foundation replacement

Foundation Repair vs Replacement

Being a homeowner is one of the most significant investments a person can make in his or her lifetime. That’s why it’s paramount that your home remains in top condition.

Unfortunately, foundation issues can arise over the years and threaten the structural stability and subsequent property value of your building. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that vigilant homeowners content with foundation issues before they have the opportunity to worsen. Today we are going to explore how to recognize foundation damage and whether or not foundation repair or foundation replacement is the right solution for your structure.

Related: The Effects of Rain on Foundation and How To Prevent It

Causes of Foundation Damage

Unfortunately, some cases of foundation damage are the result of improper initial installation, but other situations can help indicate when you should be on the lookout for foundation damage warning signs.

Soil is one of the top culprits when it comes to foundation damage. Soil is very sensitive to weather and moisture changes and is constantly expanding and contracting along with changing precipitation, which can cause severe structural damage.

window crack repair

Foundation settlement occurs when the soil shrinks too much and cannot support the weight of the full structure, leading to serious stability problems.

Meanwhile, expansive soils can equally cause damage. Excess moisture in the soil can cause the walls of the building to buckle and bow as the soil beneath the home absorbs moisture and puts increased pressure on the foundation walls. Therefore weather and climate both play large roles in determining the health of your foundation.

How To Spot Foundation Damage

Before you decide what to do with your foundation, you need to identify a problem in the first place. To spot early signs of foundation damage, be sure to perform routine inspections both inside and around the perimeter of your home. Indicators of foundation damage include walls that are bowing, buckling, and sloped, and an overall sloped appearance to the home.

Large cracks, cracks clustered closely together, horizontal cracks, and unusually wide cracks are often indicators of potential foundation damage. Additionally, signs such as crumbling brick and water intrusion often point to foundation failure. Also, be on the lookout for windows and doors that have difficulty opening and closing.

A home is only as secure as its weakest point, which makes it paramount to spot and correct any foundation damage issues as early on as possible to keep the home and its occupants safe.

Considering Multiple Factors

Once you have spotted any signs of foundation damage, it’s crucial to contact a professional contractor immediately. Delaying receiving professional help will cause the damage to increase, ultimately causing more harm to your home and limiting your options.

When it comes to determining the right choice, factors such as causing the least amount of disruption and obtaining the best deal are important to consider. In many scenarios, as long as foundation damage is reported early on, repairs should suffice.

However, working on your home’s foundation should be a once in a lifetime ordeal. This means that to implement permanent solutions, in extreme cases of foundation damage, a replacement will be needed.

Foundation Replacement

Foundation replacement is by far the more disruptive solution and is almost always a costlier option. To completely replace the foundation, heavy equipment is used to entirely excavate the soil surrounding the home.

To do so, everything surrounding the home, such as porches, gardens, stairs, vegetation, and more, will have to be removed. After this is done, the house is lifted onto temporary support beams using a hydraulic jack so that the slab floor and foundation walls can be removed. Then, the new foundation is built and the home can be carefully lowered back into place, with the soil being replaced. In addition to costing more money and greatly disrupting the yard, foundation replacement also requires significantly more time than repair.

Related: When Should You Get a Foundation Repair?  

foundation repair west hills

Foundation Repair

On the other hand, foundation repair offers considerably less money, time, and disruption. Foundation repair offers several different solutions depending on the individual needs of the home. Foundation wall anchors, for example, are ideal for foundation walls that are buckling.

Meanwhile, foundation piers provide a better solution for cases of foundation settlement. Another option would be to install a sister foundation next to the damaged foundation to provide appropriate support.

The good news is that foundation repair often takes just a single day to complete, and it can be done in all seasons. The variety of different solutions means foundation repair allows for more budget flexibility, while the quick turnaround time means your foundation problems can be addressed immediately.

In Conclusion 

To determine which solution is better for the home, a professional evaluation will be needed. To lower your chances of requiring a foundation replacement, never ignore any warning signs of foundation damage.

The extent of the damage, the repair techniques needed, and the number of specialized materials used help determine the ultimate choice and cost. When it comes down to it, however, foundation repair is almost always the recommended route.

Unfortunately many cases of extreme foundation decay stem from issues with the soil, which means that foundation replacement will not solve the true source of the problem and will be extremely costly and disruptive.

On the other hand, foundation repair solutions aim to attack the problems at their source to guarantee lasting foundation success by implementing new solutions.

Related: How To Determine If Your House Needs A Foundation Repair

Has your foundation begun to crumble?

Is the structural security of your home not what it used to be?

Don’t wait for your home to become dangerous to live in. Call California Foundation Works today so that we can send a professional contractor over to provide a thorough home inspection. We’ll identify any weak spots and implement a custom solution that will permanently rectify your home’s foundation issues. Call today to get started!

 

Call California Foundation Works today to book your FREE* home inspection!
(323) 418-2239

tree sidewalk repair

Concrete Sidewalk Repair Services

sidewalk repair

Are your sidewalks suffering from wear and tear? Whether tree roots have lifted your sidewalk and caused unseemly cracks or time has simply taken its toll on the concrete, sidewalk damage can provide both a residential inconvenience and drop in curbside appeal for your property. Fortunately there are sidewalk repair service options available to the greater Los Angeles area, with LA County actually offering a subsidy for sidewalk repair that property owners can fulfill through teaming up with a professional contractor. Read on to discover how you can resolve your sidewalk damages at an affordable rate with help from the city!

