garage relocation

Things To Put Into Consideration Before Garage Relocation

garage relocationThere are many reasons as to why you might want to relocate your garage to a different location around your yard, maybe to prevent the garage from obstructing the view or just wanting to attach it to the house. However, there are certain things you need to put into consideration before considering garage location.  

Driveway

One of the most important considerations you need to make when deciding on garage relocation is the access to the garage after it’s relocated. You’ll need a paved driveway and the size of the garage should dictate the the width of the driveway. If it’s a two car garage then the width should be between 20 to 25 ft unlike 14 ft for a single car garage. Either concrete, asphalt or paving bricks can be used if you want a durable driveway.

Related :  When Should You Resurface Your Driveway ?

Permits

Different cities have different code requirements and not adhering to those requirements might subject you to penalties. Once you know where you want to relocate your garage to, its time to go through the city codes to see what restrictions you have in moving that garage. The garage restrictions usually focus on the garage size, height, proximity of garage to other properties and the driveway construction such as the materials used to construct it or it’s size.

Related : Questions To Ask Your Concrete Contractor

Contact a professional garage relocation contractor who can also install a driveway and understands the garage relocation code requirements of your city. Call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free garage relocation inspection and estimate.

leaning chimney

A Leaning Chimney Could Mean Foundation Damage

leaning chimney It’s time to call a professional if your chimney is leaning away or over your house or if it just doesn’t seem to be in it’s place because it’s always a dangerous situation. A leaning chimney could mean foundation damage and it could end up either crashing over your house, cars or other properties that are next to your house. The most common reasons why a chimney might be leaning include poor soils and poor footing.

Poor Soils

Certain soil types are not very good at bearing the weight of the chimney hence they might cause problems. Clay soils which are also referred to as expansive soils because of their tendency to expand when exposed to water and contract in the absence of water. So the soil will expand and contract depending on the moisture level therefore causing movements which are likely to tilt the chimney.

Related : Your House May Have Been Built on Expansive Soils, and You Should Be Worried

Poor Footing

Another common reason why you might have a leaning chimney is because of poor footing or the lack of it. If the footing is exposed to a lot of water, it will eventually deteriorate and cause the chimney to lean. The chimney is also likely to lean when the footing is too shallow or small that it can’t hold the weight of the chimney. And the chimney will at some point start to lean if it was built without any footing during construction.

Related:  We Help Solving Foundation Problems

Solutions

It’s advisable to call a professional the moment you notice the early signs of your chimney tilting away from your house or leaning chimney over your house because this is not something that you can repair by yourself. When the leaning or damage is too severe the chimney will need to be rebuilt and if the leaning chimney is not too bad, then underpinning pads can be used to repair the chimney and provide additional support to the chimney and footing area to support the load and strengthen that section.

Related : Chimney Rebuilding

Call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to schedule a chimney inspection and estimate.

Safe Sidewalks LA

Safe Sidewalks LA Program

Safe Sidewalks LAThe city of Los Angeles has sidewalks that have deteriorated to an extent where most of them are a danger to the residents. In order to tackle this problem, the city of Los Angeles has introduced the city sidewalk repair program by the name Safe Sidewalks LA. Members of the community can participate in the program either through the rebate program, the access request program or by reporting a damaged sidewalk.

Access Request Program

The access request program is part of the Safe Sidewalks LA program that makes repairs that are requested by people with a mobility disability who encounter physical barriers such as damaged or missing curb ramps or broken sidewalks. Basically it’s a program where people with any mobility  disability can report barriers in the public right of way.

Rebate Program

The rebate program is a program for property owners who would like to repair their own sidewalk. This program caters to both residential and commercial property owners by offering a rebate of up to $2000 for residential property owners and $4000 for commercial property owners. It’s a first come first serve basis program and you have to qualify for the program. Once you apply, your request will be reviewed to make sure that you are eligible and that you have provided all the necessary documentation and then you will receive a rebate offer if you qualify. 

Related : Questions To Ask Your Concrete Contractor

Report A Sidewalk

Another way you can participate in the program is by reporting a damaged sidewalk in your community, so even if you don’t qualify for the Safe Sidewalks LA Program you can still participate in this manner. The official Safe Sidewalks LA program has a section where you can report the damaged sidewalk.

Related :  Requiring Sidewalk Repairs at the Point of Sale

You need to hire a licensed contractor in order to participate in the rebate program of the Safe Sidewalks LA program. Call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free sidewalk inspection and estimate.

hillside home

How Expansive Soils Can Affect Your Hillside Home

hillside homeOwning a home on expansive soils can be tough but owning a hillside home on expansive soils can be even worse. Expansive soils are soils that absorb water and expand and will shrink when moisture is lost, while as a hillside home is a home that is built on a hillside or steep slope. The expansion and shrinkage of these soils can cause damage to structures.

