Foundation Crack

5 Reasons Why Foundation Erodes

Foundation Crack

Poor Drainage

The most common type of foundation damage 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. Foundation settling or sinking is when the soil under the foundation compacts and ends up forming spaces below the foundation which causing it to sink. If the water causes the soil under the foundation to swell, that will raise the foundation a little and then cause foundation settling when it dries up as it shrinks.

yard gutter

Weather

The weather has a big effect on the house foundation. One important aspect is humidity; it 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.

Underpinning Repair

Soil

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. 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.

Poor Pre-Construction Compaction of the Foundation Site

A house foundation depends on the uppermost soil layers. These layers are stabilizing the whole foundation and provide the supports for the structure. If the soil is not one that can bear the weight or wasn’t properly compacted during grading phase of the job site, the foundation is prone to settlement as the soil that supports it consolidates.

Another concern is the various soil conditions. The house may settle differentially because of different conditions in different soils that support the house foundation. In this case, the foundation system should be designed specifically for the various soil condition in the foundation site.

foundation replacement

Time

Time is a huge factor, all the reasons mentioned above are amplified as the time factor is taking into account. As mentioned before, the foundation process to newly built homes has evolved with time and nowadays the method of this process results in a stronger foundation that can endure for longer. The combination of all the reasons above shortens the lifespan of the house foundation and speed up the deterioration process.

Are You Concerned About Your House Foundation? Did You Notice Some Signs That Your Foundation May Be Damaged?

We Offer FREE Inspection For Your House Foundation. Call California Foundation Works To Schedule
323-418-2339

bad drainage foundation damage in los angeles

Yard Drainage Installation for California Homeowners

Yard Drainage

Yard Drainage Basics

In order to ensure for the structural integrity of your home, you must have a proper drainage system. A drainage system needs to be installed because of it essential that water does not pool near the home’s foundation. This can threaten the foundation of the home and jeopardize the structural integrity of the dwelling.

Without a proper drainage system, water can seep into the house and flood basements. This can cause mold in the walls of the home or large cracks, which will lead to costly and consuming repairs, as well as other expensive and invasive damage. Ensure that your home is waterproofed to protect it from invasive weather.

However, be sure to get permission from your city before you consider redirecting your drain pipes to the city sewer. This is where professional contractors can really assist with your yard drainage project.

Drainage Installation

Installation Options

Fortunately, there are a number of drainage solutions for homes experiencing issues with the direction of their excess water flow. Be aware that seeking a professional opinion is the best way to determine what solution will best fit your situation.

Related: Yard Drainage Solutions

French Drains

French drains are a common solution to drainage issues since they are easily covered and thus considered non-disruptive to the landscape. In simple terms, a french drain consists of a trench that is filled with gravel. Perforated pipes with holes in them run along the trench and are placed in the middle of the gravel, making them seldom noticeable since the drain is usually covered by soil or shrubbery. In order to ensure that your french drains do not have to be dug up and reconstructed in the future, make sure that they are properly constructed the first time. To drain effectively, the water in the soil passes through the overlaying gravel and drains into the pipe before being rerouted.

Related: What Is A French Drain ?

Downspout Rerouting

Water might be pooling near your home’s foundation if your rain downspouts are too close to your house’s perimeter. Consistent pooling of water near the foundation could cause serious foundation damage over time. One of the largest issues water in the foundation can cause is concrete cracking, which could lead to foundation repairs or in serious cases replacement. To have your downspouts structured for maximum home protection, ensure that they dump water at a minimum of three feet away from the house’s foundation.

Related: Foundation Replacement

 

Grading Implementation

A simple solution for drainage issues is to grade your yard’s soil so that it slopes downhill and away from the foundation. The slope should be a minimum of six inches to over ten feet steep. It is crucial to angle the slope the right way to ensure that the water will flow away at a proper pace and in the right direction.

Drainage Gutter

Other Options

Catch basins, dry wells, and sump pumps are all options for yard drainage installation. Catch basins are a good alternative to French Drains for houses with high clay content soils. Catch basins are able to collect water and redirect it through piping to storm sewers. For houses that are not near storm sewers, dry wells can be used to collect rainwater. Dry wells allow runoff water to be store so that it gradually enters the subsoil. Ensure that they are dug at a proper level to make sure that the water is both caught and capable of seeping into the subsoil. Lastly, sump pumps are saviors for extreme yard flooding. They are often installed if a home is not equipped with a natural slope for drainage.

