foundation inspections

Reasons Los Angeles Homes Need Foundation Inspections

foundation inspections Foundation damage is a serious and costly problem for homeowners all over the country but it does affect certain regions the most. Unlike other regions, most of the Los Angeles neighborhoods are susceptible to foundation damage because of a combination of factors such as the poor drainage and types of expansive soil. Los Angeles Homeowners should get foundation inspections to prevent any underlying problems from getting worse. 

Drought

Los Angeles has been in a drought for a couple of years until recently when it received massive rain, and this is problematic for many house foundations in Los Angeles. During the drought, the clay soil around the house foundations lost most of their moisture hence the soil shrank and then after receiving rain the soil expands therefore pushing against the foundation and eventually cracking it. Foundation inspections will prevent this problem from getting worse once it’s detected early.

Related :  How To Spot Foundation Damage Caused By Drought

Tremors and Earthquakes

Most of Los Angeles residents are aware of the San Andreas fault running below their house foundation but they forget about the hundreds of low intensity tremors and earthquakes that the this area experiences on a daily basis. As a homeowner, you might not be able to see or notice any damage from these tremors and earthquakes but your foundation will be gradually damaged overtime if certain precautions won’t be made to maintain it properly.

Related : Retrofitting a Los Angeles Home for Earthquakes

Clay Soils

The type of soil that a house is built on is very important because clay soils which can also be referred to as expansive soils because of their nature to expand and then shrink in the year cycle. This tendency to expand and shrink is what causes damage to the foundation by pushing against it or shrinking and leaving spaces around the foundation which causes it to settle.

Related :  Types of House Foundations

Contact a professional foundation contractor if you are a Los Angeles homeowner and haven’t yet had your foundation inspected. Call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free foundation inspection and estimate.

landscaping affects your foundation

How Landscaping Affects Your Foundation

landscaping affects your foundationEverybody wants to have an inviting home with beautiful curb appeal, but in the process of doing that you might end up damaging your foundation. Careful consideration has to be taken when it comes to landscaping in regards to foundation. However there are three main ways in which landscaping affects your foundation negatively.

Trees and Shrubs Too Close To Your Foundation

Plants are almost always an essential addition to your home when it comes to improving its curb appeal. Choosing the wrong kinds of plants or planting them too close to your foundation can be problematic hence the need to carefully choose the location and type of plant. Plants that have roots that grow horizontally instead of vertically will have their roots drying up all the moisture that surrounds the foundation and in some instances even penetrate the foundation walls therefore causing damage.

Related :  Foundation Damage Caused by Trees

Improper Drainage

Having a well functioning drainage system should be a priority whenever you think of improving your landscape. In the efforts of making the exterior of a home beautiful, homeowners tend to forget about the drainage system and this is bound to damage the foundation. Plant beds should slope away from the foundation and as a rule of thumb water should always flow away from the house not towards it.

Related :  Preventative Drainage Solutions For Your Home in Los Angeles

Not Watering Plants Frequently

The plants and trees that are closest to your foundation need to be sufficiently watered. They need a steady supply of water to encourage the vertical growth of roots . In order to retain soil moisture, the soil needs to be well mulched so that any foundation problems are prevented.

Related :  How To Spot Foundation Damage Caused By Drought

Contact a professional foundation contractor if you suspect that your foundation is getting affected by landscaping. Call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free foundation 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 : Protect Your Los Angeles Home Against Mudslides and Landslides

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.

foundation for summer

Preparing Your Home Foundation For Summer ?

 

foundation for summerIt’s almost summertime and as enjoyable as the summer season is, it presents a number of problems for your home. It can cause minor or serious damage to your home or it’s surroundings. One of those serious problems that the summer heat can cause is foundation damage. However,  there are certain things you can do to prepare your home foundation for summer.

Foundation Inspection

The most important step you can take towards preparing your home foundation for summer is by getting a foundation repair expert to do a foundation inspection on you house or property. By getting a foundation inspection, you’ll discover foundation problems before they get worse and you’ll save a lot in terms of repair costs.

Related : Foundation Repair: What to Expect at Your Inspection

Watering Your Foundation For Summer

One sure way of preventing foundation damage during summer is by keeping the moisture level around your foundation constant. Since certain types of soils such as clay soils tend to absorb water and expand and then shrinks when the water evaporates, this tends to cause damage to the foundation. So the best way of having a good condition foundation for summer is by watering it from time to time to keep the soil from drying out because of the summer heat or drought.

