foundation moisture level in summer

How To Maintain Foundation Moisture Level In Summer

foundation moisture level in summerSummer is fast approaching and Los Angeles Homeowners and commercial building owners are beginning to prepare their properties for the moisture deficiency in the soil around their property foundations caused by the summer heat. Maintaining foundation moisture level in summer is very important because lack of it or too much of it can cause foundation damage. As a concerned property owner, you can take some measures to prevent damages which stem from the loss or accumulation of moisture in summer.  

Foundation Watering

As it has already been mentioned, maintaining foundation moisture level in summer is very important hence the need to add more moisture to the soil around your foundation during the summer heat. The soil around the foundation will begin to dry up because of the heat therefore it will shrink, which in turn damages the foundation. To counter moisture loss, you can regularly water your lawn and the soils near your foundation by using soaker hoses or drip irrigation systems. You shouldn’t over water the soils around your foundation because too much water might actually penetrate your foundation and cause damage but instead you should water to prevent the soils around your foundation from drying up.

Related :  How The California Drought Affects Your Foundation

Vegetation Species

The type of trees or plants that you have on your yard will affect how severely the summer heat will affect the moisture level content around your foundation. Certain types of trees or plants require more water than others hence they tend to suck up more water from the ground during summer. These types of trees or plants will speed up the loss of moisture in the soil around your foundation, so you need to only plant drought resistant plants or trees near your foundation in order to maintain the foundation moisture level in summer.

Related : Foundation Damage Caused by Trees

Proper Drainage

Having proper drainage is vital in maintaining foundation moisture level in summer. Watering your foundation during summer will be ineffective if the drainage system is not functioning as it should because the water will end up pooling around your foundation therefore causing the soil to expand or by directly penetrating the foundation walls.

Related : Signs You Might Have Poor Drainage

Contact a foundation contractor to help you protect your foundation against any moisture problems. Call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free foundation 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.

 

crawlspace encapsulation

Do You Need A Crawlspace Encapsulation ?

crawlspace encapsulationMoisture problems in your crawlspace are not always easy to notice and worse still not easy to find the right solution once you discover the problem. Crawlspace Encapsulation is usually the best solution to most of the crawlspace moisture problems that you might be experiencing. Crawlspace Encapsulation is the sealing of the the piers, foundation walls, the ground and vents using a moisture barrier sheet. Crawlspace Encapsulation is recommended for most homeowners with crawl spaces because of the number of benefits that come with having your crawlspace encapsulated.

Better Indoor Air Quality

Encapsulating your crawlspace will improve the air quality in your crawlspace which will in turn improve your indoor air quality. The crawlspace will have dust, mold or mildew which can easily cause health problems if not properly taken care of. Crawlspace Encapsulation will prevent all the odors or dust in the crawlspace from entering your house.

Related :  Wet Weather Is A Big Problem For Los Angeles Homes

Energy Savings

Crawlspace encapsulation can save you as much as 20% towards energy costs. Crawlspace Encapsulation prevents outdoor hot air from entering your home, especially during the summer therefore keeping your house cool and preventing high energy cooling costs.

Prevent Moisture

The main goal of encapsulating a crawlspace is to eliminate moisture which tends to cause all the aforementioned problems such as odors, mold or mildew. All the wooden parts of your crawlspace are sealed off to prevent moisture from causing rot. The prevention of moisture in the crawlspace also discourages the infestation of pests or rodents in your crawlspace.

Related : How to Solve the Foundation Moisture Problems During Winter

Contact a professional foundation contractor whenever you are not sure if you need crawlspace encapsulation or not. Call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free crawlspace inspection and estimate.

 

french drain

What Is A French Drain ?

french drainYou need a good drainage system in order to have good drainage for your yard and landscape. Good drainage will come with a number of systems  and a french drain is almost always a necessity. A french drain is an outdoor trench installed in your yard surrounded by rocks and connected to a series of pipes that will carry the water away from the foundation of your house. It is installed underground so it doesn’t alter the outdoor scenery of your home but still provide an efficient drainage system to keep your foundation and the soil around it dry.

How Does it Works ?

As the water soaks into the ground during rain, it raises the water table underground. The french drain is installed in the ground so that the water can enter the pipes through a special cloth that covers the pipe and works as a filter for debris and soil around it. It is installed on a sloped elevation to help with the flow of water away from the house. The water then flows through the pipes and is distributed to the areas where it can drain without causing any drainage problems on your yard.  

Who Needs a French Drain  ?

If you have a soggy yard or a wet basement, then a French drain is your cure. Here’s how they work, when to use them, the different types and cost. You’ll need a french drain when you have a problem with surface water, such as a soggy lawn or a driveway that washes out. Problems such as water is getting into your basement, you’re building a retaining wall on a hillside or you have a problem with surface water around your foundation such as a soggy and wet soil around your house footing.

