The WCK Foundation Repair Blog

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

How Does Baton Rouge Weather Affect My Foundation

Posted by WCK Foundation Expert Team on Oct 27, 2016 10:59:57 AM

raining on house.jpegIf you have experienced foundation problems in the past, or are currently seeing some of the tell-tale signs that you currently have foundation damage, your first thought is likely about getting it repaired. Beyond that, you will probably want to get to the cause of the foundation problem to prevent it from returning. While there are a number of possibilities for the cause of foundation damage, one of the most frequent is the weather. Naturally, the next question to ask is. How does Baton Rouge weather affect my foundation?

The weather of the summer and fall of 2016, have taken their toll on homes in the area, but have also given us a very clear example of how foundation damage occurs. The simplest answer to the question involves the moisture levels in the soil our homes are built on. In Louisiana, and South Louisiana especially, we have very rich, alluvial soil. While this type of soil is great for plant life, it can make things tricky for a home owner. When we see extremes in weather, as we have this year, these issues come to the forefront.

In August of this year, we experienced record rainfall in a very short period of time. In fact, experts at the National Weather Service and NASA classified it as a “1000 year” rain event. In the simplest possible terms of explanation, we were left with a lot of water that had nowhere to go and as a result, we experienced catastrophic flooding.

But, when it comes to your foundation, the flood wasn’t the end of the battle. Believe it or not what has happened since the flood can be just as detrimental. Following a very wet July and August, September and October have been very dry. This is when foundation problems can rear their head. When we experience very wet months, our soil absorbs as much moisture as it can. This year, that was to the point of saturation and beyond. When the soil absorbs the water, it expands. When the moisture levels in the soil drop, the soil subsequently contracts. This movement is often the cause of foundation problems.

If your home is on a slab, you can be left with a void where soil was previously well packed. That void can lead to an uneven sinking or sagging in your slab. This can lead to a major crack as your slab is not meant to bend and you are left with cracks in your walls, windows that stick, or other signs you see both inside and outside your home that tell you foundation problems have occurred. If your home is raised, meaning you likely have a pier and beam foundation, those beams can shift with the moving soil and the same symptoms show up.

Even though we are now a few months removed from the flood, that doesn’t mean foundation problems are out of the question. The process may have started, but has yet to show the undesirable results that may occur. As we move into cooler, drier months to close out 2016, now is the right time to be on the lookout for potential foundation damage.

If you do see some signs that lead you to believe you have foundation problems, you should call someone immediately to assess the damage. What’s more, since our soil is unique in Louisiana, you don’t want to trust that assessment, or any potential repairs, to someone who isn’t familiar with that uniqueness. With over thirty years of experience in Baton Rouge, we know the ground your house is built on. As a member of the Greater Baton Rouge Association of Realtors, and a member of the Capital Region Builder’s Association, our knowledge and expertise is unparalleled locally. If you have any questions, or would like us to get a first-hand look at your foundation, feel free to give us a call at WCK Foundation Repair.

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Topics: Signs of Foundation Damage

Does Stucco Damage Equal Foundation Damage?

Posted by WCK Foundation Expert Team on Feb 4, 2015 9:34:00 AM

Does Stucco Damage Equal Foundation Damage?Louisiana homes are nothing if they aren’t unique in their variety of design and materials.  The melting pot of culture and history that is Baton Rouge finds much of its architectural influences from the French and Spanish.  One of the most distinct features of many homes in our area is stucco.  As with any building material that is tested by our climate and soil conditions, stucco can have its common problems. 

 

 

Let’s cover what stucco damage can look like.

  • Cracks
  • Crumbling
  • Bulging
  • Thin spots
  • Blistering

There are a variety of causes for these unsightly stucco issues.  Some can stem from poor installation, while others can point to more pressing, structural issues.  It is important that when you notice any of these signs, you take a closer look at other areas of your home.  While these could be indicators of structural movement, more often than not they are a result of siding or material issues. 

For peace of mind or a confirmation, you can inspect around your home for other cracks or concrete damage.  Look for brick and mortar damage, check for doors and windows that stick or uneven floors.  Any of these conditions in conjunction with the aforementioned stucco problems could indicate deeper foundation issues.  Otherwise, your marred stucco can likely be attributed to poor lathing, flashing or implementation. 

You can save some time and stress from connecting common stucco issues to foundation problems by taking other factors into account.  Superficial cracks or blistering can be caused by a variety of factors, most of which don’t link back to foundation distress.  However, if you notice cracks, crumbling or bulging in conjunction with other common signs of foundation damage, it may be time to have a trusted, local foundation repair company inspect your home.

For over 30 years, WCK Foundation Repair has been helping Baton Rouge homeowners identify and fix foundation problems.  Using the only proven method for south Louisiana’s expansive soil, and standing behind their work with a transferrable lifetime warranty, WCK can restore your home’s safety and value.  For more information, click here.  