Related: How to Choose a Licensed Foundation Contractor

Sidewalk Repairs

If you’ve noticed your sidewalk is cracking, then there’s a good chance you’ve become aware of the downfalls of uneven slab. In addition to providing an uneven surface that facilitates falls and slips, sidewalk damage lowers the curb appeal of your home. Under California Streets and Highway Code, property owners are responsible for the state of their sidewalks. That means damaged sidewalks are a lawsuit waiting to happen for property owners, so repairing the concrete before it can worsen is the soundest solution for keeping all residents and pedestrians safe.

tree sidewalk repair

Fortunately, our team is able to offer repair services to commercial, retail, and industrial land in order to solve your sidewalk problem no matter how extreme and get your sidewalk in order before any harm can occur.

Available Services   

Though California property owners are responsible for maintaining their sidewalks, sidewalk damage is an issue the city wishes to assist homeowners with. But before we explain the available rebate program, allow us to outline our repair services. At California Foundation Works, we’re happy to offer comprehensive sidewalk repair services that provide minimal property impact. If your sidewalk has been pushed up by tree roots, we’re able to remove the slab, grind down the tree root, and cleanly return the sidewalk to its original state at no harm to the tree. We’re able to repair one slab or the entire sidewalk depending on the situation at hand, offering customizable options for your unique predicament. We repair and install concrete sidewalks that come in all shapes and sizes. Our repair work includes cement sidewalks, walkways, uneven sidewalks, concrete, driveways, city sidewalks, sidewalk replacements, street repair, street paving, road repair, and more.

Related: Requiring Sidewalk Repairs at the Point of Sale 

Sidewalk Repair

Rebate Savings

Do these repairs sound like something that could benefit your sidewalk? If so, your next concern is likely how much these services will cost. If your Los Angeles County residence is suffering from sidewalk damage, then you’re in luck.

Safe Sidewalks LA offers a city rebate program that provides available funding to accepted applicants. This $1.4 billion ongoing program is funded with the goal of making sidewalks accessible to everyone in LA. 

The Access Request Program allows for the creation of repairs for people with mobility disabilities who are experiencing mobility barriers. The general public is also able to submit reports for sidewalk problems that they come across. Safe Sidewalks LA additionally offers a Rebate Program of up to $2,000 for residential properties and up to $4,000 for commercial properties in order to assist property owners with sidewalk repairs.

How to Apply 

The Access Request Program allows for requests to be made for or by people with mobility disabilities who are encountering mobile barriers. These repairs are of the highest importance to the City and are worked on as timely as possible. To request a repair, visit MyLA311.lacity.org. To report a sidewalk that is in need of repair or request a rebate through Safe Sidewalks LA, visit www.sidewalks.lacity.org. Additionally, you can call 311 to request any of these sidewalk repairs. Keep in mind that you will need to meet program eligibility and submit all necessary project documentation. 

Related: How to Apply for the Earthquake Brace and Bolt Program

Program Eligibility

In order to be eligible for a sidewalk safety rebate, there are a number of requirements potential applicants must meet. Applicants must own their property and that property cannot have already received a rebate. Applicants must team up with a licensed contractor, and the sidewalk work cannot be in conjunction with any other development projects that abut a commercial property. Lastly, applicants are granted 14 days from the day of their request to provide all necessary documentation. 

safeside walks

Keep in mind that the Rebate Program is done on a first come first serve basis. All applicants will have their documentation reviewed to determine eligibility once the proper forms have been submitted.

If your sidewalk is suffering from damages, then it’s time to fix it. Avoid unnecessary lawsuits due to damage and increase the curb appeal of your yard by getting your sidewalk in order. Teaming up with California Foundation Works provides a one stop shop for all of your sidewalk needs. Not only will we provide full repairs to rectify your unique situation, but Los Angeles County residents will also be able to fulfill the sidewalk repair subsidy by teaming up with us. That means you can get full repairs at a fraction of the cost, providing a situation that leaves everyone happy.

Any questions or concerns? Call today to learn more! 

Call California Foundation Works today
to book your FREE* sidewalk repair estimate!
323-418-2239

expansive soil

Ways in Which Soil Issues Can Affect Your Home Foundation

expansive soil

Is the structure of your home entirely secure? While all homeowners would like to answer this question with a definitive affirmation, the reality is that there are a number of factors that could be affecting your home’s stability. One of the most insidious and instrumental ways in which the foundation of a home can become damaged is the very land it sits upon. Soil, and the issues caused by weather fluctuation, plays a monumental role in determining the stability of your structure. Read on to discover everything you need to know about how soil can affect your home’s foundation, signs of subsequent damage, and tips for stopping and resolving this potentially monumental foundation stability issue. 

Related: How the California Drought Affects Your Foundation

How does soil affect a home’s stability?

You may not realize what a significant role soil plays in determining your home’s stability. The amount of moisture in the soil drastically affects the stability of the home, since soil expands during periods of heavy rainfall and contracts during droughts. What does that mean when the hot, dry season rolls around? Spurred by weather fluctuations, shifting soil can cause instabilities in the base of your home. Contracting soil can wreak havoc on the building’s foundation, causing the foundation of the home to destabilize. 

soil grading

In turn, this can cause the foundation to crack, sink, and even slide, completely upsetting the structure of the home.

What is expansive soil?

