post and pier

Post and Pier Foundation

When it comes to building your dream home, there are many choices to make. While selecting decorum and color schemes is certainly fun, choosing what kind of foundation is a less glamorous but highly critical step in the process. Since the foundation comprises the base of a home’s structural security, choosing the right foundation is highly important.

Today we’re going to explore the pros and cons of post and pier foundation to discover which type of foundation is right for your home.

Related: Post and Pier Repair

Foundation Choices

Which type of house foundation is best for your property depends on where your home is built.

Post and pier foundation, also known as post and beam, is a great choice for areas where the contractor would encounter difficulty digging a traditional foundation. This makes it easier to construct stable foundations in areas dense with trees or near to the ocean since the post and pier foundation raises the home and can offer protection from high tide.

post and pier

Stilted houses that are popular in beach communities are largely constructed from post and beam foundation to allow the vertical pillars to transfer the building load to the soil. Reinforcement beams are added on top of the column to create this type of house foundation, with the piers supporting the beams from out of the ground. The combination of posts, piers, and beams provides a wooden foundation type that differs from the traditional slab foundation.

Post and Pier Pros

 

This wooden foundation type is ideal for construction sites that encounter difficulty with digging a slab foundation. This makes post and pier foundation ideal for areas with soil conditions, steep slopes, water, and tree roots. Due to the elevation post and beam foundation prevents surface water from entering the home and causing damage.
Post and pier foundation also is fitted with a built-in crawl space that provides easy access to wiring, ductwork, and plumbing to ease plumbing, mechanical, and electrical repairs and installations. Such repairs face far more challenges in concrete slab foundations. Additionally, this foundation type allows for air circulation beneath the home to greatly reduce the chances for mildew and rot. As a final bonus, post and beam foundation is usually a less expensive choice when it comes to selecting a house foundation, though this varies depending on individual construction factors.

Post and Pier Cons

When it comes to any foundation type, of course, there are specific drawbacks. The downsides of the post and pier foundation can be mitigated by taking precautions. Heavy insulation is essential for post and beam foundation, as critters have easier access to infiltrating the floors. Insulation is also needed to ensure energy-efficiency.

Overall, this wooden foundation type must be protected from the elements through proper insulation. Fortunately, this can be done by the right team of contractors. Routine foundation inspections are also encouraged, as the damage of one post or pier can lead to significant overall foundation damage if not repaired. It is also critical to keep the crawl space beneath the home properly sealed to prevent the growth of mold due to water intrusion.

Related: Foundation Repair Los Angeles

door crack

Foundation Considerations

Overall, the best foundation choice for your home should be able to satisfy the needs of your specific location. Soil characteristics, elemental factors, and load types all play a role in determining if a wooden foundation or a slab foundation will best suit your home. Since price is an important factor for many homeowners, it’s important to consult with a contractor to get an idea of different foundation type costs, as well as project duration. For example, post and pier foundation takes more time to install than traditional slab foundation, extending project times.

A highly important factor that contributes to determining which type of house foundation to choose is the soil. Soil plays a huge role in the overall health of the foundation, in turn dramatically affecting the structural stability of the home. Post and beam foundation offers more stability when it comes to contending with shifting soil. Since continual soil expansion and contraction due to changing moisture levels can cause significant damage to a slab foundation, post and pier foundation offers an important advantage for difficult soil areas.

Why Choose Us?

At California Foundation Works, we strive to keep Southern California residents safe by attending to one household at a time. We provide a variety of home and yard services to greater Los Angeles area homes to keep residents safe and satisfied.

Our company values include efficiency, honesty, and communication, as we work with the homeowner each step of the way to collaborate on home repairs and renovations. Ready to get started?

Related: Sister Foundation Solution

Are you in the process of making necessary home renovations? Considering which foundation is right for you?

We’re here to help!

arrow_greenAfter a thorough assessment, one of our foundation repair experts will provide you with a free*, no-obligation quote.

DON’T HESITATE, GET STARTED TODAY WITH YOUR FREE* CONSULTATION

CONTACT US FOR A FREE* FOUNDATION INSPECTION & ESTIMATE!

Please fill out the form below and our representative will contact you within 12-24 hours to schedule a free* inspection.

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type of foundation

How to Identify Which House Foundation You Have

Whether you’ve purchased your home or are looking into building your dream house, there are many components of the building’s interior that you should familiarize yourself with.

Today we’re going to explore the different types of foundations your home might have to help you understand and identify more about your home’s structure, including concrete slab, crawl space, basement, and pier foundations.

Related: How To Inspect Your Home Foundation

House Foundation 101

Why does it matter what type of foundation your home has?

Owning a home is one of the biggest investments a person can make, and the foundation of the building comprises the home’s structural integrity.

Without a healthy foundation, the future of the building is limited. Therefore, it is important to know about your home’s foundation and regularly inspect it for signs of deterioration.

driveway installation

The type of foundation your home resides on is determined by several factors, including home location, local building codes, soil composition, water levels, and frost line. Soil composition plays a pivotal role in the health of the home since expanding and contracting foundation can cause foundation settlement, cracks, and damage.

Soil-related foundation damage often occurs due to fluctuating moisture levels and can be reversed with foundation repair services. It’s the homeowner’s job to keep excess moisture out of the home to ensure its lasting structural health.

Concrete Slab Foundation

A concrete slab foundation is considered standard, as it is the most common type of modern home foundation. How do you know if you have a concrete slab foundation?

Well, concrete slab foundations simply consist of concrete poured directly on the ground. After the foundation is prepared, the home is then constructed on top of this concrete base. Drainage pipes and steel rods are used for reinforcement, with the slabs measuring from 4-8 inches in width.

Homes constructed with slab foundations will not have space existing between the foundation and home. This means that there won’t be a basement or crawl space area underneath the structure. Instead, the home will rest directly on the foundation. This differentiates this foundation type from the others.

Many favor the concrete slab foundation due to its low construction cost. This option is by far the cheapest on the market, and it also provides a quick solution for home builders. Professional contractors can swiftly lay a concrete slab base, with its quick drying time making it easy to rapidly resume construction.

Additionally, the lack of air space between the foundation and home prevents pest infestation and mold growth. Since slab foundations are low-lying, it’s important to ensure the yard has proper drainage to prevent flooding and water intrusion. Additionally, this type of foundation is more susceptible to warming because of the lack of ventilation existing between the foundation and home.

Crawl Space Foundation

A second popular foundation option is the crawl space foundation. This foundation type is constructed on blocks with a small space existing between the floor joists and ground. For added reinforced, concrete pillars are used for structural support. Contractors prefer crawl space foundations when the soil presents digging difficulty.

