support your home. Without driving to bedrock or a very hard load bearing surface (often 15-25 feet deep) you cannot expect the piering system to permanently solve your homes sinking or settling problems.  

Due to the shallow depths that concrete pressed piles are driven to, many of these foundation repair contractors. Concrete pressed piles and their effectiveness attempt to place more piers than would otherwise be necessary. They even adjust the number of piers that they recommend by how many their crew can install per day.  Often they try to sell between 15-20 concrete piers around and in the home. These companies have crews that can place these, clean up and collect your money, in a day.

So if they are not very effective why would so many foundation repair contractors use them? Now this is the interesting part. These precast concrete cylinder sections can be purchased for less than two dollars apiece. So, if they sold twenty "piers" and they can only drive them four sections deep per pier, the contractor would only have a material cost of approximately $160 total. They would need some blocks and steel shims to build up between the top of the cylinders and the bottom of the house so this may add $20 per pier or a total of $400. So now we have a total of $560 for twenty piers or $28 per pier.

steel push pier

These contractors then charge their customers between $350 and $700 for each concrete pressed piling installed. This is why so many foundation repair contractors use these systems – high profit margins. Not because they work, not to permanently solve your problem they use them because they require very little equipment and they provide large profits.

What's the Solution?

So what should you do? One permanent solution is steel push piers. While initially these sound like a very similar system there are some major differences that allow these systems to provide a lifetime of foundation support. High quality steel push piers have been designed by engineers to provide maximum support, maximum life and unlimited adjustability. These systems use 42” long high strength galvanized pier sections, 35-40 ton drive cylinder, an engineer design drive stand and a manifold system that allows for precise stabilization or lifting.

The best steel push pier systems drive their high strength pipe straight down to bedrock or a load bearing layer that has the proven ability to support your home. An engineer designed  bracket system is placed on top of the deep driven pipe sections and can support between 50,000 and 100,000 lbs each. A top quality system like this require more effort, a little more money and much more time to install but, they do solve sinking and settling foundation problems permanently.

Do not get caught up in the advertising campaigns of low quality concrete pressed pilings, demand the best system for you home – a high quality steel pier system. To contact an approved installer of a high quality steel push pier go to www.myfoundationrepairs.com/contacts.asp



DIY Foundation Repair - Why NOT to Do It

clock December 27, 2013 09:26 by author
Avoid DIY foundation repair because it only puts a bandaid on the problem. Hire an expert to find a foundation repair solution in your budget range.

It's so tempting to consider do-it-yourself foundation repair. It is sort of like when you aren't feeling well, you Google search your symptoms on the internet, and find possible matches for your problem and consider not going to the doctor. The same is true for your foundation problems. You figure you can save money if you do it yourself, so you Google search the symptoms, and consider trying to fix your foundation problems yourself. The problem is, you are likely just going to put a bandaid on a much bigger problem. All over the internet and TV today you find websites and programs with DIY steps for fixing foundation problems. Most people do not have the tools that it would take to do what really needs to be done for foundation repairs. The problem is programs on TV and website make it seem simple, and bait their programs with the enticing "you could save a lot of money" tagline. 

Why DIY isn't the Way to Go

Your foundation is literally the most important part of your home. Most people are focusing on the cosmetic parts of their home. Paint, flooring, and the like. These very well might be good DIY projects for homeowners. When it comes to your foundation however, you really don't want to go the DIY route. Here is why:

1. It is hard to tell when foundation problems are leading to foundation failure. Sure, you might know the signs and symptoms of foundation problems. A homeowner should know the signs including bowing and leaning walls, floor cracks, wall cracks, drywall cracks, foundation cracks, leaning chimneys, water stains and leaks, and doors and windows that stick. But do you know when foundation failure is imminent? It takes a structural engineer to really know how serious the problems you have are. Special training is required to recognize these types of problems and the level of seriousness is envolved. So know the symptoms and make sure to act accordingly. 

2. You foundation can make or break the value of your home. Your foundation really is the most important part of your house. When an inspection is done on your home if you are trying to sell it, the inspector will absolutely know the difference between DIY foundation repairs and professional foundation repairs, and it WILL affect the value of your home. 

3. You likely don't have the right tools to perform foundation repairs. Many websites claim to offer DIY foundation repair "kits" but slapping some carbon fiber on a wall crack may not be all that you need. Some foundation repair jobs require piering products or underpinning products to lift or level a foundation. Some foundation repairs require grout or epoxy injections performed under high pressure. These require special equipment to complete. Some jobsites even require excavation to get to the root area of the problem. Again, you really won't know until you contact a foundation repair expert or structural engineer. 

4. You could cause yourself injury or cause additional damage to your home. It's okay to admit you might not know how to fix your foundation cracks, or bowing and leaning walls. It is a lot better to admit that than to hurt yourself because you don't know what you are doing. It is also very possible that you could make your foundation problems worse by not knowing what you are doing. There is no DIY foundation repair important enough to cause yourself injury or further home damage. If you aren't sure, or if you are following steps on a website or from a kit to do your foundation repairs, you probably don't have the skills required to do the job safely.

5. You might cost yourself more money in the end. Number 4 leads right into number 5. If you aren't sure what you are doing you could cost yourself a lot more money in the end. It is possible that you try to fix your own foundation and when it doesn't work, a foundation specialist comes in and has to undo what you tried to do to fix your own problem. This can result in higher costs for your foundation repairs. Your wallet is definitely something to consider when it comes to do it yourself foundation repairs. 

Skip DIY Foundation Repairs - Consult a Foundation Specialist

Of course it is understandable to try to save yourself some money when it comes to home repair. No one wants to spend more money than they need to when it comes to foundation repairs. The good news is, if you get in touch with a foundation repair specialist through My Foundation Repairs, we will get you in touch with a foundation repair specialist in your area that is licensed and reputable. They will work very hard to find a foundation repair solution in your budget range. They also won't try to find a problem where there isn't one. It may be that there is a less expensive solution available for the problems that you are having. You won't be lead down the wrong path. The other good thing about finding a foundation specialist through My Foundation Repairs is we only recommend foundation specialist that use the best foundation repair products available on the market today. Whether it be foundation piering or underpinning products, epoxy or grouting materials, or even waterproofing and drainage solutions, only the best products are utilized. This means long lasting foundation repair solutions for you and your home.



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