Related : Signs You Might Have Poor Drainage
It’s best to call a professional drainage contractor whenever you experience drainage problems so that they can advise you on the best solutions to solve the problem. Call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free drainage inspection and estimate.

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.

storms in Los Angeles

Foundation Damage Caused By The Storms in Los Angeles

Los Angeles residents have been on their toes as storms have been sweeping through Los Angeles in the past weeks. However the primary concerns for most of the residents are either blocked roads or flooded houses instead of the very costly foundation damage that these storms can cause. Foundation damage caused by the storms in Los Angeles might not be evident right away but it’s advisable to prevent or stop any foundation damage that storms might cause. Foundation damage caused by storms usually happens in two ways.

Expansive Soils

The most common type of foundation damage by storms is caused by water over-saturation of the soils surrounding the foundation. The expansive soils increase in volume as they come into contact with more water so they exert pressure on the foundation and create cracks which in turn allow water seepage into the foundation. Expansive soils are also known as clay soils and are usually found in coastal areas, that’s why most of Los Angeles is covered in clay soils.

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

Settling or Sinking Foundations

Contrary to popular belief, storms can also cause foundation settling and sinking. Foundation settling or sinking is when the soil under the foundation compacts and ends up forming spaces below the foundation which cause it to sink. If the storms flood and cause the soil under the foundation to swell, that will raise the foundation a little and then cause foundation settling when it dries up.

Contact a foundation contractor If you are a homeowner and are worried about the damage that the storms in los angeles might have caused to your foundation. Call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free foundation inspection and estimate.

 

poor drainage

Poor Drainage Can Destroy Your Landscape

A good drainage system can mean the difference between a landscape with curb appeal and one that’s an eyesore. You don’t have to live in an area that is prone to flooding in order to have a good drainage system because even areas that don’t regularly flood also tend to have poor drainage systems. Your landscape will be affected negatively if you don’t have a good drainage system.

Plants Destruction

Water that pools for a long time after rain will damage plants on your landscape therefore destroying the curb appeal on the landscape. There are a number of ways in which poor drainage can damage the plants on your yard. Too much water will drown your plants because inasmuch as plants need water, they need air too and will drown without it. Plants in areas that get flooded for long periods of time will also develop a number of fungal diseases which will attack and destroy the root systems of the plants.

Related: Foundation Damage Caused by Trees

Soil Compaction

The more traffic a wet area has, the more compact the soil will get because of the muddy or squishiness that water causes. Compacted soils are a problem because roots can’t freely grow through them therefore killing plants and water takes time to drain through compacted soils which causes pools of water on your yard.

Structural Damage

A bad drainage will not only harm your plants but will also damage your house and other structures on the yard. Bad drainages will eventually cause foundation damage when the water seeps into the foundation. Other structures on the property such as fences, retaining walls or gazebos will also experience damage due to poor drainage.

Related: What if You Delay Foundation Repair ?

Contact a drainage contractor If you want to have or to preserve your landscape. Call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free drainage inspection and estimate.

 

drainage solutions

Drainage Solutions That Your Los Angeles House Needs

Water related damage accounts for the vast majority of property damage in Los Angeles, especially homes. There are various ways in which water can damage your house and as a homeowner you need to have the right drainage solutions to prevent any water damage to your house. Depending on the location and size of the house, there are a number of drainage solutions that your Los Angeles house can put in place to prevent any damage.

French Drain

A french drain is an underground system that collects and diverts water away from areas around your yard that are prone to water pooling. French drains are extremely important in reducing foundation damage in areas with expansive soils or poor drainage . The water moves underground and is evenly dispersed underground to prevent pooling. French drains are some of the most effective drainage solutions a homeowner can have.

Sump Pumps

Sump pumps basically prevent your home from flooding by automatically pumping water out of your basement or crawlspace whenever it floods. These are excellent drainage solutions if your home is in an area that is prone to flooding. Sump pumps are placed in sump pits which are in the lowest part of the house which collects channeled water and pumps it away from the structure.

Related: When is a Sump Pump Needed ?

Gutters and Downspouts

Gutters and downspouts are used for the proper draining of water that runs off of your roof. Gutters are a draining system that is installed around the edges of the roof and diverts water into the downspouts which are  connected to the nearby water outlet. Downspouts are pipes that channel rainwater away from the gutters and then directed away from the  property.