You will know your home is constructed with this foundation if there is a space beneath the home that acts as a small basement area. Crawl space foundations typically leave an area of roughly 3 to 4 feet high beneath the ground and floor joists. Some use this space for storage.

Crawl space foundations are favored for being one of the most durable options on the market. They are particularly useful for homes located in areas that have a higher groundwater level. The elevated crawl spaces allowed for more protection against water intrusion, as well as better airflow in the warm months. Additionally, many appreciate the extra storage space that crawl spaces add.

While crawl spaces are particularly advantageous, they present a few issues to contend with. Though the ventilation of the structure is ideal in hot months, it can cause heating issues in the cold months. Fortunately, this isn’t an issue for people who live in warm regions.

Additionally, be sure to always seal and insulate your crawl space to prevent intrusive moisture and pest presence.

Related: Crawl Space Vapor Barrier

crawlspace

Basement Foundation

Does your home contain a basement? Well, many areas of the country turn to basement foundations to reap many benefits.

Basement foundations can be built with blocks or poured. Concrete pillars support the above-ground structure, leaving standing height space underneath the home. Basement foundations tend to be dug at least eight feet above the footing of the home, leaving sizable space beneath the home for living or storage.

Basement foundations are favored by many for the additional space they allow, whether for living or storage. This added square footage creates an ideal opportunity for renovations in the future.

Additionally, basements offer natural ventilation beneath the structure. This can prove handy when it comes to cooling the home during the warm season.
However, the many benefits of the basement foundation do come at a steeper price, as this is a more expensive type of foundation.

Additionally, you will have to familiarize yourself with maintenance issues to ensure that your basement is adequately cared for. To prevent water intrusion, basement flooding, and unwanted growths, yard drainage systems such as French drains can be extremely helpful to install.

Pier Foundation

A final type of foundation to discuss is the pier foundation. Pier foundation is often not the first choice, though it is a strong foundation solution. Instead, it is often recommended for lands that would have difficulty laying traditional foundations. You can rely on this foundation to be one of the most durable and long-lasting choices, as it offers tremendous support without many drawbacks.

Wondering if your home has a pier foundation? One of the best ways to find out is to check if there is a crawl space beneath your home. While concrete slab foundation rests directly on the ground, the other types of foundations will have space between the ground and floor joists. Pier and beam foundations have crawl spaces to serve for the electrical and plumbing line access.

While pier foundation might seem superior, it does come at a cost. Because it is the most expensive foundation solution, many homeowners only use it for smaller areas, such as detached structures or sheds.

Potential drawbacks include sagging or creaking floors and ventilation issues. However, these problems can be avoided by hiring top-grade contractors and keeping up with routine inspections and maintenance

Why Choose Us?

At California Foundation Works, it is our mission to equip your home with the safety and satisfaction you deserve.

Our team works to create custom solutions to satisfy all consumer needs while working within individual budgets. Interested in updating, repairing, or expanding any areas of your home?

Call today to book your complimentary home inspection so that we can get started on your home repair journey together!

Related: How To Know If Your House Needs Foundation Repair

Have you noticed signs of foundation damage?

Interested in learning more about how to secure your structure?

arrow_greenAfter a thorough assessment, one of our foundation repair experts will provide you with a free*, no-obligation quote.

DON’T HESITATE, GET STARTED TODAY WITH YOUR FREE* CONSULTATION

CONTACT US FOR A FREE* FOUNDATION INSPECTION & ESTIMATE!

Please fill out the form below and our representative will contact you within 12-24 hours to schedule a free* inspection.

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floor leveling

Floor Leveling Inspection Guide

The COVID-19 pandemic has left many of us housebound, and one way to try and alleviate stress is to stay busy. Fortunately, the extra time at home creates the ideal opportunity for home inspections. By taking the time to inspect your property, you can protect one of your greatest investments and insure for the overall health of your structure.

Today we’re going to explore how to inspect your home to ensure that there are no flaws with the floor leveling.

Related: Foundation Leveling Process

Foundation Damage Roots

When homeowners find they have floors that sink or are uneven, these problems are often caused by foundation issues that have likely not been detected.

Foundation damage causes a chain reaction of problems throughout the home, from warped floors to cracked walls to a shifting structure.

But let’s back up for a moment. How does foundation damage occur in the first place?

floor leveling

While a degree of settlement is common as time passes, more serious foundation problems often have a clear culprit. Foundation damage can arise through continual elemental wear and tear or due to an initial construction failure, but one of the biggest factors behind foundation damage is the soil the house sits upon.

Expansive soil is often tied with foundation damage and uneven floors. Excess moisture causes soil to expand, while dry periods cause it to contract. This continual fluctuation can lead to foundation movement and cracks due to continual ground shifting. In turn, this can lead to a host of foundation damage effects both inside and outside of the home.

Similar issues will also occur if the soil was not properly backfilled or if tree roots disrupt the soil. Overall, soil issues are a leading cause of foundation damage and should be taken seriously by homeowners.

Search for the Signs

Chances are you have some extra time around the home these days, which means there is no better opportunity to spot the signs that your home needs floor leveling. Preventative work is the most cost-effective way to protect your home, and detecting problems in their earliest stages will always lead to cheaper repairs.

Fortunately, signs of floor leveling problems are often easy to find. We walk on our floors every day, so we are more sensitive to noticing slopes, cracks, loud floors, warped boards, and other unusual changes. However, since floor leveling problems are often indicative of foundation issues, you should also search your house for other foundation damage warning signs.

Signs to be on the lookout for include cracks in both the exterior or interior walls. Pay particular attention to cracks that are unusually wide, long, or clustered closely together. In addition to slanting floorboards, warped walls and ceilings are also a sign that something is amiss. Check for doors and windows that have difficulty opening and closing, and if your home has a chimney, see if it is slanted.

You can also examine your home for signs of water intrusion, which can be spotted due to secondary issues such as insect or pest infestation or mold, mildew, bacteria, or fungus growth. The latter signs can often be detected by strong, musty odors, as well as breathing difficulties. You can also check crawl spaces for damp walls and floors.

Exploring Leveling Solutions

Nobody wants to find problems with their foundation, but if you do, we’re here to help. At California Foundation Works, we offer custom solutions to meet the individual needs of each of our clients. This means that every repair project is unique, though there are certain steps that many foundation repair projects follow.

Floor and subfloor leveling services are likely needed in cases when foundation damage has affected the levelness of the flooring. Additional services include concrete leveling or basement repair services depending on the degree of the damage. Fortunately, floor leveling projects are more affordable than you might think.

Consider any work a necessary investment in the future of your building and the safety of its residents. Foundation repair services are needed to permanently restore the integrity of the building and resolve any damage to guarantee that the property value of the building remains protected. Though some floor leveling solutions may take up to several weeks, floor leveling is considered a non-invasive procedure.