Though the weather in Southern California might appear ideal, it can unfortunately be leading to issues with your soil and structural stability. While hot weather can cause the soil underneath your home to contract, expansive soil provides another threat to structural stability. Minerals in the soil increase in volume when they absorb excess water. This situation can exert enough force to cause damage to the building’s structure. While the damage caused by expansive soil will usually begin in the foundation, floors, and ground level of the structure, the damage can reach the upper floors if it becomes significant. And once the expansive soil dries, the building then becomes susceptible to issues caused by contracting soil. Because soil damage occurs over time, and is not typically tied to a major event, it can be difficult to spot. Fortunately there are signs of foundation damage caused by soil issues that the homeowner can be on the lookout for. 

 

Related: How Expansive Soils Can Affect Your Hillside Home 

Foundation crack repair beverly hills

What are foundation instability warning signs?

Many homeowner insurance policies do not cover damage caused by expansive soil and soil-related issues. This makes it extremely important to spot signs of soil damage on your own. Foundation damage warning signs include cracks of both the exterior and interior variety, particularly those that are excessively wide, large, horizontal, or clustered closely with other cracks. Warped floors, walls, and an overall slant to the building’s appearance are also indicators of damage.

Other signs include water damage, uneven walls and floors, crumbling bricks, and sagging chimneys. Another sign of foundation damage is ill-fitting windows and doors that have difficulty opening. While a professional contractor will be needed to spot warning signs that are invisible to the untrained eye, these signs are all visibly apparent to the vigilant homeowner. Therefore it’s important to be on the lookout for these telltale signs. 

What are the solutions for expansive soil? 

Once warning signs for foundation damage have been spotted, it’s essential to stabilize the home in order to prevent collapse. Foundation repair services can reverse the damage caused by weakened foundation in order to restore the health of the structure. It’s crucial to ensure that your home is up to date on all building code ordinances in order to preserve the health of the structure. Foundation repair services work to install steel or cement piers around the house’s perimeter and existing piers in order to provide reinforcement. Depending on the situation at hand, hydraulic jack lifts are typically used to level the house and securely transfer its weight onto the new support. This will re-level the house and prevent it from collapsing, slanting, sliding, or sinking. In addition to jack and lift services, supported underpinning and sister foundation repair services can also be used to secure the structure.

Related: When Should You Get a Foundation Repair? 

Can I minimize expansive soil?

Homeowners are able to minimize the damage of expansive soils through taking precautions to manage the soil’s moisture content. That means that is possible to safely construct a building on expansive soils as long as the building can be properly insulated from any soil volume change or if the moisture content in the soil can be maintained. Teaming up with a professional contractor can help you discover which moisture mitigation solution will work best for your property. These solutions include foundation watering systems, gutters and downspouts, timed sprinkler systems, landscaping changes, drainage system installation, and more. 

foundation repair woodland hills

Overall, a professional will be able to give you the best idea of how to improve your unique situation in order to best protect your property.

Why should soil problems be addressed quickly? 

If you have noticed signs of foundation damage, it’s important to contact a professional contractor as soon as possible. Delaying necessary foundation repairs could lead to a much costlier and more extensive foundation replacement process. The longer foundation problems go unaddressed, the greater the stability of the home is jeopardized. This threatens not only the lives of all building occupants but provides a risk of drastically lowering the home’s property value. Be sure to pay careful attention to foundation damage warning signs in your home and act as soon as possible if you notice signs of damage. Preventative action is always the most cost-effective way to fortify your property while saving money. If you notice any signs of foundation damage, be sure to request a professional inspection as soon as possible. 

Related: Reasons Los Angeles Homes Need Foundation Inspections

Are you concerned about the structural stability of your home? Have you noticed signs of foundation damage that might be linked to issues with your soil? Don’t wait for the problems to get worse. Call California Foundation Works today in order to give your property a professional evaluation! Our team of expert contractors will provide a free home inspection so that we can assess your situation and get started on discussing the best solution for fortifying your property. What are you waiting for?

Call today to get started on creating a more secure home!

(323)-418-2239

house leveling los angeles

The Ultimate Homeowner Guide to Floor Leveling

post and pier los angeles

When it comes to home repairs, some problems are easier to spot than others. One of the most apparent problems that a homeowner can notice is floor leveling issues. Since we walk on our floors every day, cracks, loud floorboards, sloped or warped floors, and other related issues usually become readily apparent. But the question is: what should you do about your uneven floors?

Today we have the ultimate guide for all things floor leveling, starting with why your floors are warping in the first place to how to resolve the issue and prevent future problems down the line.

Understanding the Cause for Unleveled Floors

If you have noticed your floorboards warping, bending, or becoming uneven, you’re likely wondering why this is happening. Issues with the floor becoming unlevel are indicative of foundation problems. Other signs of foundation problems include cracks in the walls, exterior cracks, sticking doors and windows, and a visible slant to the home.

Over time, foundation can gradually begin to sink, crack, settle, or shift. While there are many factors that can contribute to an uneven foundation, one of the largest culprits is soil and its moisture level. 

pier and post leveling

Too much moisture can cause the soil to expand, while too little moisture can cause it to contract. This can wreak havoc on a foundation’s stability, causing foundation damage that can lead to warped floors, cracked walls, and a host of other problems. The solution to this predicament is foundation repair and house leveling services that will permanently restore your home to its original level.

Why House Leveling

Foundation repair and house leveling might sound like big projects, but they are actually much more affordable than one might think. Repairing the structure of your home is a necessary investment needed to restore the structural integrity of your home and guarantee its lasting structural success. Foundation repair is the only way to permanently resolve foundation damage symptoms, such as warped floors, and guarantee the lasting safety of all residents and the property value of the building. House leveling is a restorative process that lifts the home back to a level position in order to provide an overall facelift. Not only does house leveling restore the home to its original evenness, but it fortifies the home to prevent future disrepair.

