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foundation problems

First Steps In Evaluation Your Home Foundation:

Posted in Foundation Problems

Does your home show signs of slab failure ?

It’s essential to inspect your home at the 1st indication of foundation damage. This may minimize home foundation repairs and costs for your family, while assuring your home stays safe and sound.

For a free of charge in-home inspection, simply contact California Foundation Works . In the mean time, however , be aware of these vital warning signs that could end up in significant issues with your home foundation.

Outside of your home , check for :

• Cracks on the foundation concrete at the lower area of the home . Sometimes , little cracks may possibly simply be cosmetic . Have these checked by a professional , since they could be an indication of upcoming problems .
• Roof leaks . This may indicate a shift in the foundation if your shingles and other roof covering materials are usually in good condition .
• Drainage issues and standing water . Water accumulated near the foundation can cause the soil to expand , generating pressure and damage .
• Diagonal cracks along mortar joints in the brick veneer . This reveals shifting and stress are dividing the brick from one another .
• Separation around the garage entrance and other external doors . A change in the home’s foundation creates pressure on walls and door joints , which will show up as separation and cracks . You may observe that doors do not close easily , as they once did .

Inside the house , try to look for :

• Sticking entry doors . If a door has started to stick , or if it looks like it is no longer hung appropriately , this is often a sign of a foundation problem .
• Window difficulties . Often times , a window may not open unless much force is applied . Other times , windows resist to stay open . A tough , sticking or loose window may be an indication of issues .
• Cracks in interior walls . These are especially crucial that you notice at the joints where walls meet ceilings , doors or other walls . Gaps might indicate the joints are pulling away from one another .
• Cracks in the fireplace . Foundation strains can make cracks between bricks and tile .
• Nail pops . While nails bulging from wallboard may appear under other circumstances , they might also be a sign of a shifting foundation .

If any one of these symptoms are present , call a professional right away for a foundation inspection . When they begin , foundation issues do not go away on their own . In fact , as long as you wait before attending to these problems , they will become more complicated and expensive to repair .

If you're in need for a foundation repair company in Los Angeles that offers a free inspection and repair estimate, please contact us at 323-418-2239. You will have nothing to waste by having a periodically inspection of your home surrounding and the foundation. Make the call today , and assure your foundation will last a lifetime .

A Foundation which Appears Level may need Repair

Posted in Foundation Problems

This article is going to inspect the question of whether or not relying solely on the levelness of a slab as a basis for choosing foundation repair is an accurate way of deciding on the need for underpinning. The simple answer to this dilemma is no. Although slab measurements are a widely used method of determining the levelness of a slab, they cannot and should not be the sole basis for determining if a home requires underpinning based on a variety of causes, 3 of which we will be examining.

No newly constructed slab is perfectly level

Every time a new home is constructed, numerous aspects affect the slope of the slab, as well as it’s shape, support elements, degree of soil construction, and the weight of the structure which is built onto it among many things. Therefore, and the fact that human handiwork can never be absolutely precise, an absolutely 100% level slab at the time of construction is absolutely impossible. It is really feasible, that during the time of construction of a home, a slab can have a slope of 2 inches or more, and the residence will be effectively built to sustain this deflection. Therefore, any leveling done on this house in the future to correct the incline can negatively influence the structure of the home.


The nature of Expansive soils indicates slab foundations are constantly moving

Because of the qualities of expansive soils in and around Los Angeles the moisture content of the soil is always transforming. In short moist soils expand and dry soils contract, for this reason measurements taken over extended periods of time will show different levels of deviation. As in the past stated, while determining the deviation of a slab is a common method, it is not the only factor, which should be considered when examining a foundation.

A level reading can be obtained on a structure that actually needs repairs

Because of the two factors previously discussed, a slab which was not completely level after it was built, and, which is experiencing soil expansion or contraction underneath the slab, at any given time, based on the conditions, can show  a level reading.

Relying on Measurements Alone Would be Irrational

As described, measurements of slopes in slab foundations are not the only way to tell if a foundation is in need of repair. Relying solely on measurements to determine the condition of a foundation can lead to inaccurate evaluations, and more damage to a home. Knowing the soil type of the area in which the home is located, the shape of the slab, indicating signs of foundation problems, and familiarity with slab construction all contribute to making a proper decision on whether to recommend the slab foundation repair or not.

A combination of Measurements, Observation, Knowledge of Soil, and Experience

California Foundation Works methods of foundation repair has been tested over years and been shown to effectively counteract the effects of expansive soil on slab foundations by relying on bedrock for support. When inspecting a foundation and providing an estimate for the repair we combine our experience, extensive knowledge of Los Angele soils, analysis of signs of structural damage, along with exact measurements to determine our recommendations for repair. We have recommended repair on homes, which other foundation companies did not recommend repair, and on the contrary, we have recommended no repair on homes where other companies have recommended repair. We always stand by our evaluations of slab foundations.