However, you should never attempt to perform a floor leveling project on your own, as it requires professional expertise.

Related: Foundation Underpinning Retrofit

door crack

Floor Leveling Process

Floor leveling returns the home to a level position, providing a restorative facelift and structural security boost.

Floor leveling services are aimed to return the home to its original levelness, as well as strengthen the structure to guard it against damage in the future.

One trusted form of foundation leveling known as pier and beam foundation involves using a jack or lift for leveling. 

In a process called shoring, the home is very carefully raised so that beams or jacks can be attached underneath. Internal damage is minimized by lifting the jacks with extreme care and precision to protect the interior of the home.

Another way to attend to leveling issues is to excavate weakened areas of the home and install concrete or steel pilings along with concrete piers. Repairs can be performed on all types of foundation, including basement foundation, slab foundation, and pier and beam foundation.

If foundation damage is causing your floors to warp, then you must contact a professional contractor as soon as possible. Weakened homes that don’t receive necessary repair solutions will continue to warp, crack, and shift, eventually threatening the safety of residents and the longevity of the structure.

Homeowners who have elevated homes, especially located on hillsides, should be particularly wary of shifting structures due to mudslides, earthquakes, and other natural threats.

Have you noticed warped floors? Are there cracks around your home? Concerned about your home’s foundation?

The last thing anyone needs at this moment is more problems to contend with. Take the time to perform a routine home inspection so that you can catch issues before they have the opportunity to worsen.

Here at California Foundation Works, our team of expertly trained contractors is available around the clock to offer full home repairs and renovations. It is our goal to keep greater Los Angeles area residents safe by fortifying one home at a time.

Call today to book your free home inspection!

arrow_greenAfter a thorough assessment, one of our foundation repair experts will provide you with a free*, no-obligation quote.

DON’T HESITATE, GET STARTED TODAY WITH YOUR FREE* CONSULTATION

CONTACT US FOR A FREE* FLOOR LEVELING INSPECTION & ESTIMATE!

Please fill out the form below and our representative will contact you within 12-24 hours to schedule a free* inspection.

Security Question:

foundation crack

How to Inspect Your Home Foundation

As people do their part to stay safe and curb the spread of COVID-19, the issue arises as to what to do with all of the free time many are left with. One thing you can do to both occupy your time in the present and protect your assets for the future is to perform a home inspection and ensure that all areas of your home are operating problem-free.

It may be hard to stay positive during such trying times, but by focusing on what you can do at home, you can help take your mind off the stress. By using the quarantine time to inspect your home and tend to repairs, you can also help to regain an element of control over your life and your assets.

Related: Foundation Maintenance Guide

Understanding Foundation Health

Have the time to brush up on your foundation knowledge?

Foundations can become damaged over time with persistent elemental wear and tear, through design flaws, or due to natural settlement. While all homes settle to an extent as time passes, the degree of settlement depends greatly on the soil. Soil expands during periods of excess rainfall and contracts during drier months, which can create an unstable base for your home. This constant flux in pressure can lead to an unstable foundation and cause cracking.

foundation crack

This can cause a myriad of problems throughout the home, in addition to structural instability. Though it initially may not seem like the ideal time to book home repairs, it’s in the homeowner’s best interest to rectify foundation issues as soon as they are spotted.

Foundation damage will worsen over time, which can cause more expensive repairs and open the possibility of requiring expensive and invasive foundation replacement. Avoid future stress by spotting foundation damage warning signs today and taking control of the situation while you have some extra time on your hands.

Search for Signs with Spare Time

Greater Los Angeles area residents are in a fortunate position when it comes to home health, as the recent rainy period can help to reveal potential foundation damage. Soggy or misshapen floorboards, damp crawl spaces, and visible liquid can all indicate water intrusion and a potential breach in the foundation integrity.

Cracks are one of the most obvious indicators of potential damage and can also contribute to water intrusion. Inspect your home for cracks that are unusually wide, closely clustered together, or horizontal. Search around door frames, crawl spaces, and fireplaces for signs of damage. Warped floorboards, walls, ceilings, and an overall slanted house appearance are also clear signs that the foundation might be compromised.

To check if your home is warping due to an unstable foundation, verify if your windows and doors can open and close with ease. Doors and windows that stick can be yet another indicator of potential foundation damage due to shifting structure.

At Home Yard Inspections

If your driveway, patio, walkway, or other concrete fixture is beginning to show its age, then you are faced with two main options. You can demolish and remove the concrete installation and find a new way to occupy the area, or you can resurface the concrete to return it to its original appearance.

Concrete resurfacing provides new life for stained, cracked, discolored, and chipped concrete to create a cost-effective way to resolve aging concrete.

Related: Foundation Repair Los Angeles

door crack

Exploring Solutions

So you’ve noticed some potential problems. What’s next?

At California Foundation Works, we offer complimentary foundation inspections so that we can provide a thorough home evaluation and propose potential solutions to meet your home’s unique needs.

The great news is that the majority of cases of foundation damage can be rectified with stabilizing foundation solutions.

Each repair solution will be customized to meet your unique needs, so every repair project operates differently depending on individual variables. In some cases, this process involves pier and beam reconstruction and preventative support installation. Pier and beam stabilization allows the home to be filled with supportive piers connected to concrete beams that are reinforced with steel.

Other solutions include concrete slab stabilization, floor leveling, and installing a supportive sister foundation. Book your free foundation inspection today so that we can get started on discovering your home’s unique solution.

Focus on What You Can Fix

Here at California Foundation Works, we are happy to offer services that can assist with creating financial stability for your future. Owning a house is one of the most significant investments you can make in a lifetime, and most of our services are still operational despite the uncertain times to offer construction work to keep your family safe and happy and your future assets protected.

There may be a lot that is out of our control at the moment, but fortunately, there are steps you can take from your home to ensure that it is protected and can safely house your loved ones for many years to come.

Why Choose Us?

Our team at California Foundation Works is dedicated to bringing your home repairs, renovations, and projects to fruition while maintaining all safety protocols and standards. It is our mission to ensure the safety of your family, and we’re achieving our goal one house at a time.   

Related: Sister Foundation Solution

Interested in booking a complimentary foundation inspection or other home services? Call today!

arrow_greenAfter a thorough assessment, one of our foundation repair experts will provide you with a free*, no-obligation quote.

DON’T HESITATE, GET STARTED TODAY WITH YOUR FREE* CONSULTATION

CONTACT US FOR A FREE* FOUNDATION INSPECTION & ESTIMATE!

Please fill out the form below and our representative will contact you within 12-24 hours to schedule a free* inspection.

Security Question:

soft story retrofitting in La

Soft Story Retrofit Spring Season

Homeowners in the greater Los Angeles area have likely heard some buzz about soft story retrofits, but today we’ll explore the full scope of the process.

