The WCK Foundation Repair Blog

Poor Drainage in Baton Rouge: How It Can Damage a Foundation

Posted by WCK Foundation Expert Team on Nov 13, 2018 3:58:00 PM

commercial drainage in baton rougeLouisiana’s climate and geography can cause problems for a building’s foundation.  When soil becomes too full of moisture, shifting and moving of the ground can be uneven and extreme. These shifts are one of the leading causes of foundation damage to commercial facilities in south Louisiana. Effective drainage systems are the best defense to combat these issues.

 

 

 Preventative Measures for Drainage Issues

In some cases, measures have already been taken to reduce the risk of water pooling up around the foundation of your business. Your landscaping may be structured with a downward slope and trenches dug into it allowing water to flow into a storm drain, ditch, or nearby reservoir.

Keeping these trenches maintained and free from blockage and debris is one easy step to successfully keeping water far away from your foundation. While this can reduce the amount of water that soaks into the ground, channeling the ground water away from your facility and away from the foundation is important. There are many ways this can be done:

  • Extending downspouts- Spouts that drain rain water from your roof pour water into the ground. Extending the pipes at the base can reduce the amount of rain water that soaks into the ground near the foundation.
  • Mind holes close to the foundation- Some pets will dig holes very close to the edges of your foundation which will fill with water. Work on training your pet to not dig or make sure that any holes dug closely to the foundation are filled.
  • Plant bushes, small trees, or flowerbeds and shrubs around the edge of your foundation- Shallow-rooted plants not only add visual appeal to your yard but will soak up excess moisture in the soil, as well as catch and absorb falling precipitation before it ever touches the ground.
  • French drains- These perforated pipes are buried in the ground and used to catch ground water and carry it into another drainage system.
  • Place drainage pipes in low-sitting areas of the yard- if you have dips in your yard that seem to catch and hold large amounts of water, installing a drainage pipe is an easy fix to divert the standing water.

If you find that you may have drainage problems on your property, WCK Foundation Repair offers services to help remedy these issues before they cause damage. Our professional repair team has worked in Louisiana’s unique climate to fix and prevent foundation problems.

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Topics: Drainage

Paying for Foundation Repair in Baton Rouge: Financing and Other Options

Posted by WCK Foundation Expert Team on Sep 13, 2018 2:40:00 PM

paying for foundation repairIn south Louisiana the potential for foundation damage at your home is increased to our unique, clay-laden soil.  With a wet climate, this expansive soil can wreak havoc on concrete slabs, as well as pier and beam foundations which are common in this part of the state.  If you’ve noticed cracks in your foundation, walls, or ceilings, or doors and windows that won’t close or stay open, you may have foundation damage.  This can be a scary feeling and the most important thing you can do is get an estimate to have your foundation repaired.  After an estimate from a qualified professional you’ll have the information you need to make the best decision for you home.  But, as with anything, it will come with a cost. 

So now you know the issue, and you know the solution, how do you pay for it?  Foundation repair costs can range based on the severity of the problem.  Delaying repairs can extend the amount of damage, eventually costing even more in the long run; there is even the increased chance of causing structural damage to your home.  Fortunately there are a few options you when it comes to paying for foundation repair.

Paying for Foundation Repair with Cash

Of course cash is always an option.  Depending on the extent of the damage to your foundation, dipping into savings can be your best bet.  However for more expensive repairs this may be not be feasible.

Paying for Foundation Repair with a Home Equity Loan or Line of Credit

A home equity line of credit, or home equity loan can be a convenient and affordable way to fund your foundation repair.  Leveraging the equity in your home can provide the cash you’ll need to restore your home’s safety and value.  A home equity loan will give you a lump sum with a fixed rate.  A HELOC, or home equity line of credit, is similar to a credit card.  This allows you to access money when you need it and pay it back as you wish.

Financing Foundation Repair

Many foundation repair companies have financing options available for homeowners.  If you don’t want to use the equity in your home, or your savings, financing packages can be a great way to pay for your foundation damage.  There are even 0% interest options that can save you money. 

While foundation damage can be an intimidating situation, knowing that there are options for paying for the necessary repairs can make it easier.  It is also important to trust a qualified, professional company that understands the different challenges that are present in south Louisiana.  WCK Foundation Repair uses the only proven method to repair foundations built on the soil in our part of the state.  All of WCK’s work comes with a transferrable lifetime warranty, and financing options are available.