If your home is showing signs of foundation problems, then contact California Foundation Works today at 323-418-2239 to have one of our experienced inspectors inspect the condition of your foundation.

We Help Solving Foundation Problems

Posted in Foundation Problems

Are you noticing cracks in your walls or in the ceiling? Do you have doors that aren’t closing properly or sticking? These are just signs of foundation problems. You want to get this looked at before the problem gets worse. By letting this go, you can result in more damage which can lead to more costly repairs. Let one of our experts come out and take a look. They will give you exact details of what the problem is. Even if its not the foundation, they’ll help you know that too. If you check us out on Angie’s List, you’ll see testimonials where we’ve done just that.

This is just one testimonial from one of satisfied clients: 

Foundation Damage Due to Droughts

Posted in Foundation Problems

After a long hard winter it seems summer is coming in full force. While moisture is one of the worst enemies of your foundation, drought can wreak havoc on your foundation as well. It seems we are moving quickly into summer and if last year was any indication, this summer will be a doosy.

With water, the soil expands pushing up and out at the foundation causing shifting, cracking and damage. During a drought, the opposite happens, where the soil contracts pulling the foundation out and down. This can be just as detrimental and can create its own form of instability.

As the earth dries up we have been getting more calls than ever before from homeowners who have noticed foundation cracks and damage around their homes. Just when you got used to one door sticking from the rains, you will find new doors sticking from the drought, windows out of alignment, cracks and shifting of walls, floors, and retaining walls.

While the best cure for a drought is rain, there are steps you can take to repair and protect your foundation from the drying effects of hot summer sun.

If you are experiencing foundation cracks, foundation damage, retaining wall cracks or damage, or any other kind of damage associated with the concrete or drainage around your property, please call us at California Foundation Works (323) 418-2239 and we will send out one of our foundation specialists to perform and inspection of your property and find the solution that works best for you.

5 Important Reasons to Repair your Home’s Foundation

Posted in Foundation Problems

1. Cracks in your walls or foundation system allow water to seep in to your home:

  • Every time there is a considerable rain fall, sunken living rooms, basements and foundations run the risk of having water seep in. The problems may worsen from year to year, this is why it is imperative to make these repairs before the damage becomes too severe. After the repairs, water seepage will be effectively stopped. Water can damage the supports in your foundation, ruin furniture in sunken areas, damage carpeting and flooring, and cause mold to form, leading to health problems.
  • Is your residential or commercial property experiencing signs of water damage or water seepage? How would you know? Please read our article on water seepage issues to find out more information on how you can tell if your home is at risk for water issues.

2. Foundation damage directly affects the value of your home and often can affect the status of your home’s eligibility for a loan.

  • Often times a potential buyer will not even consider a home with foundation issues as they are known to be damaging and costly to repair. In addition, it may be very difficult to obtain a loan to purchase a home with foundation damage, or they will require proof of repair of these issues, which could lead to nasty negotiations.
  • In the case of an FHA loan, they may categorize your house as a “Fixer-Upper” requiring the buyer to get a special type of loan, subsequently lowering the value of the house. The VA also has specific guidelines regarding foundation repair.

3. The longer you wait to fix your foundation, the more severe the damage will be, and more costly the repairs.

  • At first you may notice only small cracks, or only a slight sloping to the floors. After time though, if the cause of those slight imperfections is not repaired, it will continue to displace your foundation.
  • Logically, the more your foundation shifts, the larger the cracks become, the more weak the entire structure becomes, and thus the more the costs of repairing your house increase.
  • Make sure to catch your foundation damage early so you can avoid more major damage and more costly repairs.

4. 85% of homes in California will experience foundation shifting due to a high concentration of expansive soil.

  • Expansive soil is soil that is very common in the US and especially in Los Angeles and Southern California. Expansive soil if less densely compacted soil that is susceptible to movement, when it absorbs water and then when it dries, and when that water is cold or when that water is hot.
  • As the soil beneath your home expands and contracts, it shifts where your foundation is sitting, and therefore the structural integrity of your house. In most cases there are relatively simple solutions that can be put in place, but there are also more in depth solutions which can be more costly. Find out sooner, rather than later, what condition your soil and therefore your foundation is in.

5.    Repairing your foundation damage can help you lower energy costs.

Repairing shifted windows and cracks in a structure can affect energy costs.

A large percentage of your homes heat is lost through:

  1. Infiltration and air leakage
  2. the small openings around doors and windows that are uneven.
  3. Floors and below grade space
  4. Walls
  5. Cielings

If you think your house is experiencing foundation problems, contact California Foundation Works today for a free foundation inspection.

 

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