In Los Angeles county alone thousands of buildings have received mandatory retrofit ordinances mandating that they update or demolish their soft story structures.

While this process can seem daunting and overwhelming, breaking down what soft story structures are, exploring the retrofitting process, and discovering the best time to retrofit will allow the stress to be removed from this major, but necessary, building renovation project. Ready to get started?

Related: Soft Story Retrofit

Reasons Behind the Retrofit

If you’ve received a mandatory Order to Comply in the mail, then you’re already aware that your building has been identified as a soft story structure. And you’re not the only one.

Over 20,000 buildings in Los Angeles alone have been marked for being structurally unsound due to having a weakened ground floor that is structurally unable to support the floors above it in the event of seismic activity.

earthquake retrofitting

This is often the result of having large open areas on the ground floor, such as parking areas or excessively sized windows. While it certainly isn’t good news to be informed that your building requires a soft story retrofit, solid reasons are backing the process.

Because the structures of soft story buildings leave the buildings so vulnerable, there is a very high risk of structural damage and subsequent fatalities and even death when earthquakes strike soft story buildings.

A soft story regulation is therefore needed to ensure for area safety since when it comes to earthquakes in Southern California, it’s not a question of if but when.

Breaking Down the Retrofit Timeline

Not only are soft story retrofits mandatory, but there is a finite amount of time in which your project must be completed. If you haven’t received an Order to Comply in the mail, you can always book a soft story inspection to evaluate the state of your structure.

Once you have received the Order to Comply, you will have 2 years to submit proof of previous retrofit, plans for the soft story retrofit, or plans to demolish the building. You must hold on to the letter, so be sure to keep it safe. After the letter is received, you have 3.5 years to get together all permits that are needed to commence either construction or demolition. The project must be completed within 7 years of receiving the Order to Comply.

Failure to follow the timeline could result in severe penalties for the building owner. Therefore, it is very important to stick to the timeline and ensure that all aspects of the soft story retrofit are completed in time.

When it comes to complying with soft story regulations, there is no time to delay. This is a mandatory process that needs to be completed as soon as possible for a variety of reasons.

When is the Right Time to Retrofit?

Ready to get started on your retrofit? There are many benefits to getting your soft story retrofit completed during the spring and summer months. Most earthquake retrofits involve cripple wall bracing to hold the structure intact and foundation bolting to keep the building locked in place.

Spring and summer months create the ideal opportunity for completing this process due to the reliable and mild weather and extended daylight hours. The warm months provide ample time for soft story inspections so that a professional contractor can thoroughly investigate each aspect of your building.

Because so many buildings have received mandatory orders to comply, there is a high demand for the retrofitting process to be finalized. Workers can complete more work in the day during the warm months, allowing your soft story retrofit process to proceed without any hitches, such as rain delays.

Some soft story retrofits are more advanced than others depending on the degree of damage. Severe structural damage could lead to the existing concrete slab being removed and steel reinforcement structures being added to bolster the building before new concrete is poured. Only a soft story inspection will reveal the extent of the retrofitting process, so it’s paramount to provide ample time for the process to be completed.

Avoid the winter weather rain delays by planning your soft story retrofit for the mild, warm months. Working in the warm months also provides soil that is easier to work with, speeding up the process.

Related: Cost Of Soft Story Retrofit 

soft story

Soft Story Retrofit Benefits

Failure to comply with soft story regulations will not only result in penalties, but it will leave your building structurally compromised. Any event that involves the ground moving, no matter how seemingly minor, can lead to serious structural damage that could mean the end of your building.

From foundation cracks to warped walls and floors, earthquake damage is something you should avoid at all costs.

Getting started on your retrofitting process as soon as possible will decrease the overall project cost since the mandatory soft story retrofits are increasingly driving prices up as time progresses.
In addition to lower costs, you can also reap economic advantages, as completed soft story retrofits entitle building owners to significant savings.

Many insurance companies offer large premiums for completed soft story retrofits, while you can additionally lower certain building insurances.
You’ll also receive a competitive advantage by acting quickly, as your building will be removed from city inventory as early as possible, becoming exempt from future retrofit demands.

Lastly, with cost recovery programs available, homeowners can receive aid for complying with the soft story retrofit process.

Worried About Your Soft Story Retrofit Costs?

Call California Foundation Works Today For a FREE Project Estimate. Let’s Discover The Best Solution For Your Retrofit needs!

Contact Us At (323) 418-2239

soft story

Soft Story Retrofit Season

Gearing You Up for Soft Story Retrofit Season

Homeowners in the greater Los Angeles area have likely heard some buzz about soft story retrofits, but today we’ll explore the full scope of the process. Already thousands of buildings in Los Angeles County alone have received mandatory retrofit ordinances mandating that they update or demolish their soft story structures.

While this process can seem daunting and overwhelming, breaking down what soft story structures are, exploring the retrofitting process, and discovering the best time to retrofit will allow the stress to be removed from this major, but necessary, building renovation project. Ready to get started?

Related: Thousands of Soft Story Structures Still Need Retrofitting

Reasons Behind the Retrofit

If you’ve received a mandatory Order to Comply in the mail, then you’re already aware that your building has been identified as a soft story structure.

And you’re not the only one. Over 20,000 buildings in Los Angeles alone have been marked for being structurally unsound due to having a weakened ground floor that is structurally unable to support the floors above it in the event of seismic activity.

soft story retrofitting in La

This is often the result of having large open areas on the ground floor, such as parking areas or excessively sized windows. While it certainly isn’t good news to be informed that your building requires a soft story retrofit, solid reasons are backing the process.

Because the structures of soft story buildings leave the buildings so vulnerable, there is a very high risk of structural damage and subsequent fatalities and even death when earthquakes strike soft story buildings. A soft story regulation is therefore needed to ensure for area safety since when it comes to earthquakes in Southern California, it’s not a question of if but when.

Breaking Down the Retrofit Timeline

Not only are soft story retrofits mandatory, but there is a finite amount of time in which your project must be completed. If you haven’t received an Order to Comply in the mail, you can always book a soft story inspection to evaluate the state of your structure.

Once you have received the Order to Comply, you will have 2 years to submit proof of previous retrofit, plans for the soft story retrofit, or plans to demolish the building. You must hold on to the letter, so be sure to keep it safe. After the letter is received, you have 3.5 years to get together all permits that are needed to commence either construction or demolition. The project must be completed within 7 years of receiving the Order to Comply.

Failure to follow the timeline could result in severe penalties for the building owner. Therefore, it is very important to stick to the timeline and ensure that all aspects of the soft story retrofit are completed in time. When it comes to complying with soft story regulations, there is no time to delay. This is a mandatory process that needs to be completed as soon as possible for a variety of reasons.