Related : How To Spot Foundation Damage Caused By Drought

Vegetation Control

Keeping your Plants or trees in control is a good way of preparing your foundation for summer. Tree or plant roots tend to spread out in search of water during the summer so they might penetrate your foundation and cause problems if not controlled.The best way to control this type of damage is by watering both your yard and around your foundation so that the tree roots don’t spread to your foundation. It’s also a good idea to cut down and not plant any trees or plants near your foundation. 

Related : Foundation Damage Caused by Trees

Contact a foundation repair contractor to inspect your foundation for summer. Call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free foundation inspection and estimate now.

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: How Expansive Soils Can Affect Your Hillside Home

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.

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

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.

 

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.

 Related : Foundation Repair & Insurance

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

Related : Be Careful of Foundation Problems When Getting Your Home Ready for the Market

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: Latest Southern California Rains Might Jeopardize Your Home’s Foundation!

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.

foundation damage

Insurance and Foundation Damage

Foundation damage is one of the worst forms of damage a homeowner can experience not just because it’s relatively expensive to repair but it’s also not easily covered by insurance. Even though insurance will sometimes cover foundation damage, most of the times insurance will not cover it and the homeowner will have to pay the bill out of pocket. There are certain factors that can determine whether insurance will cover the foundation damage or not.

Related: The Cost of House Foundation Repair

The most common causes of foundation damage are water, foundation settling, earthquakes and poor construction. Water damage can be covered or can not be covered depending on the source of the water which is causing the damage. If the water damage is caused by a sudden leak from the pipes, then it is usually covered but it will not be covered if it is caused by a flood because flood insurance is required for that. In cases where the foundation damage is related to soil issues, causing the house to settle, these types of damages will not be covered by insurance as well, a very common issue with Los Angeles Homes. In general, foundation damage caused by floods or earth movements is not typically covered by insurance.

Related: Insurance Agencies Don’t Cover Foundation Repairs
It’s advisable to have regular foundation inspections and maintenance in order to prevent any problems. Call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free inspection and estimate.

foundation leaking

My Foundation Is Leaking, What Do I Do ?

leakin-foundMy foundation is leaking, what do i do ? is the question most homeowners ask themselves because of the lack of  adequate preparation for the winter season. A Basement or foundation leaking are a common problem that is usually experienced during the winter season. If you happen to be one of these unfortunate homeowners, You can follow the following steps to take care of the basement or foundation leaking .

Determine The Source

It’s important to determine the source of the leak before you do anything else.The source of the leak will determine how serious the leak is and what kind of methods you’re going to use to solve the leaking basement or foundation leaking. Basement or foundation leaks can range from non serious to very serious leaks that are capable of  depreciating your property’s value. It’s always advisable to let a professional determine what is causing the foundation leaking.

Related: Ways Of Waterproofing Your Foundation Fore Winter

Call A Professional

After you’ve determined the source of the leaks, it’s imperative to know that you should never try to fix certain serious problems but instead call a professional to fix them, because self repairs might just worsen the situation. A professional will determine the source of the foundation leaking, the right methods of solving the leaks and how to prevent future leaks.

Related: Do it Yourself or Hire a Professional Drainage Contractor ?

Fixing The  Problem 

A leaking basement or foundation leaking can be caused by a number of reasons such as a deteriorating basement or foundation, bad soil conditions, faulty or non functioning gutters, bad plumbing, poor drainage system or a leaky roof. A professional will recommend the best solutions to your problems be it installing or fixing gutters, drainage system or waterproofing your foundation or basement.

Related : 5 Main Reasons For Foundation Repair

Call a professional to inspect or to repair any foundation leaking that you might be experiencing. Call California Foundation Works on (323) 418-2239  to to get a free inspection and estimate.

foundation damage

Are You Planning To Buy A House ? 5 Things You Need To Know About Foundations

housesign1Knowing that you are about to be a homeowner can be a very exciting feeling and in some instances it can even cloud your judgement. A lot of thought and careful planning has to go into the whole house hunting process because a house is usually the most expensive purchase that you can ever make. With the house foundation being one of the most important parts of the house, there are 5 things you need to know about foundations or foundation damage before buying a house.

