Topics: Signs of Foundation Damage
Buying 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.
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.
Summertime 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.
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.
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.
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.
There are many things that people normally do before selling their home. From sprucing up the landscaping to making minor repairs, you want your house to be as “move-in ready” as possible for the potential buyer. In taking care of their pre-sale checklists around the house, one question we are frequently asked by our customers is, “do we do a free re-check of your foundation before a sale?”
“Should I recheck my foundation before selling my Baton Rouge home” is a perfectly natural question to ask. However, the answer is, no we don’t do free re-checks. There are two major reasons why.
The method we use to fix your home’s foundation is as close to a permanent fix as there is available. The amount of time that elapses from your foundation’s repair until the time you decide to sell your home has no bearing on that repair. Our team at WCK goes to great lengths to make sure that the work we do is done right the first time and there is no need for a re-evaluation.
Beyond that, when we fix your home’s foundation, we offer recommendations to remedy what caused the foundation damage in the first place. If these recommendations are followed, you won’t experience the problems that originally arose. In most cases, all you will experience after foundation repair is some minor settling, but not the symptoms that first brought you to us.
The other major reason why a free re-check of your home’s foundation is unnecessary is that the work we do is backed by a fully transferrable warranty. You can put your house on the market with the added benefit of that warranty. If, down the road, the new homeowners find that they need our services, that warranty is their starting point.
We fully understand that selling your home is a stressful time, and we know that being upfront about work done on the home is vital. But, the work we do will stand the test of time, and the warranty that backs that work is all the assurance your potential buyer will need. Should you have any questions about putting your home on the market when you have previously had foundation work done, call our team at WCK Foundation Repair, and we will be happy to answer them.
When your home needs repair, you want the job done quickly, done the right way, and you want the reassurance that if the problem were to arise again, you won’t have to pay for fixing the same problem over and over. Therefore, most homeowners want a warranty on the work that was done. When it comes to foundation repair, some companies offer very complicated warranties that contain confusing fine print. Our Baton Rouge foundation warranty does not have fine print.
Having a Lifetime Warranty on your drilled shaft piers means that if you experience any settlement on the piers installed, WCK will return to make future adjustments free of charge. This is a rare occurrence but still, it is covered. This gives you peace of mind, knowing your investment in WCK Foundation Repair will be a permanent solution to home movement.
We do make it a point to note that they are your piers. They belong to you, just like any other part of your home. As such, it is important for you to care for and maintain your piers as well as you can. This means ensuring your yard has proper drainage, maintaining your home’s plumbing, preventing water from ponding near them, and making sure they are never exposed and always under dirt. If you have any problems with plumbing, drainage, or any other issue that may affect the condition of your piers, our team at WCK Foundation Repair is always happy to help with recommendations or guidance to make sure you get the most out of our work.
One of the most frequent questions we receive about our warranties is regarding selling your home. This is where there is a big difference between our coverage and some of the other warranties out there. Some companies require that a fee be paid at the sale of the home to transfer the warranty. There also may be a timeframe for which this transfer needs to be done. If these stipulations are not met, the warranty can be voided.
This is simply not the case at WCK Foundation Repair. Our warranty stays with the piers and the foundation for the lifetime of the structure. We don’t even need to know if you sell your home, the work is covered for the buyer just as it was for the original homeowner.
At the end of the day, having a warranty on the work you have done around the house is all about leaving you with peace of mind that should that same problem ever arises again, you will be covered by your initial investment. If you have any questions about our warranty, our work, or your coverage, please feel free to call our team at WCK Foundation Repair and we’ll be happy to help.
There aren’t many things in business more important than teamwork. Granted, everyone needs to be qualified and good at what they do, but if a team can’t work together, it shows up in the work they put out. We believe the right team makes the difference in Baton Rouge foundation repair. If you have worked with us in the past, or have seen our advertising, you know we are the only foundation repair company in the Capital city and surrounding areas that does the drilled shaft method. While we feel that is important, we also feel that the unique team we have brought together is even more important when it comes to serving you.
Every good team starts with good leadership, and we are no different. Mike Wall has been personally doing all slab estimates and warranty checks since becoming owner of WCK in 2002. He is more than just a good salesman, he knows what to look for. He knows the difference in foundation damage and normal cracks. Not only that, he will tell you when it’s not a foundation problem. Honesty goes a long way with Mike, and he believes in treating everyone with that same level of honesty and respect.
Mike trained his son, Jacob, to take on estimates as well. He has been working with WCK since he was a teenager. He worked one on one with his dad since the beginning. He’s had years of experience identifying foundation damage, drilling holes, jacking up foundations and customer service. His employment with WCK is already over eleven years.
Donnie Yarolem is our slab supervisor and has been with WCK for more than eight years. He has the highest record of customer satisfaction on his jobs. He is able to run the field smoothly and train the younger guys on the machines.
