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Be on the Lookout: Causes of Foundation Failure

clock October 1, 2013 06:52 by author
If you suspect your home has foundation failure, call a professional immediately. They have the knowledge and equipment to repair your foundation.

Foundation Settlement

The foundation of your home is the most important part of your home's structure. It is the base of your home. The frustration of foundation problems for a homeowner could be endless and financially draining if not properly addressed by a professional in the foundation repair business. The causes and signs of foundation failure are many. Homeowners need to be aware of what to look for and a professional in the business can find out what the cause is.

Focusing on the causes is important and can help the experts determine the best solutions to your foundation repair needs. Water is the leading cause of concrete foundation failure. The evaporation of soil can cause it to pull away from the foundation while excess moisture from drainage problems washes the soil away from the foundation. Improperly prepared soil when the home was being constructed can cause the soil to shift. The roots of mature trees that are close to your home can draw moisture from the soil beneath your foundation.

Steel push piers are also commonly known also as micropiles, push piers, or resistance piers. Unlike concrete cylinders, these end-bearing piers do not rely on or require skin friction to produce support. Helical piers are used when there is a need to resist both tension and compression forces. Helical piers can be installed in all weather conditions, there is little to no disturbance to landscaping, and they can be installed below active soils. 

The warning signs of a foundation that has settled can be seen both inside and outside of your home. By looking for these signs and catching them early, can reduce further damage and save money in the long run. What to look for in the interior of your home: Cracks from the corners of interior walls, doors and windows that get stuck or don't open or close properly, warped or cracked floors. What to look for on the exterior of your home: Cracked bricks, shifting of walls, cracks in the foundation, separation of concrete around doors and windows or garage doors.

Earth Concrete Products (ECP) is the leading manufacturer of foundation and basement waterproofing products in the industry. Steel push piers and helical piers as well as plate anchors and wall anchors are some of the most commonly used solutions for foundation failure and foundation problems in our industry. 

ECP also offers carbon fiber repair. The bowing wall laminate and bowing wall fabric that can be installed to counteract the soil pressure placed on basement walls. Carbon fiber fabric is used over basement wall cracks to provide more strength to the cracked area. Floor stitching is a fiber stitching system used to bridge shear forces that cause cracks in floor slabs.

Protect your investment. Look for foundation failure signs both on the interior and exterior of your home. If you suspect that your foundation is in need of repair, call a professional. They have the knowledge and equipment to repair any of your foundation repair needs. 



Foundation Problems as Drought Continues

clock February 14, 2013 07:13 by author
The weather conditions in Kansas City can affect your home's foundation by causing settlement. Protect your home by hiring a professional to install ECP helical piers.

Foundation Settlement in Kansas City

 

 

 

Foundation repair, helical piers, steel push piers, ECP

The severe drought in the Midwest is effecting many homeowners that are forced to repair damage to their homes' foundations. Local foundation repair companies and structural engineers can't keep up with the torrent of phone calls and waiting list extend for several weeks just to get an inspection or quote. The culprit is the clay soils throughout Kansas and Missouri that becomes baked by months of dry weather. The soils act much like a sponge, as they dry out the shrink and pull away from the foundation and as they get wet they seem to grow and expand moving the homes' foundation.

When a home's foundation cracks and shifts, problems manifest themselves on the upper levels of the home with jammed doors and windows along with cracks in drywall. No style or design of a home can hide from these forces, nor are they spared from foundation repairs. "We're seeing a lot more settlement issues across the board, from stone foundations in Brookside to new foundations in the suburbs", says Joe LaGue of Olson Foundation Repair in Olathe, Ks. The phone calls are coming from all across the Midwest, calling about cracks and settlement in their foundations. Homes with larger trees that are close to the home are more vulnerable to soils drying out around the foundation. The trees are using every last bit of the moisture in the clay soil trying to stay alive. The trees are competing with the foundation for moisture and the trees are winning.

The drought started in September of 2011 int he Kansas City area and it continues in the first quarter of 2013 with not real relief in site. Earth Contact Products, a leading manufacturer and national distributor of foundation repair products based in the Kansas City area has seen dramatic growth during the severe drought. They have seen the drought expand from Texas up through Oklahoma and Kansas and then eastward through St. Louis, Chicago and Indianapolis. According to ECP, this drought has created over two years worth of work for foundation repair contractors throughout the Midwest.