Without foundation repair, the home could continue to shift, warp, crack, and even entirely move off the property. This is especially dangerous for homes that are elevated, such as hillside homes, and homes in Southern California that are susceptible to extreme weather in the form of earthquakes, mudslides, and flooding.

house leveling los angeles

Floor Leveling Solutions

If you suspect that your home is suffering from foundation damage, it’s important to consult a professional contractor right away. California Foundation Works provides free no obligation inspections in order to evaluate your home and offer free project repair quotes. We repair multiple types of foundations, including slab foundation, pier and beam foundation, and the less common basement foundation. Homes with slab foundation have foundations mostly composed of concrete, while pier and beam foundations contain a mixture of concrete foundation beams, concrete columns or pads, and wooden beams. 

We always assess every home on an individual basis in order to craft custom repair solutions for each homeowner. No matter which type of foundation your home has, we’re here to help with our custom foundation repair solutions.  

The Leveling Process

In order to restore your home to its original position, floor leveling is a necessary process. While we customize each project in order to address specific foundation issues at their source, there is a general floor leveling process that many projects adhere to based on the foundation type. Pier and beam foundation is typically leveled by using a jack or a lift to carefully raise the home and attach beams to jacks underneath the house. This process is referred to as shoring, with careful attention paid to lifting the jacks in order to minimize internal damage. On the other hand, slab foundation issues are at times resolved by installing concrete piers and concrete or steel pilings after excavating areas of the home. The usage of steel push piers, helical piers, plate anchors, or hydraulic lift slab piers can all be included in repair solutions based on individual needs.

Our services include foundation replacement, foundation crack repair, sister foundation installation, foundation underpinning retrofit, soft story reinforcement, slab settlement and crack repair, hillside retrofitting, caissons foundation, and more.  

Related: Foundation Underpinning Retrofit with Piers

About Us

We understand that having a secure home is an invaluable necessity. Not only does it shelter and protect your loved ones, but it’s also a major investment. The last thing any homeowner wants is to see their property value plummet. It’s our number one priority to ensure the safety of all residents and the lasting structural success of your building.

No matter the type of project, we always ensure that the homes are brought up to current building codes. To offer only the best services, we carefully select our contracting crew so that members of our team represent top tier workers with pooled decades of foundation repair experience and project precision. 

foundation repair whittier

We encourage all homeowners to address any foundation problems as soon as possible before seismic activity and stormy weather has the chance to strike your home!

Have the floorboards in your house started to warp?

Are you concerned about the structural integrity of your Southern California home?

Don’t allow the chance for problems to worsen. Call California Foundation Works today to get started on your custom home repair solution!

Call California Foundation Works Today!
(323) 418-2239

window crack repair

Cracks in the Wall? Here’s What You Need to Know

foundation crack

Maybe you’re performing a routine home inspection or simply walking around your home when you notice something that would cause panic for any homeowner. A large crack has began to form in your wall, or perhaps a seemingly benign crack that you pushed to the back of your mind has alarmingly expanded overnight. Unfortunately, except in minor cases, there isn’t really such a thing as a benign wall crack. If you’ve noticed a crack, it’s time to call the experts in before any problems have the chance to worsen. However, there’s still no need to panic. Allow us to explain everything you need to know about cracks in your home’s walls so that you can get determine the severity of the damage and get the help you need for repairs.

Signs to Watch Out For

While cracks in the wall are likely a sign of a larger problem that will require professional intervention, the good news is that if you are vigilant about examining your home, you will be able to catch problems early on before they have the chance to worsen.

When inspecting your home for signs of damage, be on the lookout for cracks near door frames, horizontal cracks, particularly long cracks, many cracks clustered in one area, and wide cracks. Cracks that are greater than 1 inches wide should always be a cause for concern.

crack brick wall

There are a number of reasons why cracks form in walls. Some of the top factors include home settlement, too much moisture, weather changes, weight from heavy objects, and improper drywall installation. While we will discuss home settlement in depth shortly, moisture and weather are two culprits behind crack formation, since water is a major cause of foundation issues. However, improper installation or even just damage from heavy objects are also possible causes for crack formation that are not related to foundation issues.

crack in walls

What Do Cracks Mean?

When you notice cracks in your home, many thoughts likely go through your brain. In addition to the obvious how do I fix this?!, many also wonder how the cracks got there in the first place. Understanding why cracks occur is essential in order to prevent future crack formation. Though different cracks can indicate different problems within the home, it’s in the best interest of the homeowner to take any crack formation serious. If you’re trying to decide if the crack in your wall is the sign of a larger problem, there are certain cracks to be especially wary of.

Horizontal cracks, which can also be angled, are often an indication of foundation settlement. Foundation settlement can luckily be repaired in most cases if caught early on, though delaying repairs can lead to a rapid expansion of problems. Another strong indicator of foundation problems is cracks that form around the door frame.

To catch foundation issues in their earliest stages, examine framing for signs of cracks since they will often form around frames first. Wide cracks, long cracks, and a large number of cracks are all also signs of a larger problem with the home’s foundation. Though there is a chance that these cracks are due to construction errors, it’s important to err on the safe side and have the home’s foundation inspected if you notice any worrisome cracks.