Our goal in hiring staff members is to keep them long-term. We want our employees to stick around and make a career here. We believe that the longer they stay, the more well trained they will be on the job. Simultaneously, the longer a team works together, the more they know how to play on each other’s strengths. If you have any questions about our team, or what we do differently at WCK Foundation Repair, please give us a call.
In cooking, it is said that inferior ingredients make an inferior meal. That means that regardless of how you prepare that meal, if you don’t start with the right ingredients, you won’t get the desired outcome. The same is true in our business. If you aren’t using the right materials to repair a foundation, you won’t see the optimal results. It is the combination of ingredients we use in our drilled pier method that make it as successful as it has been. While there are many methods of fixing a foundation, we have found that the drilled pier method is the most effective. But, what sets the drilled pier method apart for a Baton Rouge foundation?
What materials make up those ingredients?
The pier itself is the focal point of what we do. Don’t confuse our piers with the pilings used in the pressed piling method. While those are meant to be stacked on top of one another, our piers are meant to address multiple issues that can arise when dealing with Louisiana soil, while maintaining the structural integrity your home needs. First of all, the pier is made out of re-bar reinforced concrete. This ensures sturdiness while simultaneously going deep enough in the ground to get beneath the active soil. Secondly, the shape of the pier is important as it is wider at the top, which makes it float resistant. In other words, dramatic changes in moisture levels in the ground won’t push it back up. Third, the support of the foundation is concentrated at the bottom of the pier where the soil is naturally its most dense.
Using a steel support along with the pier.
Steel supports, as part of the drilled pier method, are used in large building construction. If they have the strength to be trusted and recommended by structural engineers for a multi-story building, they certainly have the strength to reinforce the foundation of a single family home. But, their strength is just one reason why they are a valuable ingredient. The steel supports we use aren’t susceptible to moisture levels in the ground. Since moisture levels fluctuate the most closer to the surface, they prove to be an effective bridge from the pier to the foundation. They also provide the added benefit of being replaceable if further adjustments are needed down the road.
Of course, the steel supports and re-bar reinforced concrete piers are just the ingredients, you still need the chef to prepare the meal, so to speak. That is where our experience comes in at WCK Foundation repair. With over thirty years’ experience in dealing with Baton Rouge and South Louisiana, we have mastered the recipe of foundation repair. If you have any questions about the drilled pier method, or would like us to assess if you have foundation damage, please call our team at WCK Foundation Repair and we’ll be happy to help.
Baton Rouge and the surrounding area are home to some of the most picturesque landscapes one can find. We have foliage that is as beautiful as it is varied. And, it’s not just the grounds that are beautiful; our trees can be breathtaking as well. From the tall water oaks, to the sprawling live oaks, or the laid back serenity of a bald cypress, our trees can make the wind whistle and make time seem like it’s slowing down.
But, when you are a home owner, some of the most gorgeous trees around can be seen as a threat to your home. Every hurricane season we are reminded of the possibility of trees being toppled. Plus, there is the danger of a tree’s root system growing out to the point where it can damage a driveway from the bottom up, or worse, do the same to your home’s foundation. This naturally gets homeowners thinking about having a tree removed if they feel it poses a threat to their house. But will this solve the problem, or simply open up the possibility of new problems? In other words, can removing a tree affect my Baton Rouge Foundation?
Surprisingly enough, it actually can. But, by taking a few simple precautions, you can help minimize the possibility of that happening.
This may seem like common sense, but after removing the tree and stump, you don’t want to leave a hole in your yard. Some people will just refill the whole with dirt or topsoil until it is level with the yard and then plant grass seed and think they’re done. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Because of the expansive root systems of most trees, there will be sinking that goes on for some time after the tree is removed because as what’s left of the roots decompose, there will be many smaller voids left behind. If the tree was close enough to your house and you weren’t protected with a root guard, this can cause further settling under your foundation. When you replace the soil, you want to refill the hole until there is a mound about a foot taller than the rest of the yard. As you refill the hole, you should pack the soil down, and even water it. This will help it settle where it needs to be faster.
When it comes to planting grass after the hole has been filled, you may want to consider waiting until the ground has settled a bit. Otherwise, you may end up having to continually refill the hole over the grass you have planted.
While the void in the ground may cause some short term settling and sagging, the more likely way having a tree removed can affect your home is with future drainage. First of all, trees absorb a lot of water. Removing a tree means your yard will reach its saturation point sooner. This could mean standing water hangs around longer after a rain storm. It also means that the soil under your home will expand, contract, and generally shift more with inclement weather. The best way to avoid this is to improve the drainage in your yard to help avoid oversaturation.
While the trees in our yards provide shade, curb some of Louisiana’s heat, and are beautiful to look at; when it is time to have one removed, you want to make sure you aren’t creating new problems while eliminating old ones. If you have had a tree removed, and think that the hole that was left behind has affected your home’s foundation, please call our team at WCK Foundation Repair and we will be happy to come give it a look.