Poor Drainage

Expansive soils which can also be referred to as clay soils tend to not drain water properly because of their tightly packed particles. This means that most of the vegetation on your yard will suffer from not having enough water and might die out. And If a yard on a steep slope can’t grow any vegetation on it, then it will risk having other problems such as soil erosion, mudslides and landslides. Other drainage problems include the easy pooling of water after rainfall.

Related : Signs You Might Have Poor Drainage

Foundation Damage

Expansive soils will exert tremendous amounts of pressure on anything in their way. As depth increases, so does the pressure that the soil gets to exert because of all the weight it’s holding. So hillside home foundations are at greater risk of getting affected by the expanding and shrinking of soils because they are mostly built deep underground. Once the foundation is damaged by the pressure, the cracks will allow water to seep in and cause the damage or the damage from the pressure itself will compromise the load bearing properties of the foundation.

Related : 6 Common Causes of Foundation Damage

Damage due to expansive soils might be mistakenly attributed to other things because most people don’t understand them and because damage happens very slowly over a long period time. Contact a licensed foundation contractor If you own a hillside home and are worried about the possibility of expansive soils damaging your home. Call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free foundation inspection and estimate.

 

retaining wall

What Type of Retaining Wall Does Your Los Angeles House Need ?

retaining wallOwning a house in an area like Los Angeles can be a bit of a challenge due to geographic and climatic issues such as soil erosion, landslides or storms. To counter many of these problems, different types of retaining walls can be built in a number of ways depending on the problem being solved.

Gravity Retaining Wall

A gravity retaining wall is a type of retaining wall that solely relies on its own weight to hold back earth. These types of retaining walls must have the weight that is greater than the earth that they are holding back and are usually made from concrete, bricks or stones. They are usually thicker at the bottom.

Cantilever Retaining Wall

A cantilever retaining wall is a retaining wall that cantilevers the weight of earth to it’s footing. The horizontal pressure from the earth gets transferred to the ground through the vertical wall. Unlike other types of retaining walls, cantilever retaining walls have uniform thickness and thus require good engineering to make sure that they can withstand earth.

Related :  Ways to Prevent Damage to Your Retaining Wall

Sheet Piling Retaining Wall

Sheet piling retaining walls are built in areas where the soil is very loose or soft and there isn’t enough race to build a barrier. Usually either steel, planks or vinyl are placed in the ground while leaving the top exposed.

Anchored Retaining Wall

Anchored retaining walls are just like other retaining walls but they have cables that are attached to them and anchored into the soil to make the wall more stronger.  Anchor retaining walls are usually needed in areas where the earth is heavy.

Related :  Why You Should Hire A Professional Foundation Contractor To Build Your Retaining Wall?
If you are wondering which retaining wall is best for your Los Angeles home, then contact a retaining wall contractor for expert advice. Call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free retaining wall  inspection and estimate.

sinking driveway

Do You Have a Sinking Driveway ?

A compromised driveway is not only unsightly but it is also not safe for you and your family. Sinking of the driveway will just continue to get worse if it is not addressed on time. There are many reasons as to why you might have a sinking driveway.

Improperly Prepared Base

If the foundation of your driveway is not properly prepared, you will begin to experience sinking driveway problems within months or years of installation. A good driveway contractor will adequately prepare the base of the driveway by either adding materials such as crushed stones or by compacting the soils before pouring the asphalt or concrete.

Water Seepage

If water is allowed to easily seep into the base of your foundation, it will cause mud and allow the driveway to start sinking. Water can seep into your driveway through cracks if they are not promptly fixed. Broken sewer or water lines usually cause driveway problems because they are not easily noticed and it will be worse by the time you are able to see the problem.

Related :  How to Protect Your Driveway During Winter

Environmental Factors

Environmental factors such as expansive soils, seismic activity or sinkholes will also play a role in sinking your driveway. Expansive soils are soils that expand when they come in contact with water and shrink when they run out of moisture. Expansive soils will either raise your driveway or cause it to sink.

Related : When Should You Resurface Your Driveway ?

Contact a driveway contractor when you begin to experience a sinking driveway or when you suspect any problems. Contact California Foundation Works for a free driveway Inspection and Estimate.

 

resurface your driveway

When Should You Resurface Your Driveway ?

Driveways will last for a very long time if you are able to take care of them accordingly. Driveway resurfacing is one way of the ways of maintaining your driveway that will make it last longer and way past its’ prime. When you resurface your driveway,  all the holes and discoloration affecting your driveway will be covered. There are certain things that you can be on the lookout for, as signs of a need for driveway resurfacing.

