Concrete Pier Solutions

Concrete Pier Solutions

A home’s foundation is the structure on which your entire home sits; it provides stability and strength to your home. When a home’s foundation undergoes changes such as cracking or shifting, other structural problems may result. These problems put your home at an increased risk for water damage, infestation, and many other things. Concrete piers have been utilized to lift and stabilize homes to avoid and repair damage done to a home’s foundation.
Concrete piers are one of many foundation repair methods, and are created by drilling a hole into the ground beneath the damage foundation. Concrete is poured into the hole ito reinforce and stabilize the foundation. Depending on the damage to the foundation, a single pier or many piers may be needed.

Concrete Piers in Action

Concrete piers have offered up a solution to many different problems including:

  • Adding additional support to your existing foundation
  • Raising or lifting a sinking foundation
  • Leveling out and sloping in the foundation
  • Preventing sinking and settling of the foundation

More Harm than Good?

Concrete piers can do more harm than good to your foundation because they do not pass through the active soil layer. Active soil is the soil directly beneath your foundation that constantly shrinks in periods of drought, and expands when it rains. If the weight of your home is still situated on unstable, active soil, the problem still exists. Often times, concrete piers add weight to your footing/foundation, and it pulls the foundation down further acting as an anchor.

Red Flag for Homeowners

Your foundation is important for the stability of your home. Concrete pier recommendations should be seen as a red flag and you should explore new technology such as AB Chance Helical piers. The AB Chance Helical Piers are all hot tip galvanized to increase the life of the product in aggressive soils.

If you are concerned about your home’s foundation and have been recommended concrete piers contact Intech Anchoring at 734-432-5111 to get your free estimate for AB Chance Helical piers to repair your foundation.

Basement Foundation Failure Symptoms

Basement foundation failure is something that plagues thousands of homeowners each year. Basement foundation failure is a serious issue and must be addressed as such by acting in a quick manner and contacting an expert as soon as possible to evaluate the situation.

Causes of Basement Foundation Failure

  • Evaporation: Overly dry climates and drying environmental pressures such as wind can cause all moisture to evaporate from the foundation, resulting in cracks and eventual foundation problems.
  • Transpiration: If there are trees surrounding your home, it is possible that these plants may desiccate the soil beneath your home and cause foundation problems.
  • Plumbing Leaks: One of the most common causes of foundation failure is plumbing leaks that go unnoticed until foundation problems are discovered.
  • Drainage: Improper drainage also leads to foundation problems when drainage systems are not installed properly and drain water towards the foundation and closely surrounding areas of the home. The excess moisture causes problems with the soil and the foundation walls.
  • Inferior Foundation Construction: Insufficient construction of the original foundation often leads to foundation failure over time.
  • Inferior Ground Preparation: This the leading cause of foundation failure. When the foundation is built on soft soil, the likelihood of foundation failure over time rises significantly. This problem can be eliminated by preparing the soil accordingly via certain digging techniques.

 

Common Symptoms of Basement Foundation Failure

    • Bowing Walls: This phenomenon is where your basement walls begin to lean inwards or outwards and is readily observable.
    • Identifiable Cracks: If there are visible cracks in your basement walls, this should raise concern that foundation failure may be imminent. Crack severity based on depth, length, and jaggedness may indicate how imminent complete basement foundation failure is. However, an expert is needed to determine the true severity of basement foundation cracks.
    • Water Intrusion: If you see water leakage into your basement or are observing wet walls and floors, this may be cause for alarm. Also, if there appears to be damp areas around your basement, this is less severe this could alert you to moisture damage which may be less severe, but still warrants immediate attention.

 

 

If you suspect that your home may be in danger of imminent foundation failure, contact Intech Anchoring at 734-432-5111 to get your free estimate and locate a Intech Anchoring expert near you.

 

Cracked Foundation Signs

A cracked foundation can stem from many issues including insufficient building materials, poor engineering, or simply because they are poorly structured. Foundation cracks are more common in older homes though environmental effects can cause problems in more recently built homes as well. There are two primary foundation types: concrete slab and pier and beam foundations. Slab foundations consist of a large slab of concrete poured over a base of gravel and rebar with a plastic moisture barrier. In contrast, pier and beam foundation consist of a concrete beam supporting exterior walls of the home and interior support piers that support the floor joists.

Looking Around:
Walk outside of the house and look for visible cracks in the foundation. If you have a basement, look around for water seepage. Be sure to check where the wall meets the floor, as this is a common location of foundation cracks and water seepage. If you see a few hairline vertical or stair-step cracks in the concrete, don’t worry. However, if you see cracks in the mortar, this is cause for concern.

