The WCK Foundation Repair Blog

Walker Foundation Repair: 4 Ways to Avoid Foundation Damage

Posted by WCK Foundation Expert Team on Dec 15, 2015 8:30:00 AM

Dollarphotoclub_44973301_1.jpgTo avoid pulling a muscle it’s a good idea to stretch before you run.  To avoid heatstroke, it’s a good idea to hydrate well before mowing the yard in the middle of a Louisiana summer day.  To avoid car problems, it’s a good idea to have your oil changed regularly.  All of these “prerequisites” are fairly common knowledge.  There are countless ways to prevent issues when it comes to any activity through maintenance and observation.  Your Walker home’s foundation is no different. 

When it comes to foundation damage there are several things you can do and look for that can help to keep your foundation, and home safe and healthy.  Here are four ways to avoid foundation damage:

1.) Proper Downspouts: Clean and clear gutters will only work as well as the downspouts they are attached to.  This is the key element that brings water away from the home.  If your downspouts don’t channel water away from the foundation 5 to 10 feet, rain will inundate the soil around your foundation creating pressure and causing damage.

2.) Standing Water: Beyond poor performing downspouts, other signs of potential trouble also stem from water.  If you notice standing water or areas along your foundation where water is slow to drain, these could be red flags.  These parts of your yard make it easy for the soil to expand and contract.  As the soil pushes and pulls away from the foundation, damage can occur.

3.) Roots: While roots from large trees can grow and create pressure against your foundation, the real danger they pose comes as they draw water from the soil.  Tree and shrub roots planted near your home will take whatever water they can find, especially during a drought.  As this water is drawn away, it can cause your foundation to settle and sink unevenly.  To prevent this, plant trees and other shrubs with deep roots away from your home.

4.) Grading: This is one of the most important elements when you design your home or make any repairs.  If grading is done poorly from excavation or other home improvements, it can actually channel water toward your foundation.  A properly graded home should slope by six inches every 10 feet.  This will ensure that any water is taken away from your home.

These are only a few ways that you can prevent foundation problems for your home.  These are also easy to notice and fairly simple to remedy.  Another important part of foundation repair is selecting the right company for the job.  For over 30 years WCK Foundation Repair has been helping homeowners restore their home’s value and safety.  WCK uses the only proven method to repair foundations built upon south Louisiana’s unique soil.  They also stand behind their work with a fully transferrable lifetime warranty.  Click here for more information on the signs of foundation damage.

7 Signs of Foundation Repair in Baton Rouge

Topics: Maintenance and Prevention

Baton Rouge Foundation Repair: 3 Ways to Remove the Fear

Posted by WCK Foundation Expert Team on Jul 30, 2014 2:24:00 PM

Baton Rouge Foundation Repair:  3 Ways to Remove the FearWe’ve all had that feeling of apprehension, of nervousness, for lack of a better word, fear.  Whether you’re dropping your car off at a mechanic to get that strange noise checked out; or if you are waiting on the doctor’s office to call with test results, the uncomfortable uneasiness can’t end soon enough.  Of course there are varying degrees of this type of fear.  Everything from negotiating whether the milk in your refrigerator is still good on the expiration date to replacing the transmission in your car offer different sizes of pits in your stomach; the same is true when it comes to making a significant repair to your home. 

Your house, the place your family lives, likely your biggest purchase and most valuable asset, can occasionally need some maintenance.  These different tasks and needs also range from fairly innocent, like a new coat of paint to quite significant, like a foundation repair.  When it comes to the structural integrity, safety and value of your home, the process of a major repair can be quite stressful.  Fortunately, this doesn’t need to be the case.  When you entrust your home to a qualified, trustworthy company, it can be a good experience.  Here are 3 ways to remove the fear from foundation repair.

1.)    Fully transferrable lifetime warranty: When you are selecting the foundation repair company for your home, you can also select the peace of mind that comes with protection from a warranty.  One thing that can ease the tension of this important process is knowing that the company you’ve chosen will stand behind their work for the life of your home.  It is also important to understand your responsibilities to maintain the warranty, as well what is actually covered.  WCK Foundation Repair’s fully transferrable lifetime warranty is exactly that.  By following a few simple preventative steps and maintaining the repair and conditions around your home.  This will be one process you only need to worry about once.  Many foundation repair companies claim to offer transferrable and/or lifetime warranties but require a number of hoops to jump through and precise steps to be taken that often result in the warranty being voided.  

