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What the Farmers Almanac says about Home Repairs

clock August 22, 2009 10:15 by author blogadmin
According to the Farmers Almanac, the best time to make home repairs are August 21 to October 19. Avoid further foundation damages, by calling an expert.


According to the Farmers' Almanac, the Best Days for Home Repair are upon us. The 2009 Farmers Almanac reports that the timeframe to perform home repairs are August 21 to October 19. Do not hesitate, schedule your foundation repair and other home improvement projects to take advantage of the weather and other general conditions. Whether it be heaving, a settling basement, bowed walls or a water problem foundation problems will not go away until you focus your attention upon them.


Once you have had your foundation underpinned, the Farmers Almanac says that the best days to go fishing are September 3rd thru the 6th. You will not want to miss these days of relaxing and spending time with a friend fishing and enjoying this great time of year.


Other “best days” of note are listed below:


            Aug. 23rd – Cut firewood, mow to increase growth, dig holes, go hunting, wax floors


            Aug. 24th – Bake, cut firewood, mow to increase growth, dig holes, go hunting, wax floors, get married, buy clothes, entertain friends, host a party


            Aug. 29th – Cut firewood, mow to increase growth, castrate farm animals, dig holes, wean, potty train, wash windows, advertise to sell, travel for pleasure


                        Sept. 4th – Cut hair to retard growth, mow to retard growth, castrate farm animals, dig post holes, wean, quit smoking, potty train, wash wooden floors, paint, start a diet to lose weight, kill wild onions and weeds, host a party


            Sept. 8th – Dry fruits and vegetables, cut hair to retard growth, mow to retard growth, pick apples and pears, quit smoking, perform demolition, wash wooden floors, start diet to lose weight


            Sept. 14th – Can fruits and vegetables, harvest, get married


Now that your next few weeks are planned for you visit for the newest engineered solution for foundation repairs.


Texas Foundation Repair and Soaker Hoses

clock August 16, 2009 18:59 by author blogadmin
Do not fall for the smoke and mirror engineering of using soaker hoses as a replacement for good foundation engineering.


The smoke and mirrors behind watering your foundation with soaker hoses.

It has been well established that foundation failures are widespread, especially in the State of Texas. Many experts claim that in most cases foundation failures are the result of an unregulated building industry, unskilled labor and builders cutting corners for the sake of higher profits or pure ignorance. For all those who live in a home built by a tract home builder this will not come as a surprise.

In recent years numerous experts around Texas have testified extensively about the increasing problem of home builders cutting cost corners and that the homes foundation is the first example given. It has also been acknowledged by engineers that home foundations are being designed to less stringent standards in order to build them cheaper. This lack of quality control has lead to unprecedented foundation repair work being needed.

Because of widespread homeowner complaints describing foundation failures, the American Society of Engineers (ASCE) asked for comments and recommendations from engineers across Texas. The consensus of those engineers who participated was to improve foundations by designing stiffer slabs. The results were astounding; the recommended guideline changes would increase foundation strength by 27% at an estimated cost of only a $1,000 for a 2,500 square foot one story home.

However, the disgraceful response by the building industry, to its critics, is that homeowners have a maintenance responsibility to “water their foundations” to protect the structural integrity of their homes. As if watering a foundation replaces sound engineering.

At a Texas building standards public hearing, a committee member described how homeowners are instructed by builders to put a soaker hose around the perimeter of the home, and never turn it off in order to keep the foundation from cracking, and to keep it stable. He then asked how much water was needed to maintain a foundation. The well respected engineer responded; you cannot maintain a foundation by watering because “you can never water enough.”
The engineer went on to say that the cost of water over even a relatively short period of time would far exceed the cost of the $1,000 needed to stiffen the foundation significantly when it is initially built.

So finally we have it on good authority that the excuse for foundation failures caused by too much rain, lack of rain or trees is a fairy tale, and that these so called “Acts of God” are really acts of man in order to increase builder profits. Remember the Texas Home Builders Association has a very large lobbyist organization in Austin.

Texas has highly expansive soils, as well as many other states however, no other place but Texas are homeowners instructed to "water their foundations." Other states officials and foundation experts laugh when they hear that in Texas homeowners are blamed for foundation failures because they didn't properly water their foundations. The solution to expansive soil problems is to properly engineer foundations to withstand the adverse effects of expansive soil. This can be accomplished during construction as well as after construction is complete by trained professionals under the guidance of independent foundation engineers.

In the meantime, if nothing is done, new homebuyers are at risk, and the new home foundation problem will continue to worsen while builder profits take priority. While continuing down this road will make the new home building and foundation repair industries very profitable, the consumer will suffer.
One solution for existing homes, that are having foundation problems, is to have proper foundation repairs done by trained professionals. There are several foundation repair methods that will solve current problems and they all have certain things in common. First, they install deeply beyond the active soil layers. Whether it is helical anchors or steel push piers, depth is the first priority. Secondly, correct foundation repairs use engineered systems to install. Simple bottle jacks and shims are not engineered systems, they are cheap techniques for temporary repairs. Lastly, quality foundation repairs are performed by trained foundation repair professionals under the supervision of independent engineers. Using these guidelines homeowners can be assured that they have a properly designed deep foundation system supporting their home.

In summary, do not rely on smoke and mirrors. Consult with a foundation engineer who will help develop a plan to solve your unique foundation problem.


Foundation Repair – Foundations & Water

clock August 16, 2009 17:34 by author blogadmin


When it comes to structural foundation repairs, the most common damage is due to water. Water or the lack thereof causes many problems, from settling, to bowed basement walls, to cracks and heaving. There are differing ways that water can get affect your foundation.

Steps to Prevention:

Waterproofing your basement is the best way to prevent possible foundation damage due to water. Going through with this action can possibly save you thousands of dollars in foundation repair costs, and maintain the value of your home.

There are many possible causes of water damage to your foundation. The most common cause is the possibility of having soil that has a flat or negative slope. This will cause water to pool and collect against or near your foundation. Another possibility is that the builder of your house did not properly waterproof your foundation, by using damproofing opposed to waterproofing methods.

This is the most dangerous type of damage due to the fact that you cannot easily see the signs of damage. The main cause of these types of damages is also hard to detect, which is why it is very important to contact a plumber as soon as you suspect water getting into your basement area. They will be able to inspect areas you will not be able to see in your home and see if there are any leaks or possible entry points of water.

If the plumber detects any leaks it is very important that you consult with a contractor or engineer for an inspection of possible foundation damage. Catching foundation damage early, before it gets a chance to develop can save you a lot of money and aggravation.

The next most common cause of foundation moisture problems is poor gutters. Blocked or sagging guttering prevents proper drainage of water. This lack of proper drainage causes pooling water around your basement which leads to hydrostatic pressure on the walls. This pressure builds up resulting in potentially catastrophic damage.

As a homeowner, it is your responsibility to protect your home. Ignoring the needs of your house will not only leave you homeless, but it will also cause you to lose all of the hard earned money you used to pay for your home. Maintaining proper drainage will pay huge dividends when it comes to your foundation.




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