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Topics: Costs and Financing

Baton Rouge Foundation Repair: When is the Best Time to Fix Foundation Damage

Posted by WCK Foundation Expert Team on Aug 30, 2018 1:33:47 PM

Baton Rouge Foundation Repair: When is the Best Time to Fix Foundation DamageThere are certain times of the year that are perfect for something in particular.  These activities can range from planting certain flowers and crops to taking different trips to different locations; timing is even more important when it comes to your foundation.  As the climate changes throughout the year, the threat level and potential for damage can ebb and flow.  South Louisiana’s tropical climate and unique, clay-laden soil makes this especially true for homes in the Baton Rouge area and along the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain.

Different weather patterns from drought to deluges, from scorching heat to hard freezes all impact the soil that supports your home’s foundation in varying ways.  This is why it is so important to recognize the signs of foundation damage, and have it addressed as soon as possible.

Common Signs of Foundation Damage

  • Cracks in walls
  • Cracks in floors
  • Cracks in bricks
  • Doors that won’t stay open or closed
  • Windows that won’t stay open or closed
  • Uneven floors
  • Sagging floors
  • Gaps in door and window frames
  • Cabinets separating from the wall
  • Damp crawl space (in pier and beam homes)

What Time of the Year Should You Have Your Foundation Repaired?

The different seasons can create and exacerbate any and all of these symptoms.  Because of the influence that the elements have over the health of your home’s foundation, time is of the essence to prevent a small issue can become a large one. 

During the summer months, which seem to last most of the year, foundation damage can be accelerated by either drought, or a significant lack of rain.  This situation dries out the soil around your home, forcing it to contract, allowing your foundation to shift.  Large amounts of rainfall, which is also common, will force the soil to expand, exerting pressure on the foundation, also creating movement and damage.  Both of these, or any combination of these events can both create, and increase foundation damage.    

The fall, no matter how limited it be, is a great time to have your foundation repaired.  The weather becomes more predictable, and it gives you enough time to have the work done before the holidays.  The winter months in south Louisiana can be unpredictable.  With ice, rain, and low temperatures, these conditions can complicate an already compromised foundation.  It is best to address any issues before winter, but if that is when they are discovered, quickly repairing is the best option, no matter what the calendar says.

For over 30 years WCK Foundation Repair has been helping homeowners restore the safety, heath, and value of their homes.  WCK uses the only method recommended by structural engineers to correct the damage caused by south Louisiana’s expansive soil.

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Baton Rouge Residential Lawn Drainage Services: Tips for a Dryer Yard

Posted by WCK Foundation Expert Team on Jul 25, 2018 10:21:00 AM

drainage solutions in baton rougePoor drainage around your home is not only a nuisance and an eyesore; it can do some serious damage.  Aside from killing your grass, poor drainage is a leading cause of foundation damage is south Louisiana.  The unique, clay-laden soil that our homes are built upon reacts to excess moisture, as well as a lack of moisture. 

When the soil expands it creates a building pressure on the concrete slab that is your foundation; it can also wreak havoc on pier and beam foundations.  The opposite effect occurs during a prolonged dry spell.  As the soil dries, it retracts away from both slabs and piers, removing support.  Furthermore, a continuation of this pattern can cause the soil to essentially pulse against the foundation, creating new and additional damage.

Controlling the drainage in your yard is the first step to protecting your home’s foundation from damage.  Here are a few quick ideas that can improve your drainage.

  • French Drain

A French drain is a versatile way to solve a number of different drainage issues.  This type of drain can disperse water over a large area through a buried, perforated pipe. 

  • Extend the Downspout

One of the easiest solutions to drainage problems is extending the downspouts around your house.  This channels water away from the foundation. 

  • Add a Drainpipe

One of the best ways to remove water from a low spot in your yard is with a drain pipe.  This allows water to drain away through an underground pipe. 

If you have drainage issues, or if you think you may have foundation damage, contact WCK Foundation Repair today.  Not only does WCK offer a free estimate on your foundation, they use the only proven method to repair foundations in our unique environment, backing it up with a transferrable lifetime warranty.  WCK also offers drainage services that can prevent foundation damage. 

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Topics: Drainage

Pier and Beam Foundation Homes: How Do You Decide How Many Piers are Used?

Posted by WCK Foundation Expert Team on Mar 29, 2018 1:57:58 PM

Pier and Beam Foundation Homes: How Do You Decide How Many Piers are Used?It’s common to have a lot of questions when it comes to foundation repair.  This is a major, and important process for the safety, health, and value of your home.  After the when, why, and how are answered, some more detailed and personally pertinent questions may come to mind.  For homeowners that have a pier and beam foundation, one thing you may be curious about is how many piers need to be used to repair your foundation.  Obviously the more piers that are used, the higher the cost of the repair will be.