2.)    Proven, effective method:  There are a number of factors that play into foundation damage in south Louisiana.  Our unique, expansive, clay-laden soil can wreak havoc on the concrete foundations that support our homes.  There are also a variety of methods that different companies use in an attempt to correct these issues.  The cost among these different methods will vary.  While the less expensive may seem more attractive initially, they can often lead to more problems and higher overall costs.  For foundation repairs from Zachary to Saint Francisville and east to Hammond to Covington, the drilled pier method is the ideal foundation repair method.  Foundation companies that serve the New Orleans area and further south employ a different method that is suitable for their soil and elevation conditions, but won’t work well for homes even as close as the north shore.  Mudjacking is another common process used to correct concrete and foundation damage.  Again, this is not the best way to handle foundation issues.  Opting for the drilled pier method leveraged by WCK can assure that you are making the best decision for your home and the environment it sits upon.

3.)    Experience:  Just as you wouldn’t want an inexperienced doctor performing surgery on you, you wouldn’t want an individual tending to the structural stability of your home.  Many construction companies and foundation repair businesses, in an effort to cut costs, have been hiring and cycling through employees, which means there is relatively little experience on any given crew.  If you can find a foundation repair company that values the experience, insight and knowledge of the people actually out there in the field, that is the company for you.  Being able to negotiate the number of variables that can occur in this process and make the best decisions for the homeowner, while delivering the quality results of a restored foundation, should be the number one priority.  WCK Foundation Repair is proud to have a long tenured team with experience in every element of the foundation repair process.

These are three key considerations that can make having your foundation repaired a much more pleasant process.  The less you have to worry about, the better.  With a transferrable lifetime warranty, the best process in place for your home and an experienced team to get the job done, your peace of mind about the repair can be has high as your peace of mind after it's complete.  WCK Foundation Repair has been educating homeowners and restoring foundations for over 30 years.  For more information, click here.     

7 Signs of Foundation Repair in Baton Rouge

Topics: Maintenance and Prevention

Why South Louisiana Foundations Shouldn't Use Pressed Piles

Posted by WCK Foundation Expert Team on Nov 21, 2013 10:04:00 AM

Why South Louisiana Foundations Shouldn't Use Pressed PilesA lot of foundation repair companies like to recommend and implement pressed piles to remedy foundation damage.  The reason these companies often push this method on homeowners is because it is a fast, cheap and profitable strategy for the contractor.  That sounds like a lot of benefits, unfortunately not for you.  This is only a temporary remedy. 

There is a reason WCK only offers the drilled pier method for foundation repair in our area.  It is a proven, permanent answer for foundation damage in the Baton Rouge area.  Foundation repairs will often be one of the biggest expenses you, as a homeowner, will ever have.  There is no sense in settling for a temporary fix, only to have to revisit the same issues in the future.

Here are four main reasons to avoid pressed piles for the repair of your home’s foundation:

1.)    These concrete cylinders cannot resist uplift.  So the essential element in the process is vulnerable to further shifting.

2.)    The installation of these piles can cause further and greater damage to your foundation.  The hydraulic jacks used to drive these cylinders into the ground can greatly compromise other areas of your foundation.

3.)    The pressed pile method is an unproven practice.  As opposed to the drilled pier method which effectively repairs foundations in our clay laden soil, pressed piles have no such track record.

4.)    These piles can be implemented at an angle, there is no way to verify a true vertical alignment.  Inserting these pilings incorrectly, with no way to ensure they are done correctly only opens the door for more issues to follow.

These are just a few of the glaring issues that pressed piles open up for your damaged foundation.  The initial offer may seem like a no brainer.  However when you consider the future repairs that are likely to follow, you’ll end up spending more in the long run.  Opting for a proven and effective method of repair, like the drilled pier method will save you not only money, but stress. 

7 Signs of Foundation Repair in Baton Rouge

Topics: Maintenance and Prevention

Why You Shouldn't Wait to Have Your Louisiana Foundation Assessed

Posted by WCK Foundation Expert Team on Nov 12, 2013 11:28:00 AM

Why You Shouldn't Wait to Have Your Louisiana Foundation AssessedIn the long line of things you have to do around your house and in the long list of bills waiting to be paid, having your foundation repaired is likely near the end.  However, when it comes to your home’s safety and value, procrastinating on having your foundation’s health assessed can create many more headaches than it saves. 