Foundation Settlement Solutions

 

The dry conditions are even more damaging when they reach below the deep footings below basement or crawlspace walls. Once a foundation has significant settlement the only way to solve the problem is to push it back up. The product of choice in much of the Midwest and especially in the Kansas City area is with steel push piers. These steel piers are driven deeply, well beyond the soils that are affected by moisture fluctuations, providing a good base to lift basement or crawlspace walls. ECP, the leading steel push pier manufacturer, provides foundation repair contractors with several types of push piers. From concentric resistance piers, where the steel bracket and pile is placed directly below the foundation walls to eccentric push piers that are place on the side of the footing. Both styles are highly effective in pushing foundations upward, but must be designed by a foundation repair expert based on the needs of the individual structure.

During foundation repair, underpinning strengthens and stabilizes the foundation. Underpinning is accomplished by extending the foundation in depth so it rests on more stable soil stratum or distributes its load across a greater area. ECP has developed and patented several types of piling systems. With the professionals and the best products available, you will be assured that your foundation repair is done right and you will have peace of mind that it is stable. 



Cracked Foundation Repair with Steel Push Piers

clock January 16, 2012 04:19 by author
Steel Push Piers are the most popular form of foundation repair for settling homes. When installed by trained foundation repair contractors steel push piers will provide years of structural support.

Foundation Repair using Steel Push Piers

Foundation repair, steel push piers

One of the advantages of using push piers (resistance piers) for foundation repair is that they use quiet vibration free hydraulic equipment to  install the steel resistance piers. All of the installation equipment is highly portable and can be easily transported on the jobsite. After all of the steel push piers are installed and load tested, the structure can be immediately restored or lifted by transferring the load of the home to the piers. There's no time wasted, waiting for concrete to cure, and no soil to remove from the site. A measured factor of safety is verified, as the piers are 100% load tested to a force greater than the actual working load. This all means that you will get verified structural support for many years when you require steel push piers to be used on your home’s foundation.

Remember to always consult with an independent professional engineer before starting any structural foundation repairs and these repairs should only be performed by trained foundation repair contractors.

Steel Push Piers Installation

Below, the following steps the typical installation procedure for the largest selling Steel Push Piers:

1. Site survey: Pier placements are located around the structure and the location of underground utilities verified.

2. steel push piersExcavation: Small excavations or the entire perimeter is dug for access at each placement location. The space required at the foundation is usually about 3 feet square.

3. Prep of the foundation: This includes notching the concrete footing to place the push pier bracket under the stem wall, preparing the bearing area under the footing to a smooth and level condition, and adjusting the face of the stem wall to vertical at the point of bracket attachment.

4. Bracket Attachment: The steel resistance pier bracket is secured to the footing using anchor bolts. Attachment of the drive stand and the hydraulic cylinder that is used to force the pier pipe into the soil is mounted on the drive stand.

5. Push Pier Pipe Installation: The steel pier pipe is advanced into the soil using the structure as the reaction force with a 10,000 psi hydraulic pump and cylinder combination. The piers may be installed from outside or inside the structure. Pier installation continues until rock or suitable bearing-strata is encountered below the unstable soil near the surface.

6. Load Test: Every resistance pier is load tested by increasing the force on the pier to insure the rock or bearing-strata will support a load greater than needed to guarantee a factor of safety. Typically an engineer will determine the load of the structure and the desired factor of safety before the load tests are performed.

7. cracked foundation repairPreps for Restoration: Once all push piers have been installed, load tested, and the installation data at each placement recorded; lifting head assemblies and hydraulic lifting rams are placed on the steel piers. The lifting cylinders are connected with one or more manifolds and operated using a hydraulic pump.

8. Restoration: Under careful supervision, the load is transferred from the existing failing strata under the foundation, to the load tested piers. The structure can be transferred gently and evenly lifted to as close to the original elevation or to the recommendation of the engineer. The nuts at the pier caps are secured at each placement and the lifting equipment is removed.

9. Clean Up: The soil that was excavated at each steel push pier placement is now replaced and compacted. The site is left clean and neat.

Foundation Repair Solutions

If you have noticed cracks in your drywall, brick or foundation you might need steel push piers to provide structural support foundation repairs. Whether your foundation is concrete block, poured concrete or composed of stone, steel push piers should be your first choice as a foundation repair solution. Foundation repair or structural underpinning projects, with steel push piers, are usually completed in just days, not weeks.



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