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Hybrid – The New Foundation Repair Marketing Term

clock October 14, 2009 10:21 by author blogadmin
If you want to support your home or commercial building permanently, hire an engineer to get a quality steel piering system that offers a lifting system.


The service industry has always relied on marketing to promote their wares and service. Sometimes the truth is stretched in these promotions to create excitement in the consumer. Often times these promoters attach themselves to keywords or terms that are in vogue. Recently this has happened in the foundation repair industry with the term – Hybrid.


The definition of hybrid is – the combination of two or more different things, aimed at achieving a particular goal or objective. On the surface this sounds good and globally responsible ideas pop into our minds. In 2009 hybrid congers up the idea of “Green Technologies” and smaller carbon footprints, and this is exactly why marketers use the term hybrid.


In the foundation repair industry hybrid pier systems are the combination of two or more differing materials to achieve an objective. Sounds great doesn’t it. But, what is the objective? And, does combining any two or more materials always create a better product? Well with out question the objective is to sell more product for the manufacturer. This may not necessarily be good for the consumer, just more expensive. Next, just because you combine two or more materials together does not mean that it will perform better that either of the materials alone. Combining oil and water does not make better oil or better water.


 Today we hear about combining steel and concrete to make “hybrid” foundation repair systems. They will advertise “the best of both worlds”, “the strength of steel with the benefits of concrete”. Well this sounds good but you must look past the advertising and see the engineering. Placing steel piers below concrete cylinders actually will take away the advantages of the steel piers and hamper the strength of the concrete. They say that they use steel to achieve depth (reading between the lines – concrete cylinders do not drive deep enough to supply support) and concrete in the upper soil zones to prevent corrosion. If this is the case, then why do they use steel shims at the very top of their system? Next, if the steel piers are galvanized to structural standards how are they going to corrode?


The next thing to think about is how will they drive the steel piers to the required depth if they are putting shallow driving concrete cylinders on top of the steel pier sections? The truth is, they will drive deeper than they were with concrete segmented piles alone but not as deep as true engineered steel piering systems.


Another combination of steel and concrete is to fill the steel pipe with a cement or grout mixture to “increase strength”. Sounds good, but does it work? Well let us look at it from a logic stand point (marketing people hate this), if the grout mixture is not as strong as the steel will it really increase the strength of the system? No! Adding a weaker component to a strong component will not make the system stronger it only makes it a hybrid. Do not fall for this smoke and mirrors advertising. The simple solution is to ask an engineer what they recommend. Engineers do not fall prey to slick commercials and fast talking salesmen, they look at numbers, calculations and sound engineering practices.


So remember, if you want to buy a hybrid car to save money on fuel and leave a smaller carbon footprint – great buy it. If you want something to support your home or commercial building permanently listen to an engineer and require the highest quality steel piering system available that incorporates a manifold lifting system.


Building Swales to Protect your Home

clock October 4, 2009 17:51 by author blogadmin
Apply drainage swales on your property to protect your home from standing water and move a portion of the runoff into the ground.


A swale is a broad channel used for the movement and temporary storage of runoff. They can be made of concrete or formed with natural materials. Swales are the best way to move large amounts of water away from your home. Swales also can move a portion of the runoff into the ground and filter out runoff pollutants.

Drainage swales that are planted with native vegetation are commonly called bioswales. Swales can be effective alternatives to enclosed storm sewers and lined channels, where their only function is to rapidly move runoff from a developed site. On some sites, natural drainage courses may still be present and it is recommended that they be retained as part of the site drainage plan. Golf courses are probably the best example of the effective use of bioswales. In the design of golf courses, water management is key to controlling water conservation.

Many times swales can safely move water away from your foundation while conserving this same water for grass and other landscape plantings. Effectively moving water around a property can prevent foundation repairs while saving money on watering plants. In contrast to conventional curb-and-gutter concrete swales, bioswales can reduce both the rate and volume of storm water runoff around your home. Since this is achieved via absorption of runoff into the soil, swales in sandy soils will be much more effective than swales in clay soils. Swales are most effective in reducing runoff volumes for small storm events and on an annual basis can reduce storm runoff volumes by up to 15 percent in clay soils.

Drainage swales are applicable on virtually all residential sites. In suburban settings swales generally will be used in conjunction with foundation drainage. This effective combination can prevent water buildup around foundations which can cause foundation failures and water infiltration. While eliminating those areas in the yard that seemingly has constantly standing water or swampy areas, bioswales are the green way of conserving water. Take a look at your property today and devise a plan to protect your home while conserving natural water runoff.

The Chicken or The Egg – or The Farmer?

clock September 30, 2009 13:22 by author blogadmin
By hiring a foundation contractor, you can eliminate foundation problems such as doors that stick, brick veneer cracks, water damage, and drywall cracks.


When it comes to the age old question which came first the chicken or the egg, many have forgotten about the farmer. Without the farmers experience, technical skills and general knowledge we would not know what to do with chickens or eggs.


This same general principal applies to problems with your foundation. The waterproofers will tell you that they can solve your problems and the foundation repair experts will tell you they can solve your problems, but without a foundation engineer you will not know the correct direction to go. In hiring a professional engineer you are purchasing knowledge, experience and unbiased professionalism to guide you through your project with only your homes best interest at heart.


Foundation settlement can be a difficult thing to assess or even notice right away. More likely you will notice doors and windows sticking, cracks in brick veneer, drywall cracks or water in your basement. Without proper measuring and assessment to determine the cause and best corrective action just raising your home may or may not solve the problem.


Similarly, stopping or redirecting water around your foundation may or may not stop foundation movement or potential failures. Is the water, the cause or the symptom? A professional engineer will identify the causes of foundation problems and then layout a plan to solve your individual issues whether they are water problems or if you need foundation repairs.


Remember, the chickens and the eggs cannot do anything without the farmers, to find a foundation engineer in your area visit



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