When is the Right Time to Retrofit?

Ready to get started on your retrofit? There are many benefits to getting your soft story retrofit completed during the spring and summer months. Most earthquake retrofits involve cripple wall bracing to hold the structure intact and foundation bolting to keep the building locked in place.

Spring and summer months create the ideal opportunity for completing this process due to the reliable and mild weather and extended daylight hours. The warm months provide ample time for soft story inspections so that a professional contractor can thoroughly investigate each aspect of your building. Because so many buildings have received mandatory orders to comply, there is a high demand for the retrofitting process to be finalized.

Workers can complete more work in the day during the warm months, allowing your soft story retrofit process to proceed without any hitches, such as rain delays Some soft story retrofits are more advanced than others depending on the degree of damage. Severe structural damage could lead to the existing concrete slab being removed and steel reinforcement structures being added to bolster the building before new concrete is poured.

Only a soft story inspection will reveal the extent of the retrofitting process, so it’s paramount to provide ample time for the process to be completed. Avoid the winter weather rain delays by planning your soft story retrofit for the mild, warm months.

Working in the warm months also provides soil that is easier to work with, speeding up the process.

Soft Story Retrofit Benefits

Failure to comply with soft story regulations will not only result in penalties, but it will leave your building structurally compromised. Any event that involves the ground moving, no matter how seemingly minor, can lead to serious structural damage that could mean the end of your building.

From foundation cracks to warped walls and floors, earthquake damage is something you should avoid at all costs. Getting started on your retrofitting process as soon as possible will decrease the overall project cost since the mandatory soft story retrofits are increasingly driving prices up as time progresses.

In addition to lower costs, you can also reap economic advantages, as completed soft story retrofits entitle building owners to significant savings. Many insurance companies offer large premiums for completed soft story retrofits, while you can additionally lower certain building insurances.

You’ll also receive a competitive advantage by acting quickly, as your building will be removed from city inventory as early as possible, becoming exempt from future retrofit demands.

Lastly, with cost recovery programs available, homeowners can receive aid for complying with the soft story retrofit process.

Related: What Affects the Cost of Soft Story Retrofit?  

Soft story retrofit season is around the corner! Don’t wait to book your complimentary soft story inspection provided by California Foundation Works.

Southern California earthquakes are turbulent and unpredictable, and the last thing you want is to be left unprepared when the next one strikes.

Call to book your free home inspection so that we can examine your home, provide an estimate, and start to discuss the next steps in the soft story retrofit process.

With our complimentary inspection, you have nothing to lose by playing it safe! Take advantage of the warm weather, and get started on protecting your investment today.

Call California Foundation Works today to book your FREE* Soft Story Inspection

(323)418-2239

Ebb

Is Earthquake Retrofit Worth It?

Are you prepared for the next earthquake to hit? Don’t just answer quickly, take a moment to think about your response. While certain areas of your home might be fortified for seismic activity, your structure is overall only as strong as its weakest link. That means that any areas that have worn out over time or weren’t properly fortified in the first place could be threatening the security of your entire building.

With earthquakes threatening Los Angeles County residents at all times, the next big quake is just around the bend. But is seismic retrofitting worth the investment? Allow us to explore the different factors that go into determining if an earthquake retrofit is the best choice for your property, as well as available savings.

Related: Reasons Los Angeles Homes Need Foundation Inspections

What is Earthquake Retrofitting?

Many Southern California residents are well aware of earthquake retrofitting requirements in their area, but allow us to elaborate on the process and its requirements. Earthquake retrofitting is performed to secure any vulnerable areas of buildings to lower the risk of damage and destruction in the event of seismic activity.

Typically this customizable process involves cripple wall bracing to keep the structure firmly intact and foundation bolting to hold the building securely in place. This dual process allows for complete structural support that greatly lowers the possibility of the building being damaged in the event of seismic activity. Because earthquakes are so prevalent in the greater Los Angeles area, many buildings are required by law to undergo retrofits to decrease the risk of injury, damage, and death during an earthquake.

earthquake

Do I Need an Earthquake Retrofit?

Thousands of homes across Los Angeles County and surrounding cities have been affected by laws mandating seismic retrofits on soft-story buildings. Buildings that are particularly vulnerable to earthquakes include structures built before 1979, wood-framed structures, hillside homes, and structures with large open spaces on the ground level, such as parking lots or oversized windows.

However, the truth is that structural vulnerabilities of any sort put a home at risk whether or not a mandatory retrofit order has been mailed. Since earthquakes are unpredictable, the longer a homeowner waits to secure their home, the greater the risk becomes for property damage and injury.

Additionally, the most cost effective way to deal with any home project is through preventative action. Verifying that your home is fully secured and getting any needed seismic retrofitting completed as soon as possible is ultimately the safest, smartest, and cheapest solution for homeowners.

What Happens If I Don’t Retrofit?

Simply put, there are no benefits of not having your home inspected for a seismic retrofit as soon as possible. Any situation that involves the ground moving, no matter how minor the quake, can cause damage to the home and its foundation.

That means that even small earthquakes can cause catastrophic financial damage for the average homeowner. With a very low percentage of California homeowners having earthquake damage insurance, failing to get a seismic retrofit could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

If the foundation of the home becomes damaged do to insufficient seismic retrofitting, the entire structure can become compromised. Therefore, acting as soon as possible is the smartest choice a homeowner can make. Delaying a retrofit will only jeopardize your safety and investment, as non-reinforced homes will suffer during seismic activity. And with cost recovery programs for seismic retrofitting, it makes no sense to delay the earthquake retrofit process.

What is EBB?

The Earthquake Brace + Bolt (EBB) program was designed to assist California residents with the cost of their seismic retrofits to reduce earthquake damage in California. EBB assists homeowners with seismic retrofit costs by providing up to $3,000 to assist with retrofitting expenses for eligible homeowners. EBB aids with funds related to earthquake retrofit costs, namely brace and bolt services for crawl spaces in residential dwellings.

To become eligible for EBB, homes must meet Chapter A3 specifications. The specifications include that the home must contain wood framing and it must be located on a low slope or ground level. Homes constructed before 1979 have a higher chance of qualifying for EBB. All interested homeowners must apply for the program as soon as possible since seismic retrofit work cannot commence until EBB has been approved.

Related: How to Retrofit Your Home Against Earthquakes 

Earthquake Brace Bolt

How to Sign Up for EBB

If you’re interested in receiving earthquake retrofit savings, then it’s time to apply to EBB. Homeowners with qualifying homes can submit an application for review as long as they are located within EBB zip codes and have the home as a primary residence. Eligible houses can register one time per house, with approved applications for houses that have not received prior EBB funding being placed in a pool for random selection.