Property value

Foundation damage will greatly reduce the value of a house.The main reason foundation damage is considered to be the worst kind of damage a house can have is because of how greatly it can decrease the value of a house. Foundation damage tends to decrease the value of a house not just because the damage is extensive or foundation repairs are expensive but because they also mean that there are other underlying problems such as bad soil types, poor drainage, plumbing problems or inferior materials and practices were used to build the house and the foundation.

Spotting Foundation issues 

The foundation is one of the most important parts of a house, therefore as a prospective buyer you should be able to spot the signs of foundation damage during your hunt for a house. The following are the most common signs of a damaged foundation:

  • Cracks on the interior and exterior walls
  • Slanting floors
  • Sticking doors and windows
  • Cracks on floors and foundations
  • Spaces between walls and floors or roof
  • Chimneys pulling away from the house

Related: Spotting Foundation Problems During Winter

Drainage effect on the foundation

Poor drainage and uncontrolled runoff is usually the main cause of foundation damage. A bad drainage system will let water seep into the foundation which will cause damage. Even if the foundation doesn’t show any signs of damage, it’s only a matter of time before the bad drainage starts damaging the foundation. You should also be on the lookout for signs of bad drainage such as pooling water, the absence of gutters and downspouts and signs of soil erosion.

Foundation damage disclosure

Foundation damage can be expensive to repair depending on the extent of the damage. A seller is required by law to disclose if the house has any foundation damages and is liable. Even though the seller is liable, it is wise to get the house inspected by a professional before you buy it.

Insurance

Homeowners insurance doesn’t usually cover the foundation, it covers the structure of the house and the contents. One way of dealing with this problem is by purchasing separate policies for earthquake insurance and flood insurance to cover the cost of foundation repair.

Related: Foundation Repair And Insurance

Hire a foundation inspector

It is wise to hire your own foundation inspector instead of the one recommended by the seller. The foundation inspector will check for any signs that might indicate that the foundation is compromised. To get a free* foundation inspection and estimate call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239.

expansive soils foundation damage in los angeles

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

Expansive soils which are sometimes referred to as clay soils, swelling soils or shrink-swell soils can create enough force to cause major damage to building foundations, slabs, patios, and sidewalks. Expansive soils contain minerals which absorb a lot of moisture. As the expansive soil soaks up water it expands, and The expanded soil then pushes against your foundation and creates cracks.

curved_clay_soil

Identifying Expansive Soils

The most distinctive feature of expansive soils is that they crack or fracture when it’s dry, even though the lack of cracks or fractures doesn’t necessarily mean that the soil is not expansive. Expansive soils are typically found in coastal areas or areas that were once under lakes or seas such as Los Angeles, but the best way to determine if the soil is expansive is to have an expansion test performed by a soil expert.

Related: How the California drought affects your foundation

Dealing With Expansive Soils

Since expanding and contracting is what causes damage to the foundation, controlling soil expansion is key to dealing with foundations that are built on expansive soils. There are a number of ways in which this can be done.

Concrete Aprons

One of the best ways of keeping water away from building foundations is to use a concrete apron, which is basically a waterproof layer of concrete and plastic around your foundation. The concrete apron is sloped so that water flows away from the foundation and does not pool on the concrete apron surface.

Rubber Aprons

Another way to build an apron around a foundation is to use a rubber or plastic and instead of adding concrete on top of it, gravel, rocks or some other loose material is added. Compared to the concrete apron, rubber or plastic aprons are visually appealing because they don’t develop ugly cracks such as those experienced by concrete.

Irrigation

Irrigation is used to maintain uniform soil moisture around the building foundation. Irrigation is used because if the soil moisture is uniform, the soil with neither expand nor shrink. It is not advisable to just use irrigation alone as a way of dealing with expansive soils, but to use it together with concrete aprons or moisture barriers.

Moisture Barrier

Moisture barriers are typically used to reduce expansion damage to driveways, sidewalks or patios which are usually built from concrete, asphalt or bricks. A moisture barrier blocks water from draining sideways under the adjacent hardscape.

Related: How to solve the foundation moisture problems during winter

Most often it’s too late and the foundation is already damaged by the time homeowners  realize that their foundation was built on expansive soils. Call California Foundation Works to get a free* foundation inspection before it’s too late.

foundation damage

First Steps In Evaluating Your Home Foundation:

foundation-damage-due-to-drainageDoes 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 .

Related: A foundation which appears level may need repair

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 .

Related : My Foundation Is Leaking, What Do I Do ?

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 .

Related: How to determine if your house needs a foundation 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 .