Common Signs of a Cracked Foundation

If you observe any of the following signs in your home, it is necessary to take action sooner rather than later. Contact Intech Anchoring at 734-432-5111 to get your free estimate and locate a Intech Anchoring expert near you.

Inside the house

  • Check for substantial cracks in the drywall of the walls of your home.
  • Close the doors and windows, if they begin to stick or jam, this can be an indication that the foundation is shifting. However, do not be worried if the doors and windows stick due to mechanical issues.
  • If you have a slab foundation, pull up a rug or small section of flooring to check for cracks in the concrete. Small cracks are common in this type of foundation. However, to determine if a crack is more worrisome, take a ruler, or like object, and place it over the crack. If the crack is level, there is no reason to worry. However if one side of the crack is lower than the other, this may indicate that your foundation is beginning to sink.
  • If you have a pier and beam foundation, check the crawl space beneath the home. If you see exposed dirt, check to see if it is moist. If the dirt is moist or there is a musty or mildew odor, this can be an indicator of water seepage through foundation cracks.
  • If there are visible cracks in the crawl space but it appears to be very dry, this is cause for concern. This indicates that there has been a lot of moisture followed by a long dry spell which can compromise foundation strength.

Outside the House

  • If you have a multi-story home, step outside and look for cracks above doors and windows on the upper floors. This indicates that there are issues with the foundation.
  • Look for horizontal cracks. Horizontal cracks indicate a serious issue. These cracks are normally caused by hydrostatic pressure, a build-up of water behind the foundation. This can often cause a home to look “too big” for its foundation.
  • Stair-step cracks in bricks indicate movement of the home due to foundation instability.
  • Vertical cracks can indicate serious issues as well. If you see vertical cracks in the exterior of your home this often means that expansion of the soil is pushing up your foundation or the foundation is falling due to soil compaction.

An Overview of Helical Piers

Is your home or structure leaning? Do you have uneven floors, bowing walls or visible cracks in the foundation or exterior walls? Do you experience basement leakage when it rains or when snow melts? A contractor or repairman who notices these foundational deficits is likely to prescribe the installation of helical anchors.

What Are Helical Anchors?

Helical anchors, also known as anchors, piles, or screwpiles, serve as a deep foundation stabilization system. Helical anchors consist of a helical bearing system welded to steel plates. The weight of the leaning or sinking structure is transferred from the shaft to the deep, packed soil via the plates. Helical anchors can be employed for new or existing homes for stabilization or repair purposes.

Uses for Helical Anchors

Specific Repairs. Helical anchors can be implemented when repairs are specifically in need of caissons, driver piles, or mini piles.

Foundation Stabilization. Foundations often sink due to moisture. Helical anchors are the perfect solution because they dig into the deeper, more secure soil level.

Foundation Failure Reversals. There are many signs of foundation failure which might indicate a need for helical anchoring, such as:

  • Gaps in windows or door frames
  • Popping nails in ceilings, walls, or baseboards
  • Uneven floors
  • Leaning, tilting, or gapping chimneys
  • Visible foundation or basement cracks

Be watchful of any combination of these symptoms as they are prone to quick escalation, causing severe insecurity and instability in your home. Older homes may be the most susceptible to these symptoms, but newer homes are not immune. Homeowners experiencing the above signals should consider the advantages of a helical anchoring solution.

Helical Anchor Advantages

The advantages to helical anchoring are compound and may supply the best return on your home stability investment.

  • Ease of installation. Installing helical anchors is not complex. This is an advantage for homeowners because it trims labor cost and returns normalcy to the home more rapidly.
  • No vibration. This means that existing structures and surrounding soil remain virtually undisturbed by our installation process, affording less cleanup and no collateral damage.
  • Active Soil. Helical anchors can be installed through active soil. This will require less land-leveling or area preparation before installation which again saves cost and aggravation for homeowners.
  • All-weather Installation. Because helical anchor systems are built to withstand any element, they can be installed in any element. Homeowners with leaning, unstable, and even hazardous homes and foundations do not need to wait for spring or sunshine to return security to their homes.
  • Minimally invasive. Our worksite will be left as clean as before we began. Installation does not require us to completely tear up your lawn and wreak havoc in your neighborhood. Any necessary clean-up and/or restoration of the area will be completed promptly.
  • Affordable. Helical anchors are a cost effective solution for foundation failure. Moreover, costs are minute, considering the investment homeowners make by returning stability to their foundation and home.

For a free estimate on installation of helical anchors at your home, contact Intech Anchoring at 734-432-5111 today.