Weathered Appearance

Your beautiful driveway will begin to weather or fade over time because of agents such as water and sun exposure. The driveway will begin to fade and discolor as the suns’ UV rays penetrate the concrete and oxygen begins to oxidize the driveway. This won’t only affect the color or look of the driveway but it will begin to weaken the driveway as well. It’s best to resurface your driveway the moment you begin noticing any signs of weathering because it’ll soon turn into bigger problems.

Drainage Problems

Pooling water or water running through certain parts of your driveway such as the middle is a big problem for your driveway. A driveway should be able to adequately drain water therefore a proper driveway resurface will prevent and stop any drainage problems that your driveway is experiencing.

Related : Preventative Drainage Solutions For Your Home in Los Angeles

Potholes and Cracks

Potholes are the result of the expansion and contraction of the ground underneath the paving which causes potholes. Cracks usually develop over time as a result of the weather, chemicals  or traffic. It’s advisable to get a driveway resurface whenever the potholes or cracks seem to be getting worse.

Related :  Do You Have a Sinking Driveway ?

 

mudslides and Landslides

Protect Your Los Angeles Home Against Mudslides and Landslides

 

mudslides and LandslidesMudslides and Landslides are powerful events that not only result in injuries and deaths but also cause damages of over $3 billion annually. Mudslides occur when mud flows off a hill or steep area usually because of torrential rain. Landslides also involve the sliding of rocks, debris or earth down a slope as a result of rain, earthquake or steep slopes. Both mudslides and landslides can cause very bad damage to your home or commercial property if you don’t take the necessary precautions. Mudslides and landslides most often occur on bases of slopes, existing old landslides or at the base of a steep cut slope. The following are some of the ways in which you can prevent or minimize damage to your property.

Retaining Wall

A retaining wall is a structure that is build to hold soil and water. Retaining walls are very effective in preventing both mudslides and landslides and they can be built as either piling walls, cantilever walls, anchored walls or gravity walls. Retaining walls should be built by professionally licensed contractors because a weak retaining wall will be swept away and cause more damage to your property.

Related: Is A Retaining Wall Necessary ?

Diversion Channels

If your property is directly beneath a hill, it’s vital to have diversion channels in case of mudslides and landslides. These channels will divert the rocks, debris or earth around your property and you should make sure that it is not directed towards your neighbors because you will be liable for any damage, injuries or deaths.

Vegetation

Vegetation with very good root systems are an excellent solution to mudslides and landslides. Having the right amount of plants will prevent mudslides and landslides but having heavy vegetation might also trigger mudslides or landslides.

Related: Prevent Soil Erosion This Winter

Contact a drainage contractor to prevent a mudslide or landslide from damaging your property. Call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free inspection and estimate.

foundation repair

When should you get a foundation repair ?

Don’t wait for a huge crack in your foundation before you can be sure that your house needs a foundation repair, because not all foundation issues are easy to spot. However there are certain signs that should prompt a homeowner to get a foundation repair or inspection.

Neighboring Foundation Problems

It’s recommended that you get a foundation inspection if one of your neighbors is experiencing or has experienced foundation damage in the past. There are certain causes of foundation damage that not only tend to affect a particular house but will affect the whole area such as expansive soils or inferior construction practices. Most foundations built on expansive will at some point experience foundation problems because of the change in moisture content which tend to negatively affect the foundation.

Visible Damage

One of the surest ways of knowing when you need foundation repair is when you see the actual physical signs of foundation damage. There are certain signs that signal foundation damage that a homeowner should be aware of such as Unlevel floors, sticking doors and windows, cracks on the interior and exterior of walls and also cracks in the foundation.

Related: How to Determine if Your House Needs  a Foundation Repair 

When buying or Selling a Home

Having a foundation inspection and possibly foundation repair should be on each and every home buyer’s and seller’s to do list before anything else. As a homebuyer, you don’t want to unknowingly buy a house that has foundation problems because it can greatly devalue the house. Similarly, home sellers should also have a foundation inspection to prevent any complications in the future.

Drainage Problems

The number one cause of foundation damage is water, so many of the drainage related problems can cause foundation damage. Drainage problems such as ponding water near the foundation, leaking roof or gutters and leakages in the basement will definitely cause foundation problems over time if not promptly  addressed.

Related: Preventative Drainage Solutions For Your Home in Los Angeles
The foundation is the most important part of a house because of the massive devaluation a damaged foundation can cause to a property. It’s advisable to call a foundation repair expert if any of the aforementioned signs apply to you. Call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free foundation inspection and estimate.

structural cracks

When Do Cracks Mean Structural Damage

When it comes to cracks you’ve probably been told that any cracks you see on your building, especially the foundation is bad news but this isn’t always the case. As a homeowner you are more likely to come across two types of cracks on your property, structural and non structural cracks . Even though only experts should be allowed to determine which cracks are bad or not, there are a number of ways to differentiate the two types of cracks

Structural Cracks

These are serious cracks that cause damage to the structure. These cracks are followed by unlevel floors,sticking windows and doors. The cracks are caused by a variety of reasons such as poor construction materials, expansive soils, poor drainage or poor construction sites. They have certain characteristics that differentiate them from the non structural cracks such as they tend to be wider than ⅛ inch, they form a staircase pattern of cracks and serious cracks also tend to form horizontally.  