The answer to this question depends on a number of things.  Of course affordability is an important concern, and in many cases your foundation repair company can work with you on this.  This is really the only reason to do a repair in sections.  As an example if your repair calls for 10 piers, but doing 5 is more financially feasible, the repair can be done over time.

However, requesting that needed piers be removed from an estimate or repair strictly to save money on a house that is either being sold, or flipped is a problem.  Occasionally investors or home sellers will attempt this to save money and time.  However, this puts the new homeowner in a bad position.  They are buying a home with a partially repaired foundation, and a warranty that doesn’t cover the unrepaired areas. 

If you are considering buying a home that needs foundation repair, or has had the foundation repaired, do your due diligence and confirm that a complete repair was done.  It is also a good idea to get a second opinion.  For over 30 years WCK Foundation Repair has been repairing and restoring the foundations of homes across south Louisiana. 

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Topics: Method

What Does a Realtor Need To Know About Foundation Repair in Baton Rouge?

Posted by WCK Foundation Expert Team on Feb 9, 2018 9:42:36 AM

What Does a Realtor Need To Know About Foundation Repair?Many assume that the job of a REALTOR® is as easy as buying and selling houses when in fact, there’s a lot more to this line of work. One of their most important tasks is to keep the buyer or the seller as calm as possible. This means that the bumps in the road a homebuyer might face during this process of buying or selling a home is to be absorbed by the agent.

One of the most stressful bits of information can come from the inspection of the home. A good REALTOR® will stick around through the inspection to keep their client in the loop on any repairs that may need to be made before the house can be deemed a good purchase.

Damage to the foundation of a home is one of the most significant possible finds in a home inspection, so it is very important to be proactive and understand the severity of foundation damage. However, REALTORS®, buyers, and sellers need to know a few things if this is discovered.

Identifying and Recognizing Problems with The Foundation:

The best advice is to be aware of the signs of foundation damage. Many of these indicators are visible and obvious. Here’s what you should look for:

  • Cracks in walls, floors, or ceiling
  • Doors that stick or do not open and close properly
  • Sagging or upheaved floors
  • Dampness or moisture in crawl spaces
  • Stair step cracks in the exterior brick mortar

What Should You Do If You Find Foundation Damage?

Neglecting to fix problems found in the foundation of a home can cause damage to floors, walls, roofs, and the interior. Acting quickly is your best line of defense. This is not always as scary or as daunting as it may seem. It is still very possible to buy and sell homes that need foundation repair.

In situations where you are buying a home, the previous homeowner’s insurance may cover the repairs based on the scenario. It is also possible to buy the home at a cheaper price, have repairs made, and turn the property into a very lucrative opportunity.

In selling a home, it is best to remain calm for your client and be honest and inform them of any damages and what repairs would entail. Help your client to seek out workable solutions. Get a quote from a professional foundation repair company, such as WCK, so that something like a crack in the foundation does not prevent them from buying their dream home.

As a realtor, you want to lookout for your clients. Home inspection can be daunting but knowing what to look for and that the professionals at WCK Foundation Repair are here to help you with quality work and customer satisfaction should give you some peace of mind.

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Topics: Buying or Selling Homes

Questions to Ask Foundation Repair Contractors: Do I Need an Engineer?

Posted by WCK Foundation Expert Team on Nov 17, 2017 1:07:17 PM

Questions to Ask Foundation Repair Contractors: Do I Need an Engineer?There are a lot of questions that come up when you are considering foundation repair for your home.  When it comes to the safety, value, and structural integrity of your house, you don’t want to overlook, or not consider something.  One common question that comes up is, “do I need an engineer when doing foundation work?”

95% of the time the answer is “no”.  Now this doesn’t mean that you can’t or shouldn’t, it just tends to not be necessary in most situations.  There are however certain scenarios where insight from an engineer can be beneficial.

Times to consider consulting an engineer for foundation repair
  • There are complicated circumstances. Your foundation repair contractor should notify you.
  • If you are selling or buying a home with minor foundation damage, you may want to consult an engineer.

  • Commercial buildings should consult a structural engineer.

  • If it is unclear if the damage is being caused by the foundation or framing.

While there will be an additional cost involved with using an engineer, it can also provide additional peace of mind.  However for the overwhelming majority of residential foundation repairs, it is not necessary to hire an engineer; it is however necessary to hire a skilled, experience, trustworthy foundation repair company.