For more information about Yard Drainage Solutions visit: Yard Drainage Los Angeles

Have any questions about Drainage system for your backyard?

Call us today to schedule a FREE estimate.

323-418-2239

Heavy rain requires proper drainage

Foundation Inspection In Preparation For Rain

Surface Water

Keep Your Property Well-Drained

Winter or right before the beginning of winter is the best time to get a foundation inspection for your house. The house foundation is one of the most expensive parts of a house to fix once it is damaged. A damaged house foundation can also significantly reduce the value of a house. Regular inspection and maintenance can prevent the headaches of having to deal with a damaged foundation. A foundation contractor will look for obvious signs of foundation problems or those that might lead to foundation problems such as :

home-exterior-drainage-system-in-los-angeles

Doors and Windows

One of the first signs of a compromised foundation is cracks and gaps around doors or windows. Doors and windows are essential cuts which are created through a wall weakening the walls. Any foundation movement below the walls will likely cause cracks. The most common signs around windows and doors which are indicative of foundation damage include cracks which extend from the corners of doors and windows and gaps between walls and frames of windows and doors. Misaligned doors and windows are also a sign of foundation problems.

Related: Prepare For Winter By Getting A Foundation Inspection

Exterior Of The House

The foundation inspector will also take a look at the exterior of the house to determine if it has any signs of foundation damage. The classic exterior sign of any foundation problems are the stair step cracks. Vertical signs which seem to widen as time goes by also means that your foundation is having problems. Cracks on the exterior walls of your foundation also indicate foundation problems.

Related: Prepare Your Gutters For Winter

drainage system los angeles

Interior Of the House

The floors in the interior of your house can also be used to tell if your foundation is damaged. Sagging and bowing floors which cause gaps between the floor might mean foundation damage. Unleveled floors, can mean that one side of the house is sinking. Cracks on the interior walls and ceiling are an indication of foundation problems.

Contact a professional foundation contractor if you want to prevent foundation damage to your house from rain.

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

drainage system los angeles

Ways In Which Rain Can Destroy Your House

Surface Water

Water Damage

Apart from the cold weather that winter comes with, it also brings rain which can cause damage to your house both directly and indirectly. In order to prevent damage, it’s advisable for homeowners to prepare for winter by having the necessary repairs. There are certain parts of a house that are more vulnerable to damage by rain hence homeowners need to pay extra attention to them.

yard gutter

Gutters

Regular cleaning of your gutters might seem like a useless task but failure to do so will likely cause damage to your house. Most of the damage caused by gutters can be very expensive to repair, therefore prevention is the best solution. When the gutters are left to fill up with leaves or debris, the water begins to overflow down the sides which in turn destroys the wooden boards which hold the gutters.

Related: Prepare Your Gutters For Winter

Foundation

Foundation repair is one of the most expensive types of repairs that can be done to a house. Homeowners need to understand what causes foundation damage and how to prevent it. Water is one of the main causes of foundation damage to a house, and so, homeowners need to adequately prepare their foundations for the winter. The goal of preventing foundation damage caused by rain is to prevent excess water from reaching your foundation. There are many ways in which this can be done and some of these include directing rainwater away from the foundation by using gutters and other channels. Another way to prevent this is by waterproofing your foundation so that water doesn’t seep through to your foundation during a flood.

Related: Proper Drainage Can Prevent Costly Foundation Repairs for Los Angeles Homeowners

roof gutter

Drainage

Your drainage is also at risk of damage by rain if it is not in good condition. A drainage system needs to be regularly inspected and repaired to prevent any clogs from causing overflows and floods. Damaged drainage systems will cause flooding which in turn suffocates the trees, plants, and flowers on your yard.

Contact a professional drainage contractor if you want to prevent damage to your house from the rain.

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

drainage systems tips for the los angeles homeowner

Why You Need To Install a Drainage System in The Summer

Roof Drainage

When To Install?