Foundation Settlement 101

How does foundation settlement come about in the first place? Many homeowners take pride in the level of care they bestow upon their property. While fortifying your home through earthquake retrofitting and other preventative methods can secure your foundation, many homeowners don’t realize the necessity of such services until they notice their home’s foundation beginning to deteriorate. One of the top factors in foundation damage is soil condition, while extreme weather can also wreak havoc on an unsecured home.

Southern California sees a unique amount of extreme weather in the form of earthquakes, mudslides, and flooding. Over and under saturation of soil with moisture can cause it to expand and contract, creating an unstable and unhealthy foundation for your home. This can lead to foundation settling and the formation of wall cracks.

Solutions for Cracked Walls

While foundation damage does mean home repairs, it doesn’t have to spell disaster. Fortunately most cases of foundation damage, if not given the chance to progress, can be fixed with professional repair solutions that will not require replacing the entire foundation. If the contractor has determined that the crack is not related to foundation problems, then the crack can simply be sealed or the section of the wall can be replaced. However, it’s not recommended to fix cracks on your own before determining the root cause of the problem, since you could be covering up a larger issue that requires professional attention.

crack repair

That’s why it’s important to always have a professional determine if the cracks are structural, and thus require foundation repair, or are non-structural and can be easily fixed. While foundation repair might seem like a taxing endeavor, our team of contractors are more than happy to walk you through every step of the process if it’s determined that foundation repair is the necessary solution for your cracked walls.

Have you noticed cracks forming in the walls of your Southern California home?

Don’t give them the chance to worsen. Call California Foundation Works today to book your free home inspection and estimate. Let’s get started on discovering your home’s custom solution!

Call California Foundation Works Today! (323) 418-2239

Concrete driveway

Asphalt vs. Concrete Driveways

driveway repair

Whether you’re building a new home or improving upon your current dwelling, driveways make for important areas of renovation. Damaged driveways can provide an inconvenience and unnecessary stress on your vehicle’s tires, while a freshly paved driveway can greatly improve the curbside appeal of your home. But when it comes to driveways, there are choices to make. What material will hold up best over time? What will give you the best value for your dollar? If you’re considering either repairing your current driveway or installing a new one, we’re here to compare asphalt to concrete on a variety of levels in order to definitively determine which material is best suited for your situation.

Overall Appearance

Asphalt and concrete are the two most traditional driveway material options. Though they are similar in certain factors, they also have a number of differences that are important to consider before deciding which option is better suited for your home. While asphalt and concrete are both composed from the same general material, stone and sand, they differ considerably in appearance.

When it comes to aesthetics, there is no right or wrong choice. It is up to the homeowner to consider which option better suits the home. One key way that asphalt and concrete differ is the adhesive in asphalt is tar, while the adhesive in concrete is cement.

Asphalt (top) vs. Concrete (bottom)

driveway installation los angeles

Asphalt, therefore, has a distinct black tar appearance that makes the driveway appear as though it is an extension of the road. In contrast, concrete is a far lighter color that can be tinted, engraved, stamped, or designed in a multitude of ways. Asphalt design options are far more limited, with the installation process leaving little room for the design customization that concrete can offer. However, it is possible to add a tint to the asphalt finish to deviate from the standard black, though concrete provides a significantly higher amount of stain and design options. Overall, it can be helpful to consider what driveway style prevails in your neighborhood if you want your home to smoothly blend in rather than stand out. Consider the appearance of your neighborhood driveways when deciding upon your own selection.

concrete driveway los angeles

Climate Conscious

Climate is an important factor to consider when it comes to choosing your building materials. You’re going to want to use materials that are best suited for your unique climate, especially if it veers on either end of the extreme weather spectrum. Cold and freezing winters can wreak havoc on concrete, causing it to crack and blemish with frequent frost. Another factor that cold climate homeowners have to consider is that the salt used to melt ice can leave concrete driveways tarnished. However, if you live in an area that doesn’t see regular snow and frost, these concerns aren’t likely something you’ll have to worry about.

In contrast, asphalt is known to have issues in extremely hot weather. The tar that is used as adhesive in asphalt can soften in the extreme heat of summer, leaving it tacky upon touch and opening the possibility for surface blemishes. Overall, concrete is better suited for warm temperature areas since it cracks in the cold, while asphalt is favored in cooler climates since it softens with high heat. Since climate plays such a big role in regulating the durability of your driveway, it’s important to consult a professional contractor before committing to either option.

Considering Cost

Another factor that homeowners have to consider is the cost of installation. On average, concrete clocks in as the costlier option, with customization playing a factor in the overall bill. Asphalt, with its limited installation options, almost always provides a cheaper option for homeowners. On average, installing each square foot of asphalt will cost from between $2.50 to $4.00, while each square foot of concrete can average from $4.00 to $6.00. Factoring in stains, finishes, and detailing, a square foot of concrete could run as high as $15.00 or more. However, installation cost is only one part of the overall price equation. In addition to material, other factors that can aggravate overall project cost include the dimension of the driveway, any drainage features, design elements, and surrounding landscaping.

Maintenance and Care

Maintenance is a key factor that contributes to the lifetime cost of a driveway. While providing a cheaper installation option, asphalt is also more susceptible to wear than concrete. Roughly six months after installation, asphalt will require sealing, which will then need to occur every three to five years afterward.

On the other hand, sealing a concrete driveway is optional and will only need to occur one time. However, though asphalt is more prone to wear than concrete, it also is easier to repair. Asphalt cracks can easily be blended, while concrete repairs tend to stand out more in appearance.