Related: Prepare Your Gutters For Winter

Trench Drains/Channel Drains

Trench drains collect and drain flowing water from large surfaces such as parking lots and driveways. These drains are used to prevent flooding in areas such as garages because of driveway or parking lot water runoff. They are very effective with draining huge volumes of water because they are long and linear.

Contact a drainage contractor If your Los Angeles home doesn’t have any of the aforementioned drainage systems. Call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free drainage inspection and estimate.

 

Misconceptions About Foundations

Common Misconceptions About Foundations

 

Because of how important a foundation is, a lot of people will tend to believe in certain negative misconceptions about foundations that are simply not true. The following are some of the most common misleading misconceptions about foundations:   

Foundation Repairs Affect the Sale

There’s a false belief amongst homeowners that a house with prior foundation repairs will not fare well on the market when you decide to resell it. This is a false misconception about foundations because in actuality if you have a foundation repair by a reputable contractor, that in itself is beneficial and might help to sell the house faster. However for the foundation work to be beneficial towards you selling your house, you have to use a reputable and licensed contractor and structural engineer.

Related: Selling a Home with Tree Roots Vegetation and Foundation Problems 

Foundations Repairs are Costly

Even though foundation repairs have a reputation of being costly, that is not always the case and the total cost is usually dependent on the scope of work. Even though some repairs might be deemed costly, they prevent even more costly repairs that might arise in the future because of a lack of those repairs, so in the long run you are saving yourself some money. The cost of foundation repair is mostly dependent on factors such as method used to repair the foundation, type of foundation, location of the damage and degree of damage.

Avoiding Foundation Damage

It’s advisable for homeowners to do whatever they can to avoid foundation damage but it’s impossible to prevent it. Homeowners are told to keep plumbing joints from leaking, keep bushes or trees from growing near the foundation and to also have a proper drainage system but that alone won’t prevent foundation damage because at times expansive soils or poor construction materials are what causes foundation damage. Having regular foundation inspections is the best way of keeping your foundation in excellent condition because your can detect early damage.

Related: We Help Solving Foundation Problems

It’s important to be correctly informed as a homeowner on how to take care of your foundation. It’s advisable to call a foundation repair expert if your house hasn’t had a foundation inspection in a long time or you suspect any foundation damage. Call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free foundation inspection and estimate.

Storm in Los Angeles

What Effect Do the Storms Have on Your Los Angeles Home ?

It’s refreshing to know that almost all of Los Angeles is out of drought after experiencing storms in the past weeks, However as a homeowner there is as much to be worried about as there is to celebrate because a storm in los angeles also means floods, mudslides or property damage.

Experiencing a storm in los angeles will damage your property in a number of ways especially after experiencing a drought like Los Angeles did. Foundations get affected the most in situations like this. If the foundation is surrounded by clay soils then the sudden expansion of these expansive soils will push against the foundation and cause damage. Drainage problems also tend to significantly increase during a storm. Overflowing or leaking gutters are a common sight during a storm in los angeles if they were not regularly cleaned out. Roofs that don’t regularly leak also tend to leak which increases the likelihood of flooded basements or rooms in the house.

Related: Does foundation waterproofing help ?

Hire a professional drainage contractor to prevent any damage to your property during a storm or to repair the damage caused by a storm in los angeles. Contact California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to get a free inspection and estimate.

Choose a drainage contractor

How To Choose a Drainage Contractor

How do you choose a drainage contractor ? Drainage contractors are experts who provide water management related services with regards to installation, maintenance and the supply of materials. There are different ways a homeowner can determine who is a good and reliable drainage contractor.

Full Service

To choose a drainage contractor It’s important to hire a contractor that offers a wide range of services because different sets of skills other than those requested might be needed as the work progresses and new problems are discovered. A contractor should be able to address any other problems that arise as the work is going on. A drainage contractor who is able to install french drains and also build a retaining wall is better than one that only installs french drains.

References  and Reviews

A good contractor always has good references and reviews. Checking reviews on websites such as yelp, angie’s list, facebook and bbb should always be mandatory in order to see what their previous clients think. Negative online reviews don’t necessarily mean that a company is bad but how a company responds to the negative reviews will show how a company deals with its clients.

Related: How To Choose  a Licensed Foundation Contractor ?

Licensed, Insured and Bonded

It might not seem like a big deal to verify whether a drainage contractor is licensed, insured or bonded but it is in case something goes wrong. Having an insured, licensed and bonded drainage contractor will insure that you as a client are hiring a reputable contractor that abides by regulations.  A contractor will usually have liability insurance and workers compensation insurance. Liability insurance covers damages caused by a contractor to a client’s property while workers compensation covers lost wages due to an injury or medical services.

To hire a reliable drainage contractor, you need to check if they offer full services, their references and also check if they are licensed, insured and bonded. 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.