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Midwest Drought Continues in 2013

clock February 25, 2013 05:35 by author

 

Drought and Foundation Repair

The National Weather Service has predicted the two-year long drought will persist from Dallas, TX through Oklahoma City, OK and KansasFoundation repair, foundation settlement City. That means homeowners in Tulsa, Fort Worth, Wichita and other communities throughout the Midwest will have to keep an eye on their foundation in the coming months.

 

 Annual Weather Summary: November 2012 to October 2013

Winter temperatures will be higher than normal, on average, with precipitation and snowfall near normal in the east and below normal in the west. The coldest periods will be in late December, early January, and early and mid-February. The snowiest periods will be in mid- to late November, mid- to late December, early January, and early March.

April and May will have near-normal temperatures on average, with hot temperatures in late May.

Summer will be drier and slightly cooler than normal, on average, despite hot spells in late June, mid- and late July, and mid-

August.September and October will be slightly drier than normal, with near-normal temperatures.

But even with sufficient rain, Midwestern area homes are still extremely susceptible to foundation problems. Foundation damage is common in Plains because of an active zone of clay soil. This zone of clay acts like a sponge—swelling when wet, shrinking when dry. Foundation engineers know that these soil pressures can do major damage to your homes foundation.

The current drought has such a problem in the Midwest area that city and state officials in all areas have approved foundation watering to continue even though there are watering restrictions in place for many residents. Watering the foundation can help keep the moisture levels more consistent, especially on slab foundations. But since a homeowner is not able to measure soil contact under the slab, it’s still somewhat of a guessing game.

 If you do water, make sure there is no “ponding” of water near the foundation. The water should drain at least 10’ away from the foundation. If you are using drip irrigation or soaker hoses, the best method is to place them 3 to 4 feet away from your foundation and not directly next to the concrete. Gutters and downspouts should be maintained to keep water flowing away from the foundation.

Frankly, it looks like the drought conditions will persist. Your home will be stressed at its very base. You will notice the foundation settling and cracking while on the inside, drywall cracks and sticking windows will provide clues to foundation problems.

Most methods of foundation repair fail to provide long-term, permanent support for concrete slab foundations along with basement foundations. When you are in need of foundation repair, hire a professional foundation repair contractor. These contractors install only proven, reliable, and permanent methods to correct the problem. Steel push piers are engineered to provide the stability and strength to withstand the changing soil conditions under your home, while reaching down below the active clay soils. Helical piers are used both for underpinning foundations and as tiebacks for basement and retaining walls. Once again this method of foundation repair will restore the security of foundations in homes from Dallas to Kansas City.



Foundation Repair Myths

clock February 22, 2013 06:54 by author
Before you believe the myths of foundation repairs, hire a foundation engineer so you can get advice.

The Myths Behind Foundation Repair

When you own a home, the last thing you want is a cracked or settling foundation. Unfortunately, it happens all too often, resulting in theFoundation repair, foundation settlement
need for professional foundation repairs. When it comes to something as serious as structural problems, quite a few myths exist. It's important to dispel misinformation and wild claims to get to the root of the problem and obtain the professional help you need from engineers and foundation repair professionals.

 Foundation Repair Myths

1. Foundation repair scares off potential home buyers

Real estate law requires full disclosure when it is time to sell your home. If you've had foundation repair work done on your home, you have to let potential buyers know. While hearing that you've had foundation repair may scare a few inexperienced buyers off initially, most will not, if you have the documentation and have used an experienced and respected foundation repair contractor. If you also have a report from a foundation engineer that explains the original problem and then signs off on the repair the prospective buyer can be assured that it is a permanent fix.

 The simple fact is, the majority of homes experience some sort of structural foundation problems during their lifetimes. Purchasing a home with a professionally repaired foundation, means buying a home that should never need similar foundation repairs again.

2. Foundation repair means a destroyed yard

Hiring a professional foundation repair company doesn't necessarily mean your lawn will be destroyed. While some repair techniques require excavation of earth around the foundation walls, others can be performed from inside and require little or no  exterior excavation. For example, methods such as installing high quality steel push piers inside your basement can be accomplished without exterior excavation. Also, crack repair, epoxy and polyurethane is a relatively simple repair done on the inside, when performed by an expert foundation repair contractor.