Concrete driveway

When it comes to the lifespan of your driveway, asphalt driveways are estimated to last 20 years, while concrete driveways clock in at double with a 40-year lifespan estimate. However, these numbers can fluctuate based on the level of care. That means that proper preservation can extend these numbers, while failure to care for your driveway can drastically reduce them. Regular sealings can extend the lifespan of an asphalt driveway to 30 years, while concrete driveways are known to surpass 50 years with excellent care. Overall, asphalt proves to be the more high-maintenance option, especially in harsh climates.

driveway repair los angeles

Additional Factors

There are also a number of additional factors to consider. While both materials require time to cure before they are able to be driven on, concrete requires days, while asphalt only needs hours. While it is the more expensive option, concrete is also the more durable material. By nature, asphalt is softer and more susceptible to wear, though proper maintenance can easily balance this downside.

Asphalt also provides the possibility for resurfacing to leave the top of the driveway with a brand new coat. The same cannot be done for concrete, so the situation is more dire if it reaches extreme levels of disrepair.

Before you commit to either option, be sure to check that you are not violating any local building codes. Professional contractors will be able to assist in this area to ensure that there are not any specific guidelines that need to be followed. Additionally, if you live in a development, your Homeowner’s Association may have certain restrictions that you must abide to. Unfortunately, these restrictions can often be rigid, leaving little room for personal preference.

Are you looking to install a new driveway or repair an existing one?

California Foundation Works is a licensed concrete driveway contractor that specializes in the design and construction of driveways that best suit the Southern California environment.

Call today to discuss your options! We repair cracked, buckled, and water pooling driveways!

We offer a FREE estimate for homeowners.
323-418-2239

Garage conversion los angeles

Garage Conversion in Los Angeles

Home Foundation

Garage Conversion

Los Angeles homeowners can now convert their garages into dwellings after the Senate Bill No. 1069 legalized garage conversions.

Garage conversions are a smart idea for homeowners. It allows them to use the space in the garage more efficiently and to increase the value of their properties. In order to convert your garage into a dwelling, you need to take the following steps :

Garage Conversion

Decide on Room Type

The first step in converting your garage is to research and decide what you want to convert it into. There are unlimited options of what you can convert your garage into. Some ideas are, a rental or just an extension of your house by adding an extra bedroom, gym, entertainment area, office or whatever you’d like.

Budget

Your budget is very critical when converting your garage. You can customize the space as much as you want or as much as your budget allows. A garage conversion is not expensive but the cost can increase depending on the features you add, such as bathrooms. Other factors like electrical wirings, plumbing, heating and cooling, ceiling and flooring can definitely add to the cost as well.

Related: Benefits Of Garage Conversions

Hire A Contractor

The final step to converting a garage into a dwelling is find a contractor to actually do the work. Hire a licensed and insured contractor to carry out the work, as they are trained and understand the regulations. They will be able to tell you what can and can’t be done. Professional contractors will also make sure that all the plumbing and electrical wiring is done without exposing the owners to any dangers.

Garage To Living Room

For More Information

Contact California Foundation Works if you need a professional contractor for garage conversion. Call California Foundation Works at 323-418-2239 to schedule a free garage conversion inspection and estimate. 

For more related information : Garage Conversions Los Angeles

foundation damage

Understanding The Causes of Foundation Damage

Foundation Repair

Understanding The Causes of Foundation Damage

The durability of a house relies on a solid foundation. As the base of the house, the foundation secures the building to the ground. If the foundation of integrity is upset, a host of problems can subsequently adversely affect the house and its stability. It’s important to understand why foundation crumbles and what to do if you spot deterioration.

Bricks Crack

Why Does Foundation Weaken?

Why does foundation deteriorate in the first place? Humidity has a tendency to adversely affect foundation, which can cause it to weaken and deteriorate. Over time, this lowers the resistance of the concrete and lessens its stability. Early warning signs of foundation damage include foundation cracks, white powder, basement humidity, brittle joints in concrete foundation blocks, concrete falling off, exterior cracks, and bubbles in the foundation. Be sure to regularly inspect your foundation in order to pick up on warning signs. Addressing the issue early will prevent costly repairs in the future.

What Causes Foundation Crumble?

Foundation deterioration is a major issue because it can put residents at risk. It also adversely affects property value. What causes the foundation to actually crumble? Several factors can cause lasting home damage. In addition to humidity, urban development is known to cause concrete damage. Concrete is more susceptible to weakening when the house is located in high traffic areas. The geographic area also plays a role in the house’s stability due to factors such as soil composition, which affect the stability of the concrete. Lastly, concrete has evolved over the past century. Older houses were likely built with a weaker concrete mixture, which means their foundations likely need to be repaired or replaced. Regulations have become more strict in recent times, making newer homes more likely to be adequately secure.

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

How to Address Foundation Damage

Foundation damage is a sensitive issue, and homeowners will benefit from having an expert evaluate their situation. Trained professionals are needed to assess the foundation damage and determine the extent of the renovation in order to maintain the building’s integrity.

Related: Foundation Damage Caused By The Storms in Los Angeles

Mild to Moderate Cases

In less severe cases, foundation repairs can be performed in order to strengthen the building. This involves reinforcing the existing foundation by removing all deteriorating parts and applying a new concrete coat. With this method, only the damaged parts will need to be replaced. This type of repair can be beneficial for long-term structural improvement and is considered to be less costly.

Related: When Do Cracks Mean Structural Damage

Foundation Crack

Severe Cases

However, major structural damage will call for a complete foundation replacement. If the house structure is at risk, the building will need to be lifted so that the existing foundation can be removed and replaced with a newer foundation. Though this solution is more expensive, it is permanent and will ensure that the house has a foundation that meets current code standards. In order to avoid major repairs, it is advisable to regularly check your foundation for signs of damage.

