You might need foundation repair if..
Symptoms of foundation failure.
Oh, all right. I had my concrete slab foundation inspected last month by a structural engineer. The resulting report has drawings, measurements, recommendations and enough engineer talk to make me wish I had a pocket protector and white tape on my glasses. While we are not in danger of the roof falling in about our heads there is work to be done.
I’ve put a link the inspection report on this page which is also listed in the ‘Pages” menu to your left. The report is of course specific to my humble dwelling alone but should give you an idea of what an engineer’s foundation inspection report covers. Enjoy the savory numbers and tasty diagrams.
Yesterday just before 1 p.m. there came a light rapping at the front door. “Be still my beating heart,” I told myself. The inspector is here!
His name is Mike and he is a licensed structural engineer who’s website described him as just the kind person you want inspecting your slab foundation: unbiased, independent, yet with years of experience in the concrete foundation business. Somehow he seemed taller in person.
Mike came in with his inspector gadgets: a carpenter’s level, clipboard, Stanley Compulevel, a laser “tape” measure, and a solid state voice recorder that he would mutter into now and then as though he was doing an autopsy on my house. (more…)
You hear a lot about tree roots causing concrete foundation problems for houses that sit on expansive clay soils and may be wondering how that can be.
In my travels around the Internet I’ve learned the trouble is two-fold. Large trees can suck huge amounts of water from the soil. If thirsty roots get under your slab, they can reduce the moisture content of the soil and cause settling.
Tree roots under the foundation can also worm their way into the plumbing causing leaks and again changing the condition of the soil under the foundation. Heaving of the slab can occur. (more…)
Do hairline cracks in the concrete slab under the carpeting mean that I need foundation repair? Good question. Edward Robinson runs an engineering inspection company in Houston and here is his take:
“Hairline cracks in a concrete slab, even those found below carpeting are not necessarily a measure of foundation performance. If there are floor cracks and abnormal cracks and separations in the superstructure of a building, then there is cause for concern that should be further evaluated by a qualified professional. Cracks typical of those often found when carpeting is removed can be found in the concrete floor of most garages.”
Use the link above to visit Mr. Robinson’s website. I think you’ll find it informative. Keep in mind it addresses foundation issues in the Houston, Texas area. Having said that, any of us with houses sitting on expansive clay soils are sailing in very similar waters.
The Branyon and Houston-Black clay soils that my neighborhood sits atop heaves and breaks up streets in addition to foundations.
The street two blocks behind me is getting an extreme makeover.
This street feeds a nearby school and takes a fair amount of traffic. School buses, heavy city trucks and normal traffic takes it’s toll on the road.
The city has been putting band-aids on it for some years now, filling in a hole here and dent there. But the time came for a re-build and here is a picture of the project. (more…)