Posts Tagged ‘Foundation Care’

Is That Holding my House Up?

Author: The Editor

Yes, this is yet another “double-take” moment under a house where just when I was sure I’d seen it all, this…”assembly” came into view! As is often the case, the homeowner had no idea that this was underfoot and in fact this pile of scrap wood is in a location that made it very relevant to the two-story weight load above it!

Now, the good thing is that this is a very limited problem and a very limited repair, but the bad thing is that this makes this home very vulnerable seismically and so many such simple fixes (this is a few hundred dollar type repair) can be eliminated quite easily.

We pride ourselves on finding and eliminating the worst offenses as a means of adding stability to a building as well as helping to extend its overall useful life. In that we offer a free foundation inspection for an owner occupied primary residence, feel free to pass this e-mail on to anyone who may have questions about the foundation of their home. Hopefully we can give it a clean bill of health but if there are issues to correct, we can let them know the best way to go about taking care of them as well!

Home Foundation Care Tip

Author: The Editor

With Summer right around the corner warm weather is coming soon so don’t forget to water the soil around your home.

The main issue that can cause foundation problems is moisture in the soil next to the house.

To avoid costly repair keep the soil surrounding the house evenly watered during dry seasons. To just water the front and not the back for example could cause problems as the front soil would expand with water and the back one would contract due to dryness.

Save Money on Foundation Repair Los Angeles CA

The best way to save money on your foundation is to properly maintain it.

A well-built foundation should last a long time as long as it is correctly maintained. On earlier blog postings we have given you a lot of information on the different things that could damage the foundation of your home so let’s look at what are some simple things that you can do to make the foundation of your house last a long time.

Here are some helpful tips to prevent damage to your home’s foundation and making it last:

  1. Keep the ground around your home foundation at a constant moisture level. The soil throughout Los Angeles is able to absorb (and lose) water. During rain season the soil is likely to swell as it retains water. During drier seasons the soil, being severely dry is likely to shrink. This creates significant stress on the concrete slab which is resting on top of the soil. Keeping the soil around your home moist during warm and dry periods and preventing water to accumulate next to your house during rain periods extends the life of your foundation.
  2. Keep a record of any cracks inside or outside your house. Write down the location and length of any cracks, then measure every few month. If the cracks are growing it is time to schedule an inspection. Even if the foundation is damaged we might be able to custom repair it without having to rebuild the whole foundation.
  3. If a large tree is getting too close to house barricade the roots to prevent roots-growth from damaging the foundation.

Having Good Drainage

Author: Tom

Water accumulating around your foundation can damage even newer foundations.

Surface water should never be allowed to collect right around your house outside walls. When raining season begins right after a rain storm inspect the ground surrounding your house. You want to make sure no ponds are forming within at least two yards from the outside walls.

If the water is not draining this can be easily corrected by grading the area to form a slight slope away from the house. Also downspouts should be directed away form the foundation of the house and discharge at least  3-4’ away from the house.

Water Damage and Foundations sinkingAs many of you have no doubt heard me preach repeatedly, water is far and away the number one enemy of foundations in terms of the cumulative damage that it indiscriminately does to so many homes.  For that reason, I wanted to send out this timely reminder – as winter is again upon us – that any drainage corrections that can be done to your home are best done prior to the soil under the house getting wet again.

The photo above is a fine illustration of how much effect Mother Nature can create under a house.  In this particular home, and this is all too common, the expansive quality of the soil has heaved up when wet and contracted when dry and in so doing, left a large enough gap for a hand to easily fit into. This is meant to be a load bearing structural support and yet it is simply hanging in the air.  With the soil in the currently dry condition, this would be an appropriate time to adjust this support to fill the gap.  However, one must also then take care of whatever drainage issues led to the expansion and contraction in the first place.

If the walls of your house are cracking, it’s not “because they’re old”, they’re cracking because there is some moisture related issue still creating effect in the foundation area.  Our interest is in protecting your foundation well into the future and for that reason, this reminder comes to you to be sure that you follow through with any needed drainage corrections in order to accomplish that. We can recommend companies who perform such services or you can locate a competent one of your choosing, either way your house will thank you!