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The Price of Foundation Repair

Foundation breakdown can be tremendously dangerous if left uncorrected for too long. Unfortunately, the signs of a failing foundation usually present themselves once the problem has already become severe. These signs include cracked walls, uneven floors, cracked tiles, and windows or doors that do not open and close properly. If experience any of these foundation issues in your home, it is best to call a professional foundation contractor to schedule an inspection in order to find out if any further action should be taken.

Foundation failure is often caused by the soil beneath the building. Usually the challenging soils contain clay. Once the clay is wet, it often dries differently in some areas causing your foundation to move or settle. The factors that contribute to moisture in the soil range from weather, poor drainage, plumbing leaks, and even tree roots.

A common solution for a damaged foundation is called piering or underpinning. Piering is the process of lifting and stabilizing a building’s foundation. There are usually two styles of steel piers used for this; helical and resistance piers. Both are acceptable, though each are designed for a specific type of foundation. A certified foundation repair specialist can help you decide which piering system is best for your home.

Resistance piers are hydraulically pressed straight down into the soil with the weight of the structure acting as a counter balance. These piers go down until they reach a layer of soil hard enough to support it. These types of piers work best in situations where the structure that needs to be raised has a very heavy load constraint.

Foundation piers attach to the base of the foundation with special brackets and extend through the settling and unstable soil layers, transferring the weight of your home to competent soils or bedrock. If possible, the home is also lifted back to its original, level position.

While it can be a costly expense to stabilize a foundation, if your home is destroyed by foundation failure the cost would be devastating. The price of piering or underpinning can vary depending on several factors including the type of piers needed or how deep the piers will need to be installed. This is not a job where you want to go with the cheapest company around. RamJack Systems of Southwest Indiana has been fixing foundation issues in the Tri-State for over 30 years.  We offer expert residential, commercial, and new construction foundation repair services. If your home is showing signs of foundation issues, contact us today for your free foundation repair estimate.



Landscaping tips for a healthy foundation

Spring is about to be upon us and with that comes landscaping.  While you may or may not be planning a big outdoor project, there are a few things to keep in mind so that you don’t harm your house in the process of trying to upgrade it.  Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

1.  If you are going to be creating a garden or flower bed, make sure they slope AWAY from your foundation.  And, if you have a flower bed already in place by your home make sure the ground is sloping downwards away from the home.  If water is not directed away from the foundation, it can pool and cause the soil to swell creating an uneven surface.

2.  Don’t plant trees and bushes too close to your foundation.  Make sure to account for how large they will be at full maturity and plant that distance from your home.  Also keep in mind that roots from plants can grow quite deep, which can cause foundation damage.

3.  Make sure the plants near your home are watered regularly. While this might seem to go against what you think, plants – especially trees – near your home can take all of the water away from the soil causing soil shrinkage.  Your foundation needs a healthy balance of moisture to remain level, so make sure everything is correctly watered near your home.

4.  Keep flower beds and gardens well mulched. This helps the soil’s moisture level to stay balanced and not fluctuate.

5.  Confirm that your flowerbeds aren’t covering drainage outlets or weeping holes, which allow extra moisture to escape.

6.  Do not completely cover your foundation with plants.  Leave three to four inches of the foundation exposed above your landscape for safety.

For any foundation landscaping questions, call the experts – RamJack Systems of Southwest Indiana – at 812.842.0728. 

January is the Month to Test

As you know, Radon Systems of Indiana is a strong advocate for radon testing in homes, businesses, and schools.  In the month of January, we support this by offering our Cash for Testing program, in support of the Environmental Protection Agency naming January as National Radon Action Month.

According to EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin, “testing for radon is the best way to know if people in your home are at risk from this cancer-causing gas.  Radon is a problem that can be easily fixed, and I urge all residents to test their homes. If your home is impacted by radon, it is fairly easy to fix.”

Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer amongst non-smokers – with 21,000 people dying of radon-induced lung cancer each year in the United States. Radon occurs naturally from the decay of uranium in the soil and can accumulate to dangerous levels inside a building.  Radon is a nationwide problem that can be found in any building that has ground contact.  This includes homes, schools, apartments, condos, commercial buildings, and offices.  Even mobile homes and homes and buildings without basements have a potential for having high radon levels.

Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas. Unlike other gasses, it cannot be seen or felt by normal senses. The only way to know if your home has high levels is to perform a radon test.   These are specially designed kits take just 48 hours to detect the level of radon that exists in the lowest level suitable for living in the home.

It is important to note that in order to get accurate results, the tests must be administered according to specific protocols set by the EPA and state health departments. The best way to ensure a valid test is to hire a licensed and or certified radon testing professional (Radon Systems of Indiana). Each state has its own set of requirements for radon professionals so it is important to check with your state EPA or Health Department to make sure your professional is fully licensed and certified.  Click here to find a licensed professional (or just call Radon Systems of Indiana at 812.842.0728 – we’re the only licensed radon mitigation professional south of Indianapolis). 

100 Ways to Waterproof

With the rise of the DIY channel, the internet, and product availability, everyone is a DIY expert. So, why is it necessary to call an expert when you want to waterproof your basement? Surely you can do it yourself, right? Wrong.

While there are literally 100 ways to waterproof your basement, nine times out of 10 they only work for a short period of time. Why? These methods never take into account the PRESSURE from which the water is entering your home. Why does this matter? Pressure put forth by the water is how it is able to flow into your home. There are two types of pressure that cause water to move – hydrostatic and lateral.

Hydrostatic pressure has to do with the water table, or the level of water in the ground where your home is positioned. There are a number of factors that play into the water table including the proximity to bodies of water and the frequency and intensity of rains or snowmelt. If you live in the Tri-State area, you are used to the periods of very wet weather that we are prone to. So, if it’s a particularly rainy year and the ground can’t soak up all the water, the water table rises and creates hydrostatic pressure which then enters your home in a crack or hole in your foundation walls or floor and into your basement or crawlspace.

The second type is lateral pressure. It’s dependent on how the soil around your home drains. If there happens to be a lot of clay in the soil (which is common in this area), the soil won’t drain as well and absorbs water and expands. Also, the area 10 feet around the home where the footers were originally placed and the soil was backfilled and looser, and is often overwhelmed with rain water when the home’s gutters are clogged or when downspouts are in the ground and pushing large volumes of water right next to the foundation. When this happens, the soil expands and creates lateral – or sideways- pressure against the foundation which causes basement leakage.

NOTE: Anything that can happen to a basement, can happen to a crawl space…which is basically a short basement, albeit likely with a dirt floor.

Now, back to the subject of this blog. Cruise a local hardware store or the internet and there are hundreds of ways to fix this. Here are the things to keep in mind about the most popular methods…

Most of them, if not all, are very, very temporary. A sump pump; interior sealants and coatings; water drainage solutions; and more, repair the problem for the time being. If you want something permanent – you need to call the expert: Your Basement Solution.

Your Basement Solution not only offers PERMANENT waterproofing solutions, in addition to indoor air quality systems, foundation repair, radon testing, and basement finishing systems. We truly are the one-stop shop for all of your basement (and crawlspace) needs. Why not work with the area’s leading basement solutions provider for the past 30 years?

Call (812) 842-0728 to speak to a LOCAL, LICENSED professional today!