When you notice or realize that you may have, even the slightest, foundation issue, time is no longer on your side.  Those small cracks, sticking doors or windows and uneven sidewalks become ticking time bombs.  In fact, not only will the damage to the concrete walls increase, but other aspects of your home that are susceptible to your shifting foundation will suffer damage

It’s not uncommon that as the foundation shifts, areas of your home will move up or down, in turn placing stress on the rest of the structure, like floors, walls and even your roof.  So imagine putting off the necessary repair work on your foundation, only to do it years later and realize you now need a new roof and interior contracting work done as well.  Not a pleasant outlook right?

In fact putting off, at what initially could be, inexpensive foundation repairs can end up costing you 10’s if not 100’s of thousands of dollars.  A failing foundation can cause cracks in mortar that causes bricks to fall from the exterior of the home, crack windows and cause damage to the overall structural integrity of your home.  Again all of these potential consequences occur slowly over time, but if ignored long enough, have a very real possibility of happening.

By understanding the causes of foundation damage in south Louisiana and recognizing the signs that your home may require foundation repair is a great way to protect your greatest asset.  The best way to protect, not only your foundation, but the rest of your home, is to seek the expertise of a trusted, knowledgeable foundation repair company that specializes in our unique, local soil.  WCK Foundation Repair has been educating homeowners and taking care of south Louisiana homes for over 30 years.

7 Signs of Foundation Repair in Baton Rouge

Topics: Maintenance and Prevention

How Does Your Livingston Foundation Age?

Posted by WCK Foundation Expert Team on Oct 16, 2013 11:04:00 AM

How does your livingston foundation age?After a long hot summer, we’ve finally made it autumn.  Soon the leaves will be changing and the weather will be cooler.  As another year starts to wind down, it’s important to take a look and understand how your Livingston home’s foundation is aging.  Just like with any part of your house, things wear down and need maintenance, repair and replacement.  Just like light bulbs needs to changed and paint needs to be freshened up, certain areas of your foundation are more susceptible to time than others.

For your foundation, problems typically stem from two areas:  poor soil or poor construction. 

Homes built with low-grade concrete and/or porous mortar will ultimately hold more moisture and degrade more quickly as the years pass.  Another main construction concern for your home can stem back to when the foundation was actually poured.  Obviously the soil would have been removed from the build site, and after the pour, it was likely backfilled with that same soil.  A lot of complications can happen in this phase.  If not done correctly, or spread unevenly it can create and exaggerate problems as the soil shifts and settles.

Expansive soil, like that found in our area of Louisiana, can be a major culprit of foundation damage.  The south Louisiana soil from the Baton Rouge area (East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, Ascension, and Livingston Parishes) and east across to north shore cities like Hammond, Ponchatoula, Covington, Mandeville and Slidell is laden with clay.  This type of soil reacts very aggressively to moisture in the ground. 

When the soil in our area is in a dry spell, it shrinks and retracts from the structure, removing support.  However when the moisture returns to normal, or above during a wet period, the soil can expand up to 10 times or more of its normal volume.  The added volume exerts an upward and lateral force on your foundation.  If your home is not equipped with proper drainage, guiding rainwater away from the foundation, these issues are only exacerbated.

Both of these factor into how well, or poorly, a foundation will age.  You can help curtail these effects by ensuring good drainage around your home and also doing regular inspections around your foundation.  Growing cracks, uneven floors and sticking doors and windows are all tell-tale signs of bigger issues.  

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Topics: Maintenance and Prevention

Do Your Due Diligence for Your Baton Rouge Home's Foundation Warranty

Posted by WCK Foundation Expert Team on Sep 24, 2013 11:03:00 AM

do your due diligence for your lousiana foundation warrantyHaving the foundation of your Baton Rouge home repaired can be quite an ordeal.  There’s no doubt it is vital to the health and value of your home, but it is also important to know that the process doesn’t end when the trucks and equipment leave your driveway.  The elements and variables that breach the integrity of your foundation will continue.  With that being said, it’s important you understand your responsibilities as the homeowner to prevent future damage.

A quality, caring, premier foundation repair company will stand by their work.  The most emphatic way to do this is by offering a lifetime, fully transferrable warranty.  This practice assures the homeowner of a couple key things.  First, they are getting high quality work done on the most critical part of their home.  Second, should, if for any reason, the repaired foundation resettle, it will be covered.

While the repair is done well, and the peace of mind is great, there are some important measures that need to be followed.  For the drilled-pier method, which is ideal for south Louisiana homes in the Baton Rouge and north shore area, the good thing is that these are very easy steps to take and will make any potential corrections much easier.