For over 30 years WCK Foundation Repair has been helping homeowners across south Louisiana.  WCK uses the only proven method of foundation repair for the unique soil in our part of the country.  If you suspect that you have foundation damage, consult with WCK for a free estimate.

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Topics: Method

5 Major Causes of Foundation Problems [Infographic]

Posted by WCK Foundation Expert Team on Sep 20, 2017 12:23:59 PM

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Topics: Signs of Foundation Damage

Should I Buy A Baton Rouge Home With Foundation Damage

Posted by WCK Foundation Expert Team on Aug 16, 2017 10:46:29 PM

Dollarphotoclub_35364155.jpgBuying a home, especially an older one, can be a very trying task. Your family has its list of needs and wants. Often, the right neighborhood is at or near the top of the list. But, it is usually difficult to find multiple homes that meet your needs, and are for sale at just the right time in your desired subdivision. That usually means either compromising on your wish list, or moving forward on a home that has experienced some sort of damage in the past. Leading to the question, should I buy a Baton Rouge home with foundation damage?

There are some problems with homes that are so detrimental to the home’s value that you should walk away. A few examples of this are when termite, fire, or other damage affects the actual structure of the home. When it comes to needing foundation repair, this isn’t usually the case. If you see signs of foundation damage, ask the owner if they have had problems in the past, and what they have done about them.

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If they haven't had any foundation damage repaired, you can renegotiate the price of the house to offset the cost of the repairs. While this isn’t ideal for the seller, it is easier for them to agree to this than to sit on a house that needs work that is being neglected. Especially when, with a problem like foundation damage, ignoring the issue can actually make it worse.

If they have had work done, they should have a lifetime transferrable warranty to offer. A warranty doesn’t mean you are guaranteed to never need work again, but it is a good starting point for some peace of mind. The real work comes in what was done after the foundation repair. Ask the owner if the foundation repair company gave them any instructions to prevent the damage from recurring. If they have, you should be ok. If they have not, this too can be factored into a renegotiated price.

Ultimately, the final choice is up to you. If you feel that the house is your dream home, the problems you discovered can be overcome, and you have been proactive about solving them, then it should be easier to move forward. If you feel that the home needs further inspection by a professional, contact our team of experts at WCK Foundation Repair, and we will be happy to assist you.

Top 3 Things a Realtor Should Know About Foundations

Troubleshooting Yard Drainage Problems In Baton Rouge

Posted by WCK Foundation Expert Team on Jul 25, 2017 12:32:13 PM

water in yard.jpegSummertime in south Louisiana means frequent rain and a recurring threat of tropical weather. This means that your yard’s drainage will be put to the test on a regular basis. This is important to your home’s foundation because drainage problems can affect the density of the soil around your home, which can lead to foundation damage. The normal amount of water activity in the ground shouldn’t pose a threat to your foundation, but prolonged periods of saturation, followed by dry spells could mean a different story. That is why troubleshooting yard drainage problems in Baton Rouge could prevent larger problems down the road.

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Identify your drainage problem

When you see standing water in your yard, you know you have a problem. But, that doesn’t mean the water itself is the problem. The water is merely the symptom. The real issue is that the water has no place to go. So, identifying your drainage problem really means finding out why the water isn’t moving towards a ditch, sewer, or in some way, away from the house.

Plan a drainage solution before implementing it

There are many options that can help your yard drain properly. But, the best option varies from situation to situation. Because of this, you want to consider which drainage option is best suited for your situation. You will want to consider the shortest path to get the water from point A to point B. you will want to take into consideration anything blocking the water’s path; be it a tree, gazebo, or any other permanent or semi-permanent structure in your yard. The last thing you want to do is start tearing up your yard to install better drainage, only to find out it has to be rerouted.

Install your drainage as soon as possible

Whether the problem can be solved by simply extending the downspouts on your gutters, or if you need to dig a pipe or French drain system, you don’t want to procrastinate. Some people think that the yard needs to be completely dry before getting to work, but that is not so; and for many reasons. First and foremost, the problem only gets worse the longer your house is exposed to it. Also, you want to be able to test your work sooner rather than later to find out if it is effective. Naturally, you don’t want your yard to be so saturated that it leads to sloppy work, but considering the summer forecasts in Louisiana, you know that if you put it off for too long, it’s just going to rain again before long.

Once your drainage problem has been solved, monitor the effects. Is it actually moving the water away from your home? Are you finding the ground closest to your house to be less squishy? If so, you have likely averted a much more drastic problem. If you have any questions about how drainage can affect your foundation, please contact our team of experts at WCK Foundation Repair and we will be happy to answer them for you.

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Topics: Drainage