Do you have concerns about your foundation integrity?

Call California Foundation Works to schedule a free foundation inspection and estimate.
323-418-2239

Foundation Underpinning Los Angeles

Foundation Underpinning Retrofit with Piers

underpinning foundation

Foundation Underpinning Retrofit with Piers

The foundation of your home is essential in providing the strength and stability of your dwelling. It creates a safe and comfortable space for your family to reside.

However, the foundation can wear over time. Whether it’s due to climate conditions, an old building, or other factors, foundation damage can both jeopardize the occupants and threaten the property value. This is where foundation underpinning can salvage a home.

Underpinning

What is an Underpinning Retrofit?

Foundation underpinning is a repair process that expands a building’s foundation in order to provide stability. Underpinning involves placing a solid foundation below ground level in order to secure the structure of the home.

Related: A Foundation Which Appears Level May Need Repair

How Do I Know My House Needs One?


It’s fairly easy to determine if your home is in need of underpinning. If the foundation of your home is significantly imbalanced, an underpinning retrofit will be needed to restore the structural integrity of the dwelling.

Related: How to Determine if Your Home Needs a Floor Leveling

Piering Process

Foundation underpinning retrofits are achieved through a technique known as piering, a process of installing concrete or steel pilings in the ground in order to support the foundation. This is a large project that requires the use of heavy machinery. There are three types of piers typically used in the process in order to level the foundation.

Related:Pier and Beam Foundation Repair and Leveling

Concrete Piers


Concrete piers are designed for use in highly-compressed areas in order to create a new foundation level. Since the piers are commonly between two and three feet of length, they are often installed via tunneling. Due to their length, concrete piers are known to be a less expensive piering material. However, the lessened cost comes with a catch. Since concrete piers are only driven into the ground in a relatively short way, they will likely shift over time due to soil pressure. Concrete piers should stay in place for up to 20 years, but another foundation retrofit might be needed in the future.

Steel Piers

In contrast, steel piers are a more expensive option that can be driven into the ground all the way down to the bedrock. Steel piers should guarantee a secure foundation for the duration of the home’s life. Steel piers are believed to create a new foundation level in a more effective and permanent way than concrete piers. However, because steel piers are much longer, they will take more time and effort to be installed. Steel piers are the difference between putting a long-term bandaid over a problem and curing it for good.

Underpinning Repair

Helical Piers

The third pier option is helical piers. Like steel piers, helical piers can be drilled up to the bedrock. However, the shape of helical piers sets them apart from the other two options.

Helical piers have ridges on them similar to a screw. This makes them much easier to drill into the ground, and they take up far less space within the ground. For these reasons, helical piers have become to go-to pier choice of many contractors. However, you should always consult a foundation expert before selecting a pier. A professional will evaluate the situation and tell you which choice will be best for your specific repair.

Are you concerned about the foundation of your home? Do you need an expert’s opinion?

Call California Foundation Works to schedule a free foundation inspection and estimate.
323-418-2239

foundation replacement in los angeles

When Is Foundation Replacement Necessary?

Foundation Crack

When Is Foundation Replacement Necessary?

When it comes to protecting the investment value of your home, it’s essential to maintain the integrity of your house’s foundation. If the foundation has been compromised, the selling value of the house will drastically drop.

In addition, it can be dangerous for residents to live in a home with an unstable foundation. In less severe cases, damaged areas of foundation can be repaired. However, this won’t cover severe cases of foundation damage. Though it is a costlier solution, full foundation replacement is necessary in severe cases of foundation corruption. How do you know if your home falls in this category? Read on to discover the situations in which foundation replacement is necessary.

foundation replacement

Signs Replacement Is Necessary

Though full wall or foundation replacement may be more expensive than simple repairs, it will provide a lasting solution to your foundation issues that will be sure to secure your property value. What are signs that replacement is inevitable? If you can pull pieces of mortar out of the wall or if the mortar is eroded to the extent that it has become chalky and flaky, a wall replacement is likely necessary. A replacement is also needed if pieces of the foundation block are protruding or there is considerable foundation block displacement. Other signs of replacement include the wall tipping or bowing beyond the point of recovery, holes in the foundation material, and twisted foundation blocks that have caused cracks or displacement in the corner of the walls. Additionally, if pieces have begun to fall away from the wall, it is likely time for a wall upgrade.

Related: When Do You Need A Foundation Replacement ?

Foundation Crack

Why Is Replacement Needed?

Extreme home renovations can seem like an overwhelming task for the average homeowner, but our professional contractors can evaluate the situation and provide custom solutions. Foundation replacement is often needed in older buildings since material guidelines used to be more slack. Homes built in the earlier part of the 19th century are more susceptible to foundation decay and damage. Many of these foundations have deteriorated past the point of salvation. However, foundation deterioration is not an issue exclusive to older buildings. The poured concrete that is typically used in newer house construction can also provide foundation failure. The construction of a new concrete wall by contracted professionals can ensure that the foundation is up to code to guarantee lasting foundation stability.

No matter how severe your foundation decline is, rest easy knowing that experts can help.
Do you have concerns about your home’s foundation?