To determine the houses that receive grants, an electronic system is used. To keep the process clear, all candidates are notified of their progress by email and informed of their position at the start of the year. Since registration fills up fast, it’s highly encouraged that interested homeowners visit www.earthquakebracebolt.com as soon as possible to learn about program dates, vacancies, and more. Fortunately, the right contractor can guide you through the process to make sure that all EBB eligible homes can apply for compensation.

Feeling overwhelmed? Luckily we’re here to help. At California Foundation Works, we make it easy to obtain EBB savings by helping you register. It’s our goal to deliver your ideal services at the best price on the market, so we’re always available to search for deals and assist with budgeting. Don’t let the next big quake be the ruin of your home! Work with us to discover the best solutions for keeping your property safe, secure, and within your budget.

Related: Guide for Earthquake Brace and Bolt EBB 

At California Foundation Works, we strive to deliver excellence in all of our projects. From repairs to resurfacing, we take every precaution necessary to deliver top of the line services to fully address individual project needs.

We work within our clients’ budgets and time constraints to provide premium services that are tailor-made for our clients. Call today to explore the wide range of concrete resurfacing methods that will restore the surface of your concrete to its original condition!

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

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

yard drainage

How To Deal With Standing Water In Your Yard

Picture this: you wake up, grab a warm cup of coffee and step outside to observe the new day. The last thing you want is to feel your feet sink into a messy pool of water. Not only can standing water be a nuisance to homeowners, but this unsavory predicament can damage the vegetation in your yard, in turn lowering your property value. Furthermore, water pooling can lead to moisture intrusion into your home, potentially threatening the integrity of your structure and foundation. Avoid dealing with the hassles caused by water damage by understanding why water pools in the first place and how to permanently deal with standing water.

Related: Poor Drainage Effect On Landscape

Why Does My Yard Have Standing Water?

If you find that your yard is filled with standing water, likely one of the top questions is why the water is pooling in the first place. When it comes down to it, the majority of standing water and water damage issues can be linked to drainage system failure. However, some standing water underlying issues can be addressed more easily than others. For example, if your yard is equipped with a sprinkler system, ensure that you are not using it too frequently and oversaturating your yard. Less frequent watering for shorter periods can help amend this issue. 

standing water

Minor maintenance and gardening habits can correct standing water in some cases, though more fundamental design flaws can lead to a more complicated cause and solution.Water pooling can occur due to several issues, such as problems with the grading, thatch, subsoil, and soil itself. Soil grading ensures proper drainage by keeping the yard leveled, with the slope directing the water away from the home. An improper angle could lead to water catching and pooling.

Additionally, the permeability of the yard plays a crucial role in the effectiveness of the yard drainage. Clogged laws, such as those littered with leaves, debris, or grass clippings, can interfere with the soil properly absorbing the water, in turn leading to standing water. The characteristics of the soil itself determine how well it will absorb water, with clay soils less likely to easily absorb moisture. Hard subsoil can also interfere with the ability of the ground to absorb water, which can happen naturally or due to construction compaction. Additionally, a high water table can cause water pooling issues. When the water level rises too close to the surface, standing water can collect in yards. 

What To Do About Standing Water

Luckily there are many solutions for dealing with standing water and preventing water damage from occurring. There is no right solution for every yard, as the best option will depend on the problem at hand. Reliable solutions for water pooling include re-grading, dethatching, breaking up soil, and more. Re-grading the area around the home and dethatching the yard can better angle the flow of yard water and prevent debris from clogging your drainage system. Yards without very permeable soil can benefit from breaking up the soil and adding organic matter to make the soil more absorbable. Digging up and breaking hardpan, or having this service performed professionally, can also help with ground absorption. Additionally, accommodations can be made to fix high water tables, while installing the right drainage system or fixing a damaged drainage system can enormously help alleviate standing water.

When Is Standing Water Most Likely?

Standing water is most likely to occur when there is an issue with your soil’s absorption rate or a problem with your current drainage system, so trust the professionals to deliver the drainage services needed to correct your property. However, there are more serious issues that can contribute to water pooling in the yard, which can be treated more easily. Leaves, twigs, debris, trash, and grass cuttings can all clog yard drains and interfere with the effectiveness of your drainage system. Therefore, it is very important to inspect your yard and clean debris. Dirt and debris are big culprits in clogging yard drains, though many professional contractors offer routine drainage cleaning for small fees if you do not wish to perform the task yourself. Additionally, low lying areas of the yard are more prone to standing water, which is why soil grading services can help homeowners with dealing with water pooling problems.

Standing Water Services Offered

When it comes to improving your yard drainage system, it’s always best to consult with a professional contractor. Trust the professionals to provide a thorough evaluation of your property and determine the best solution for your unique situation. When improperly installed, drainage systems can cause more water pooling failure or suffer from a much shorter life expectancy. To get the most comprehensive care for your yard, always have yard services and drainage installations done by professionals you can trust. Professional contractors can offer any standing water solution on the market, as well as a wide arrange of drainage system installation options to meet the exact needs of your yard.

Dangers of Standing Water

Stagnant water provides a visual eyesore for homeowners, neighbors, and prospective buyers. When water pooling occurs for periods, ornamental plants and grass can also suffer and die, further upsetting the aesthetic appeal of the yard. In addition to entering the home and potentially harming the foundation, standing water provides an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes and other pests. It is therefore in the homeowner’s best interest to deal with standing water as soon as it is noticed, which luckily can be done by providing a quick visual inspection of the yard. If simple maintenance changes do not correct the standing water issue, call a professional contractor to explore a permanent solution for your water damage.

Related: Yard Drainage Installation For Homeowners 

Is standing water threatening the integrity of your yard? Are you sick of stepping in soggy puddles when you leave your house? Don’t overlook your home plumbing system. Address water damage problems today to keep your property healthy. Call California Foundation Works now to get started on creating your custom solution!

Call California Foundation Works Today To Book Your FREE* Home Drainage Inspection!

heavy rain

The Effect of Rain on Foundation and How to Prevent It

The Effect of Rain on Foundation and How to Prevent It

What do damaged vegetation, rotting wood, cracked walls, and mildew have in common? They’re all effects of water intrusion in your home. And unfortunately, these issues are just a few of the many problems that can occur if rain is not properly drained away from your property. Water damage is a serious issue that could lead to the destruction of your yard, health issues for residents, and serious damage to your house structure. Today we’re going to explore the effects of rain on foundation in order to best prepare homeowners for recognizing and preventing water damage and excess moisture-related issues.