 

 

Understanding Pier and Beam Foundations

pier and beam foundationA pier and beam foundation, also called a crawl space or post-and-beam, is a type of foundation found in many older homes. Pier and beam foundations have advantages, but they can be susceptible to serious problems such as cracking, seepage, unevenness, and mold due to moisture. Further, homeowners with crawl spaces often experience sinking from pier rot. Intech Anchoring offers viable solutions to these problems, but it is first imperative to determine the probable cause of the damage before choosing a course of action.

Causes of Pier and Beam Foundation Problems:

  • Poor Drainage: Insufficient drainage can leave the foundation more prone to cracking and the growth of mold. Drainage can cause unwanted moisture when directed toward the basement, which can be caused by misdirected garden and lawn watering.
  • Soil Problems: Moisture retention within the soil can cause sheetrock cracking, an unevenness in the basement floor, and seepage into the basement area through the foundation walls.
  • Original Construction Problems: Pressure over time can cause old cedar piers to rot through. If rotting occurs, sinking can follow and cause severe degradation to the foundation.

Once the cause(s) of pier and beam foundation deterioration have been determined, a solution can be selected and implemented.

Primary Solutions to Pier and Beam Foundation Problems

  • Foundation Shoring – Reinforcing the foundation with timber piers.
  • Foundation Strengthening – Supporting the foundation with concrete columns.

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The Cost of Basement Wall Crack Repair

Cracks in the basement walls are a common problem that a homeowner might see as the home ages. They are especially common in old foundations, and when they appear, they cause a great deal of concern. Some cracks are merely cosmetic and will inevitably appear with age. Generally, however, cracks are indicative of a deeper problem – one that can mean structural instability at the foundation of your home.

The Main Cause: Shifting Foundation

This may be caused by pressure surrounding the foundation or from shifting soil beneath the foundation. Hydrostatic pressure is a common culprit: water builds up in the soil around the foundation and begins to press in until the walls buckle from the strain. Cracks may be the first physical sign of foundation walls beginning to bow and buckle. If this is the case, and the crack is not simply a cosmetic issue, there is a number of risks to your home. Leaks or flooding may occur if the water seeps through the foundation walls, leading to mold or mildew growth as well as extensive water damage. Bowing walls and an unstable foundation can also severely affect the structural integrity of your home. Read more

Prevent Your Home from Shifting

The shifting of your home can be subtle, and the symptoms can easily go unnoticed for months. However, taking note of the symptoms of a shift as soon as possible will allow for the best possible conditions to reverse the shift and preserve the foundation of your home. It is important to know what to look for when assessing your home and looking for potential symptoms of a shift.

Symptoms of a Shifting Home:

• Foundational cracks, which can be visible from inside the home, in the basement walls, or on the exterior of the home.

• Gapping between the building and chimney both internally and externally.

• Bowing walls, especially below ground-level.

• Sloped floors, which may curve downward in the middle of a room or at an angle toward any given wall. Read more

Helical Anchors for Basement Repair

It might look like “just a crack” or “a little bit of condensation,” but don’t be fooled: basement flaws can indicate serious foundation issues. Many homeowners make the mistake of overlooking basement flaws as a minor issue, when it’s really the symptom of a much larger one. Some of the most common indicators of foundational issues include, but are not limited to:

• Cracked walls: Cracked walls are common, but not all cracks are the same. Soil expansion and contraction places an incredible amount of stress on your home’s foundation, which can create extensive damage.• Damp walls: A healthy foundation regulates excessive moisture, but a compromised foundation leads to high humidity levels, mold, and rot in the basement.
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Brick Cracks can lead to Foundation Damage

brick cracks extending from windowHow Serious Are the Cracks?

Over time, foundations and walls tend to develop cracks. The important thing is to determine whether those cracks found in the bricks of your home are serious and require immediate attention. Vertical cracks that stem from the ground up are typically considered the most serious and indicate the soil underneath the home may have shifted significantly. When a home shifts, it causes uneven floors. Sometimes cabinets and doors become difficult to close completely. These signs are major red flags.

Non-serious cracks are smaller cracks that stay within just a few bricks and don’t spread all the way down to the soil. Mortar around the bricks that show signs of cracking are not usually considered a serious problem.
Horizontal cracks are caused by the soil under your home pushing against the home’s foundation. The result of this action is occasionally seen in bowed walls, which can be repaired at the same time as the cracks.

Stair-step cracks are an indication that a house is settling unevenly, usually from unstable soil. This is a potentially serious problem because if left un-repaired, stair-step cracks can cause drywall inside the home to also crack, which can mean significant and often costly repairs.

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