After experiencing rainfall during the winter, it is wise for homeowners to take advantage of the summer to install or repair their drainage systems in summer because of a number of reasons. Installing or repairing drainage systems in the summer has its own advantages over installing or repairing them in winter such as having fewer inconveniences and knowing the areas that experienced the most problems in the winter and repairing them.

Drainage Gutter

No Inconveniences

The biggest benefit to installing or repairing your drainage system in the summer is the little to no inconvenience that occurs during the process of repairing or installing of the drainage system. Some of these inconveniences which occur in winter but less likely to occur in summer include constant rain which halts the work from going further, the soil is much drier and easier to work within summer than it is in winter.  

Drainage Solution

Prevent Flooding

Yet another reason to install a drainage system in the summer is because the majority of homeowners tend to believe that destructive flooding on their properties can only occur during winter but that is far from the truth and it usually ends up costing the homeowners a lot of money before realizing that the sprinkler or garden hose can actually cause a lot of damage to their property if they don’t have adequate drainage. Sprinklers and hoses can flood your yard if left unattended for long periods of time and eventually cause big problems such as foundation damage. Damage to your curb appeal is another problem that flooding brings about. Floods tend to kill plants by drowning them, therefore, damaging the curb appeal that the buses or flowers provide for your yard.

Contact a professionally licensed drainage contractor If you suspect that your property might be having drainage problems or if you just want to prevent future drainage problems.


Call California Foundation Works to schedule a free drainage Inspection and Estimate.
323-418-2239

post and beam foundation damage

Reasons Los Angeles Homes Need Foundation Inspections

Foundation Crack

Why Foundation Is Damaged?

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. 

Water Damage

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.

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 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 over time if certain precautions won’t be made to maintain it properly.

Related : Retrofitting a Los Angeles Home for Earthquakes

Bricks Crack

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.

Contact a professional foundation contractor if you are a Los Angeles homeowner and haven’t yet had your foundation inspected.

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

How Landscaping Affects Your Foundation

Surface Water

Landscaping Can Cause Trouble

Everybody 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.

Drainage Gutter

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.

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 :  Foundation Damage Caused by Trees

Drainage Installation

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.

Contact a professional foundation contractor if you suspect that your foundation is getting affected by landscaping.


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

Crawl Space Encapsulation

Types of House Foundations

Crawlspace foundation

Which One Fits Your House?

The type of foundation each house is built on mostly depends on the soil type of the house construction site and the type of climate in that area also affects what type of foundation the house will have. Some types of house foundations will not do very well in wet weather or cold weather hence the need to consult an engineer before deciding on which foundation s best for you. There are three main types of house foundations, raised foundations with crawl space, concrete slab foundations and basement foundations, and each one of them is suited to particular conditions.

need retrofitting

Raised Foundation With Crawl Space

Crawlspace foundations are also known as raised foundations and are one of the best foundation types that a house can be built on. Crawlspace foundations are foundations that are raised from the ground by at least 18 inches using piers and beams or the stem wall. Crawlspace foundations are usually a common site in damp areas or areas that easily flood to prevent water damage to the structure and to also prevent infestation from rodents that thrive in damp areas. Crawlspace foundations have certain advantages such as being less costly than basement foundations, easier to maintain plumbing, heating and air conditioning because of the accessible space in the crawlspace.

Concrete Slab Foundation

A slab foundation is a type of foundation that is poured directly on the construction site. A concrete slab foundation is a thick flat slab that is reinforced with steel bars and wire mesh, and the slab is poured on crushed gravel which levels the site. Concrete slab foundations are suitable for warm climates because cold weather is likely to crack it.

Related :  6 Common Causes of Foundation Damage

foundation repair on unstable foundation

Basement Foundation

A basement foundation is a type of foundation with a high foundation wall and then a slab at the base. Basement foundations can either be at room height where people are able to walk and stand upright just like regular rooms or it can be a partial basement. The walls and slab are properly reinforced and also waterproofed to prevent any water or property damage in the basement. Unlike other types of foundations, basement foundations can be turned into living spaces or for storage.

Related :  Slab Crack Repair

Contact a professional foundation contractor for any foundation repair or concerns regarding foundations.