Related: Ways Rain Can Destroy The Foundation

Water intrusion effects

Rain can be restorative, breathing new life into your vegetation, but it can also wreck your property. Improperly drained yards can lead to water pooling and killing plants, with faulty drainage systems causing water to leak into the home. This potentially disastrous predicament can cause water to seep into floorboards, rotting wood and causing bacteria and mold to grow in crawl spaces and cause health problems. Floorboards and walls can become water damaged and warped, distorting the appearance of your living space.

foundation moisture

However, the most worrisome effect that water can have on your home is foundation damage. When moisture isn’t properly funneled away from the home, there are several ways that it can destroy foundation over time. When water accumulates under the home and isn’t able to drain, serious foundation issues such as settling and cracks can occur. Another problematic effect of excess water is “heaving,” which occurs when clay soil expands and forces the soil upwards in direction. This can lead to surface and subsurface water negatively affecting pier and beam or slab foundations.

How to spot water damage  

Fortunately, there are ways for homeowners to spot water damage and address leakages and moisture intrusion before damage has the opportunity to spread. The best way to protect your property value is to perform routine inspections both inside and outside of the home, especially directly after periods of heavy rainfall. Signs of water damage include pools of water following periods of heavy rain, the presence of salt deposits (efflorescence) on crawl space walls, increased radon levels, pests/insect invasion in your home, and exterior paint peeling. Additionally, signs of mildew, mold, rust, and rot, as well as strong musty odors, headaches, and breathing issues, are also indicators of water intrusion. If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to contact a professional as soon as possible to investigate the situation.

Related: Poor Drainage And Your Landscape 

Home Drainage

Preventing water from entering your home

The best way to prevent water damage from infiltrating your home is to invest in a proper drainage system. Homeowners should always make sure they have a drainage system that meets the needs of their property and continues to operate smoothly without any blockage or hiccups. However, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes drainage systems fail or homeowners don’t consider installation until damage has become apparent. Fortunately, many moisture issues can be amended or prevented if the correct drainage system is installed by professional contractors. 

To prevent water intrusion, make sure that the drainage system grates are graded away from the foundation of the home and that there is an exterior drain system in your basement if your home is equipped with one. Additionally, it’s key to ensure that your gutters are not clogged and your down spurts are working correctly. Clear gutters of any leaves, debris, and blockage and ensure that your property is always kept in good repair.  

Drainage system solutions

In order to prevent foundation damage due to excess moisture, there are a number of solutions available. When it comes to drainage system solutions, there are many different options to choose from. French drains are one of the most popular drainage system options. French drains are very effective at removing small to moderate amounts of water from the foundation and redirecting the flow away from your property without disrupting the landscape. Additionally, surface drains are often turned to for more extensive yard drainage problems, since they are able to pump away large amounts of water rapidly, especially when working along with a sump pump. The right drainage system will depend on the extent of damage, as well as the type of foundation and soil and the nature of the problem. Other drainage system options include rounded grates, pop-up emitters, atrium grates, flo-wells, and channel drains.

Related: Drainage Solutions

Signs of foundation damage

While the right drainage system can save your home from certain disaster, sometimes the damage has already amassed too much to simply drain excess water away. If water has evaded your home, especially for prolonged periods of time, know the signs of foundation damage to lookout for. Signs of foundation damage include buildings that have a visible slant to them, or floorboards, walls, or ceilings that have become bowed, warped, or slanted. Unusually large cracks, wide cracks, horizontal cracks, and cracks clustered closely together are also potentially problematic. These effects can occur from excess moisture, so It’s important to be on the lookout for signs of excess moisture in your home. The sooner you address foundation damage, the lesser the extent of the damage. 

broken drainage

Fortunately, most cases of foundation damage can be corrected with foundation repair though more significant damage may require foundation replacement. You can avoid this costly project by connecting with a professional contractor as soon as you notice water intrusion on your property.  

Is rain destroying your Southern California home?

It’s time to get started on your solution. Protect your property and safeguard your assets by calling California Foundation Works today. Our crew of foundation experts will give your property problems the care and attention they deserve so that we can provide the best solution for your unique situation. Allow us to correct drainage system failures, moisture intrusion, and foundation damage so your home will remain fortified for many years to come. Call today to get started on crafting your custom solution!  

Call California Foundation Works today
to book your FREE* Drainage Inspection!
323-418-2239

broken grates

How Do You Know if Your Drainage System Is Broken?

Have things in your yard been a bit soggy lately? Bad drainage in your property can lead to damaged landscaping, causing the curb appeal of your home to plummet and vegetation to be destroyed. Even worse, the structural integrity of your building can become threatened by bad yard drainage systems, since water damage can invade your home and wreak havoc on your foundation. Fortunately you can prevent things from getting out of hand by recognizing and addressing improper drainage through home inspections and yard drainage repair. Luckily there are plenty of warning signs to look out for before the problem gets critical.

Related: Poor Drainage Can Destroy Your Landscape

Exterior signs of drainage system failure

When it comes to keeping your home protected and your property value firmly intact, it’s critical to inspect your property for signs of water damage. There are a number of telltale signs of bad drainage that you can spot outside of your home. Puddles and yard erosion present clear indicators that the yard drainage is amiss. Inspecting your yard following a heavy rain will allow you to see if there are faults in the drainage system, causing water to pool or puddle. It’s also important to check the height of the soil against the foundation to ensure that it isn’t being eroded and carried away due to the drainage system removing water too quickly during storms. If the topsoil is moving every time it rains, then there is a strong chance that your yard has a bad drainage system that needs repairs.

broken drainage

An important area that homeowners should inspect to see if there is bad drainage is the gutters. Clogged gutters provide an easy to spot sign that something is amiss with your drainage system. When gutters become clogged, water is forced to redirect, which could lead to ruined paint and sliding. To avoid these issues, clean your gutters regularly and check to see if they appear to be draining correctly during heavy downpour, as clogged gutters are easily visible. And of course, always make sure that your gutters are carrying water away from the home and not into the foundation. While you can examine gutters during rainfall, you can also check for water pooling underneath the downspouts and gutters after a heavy storm.

Interior signs of drainage system failure

During and after periods of heavy rainfall is often the best time to examine your home for internal signs of drainage failure. There are several key things to check inside your home to make sure your drainage system is operating correctly. Homeowners should be on the lookout for signs of efflorescence, mildew, warped wood, bowing floors, and wet crawl spaces. Efflorescence is a crusty salt deposit of white or grey color that becomes visible on the walls of the foundation when water evaporates. Mildew, which can often be detected by its musty odor, can cause roofing issues. Any musty, strong, or unusual odors should always be inspected, as they can be a sign of mildew, mold, fungus, or bacteria. Additionally, warped wood, bowing floors, and wet crawl spaces all present clear indicators that moisture is entering the home when it shouldn’t be. Soggy, wet, and rotting areas all need to be addressed as soon as possible.
A very obvious sign that yard drainage repair is needed is water infiltration into the home. The three main ways that water finds itself entering a home is through foundation cracks, under the floorboards, or over the foundation. Foundation crack leakage is a serious issue that will require professional evaluation to determine the extent of the damage to see if foundation repair is needed. Water entering the home through the floors likely means there is a high water table under the home, which can be corrected through interior drainage installation and sump pumps. If water is seeping into the foundation with no cracks visible, then it’s likely that there are overflowing gutters or high grading that need to be fixed.