Many would say that 2016 has been a very trying year. We saw tragedy strike in many different forms. Not the least of which was the devastating flood that submerged most of our little corner of the country. The flood of 2016 exposed a number of issues in and around Baton Rouge; and for home owners, many uncovered issues of their own. With that in mind, as 2017 nears, we thought it would be a good idea to review what 2016 revealed about Baton Rouge Foundations.
Just when it seemed that our city and our region had taken all the emotional hits it could throughout the summer, the second week of August brought even more. Flood waters engulfed much of East Baton Rouge and Livingston Parishes, leaving many home owners with nothing more than studs, their foundation, and a roof. Amid the devastation, folks got an up close look at what was under their floors, and some didn’t like what they saw. Many people discovered small cracks in their slab, but some discovered something much worse.
One of the many things the flood did, was leave our soil saturated for an extended period of time. When this happens, it has the potential to loosen that soil. When the soil loosens, it can move. This can lead to shifting in your pier and beam foundation, or further settling in a slab. Ultimately, these things can lead to foundation damage. A lot of the foundation damage was already there. Once homeowners had to remove their floors, they were able to finally see it.
What possibly made a bad situation worse, was the dry spell we had after the flood. Once the flood loosened the soil, and the water subsequently evaporated, there was room in the ground for the soil to move. Raised homes that escaped direct damage were then subject to potential foundation movement after the fact.
Another issue homeowners faced once the flood waters receded was out of town workers swooping in to make repairs. Many people hired contractors they didn’t know, or in the case of their home’s foundation, repair companies they couldn’t rely on. At WCK, we stand proudly on the fact that we are born and raised in South Louisiana. This means that not only do we know the soil on which your home is built; but we also know what it means to stand by our work when fixing our neighbors’ homes with a lifetime, transferrable warranty.
As home owners in Baton Rouge rebuilt, one of the takeaways before getting settled back in was that the signs of foundation trouble should not be ignored. If you have cracks in your walls, doors that don’t fully close, or windows that don’t open (to name a few), it is best to have your home inspected to learn the extent of the damage. If you have questions about your foundation, please give our team at WCK Foundation Repair a call and we’ll be happy to come take a look.
When you find evidence that you may have foundation damage, you know it’s time to call in a professional. But, before you have just anyone come out to your home, you should have an idea of what they will do once they get there if repairs are needed. Here at WCK Foundation Repair, we use the drilled pier method to repair your home’s foundation. However, others may offer a different method. You shouldn’t agree to let someone work on your home without knowing the dangers of using the wrong foundation repair method in Baton Rouge.
There are essentially three other popular methods of foundation repair that are often offered. Each of these methods will be presented to you explaining their benefits, or more likely, how they will be utilized. But, each has a down side that all too often gets overlooked. The reason they have a down side is that in Louisiana, we have a unique soil make up that isn’t fully addressed by them.Pressed Piling Method
While very popular throughout many parts of the country, pressed pilings overlook the instability that comes with Louisiana soil. Put simply, pressed pilings are a stack of concrete pilings that stretch from your slab down through the active soil until they reach more stable earth underneath. Pressed pilings provide the depth you need, but not the width. If the active soil shifts, there is nothing holding them stable and upright, which can lead to movement or even collapsing as the soil expands and contracts. This movement can lead to further foundation damage. There is also the possibility of porous concrete pilings absorbing moisture and deteriorating themselves.Mudjacking
Mudjacking involves pumping a cement grout (or in some cases foam) into a small hole or several small holes drilled near the crack in the foundation. This only fills in current gaps without truly solving the problem that led to your foundation in the first place. It will basically make the problem of your current foundation crack temporarily go away without addressing the root cause of what made your foundation crack to begin with.Spread Footing Method
The problem with the spread footing method is that it doesn’t go deep enough to get beneath the active soil. The spread footing method, like mudjacking, will appear to make the problem disappear, but since it only goes two to three feet into the ground, it lacks the depth to be considered a permanent solution. Like pressed pilings, this could get the job done in an area of the country where soil is denser or doesn’t move as much as ours does, but here, it shouldn’t be trusted long term.
We use the drilled pier method for repairing your home’s foundation. Where mudjacking or spread footing doesn’t go deep enough below the surface of the ground, the drilled pier method goes up to eleven feet deep, or until a change in the soil is found. What the pressed piers lack in stability, our drilled pier method utilizes rebar reinforced piers. This sturdies the concrete to alleviate the potential for shifting or collapsing. With over thirty years of experience dealing exclusively with Louisiana soil, we have found this to be the most effective method to fix your home’s foundation for the long term. If you have any questions about the drilled pier method, or want to ask about the pros and cons of other methods, feel free to give us a call at WCK Foundation Repair.