-Keep the holes over the piers covered with dirt.  It can be easy for the dirt covering these piers to wash away in a storm or from a pet investigating.  However it is imperative to keep these covered with dirt to prevent water from collecting on the piers.

 

-No water should collect or stand around the slab.  This is a key factor in the cause of foundation damage.  As water collects around your home it causes the soil against your foundation to expand.  As it dries, the soil will contract.  The next time it rains, it will expand again.  This constant pulsing causes damage to the foundation. 

 

-Ensure proper drainage/run-off.  Drainage and plumbing issues are the cause of most re-shims.  It is the responsibility of the property owner to ensure adequate drainage/run-off of water from the property.  Water should always flow away from the structure.

 

By following these few simple tips, you can keep foundation in great condition.  By equipping your home with guttering, run off and water collection should be an easy task.  Landscaping around your home can also keep the holes over the piers properly protected.  Down the road, continued care of your foundation will pay dividends for the repair in which you’ve already invested.  

7 Signs of Foundation Repair in Baton Rouge

Topics: Foundation Repair, Maintenance and Prevention

Ground Game: A Foundation for Tiger Football and Your Louisiana Home

Posted by WCK Foundation Expert Team on Aug 28, 2013 9:54:00 AM

Ground Game:  A Foundation for Tiger Football and Your Louisiana HomeThis Saturday the LSU Tigers take the field in Arlington, Texas to kick off the 2013 NCAA football season.  There’s no doubt the Tigers have high aspirations as they face off against the 20th ranked Horned Frogs of TCU, in front of a national television audience.  This will be the LSU’s first game with new offensive coordinator, Cam Cameron.  While Tiger fans are excited for an improved, high flying offensive, it’s important to remember the foundation of a powerhouse SEC program, the ground game.

LSU has built a consistent, elite program over the past decade.  Much of that is due to a stifling defense and a stable of running backs.  Much like LSU has created an offensive foundation on the ground, the ground game for your home’s foundation is equally important. 

Between game planning, walk throughs and stepping on the field for that first offensive possession, months of preparation will be put into motion.  Preparation against defensive schemes, as well as the unique elements of playing in Cowboys Stadium will all be put to the test.  The synthetic turf is going to yield different approaches and results from the athletes on the field.  Just like the surface in Dallas varies from the turf in Death Valley, depending on where you live in south Louisiana, the ground that supports your foundation can yield different results. 

For homes in the Baton Rouge and North Shore region of Louisiana, foundations sit on good, solid, deep clay.  However in the New Orleans area and coastal parishes, the shallow depth of the water table creates a different type of environment for your foundation.  With such drastic differences of the soils in these regions, different methods for foundation repair aren’t just ideal, they are necessary.

Just like when the Tigers lace up their cleats at home in Tiger Stadium or on the road at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, they’ll have longer spikes for better traction.  However when they take to the turf in Cowboys Stadium or at the Sugar Bowl in the Mercedes-Benz Super Dome, shorter cleats will be more appropriate.

As you can see depending on the game’s location, footwear and strategy vary.  The same is true for your home’s foundation.  When it comes to foundation repair, the methods used in specific conditions change from region to region based on soil elements.  In the New Orleans area the water table rests one to two feet below the surface.  To combat this, the pressured pile method of foundation repair is used.  These pilings can be pressed into the ground to depths of 70 feet or more.  At this depth you can find more solid clay.  For the New Orleans and coastal Louisiana region this is the only effective method for their type of soil.  However the pressured pile method is quite ineffective further north, even on the North Shore.

For foundation repair in Hammond, Covington, Mandeville and Slidell, as well as the greater Baton Rouge area, the drill shaft method is recommended.  With firm, sound clay reaching depths of 20 feet, your home can be raised to its original grade where structural steel supports are placed on each pier, securing your home, and correcting foundation issues.

When the LSU equipment managers load up the truck for a game, they are sure to provide the Tiger ground game with the proper tools for victory.  Even if they are only heading down the road from Baton Rouge to New Orleans, they understand there is a big difference waiting for them on the surface.  The same is true for your home.  Even if you live right across the lake, a pressure pile method foundation repair company won’t be the answer to your foundation issues, just like shorter spikes won’t win the battle in the trenches for the Tigers when they play on a natural surface. 

When your home’s foundation needs repair, remember the importance of the ground game.  Enjoy the football season and hopefully we’ll be watching the Tigers lace up those cleats in Pasadena this January.

7 Signs of Foundation Repair in Baton Rouge

Topics: Maintenance and Prevention