Related: Yard Drainage Installation for California Homeowners 

backyard-drainage-system-los-angeles

Solutions for improper yard drainage

In order to preserve the integrity of your yard, wood framing, and foundation, it’s crucial to address any drainage problems as soon as you notice the first warning signs. Your yard drainage repair will ultimately depend on the problem at hand, as there are a variety of different drainage solutions that can resolve your issues depending on what they may be.

The nature of the drainage issues, the type of soil on your property, and the slope of the land the home is on all are factors to consider when selecting the right drainage system.

A professional contractor will be able to evaluate your home and determine the best solution for your unique issue in order to protect both your yard and your structure.
There are a variety of drainage solutions to choose from, including French drains, sloped grading, surface drains, terracing, trench drains, sump pumps, rounded grates, pop-up emitters, atrium grate, flo-wells, and channel drains. French drains tend to be one of the most requested and reliable drainage solutions, as they are able to redirect the flow of large amounts of water away from the home. French drains are best suited for sloped and hillside homes, while many also choose to install trench drains in their backyards to correct conglomerating water runoff. Additionally, sump pumps are highly beneficial drainage solutions installed under a crawl space. Their purpose is to rapidly pump water away from the home, making them ideal for low-level houses during major storms and floods.

Don’t allow for water to invade your home or ruin your landscape.

Protect both your assets and your curb appeal by correcting any drainage system failures before they lead to more extensive problems.

Here at California Foundation Works, we specialize in yard drainage repair no matter the extent of the problem. Our team of experienced contractors is able to install or repair any yard drainage system that your home requires.

Call today to book your free home inspection. Let’s get started discussing your drainage options!

Call California Foundation Works today
to book your FREE* Drainage inspection
323-418-2239

vapor barrier

How Your Home Can Benefit From Crawl Space Vapor Barriers

vapor barrier

From wood rot to mold to mildew, fungus, and bacteria, there are many unsavory side effects that come with water intrusion in your home. The effects of excess water can both jeopardize the structure of your home and expose members of the household to hazardous fumes. Over time this will both significantly decrease the property value of the home and endanger members of the household. Fortunately there is an easy way to prevent these issues from occurring. Crawl space vapor barriers will provide the insulation needed to prevent water intrusion in your home, with a single installation providing 20 years or more of protection.

What are crawl space vapor barriers?

Crawl space vapor barriers lock out moisture and water by providing an insulated seal over the opening. Most vapor barriers are constructed from polyethylene plastic sheeting, poly, with the thickness of the poly varying depending on the needs of the project. Reinforced poly sheeting is able to offer enormous protection against water intrusion, with the average poly sheeting crawl space vapor barrier lasting 20 years or more. Overall this process is highly effective for preventing moisture entry.

Related: Crawl Space Vapor Barrier

vapor barrier

Does my home need crawl space vapor barriers?

If you’ve noticed signs of water intrusion in your home, then it’s best to book a professional evaluation to determine the best course of action for eliminating the excess moisture. If you notice any traces of mildew, rust, rot, or mold, then it’s critical to intervene as soon as possible before they issues exacerbate. Signs of these presences include increased difficulty in breathing, allergies, asthma, headaches, and other related illnesses. Other signs of water intrusion to look out for include pools of water following rain, salt deposits on the crawl space walls, offensive musty odors, pest/insect intrusion, and peeling paint on the home’s exterior.
Additionally, certain homes are predisposed to crawl space water intrusion. Older homes are more likely to need crawl space insulation due to the presence of ventilation built into the crawl spaces. These tiny ventilated holes that tend to be in the crawl spaces of older homes were intended to increase air access, but instead, they tend to trap moisture beneath the home. Crawl space insulation is also required more often in humid environments, which run a higher chance of moisture entering the home. Additionally, homes that have exposed dirt crawl spaces are more susceptible to water intrusion, making crawl space insulation highly beneficial for these homes. If your home has any of these characteristics, and especially if it has multiple problematic factors, then there is a very high chance that crawl space vapor insulation could enormously protect your property.

Related: Yard Drainage Winter Preperation

vapor barrier

Benefits of crawl space vapor barriers

Vapor barriers work extremely effectively against preventing water intrusion, saving the structure of the home from damage and decay. However, the crawl space insulation process is also able to protect a variety of areas of the home as well. Crawl space vapor barrier insulation deters moisture from collecting on pipes, which can lead to them breaking over time due to rust buildup. The insulation process also greatly lowers the risk of electrical and wire hazards that can occur when moisture mixes with electrics.

Without moisture protection, wires can rust, electrical shorts can occur, and fires can be sparked.
Overall, crawl space vapor barriers are needed to provide long-term protection for your home. In order to guarantee that your home remains healthy and intact, then proper insulation is a necessary measure to take. The protection insulation offers will allow the price of your home to remain steady and even rise over time, guarding your property value in a cost-effective way.

Long-term crawl space insulation savings

Crawl space vapor barriers are long-term investments in the lasting health of your home. Since fungus and other moisture-related issues can spread very quickly, a building can rapidly deteriorate without proper insulation. Poly is an extremely reliable material, so if you wish to cut costs on your crawl space insulation, thinner poly can be used. However, it’s important to use professional-strength “virgin” poly, since poly material you can purchase from hardware stores often is riddled with impurities that decrease its long-term efficiency. Therefore, professional poly insulation can provide decades of insulation benefits, saving the homeowner quite a deal of money through long-term protection.
In addition to protecting the structure of the home and guarding against the entry of harmful bacterias and funguses, crawl space vapor barriers are also lauded for their significant energy savings. Once the crawl space is thoroughly sealed, energy savings can drop by as much as 15% each year. Though this process with be especially beneficial for humid environments, it will also help homes located in dry environments cut energy costs over time.

Related: Ways in which soil can affects your foundation

Ready to get started on protecting your home?

Invest in the long-term health of your structure and avoid water damage repairs by preventing moisture from entering your home in the first place. Crawl space vapor barriers will provide full insulation to keep your home protected from the dangers of water intrusion.

At California Foundation Works, we’ll assist you in selecting, measuring, and installing the perfect insulation for your crawl space. We’re more than happy to answer any and all questions you have about the process!

Call California Foundation Works today
to book your FREE* crawl space inspection!
323-418-2239