Related: How are foundation cracks fixed ?

Non Structural

Non structural cracks are cracks that don’t pose any danger to your structure. Even though these cracks might look bad or similar to structural cracks, they are harmless to your property. These cracks are most often caused by stress that is induced internally in the concrete. They will have certain characteristics in common such as being less than ⅛ in width,they usually radiate from pipes, corners or plants. Unlike the bad cracks, these can be repaired using a sealant and should be closely monitored to prevent them from turning into bad cracks.

Related: Foundation cracks: To worry or not to worry

It’s best to call a professional whether you think the cracks on your property are structural or non structural because non structural cracks can easily turn into structural cracks if not properly dealt with. Call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free inspection and estimate.

 

Prevent Damage to Your Retaining Wall

Ways to Prevent Damage to Your Retaining Wall

Even though a retaining wall requires little to no maintenance, not inspecting it or having routine maintenance will shorten it’s lifespan. The lifespan of a retaining wall is highly dependent on the materials and  methods used to build it or how frequently it’s maintained . Retaining walls can last for more than 50 years,  but if not properly built or maintained, they will only last for a few years. As a homeowner or business owner there are various ways to prevent damage to your retaining wall.   

Poor Design

A properly designed retaining wall will last for a long time while a poorly designed one will begin to show signs of damage a few months or years after its been built. Most homeowners have retaining walls with poor designs because they chose an inexperienced builder due to a low budget. A good retaining wall builder will inspect the area and determine which design,materials and techniques will be used to suite the conditions of that area.

Related: Why You Should Hire a Professional Foundation Contractor To Build Your Retaining Wall ?

Rot Prevention

Wood retaining walls are not only cheap to build but they also tend to be visually appealing. The only downside to having a wooden retaining wall is that they are prone to wood rot. Since the wood is constantly exposed to the wet soil and humidity, it’s at a great risk of rotting. To prevent the wood from rotting, you can ask your retaining wall builder to use foundation contact wood, to double treat the wood and to also form a protective barrier between the wood and the soil.

Bad Drainage and Trees

A retaining wall needs a good drainage system in order to function properly. A bad drainage system will cause water to pool behind the retaining wall and exert pressure on the wall, which in turn starts to crack it. To prevent this, drainage channels can be created right next to the wall to channel water away or the surface can be properly graded so that there is no water stagnation. Tree and plant roots can also cause problems if not monitored. Tree roots have the ability to penetrate and crack the foundation wall hence the need to not plant trees with wide root systems near the foundation wall.

Related: Foundation Damage Caused by Trees

Hire a professional retaining wall contractor in order build or repair an existing retaining wall. Call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free inspection and estimate.

 

Parking Lot Flooding

Is Your Parking Lot Flooding ?

One of the most important aspects of a parking lot that is often overlooked is its drainage. Whether the parking lot flooding is natural or man-made, it is a hazard to drivers or pedestrians and is also very damaging to the parking lot. Even though the parking lot might seem like it’s in good condition on the surface, the pooling water will start to eat away the sealcoating and eventually allow water to seep into the pavement and begin to oxidize and deteriorate the pavement. There are three main ways in which experts can deal with this problem of a flooding parking lot.

Parking Lot Slope

The slope of a parking lot forces water to flow to a drain or wherever it is directed instead of pooling on your parking lot. Parking lots are supposed to have a minimum of 1 percent slope in order to adequately drain water without any obstructions. Unlike the other methods of preventing flooding on a parking lot, Sloping your parking lot is the most effective in cases of storms.

Related: How Can an Asphalt Parking Lot Help Your Business ?

Curbing

Curbing of your parking lot will prevent water from flowing from the surrounding areas into the parking lot or vice versa. Curbs will also collect water runoff and drain it away as required. Curbs can be built using either asphalt or concrete depending on the the amount of force it’s going to be taking. Compared to asphalt, concrete curbs are very strong and can withstand large amounts of force.

Related: Spotting Foundation Problems During Winter

Patching and Compaction

If your are experiencing parking lot flooding, puddles or low spots then it is most likely due to very heavy traffic or heavy objects above the recommended weight limit were left stationary for a long time or due to improper compaction during construction. To prevent further damage, these depressions will either have to be patched or to get the parking lot reinstalled.

Contact a Parking lot contractor if you are experiencing any parking lot flooding or puddles. Call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free inspection and estimate.