Posts Tagged ‘Los Angeles Foundation Repair’

foundation plate with no nails in Los Angelesnail

noun

1. a slender, typically rod-shaped rigid piece of metal, usually in any of numerous standard lengths from a fraction of an inch to several inches and having one end pointed and the other enlarged and flattened, for hammering into or through wood, other building materials, etc., as used in building, in fastening, or in holding separate pieces together.

verb  

1. to fasten with a nail or nails: to nail the steel plate to the wood framing.

2. to make fast or keep firmly in one place or position: Surprise nailed him to the spot.

 

Hiding in the darker recesses of a great Spanish duplex in Silverlake, we recently found multiple examples of these steel foundation plates that had the right bolts…but no nails attaching them to anything! During seismic activity, this building will not perform as it would had it been properly secured. Unfortunately, there were whole sections of the tougher to reach spots that had been completely omitted, so the picture here is actually not even the worst of it!

 

As we see this kind of unacceptable error on a fairly regular basis, we again here remind you of the importance of only having specialists perform specialty tasks; be it roofing, plumbing, electrical, foundation, or any other relevant trade, always spend the time to research out the people who will be entrusted to do things right for your house!

It may be true that one termite can only eat so much, but if he and his troops are lunching on a main support girder that holds up your house, every bite is leading towards an eventual problem!

Here we see an example of this where a main support girder under a 1921 house has been hollowed out and the floor joists that are meant to rest on it are now crushing what is left of it. This of course translated through to the interior of the home in the form of sloping floors and growing plaster cracks in the walls.

Whereas we here at The Foundation Works are not providing the same service as a pest control company does, we are yet quite aware of the amount of damage that termites can do to a home if left unchecked.

As it is fairly an “out of sight and out of mind” issue, I wanted to send out a reminder that having a termite inspection performed on occasion is good “preventative care” for your home. Whereas we do not perform termite inspections, there are many companies that specialize in that line of work. Utilizing on-line resources such as Yelp and Angie’s List as well as asking your real estate agents and/or home inspectors for the best choices is a great place to start!

…and yet another lovely travel destination brought to you courtesy of the inspectors at The Foundation Works!

This is the scenic view under a 1917 Craftsman in South Pasadena, a charming house in a quaint neighborhood but you wouldn’t know it by this photo!

Yes, there is water dripping through the electrical conduit in the foreground; yes, there is debris left by past tradesmen…

But the focus of our concern is the fact that this leaking bathroom is essentially being supported at its primary girder at the center of the bath by that one piece of 2 inch by 4 inch lumber in the center of the photo, the one that is at a severely shifted angle and which termites have (also due to the water) made a smorgasbord of!

We were called out to find out why the beautiful period tile in the bathroom of this home was cracking. Turned out to be, as is so often the case, a very limited problem and a very limited repair.  We had the client get a plumber to stop the leakage, then we cleared out the debris and brought in new structural lumber to restore the structural status such that the bathroom would then hold still.

In this case, the plumbing leak had been there long-term, it was not recent; this saturated the soil under the bathroom which caused the concrete support pier to shift. The wet wood also acted as an invite to subterranean termites, who came in and contributed by eating right through this main support post.  Next thing you know, the bathroom tiles are “mysteriously” cracking…

The moral of the story is simply this: Old houses do not crack and sink and shift and settle just by virtue of age; there is always a cause prior to an effect, and this is just one more instance of that.

Don’t be afraid of your house, if it is doing something non-optimal, have it looked at. You may find that what you worried about is actually a simple fix!

Thanks again so much, to all who helped make 2011 another banner year here at The Foundation Works!

Your confidence in us, all of your kind words, your recommendations to friends to reach out to us, these have culminated in a wonderful acknowledgement of our service (see below). This came to us from Angie’s List, an on-line contractor referral service we’ve been associated with for the last four years and it seemed right to share the good news!

All our thanks to you.  We are only as valuable as we can serve our clients,
so thanks again for the opportunity to have done so!