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

garage relocation

Things To Put Into Consideration Before Garage Relocation

Garage to relocate

What To Consider

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

garage relocation

Driveway

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

Related :  When Should You Resurface Your Driveway ?

garage relocation

Permits

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

Contact a professional garage relocation contractor who can also install a driveway and understands the garage relocation code requirements of your city.


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

A Leaning Chimney Could Mean Foundation Damage

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.

retrofitt

What Affects The Cost Of Soft Story Retrofit ?

Previous earthquakes in the Los Angeles area have proved to be very devastating to the residents of Los Angeles. Be it the need to prevent the Loss of life or property, Los Angeles residents are preparing for the next earthquake which is also deemed the big one by getting their properties retrofitted. Of all the buildings, softy story buildings are extremely vulnerable to earthquake damage because of the large unreinforced openings on their ground floors. Even though you expect the cost of softy story retrofit  to be similar, certain factors will affect how much extra or less you will have to pay to get your soft story building retrofitted.

Building Size

Soft story buildings come in different sizes and are used for different purposes such residential or commercial use. Both commercial and residential soft story buildings will either accommodate a single unit or multi units hence the cost of soft story retrofit for these two will differ because the multi unit soft story building is likely to have more openings on the ground floor such as garages to match the number of units.

Related :  What Affects The Cost Of Seismic Retrofit

Engineer and Contractor Used

The cost of soft story retrofit is also highly dependent on the engineer and contractor you choose to hire to help you retrofit your property. Different engineers will provide different engineering procedures and solutions hence the cost soft of story retrofit will be different. Contractors will also offer different prices to retrofit your building using the same procedures hence the need to carefully evaluate bids and the quality of work by each contractor.

Hillside Soft Story Buildings

Unreinforced soft story buildings are vulnerable to earthquakes but soft story buildings built on hillsides are even more vulnerable to earthquakes because of the steep slopes. In order to adequately retrofit soft story buildings on hillsides, additional anchoring is required hence the extra cost of soft story retrofit. So the cost of soft story retrofit on a  hillside building will also depend whether you just want to comply with the law requiring soft story building to be retrofitted or you want to do everything you can to protect your soft story building against damage.

Related : Is Your Hillside Home Retrofitted ?

Call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free soft story retrofit inspection and estimate.

House bolting los angeles

What Affects The Cost Of Seismic Retrofit


Earthquakes can either be low intensity earthquakes or high intensity earthquakes which might claim lives and cause damage to properties,  hence the need to have your property retrofitted for earthquakes.

Having a seismic retrofit for your property will reinforce your property’s structure and make it less susceptible to earthquake damage. Unlike other types of retrofits, the cost of seismic retrofit is not standard because it’s dependent on a number of factors such as location of the property and age of the property which  in turn determine what kind of methods will be used to strengthen the property. Some of these methods include :

Cripple Wall Bracing

A cripple wall is a wall that is less than a full story height and is usually placed between the first floor and the foundation because that is the weakest part of most old buildings. During an earthquake, the area between the foundation and the first floor is usually the first to collapse so by having a cripple wall in that area, you will drastically reduce the amount of damage done to a building during an earthquake.

Related : Property Retrofitting

Foundation Bolting

Foundation bolting is yet another method in which you can retrofit your property against earthquake damage. Foundation bolting is the process which prevents the up and down movements of your property during an earthquake as it might displace an unbolted property off it’s foundation. To  bolt a building to it’s foundation, either expansion anchor bolts or sill plates are used. Expansion anchor bolts are used to directly attach the building to the foundation while the sill plates are used to attach the foundation and building on the sides if the space doesn’t allow direct bolting.

Related : New Spotlight on house bolting – Sill Bolt and Plate Washer Interference

Wood Blocking

Wood blocking is another way of strengthening your property against earthquakes without adding much to the cost of seismic retrofit. Wood blocking involves the addition of pieces of wood in between two studs in order to strengthen them. This is an easy method and yet it’s also very efficient in preventing the wooden studs from collapsing during an earthquake.
Call California Foundation Works on 323-418-2239 to schedule a free seismic retrofit inspection and estimate.