Call California Foundation Works to schedule a free foundation inspection and estimate. Let’s come up with a solution together.
323-418-2239

slab replacement in los angeles

Foundation Replacement

Home Foundation

Foundation Replacement

Major home repairs, such as foundation replacement, are a process that no homeowner enjoys. However, in some cases, they are necessary in order to protect the structural integrity of the home. Fortunately, with the right contractors, foundation replacement can become a manageable task utilized to protect both your property value and the residents of the dwelling.

Foundation Damage Signs

Foundation damage isn’t an issue that appears suddenly. There are a number of initial warning signs that homeowners can be on the lookout for in order to monitor the structural security of their home. The most common signs of foundation damage are sagging or sloping floors, cracks in floors or ceilings, gaps between the floors and walls, doors or windows that stick and have trouble opening or closing, and walls that are beginning to warp, lean, or bow.

Bricks Crack

Replace or Repair?

Fortunately, most forms of foundation damage can be repaired with professional help. However, there are some extreme cases of foundation destruction that call for a replacement.

How do you determine if the foundation should be repaired or replaced?  In cases of severe deterioration, the more cost-effective solution is sometimes to replace the foundation. In special cases, it is more expensive to repair severely damaged foundation than it would be to replace it entirely.

Foundation replacement in Southern California homes is often the result of extreme weather, such as soil erosion as a result of flooding or high magnitude earthquakes. Soil plays a major role in foundation damage. When the soil beneath a home sinks or settles, the home can experience a movement known as foundation settlement. Expansive soil can also lead to bowing and buckling of walls.

Related: Types of House Foundations

Signs of Replacement

A professional inspection is the only way to be completely sure a foundation replacement is needed. Some types of foundation damage are not clear to the naked eye. However, there are some general signs that replacement is needed.

Signs that point to a foundation replacement include excessive or large cracks, sinking or shearing in the foundation due to the soil base, hollow spaces in the foundation, and lengthy exposure to water or moisture. Issues with the original foundation that call for replacement include unsound building materials, low-quality concrete, not allowing the foundation to cure long enough, and the usage of unreinforced materials.

Related: When Do You Need A Foundation Replacement?

foundation replacement

Replacement Process

The replacement process is unique for each dwelling, taking as little as one week to several weeks to repair.  Foundations that are crumbling or porous will not be able to resist earthquakes of high magnitude. The brick or stone masonry will need to be strengthened in order to fortify the dwelling.

When foundation replacement is needed, heavy equipment is used to expose the foundation by excavating the soil around the home. Temporary supports are then used to “jack up” the house so that the slab floor and foundation walls can be taken out.

 

The house will be lowered back into place after the new foundation has been built. The soil will then be replaced and other exterior details, such as porches or walkways, can be restored to their original place.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a homeowner is to ignore signs of foundation damage. The problems will only worsen over time, leading to a more expensive and invasive repair in the future. Don’t hesitate to contact a professional if you spot any signs of foundation damage.

Do you have sloping or cracked floors?
Are your walls warping? Do your doors stick?

Call California Foundation Works today for your free foundation inspection!
(323) 418-2239

wood floor leveling

Los Angeles Floor Leveling

House Leveling

Your Home Is Your Fortress

Los Angeles homeowners may have secured themselves a coveted piece of real estate, but there are some unsavory realities to contend with as homeowners. Frequent seismic zone activity and soil foundation settlement are two major issues that homeowners in Los Angeles face when protecting their property value.

Floor leveling is key to maintaining the structural integrity of your dwelling. Fortunately, you can stay vigilant in order to seek out early warning signs and determine the issue in advance to get your foundation and leveling problems taken care of early on.

Foundation settlement signs

Foundation settlement leads to a building structure becoming sloped. The most frequent signs of this predicament include uneven floors, cracks in ceilings and walls, and windows and doors having difficulty closing or opening with ease. Other signs include bumps in the floor and floors that squeak and are noisy to walk on.

To rectify the problem, professional floor leveling is needed. Floor leveling is used to restore buildings to their original position after the house has began to sink or the foundation shows signs of shifting. Though the process is delicate, with expert help it is possible to restore most buildings to their original position.

Related: House Leveling & Construction

Floor leveling process

Professional house leveling commonly uses a jack or a lift to raise the home to its proper level, while correcting the cause of the misalignment in order to prevent future issues. In order to secure the home, beams are attached to jacks under the house in a process called shoring. The careful raising of the hydraulic jacks will prevent damage to the building over time while also avoiding damage to the home’s interior.

In order to ensure for lasting structural success, the foundation is upgraded to meet current codes. As the jacks are raised to lift the building, new piers and posts are added to secure the adjustment and support the newly leveled floor. In order to ensure a structurally sound completion in your home leveling project, expert help is needed.

Related: The Foundation Leveling Process

Floor leveling

Securing Your Dwelling

Floor leveling isn’t just a suggested step for homes that are experiencing foundation shift or sinking: it is a necessary solution. Homes that are experiencing shifting or sinking can pose major safety threats to all residents. In fact, in some areas upgrades are mandated.

Additionally, Los Angeles homeowners cannot afford to be lax about their foundation care. Due to unpredictable and severe weather and seismic activity, it is entirely plausible that sinking or shifting homes might entirely slide off their foundation or collapse during natural disasters.

Ignoring foundation issues will only exacerbate the symptoms and lead to an even costlier repair down the line. If not properly addressed, the structure of the home could be damaged beyond repair, causing the investment value of the home to sharply plummet. Overall, floor leveling is needed to both improve the quality of the living space and expose and address underlying foundation problems.

Are You Experiencing Sloping floors? Leveling Issues?

Call California Foundation Works at (323)-418-2239 today to book your free foundation inspection!