Remember, not every crack calls for the same repair technique. Before deciding on a foundation repair method, an experienced foundation repair specialist should find the root of your problem. He then will let you know if digging up the earth around your home is required.

3. Foundation repair is expensive

 When most think of foundation repairs, you probably picture yourself emptying your retirement account to pay for it. Today that has changed. Finding a crack in your basement wall doesn't mean you are about to break the bank. Modern foundation repair methods and techniques have come to your rescue. The cost depends on the cause of the crack and a settling foundation can even be done cost effectively.

Often foundation repairs consist of a simple, inexpensive polyurethane injection to prevent water intrusion or other procedures. Determining the true cause of your foundation cracks and settling can save you time and money. Call a foundation repair professional to diagnose your home's problem.

 4. Get three bids and take the cheapest

Not all contractors are created equally. The lowest bid is not always the best choice. This is your home, a home for your family, do research and hire professional engineers and high quality foundation repair contractors. Just because you do things correctly does not necessarily mean that you will spend more money.

Find a contractor with proper experience, training and insurance. How long have they been around? Are they backed by a national manufacturer? Will they still be there in the future if you have more problems? Are they approved by your foundation engineer? An experienced company offers solid warranties that protect you against unforeseen problems. Cheap and inexperienced contractors will give you just that – cheap work.

Nothing speaks for a contractor's work like his reputation. Ask around and find customers who have used them for similar projects. You can't go wrong with a contractor who has a good reputation with happy former customers and engineers that like to work with them.

While this list is not all inclusive. Searching http://www.myfoundationrepairs.com/ will provide you with the information about foundation repair that will educate you so you can dispel other myths about foundation repair.

Hiring a Foundation Engineer

 

Hiring of a foundation engineer is the most important piece of advice. These foundation engineers will evaluate your structure and write an analysis of the structure. They will know what type of foundation repair is needed and what products are needed to get the repair done correctly. Whether it be helical piles, steel push piers, wall anchors, or wall tie-backs, your foundation engineer will have the answer. Make sure your foundatiaon is protected by a nationally respected manufacturer that stands behind their products. 



Continuing Drought Causes Foundation Problems Across Metro

clock February 14, 2013 14:31 by author
Ongoing droughts in Kansas City are responsible for foundation settlement.

Drought Causing Foundation Problems

 

The following post comes is reprinted from KC Fox 4 News website.

 

Click here for foundation repair video from reporter

 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City area is nearly 17 inches short of average rainfall for the year, and the ongoing drought is taking a toll on more than just crops and lawns — it’s hurting metro homes as well. Foundation and mudjacking companies say they are busier now than they have ever been, and with no major rainfall events in the forecast they say that they don’t expect to slow down anytime soon.

Homeowner Tom Kammerer has lived in his home for over 40 years but just recently he began noticing cracks — the tell-tale sign of a troubled foundation. “We noticed it in the garage, the floor, about an inch and a half had moved away from the wall there,” said Kammerer.

Dennis Morgan, the president of Pro Foundation Technology Inc., says that Kammerer isn’t alone. Morgan says that he hasn’t been this busy in 34 years of business. “I’ve never seen anything like it, nothing even close to it and our phones are still ringing and this is usually our very slow time,” said Morgan. He says that a year without rain is to blame for most of the major foundation problems homeowners across the metro are facing. “Our soil here is very plastic — it’s clay soil, it shrinks and swells,” said Morgan. “You need to have hydration in this clay to keep it stable. Unfortunately we haven’t had any water so the soil has shrunk. The footings are setting in that soil, consequently the house will shift and move many times.”

Morgan says that the average repair job can cost between $8,000 and $15,000, and that if you suspect that your home has a foundation problem, the first step would be to hire a structural engineer to evaluate your home, then pick a contractor to make the repairs. He says that his company is backed up into the spring with foundation repair work.

Kammerer says that he’s taking a big financial hit, but says that it could be worse. “It happened to us — otherwise we’ve been really lucky in life so I’m not complaining that much,” said Kammerer. “But it is a cost you don’t expect to get involved in.”



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