At your service,

Tom Pelletier, Owner
The Foundation Works

 THE FOUNDATION WORKS earns coveted
Angie’s List Super Service Award
for 4th consecutive year
Award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer service

THE FOUNDATION WORKS has been awarded the prestigious 2011 Angie’s List Super Service Award, an honor bestowed annually only on approximately 5 percent of all the companies rated.

“Our Super Service Award winners are the cream of the crop when it comes to providing consistently high quality customer service, as judged by the customers who hired them,” said Angie Hicks, founder of Angie’s List.

THE FOUNDATION WORKS, a southern California based firm specializing exclusively in the care of foundations, has been bestowed this award every year since it became a part of the Angie’s List service, a feat accomplished by very few companies in any trade.

The Foundation Works has again met strict eligibility requirements including earning a minimum number of reports, an exemplary rating from their customers and abiding by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List, but members can find the 2011 Super Service Award logo next to company names in search results on AngiesList.com.
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Angie’s List collects consumer reviews on local contractors and doctors in more than 500 service categories. Currently, more than 1 million consumers across the U.S. rely on Angie’s List to help them make the best hiring decisions. Members get unlimited access to local ratings via Internet or phone, exclusive discounts, the Angie’s List magazine and help from the Angie’s List complaint resolution service.

Should a Sidewalk Crack?

Author: The Editor

Well once again, and yes you’ve heard me say it many times before, there is a water issue causing this otherwise perfectly good house to have foundation issues that it need not have ever had!

Here are the indicators that the picture contains, if you look closely it will be quite clear:

1.  The sidewalk is sloped toward the house not away from it, and this is more evident in relation to the sections of it that are actually correctly sloped (foreground and background portions of it).
2.  There is water staining along the sidewalk adjacent to the house that shows where the water wants to go.
3.  There is past caulking repair attempts (grey color) right where the sidewalk and the house meet, but the repair is not working…
4.  There is a downspout in coming from the roof that supplies this “problem area” with 100’s of gallons of water on any given rainy day.
5.  And unfortunately, there are significant issues under the house directly in the line of flow of this water that has been flowing, unchecked, for several years.

This damage could have been easily corrected and would have saved this property owner from some pretty big foundation fixes. Now, as a hot summer draws to a close, is a great time to take a pre-emptive look around your house and see if there are any similar “recipes” that could be easily corrected now, before another winter gets to them!

Though we do not provide drainage corrections, having a drainage specialist come out and correct any such instances can help further protect your home’s foundation well into the future, which is our primary objective and I’m sure it’s yours as well!

The Forces of Mother Nature

Author: The Editor

 The forces of Mother Nature are indisputable; given time, she can create some amazing effects by way of water.  However, there is a time and a place for “amazing effects” and the crawl space under your house needs to be kept out of this category!

The photo above shows a house in Mt. Washington that, due to an easily correctable issue outside the rear of the building, has resulted in a water flow path right through the foundation. This is undermining the supports under this otherwise perfectly good foundation. Notice the similarity between it and a similar occurrence in an undeveloped area…

Possibly the biggest single enemy of foundations is water. One of the wisest things you can do to help protect your home well into the future is to have the property drainage controlled such that no water reaches the foundation of the home. This is just good old-fashioned common sense that may save your home from problems it need not ever develop!

If you’ve not already done so, have a competent drainage specialist take care of any potential sources of moisture intrusion to help extend the useful life of your home’s foundation!

The Foundation Works Earns Coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award

Award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer service

The Foundation Works has been awarded the prestigious 2010 Angie’s List Super Service Award, an honor bestowed annually on approximately 5 percent of all the companies rated on the nation’s leading provider of consumer reviews on local service companies.

“Our Super Service Award winners are the cream of the crop when it comes to providing consistently high quality customer service, as judged by the customers who hired them,” said Angie Hicks, founder of Angie’s List.

The Foundation Works provides affordable foundation inspection, foundation repair, foundation upgrades, earthquake retrofitting and house bolting services for the whole Los Angeles area.

Angie’s List Super Service Award winners have met strict eligibility requirements including earning a minimum number of reports, an exemplary rating from their customers and abiding by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List, but members can find the 2010 Super Service Award logo next to company names in search results on AngiesList.com.

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.