7 Signs of Foundation Repair in Baton Rouge

Topics: Signs of Foundation Damage

Ascension Parish Foundation Problems: Tile Floor Damage

Posted by WCK Foundation Expert Team on Jan 27, 2015 11:38:00 AM

Ascension Parish Foundation Problems: Tile Floor DamageWhether it’s in your kitchen, bathroom, laundry room or throughout your home, there is likely some tile somewhere.  It can be the floor in the foyer, your shower, around your fireplace; no matter where it is, if you notice some problems, it could be much bigger than just a bad batch of tile.  Foundation problems can present itself in a number of ways, not to be omitted is a sudden issue with your tilework.

While some tile problems can be an issue totally unrelated to your foundation’s condition.  If you notice some sudden, or not so sudden, changes with the structure of your home, or the condition of its materials, it can likely be attributed to a greater force than a poorly installed mosaic. 

One of the most detrimental things that can happen to your Ascension Parish home is foundation damage.  There are many telltale signs of foundation problems, but if they go unnoticed, they very well may begin to appear inside your home..  Here are some common tile problems that could mean bigger issues than those that are appearing on the surface.

  •          Loosened Tile: Delaminated and debonded tile is the major cause for tiles to come loose.  Tiles that sound hollow or come completely off of the substrate, or mounting surface, have become debonded to some extent.  The reason this happens is due to moisture and the natural expansion and retraction of the material.  While this can be accounted for with control joints and soft joints, it could also point to a foundation problem.  Any leaks or excess moisture that are damaging your tile, can also create issues for your foundation, especially if you have a concrete slab.
  •          Cracked Tile and Grout: If you notice cracks in your grout, they will eventually lead to cracks in your tile.  Both types follow cracks that are occurring in the substrate.  As the concrete slab that the tiles are positioned upon cracks and becomes compromised, so do the grout and tile.  
  •          Moisture:  Moisture is a major issue for any part of your home.  This can often occur when tile is installed in the bathroom.  A punctured membrane, poor sloping and porous backerboards can all lead to excess moisture.  When water has a chance to infiltrate the tile, it can wreak havoc on other areas of your home and cause dry rot, mildew and major foundation and concrete issues.

While tile problems can be frustrating and unsightly, they can also point to bigger problems.  With that being said, tile and grout damage can also simply be an isolated issue.  It is important to monitor other areas of your home for signs of foundation damage.  Doors and windows that won’t stay opened or closed, sloping floors, interior and exterior cracks in the walls, along with these common tile problems can indicate foundation damage.  For over 30 years WCK Foundation Repair has been repairing and restoring the safety and value of homes in Ascension Parish and all across south Louisiana.  For more information, click here.

7 Signs of Foundation Repair in Baton Rouge

Topics: Signs of Foundation Damage

Livingston Parish Foundation Damage: The Impact on Wood Floors

Posted by WCK Foundation Expert Team on Jan 14, 2015 11:30:00 AM

Livingston Parish Foundation Damage: The Impact on Wood FloorsNo vacuuming, smooth classic appearance, sliding across it in your socks.  These are just a few of the wonderful benefits of having hardwood floors in your home.  In addition to being a beautiful element, these hardwood floors can also tell you if you have foundation damage.  Here are a few things that can happen to wooden floors that may point to a deeper problem.

Wood Floor Problems

  • Crowning: This occurs when the center of the floor appears to be higher than the edges. This can be caused by excess moisture.  If there is excess moisture impacting your floors, it is likely affecting other areas of your home.
  • Cupping: This typically happens gradually and appears as the edges of the individual floorboards appear higher than the center.  This is again a sign of excessive moisture from a leak, poor drainage around the structure or the subfloor remaining wet.  Leaks and poor drainage are significant factors for foundation damage as well.
  • Gaps: A space between the slats or boards of the floor.  Usually this a reaction to an increase or decrease in humidity. 
  • Loose/Squeaky boards:  As the structure on which the floors are built shifts, it can move the floorboards causing them to become loose and also make noise.  As the clay-laden soil that our south Louisiana homes are built upon presses against the foundation, the pressure will cause the house to move.  Loose and/or squeaky floorboards can signal this.

While there are many signs of foundation damage, one key indicator could be right under your feet.  It is also a great reminder of the peripheral damage that can occur from a damaged foundation.  While the foundation can be repaired, any damage to the woodfloors, walls, roof or other parts of the structure that were caused by the foundation would still need to be addressed.  That’s why it is always a good idea to monitor and inspect both the interior and exterior of your home for signs of foundation distress.  For over 30 years, WCK Foundation Repair has been helping homeowners in Livingston Parish and all across south Louisiana repair their foundations and restore the safety and value of their homes.  For more information, click here.

7 Signs of Foundation Repair in Baton Rouge

Topics: Signs of Foundation Damage

4 Ways You May be Damaging Your Covington Foundation

Posted by WCK Foundation Expert Team on Nov 1, 2013 9:25:00 AM

4 Ways You May be Damaging Your Covington FoundationWe all do everything we can to take care of our homes.  After all, it’s our most valuable asset.  But in spite of our best intentions, our desire to make a house a home can get the best of us.  It can also get the best of your foundation over time.  Below are 4 common occurrences that homeowners do that can, over time, cause significant damage to their foundation.

  • Interior renovations & remodeling:  Expanding and adding rooms or removing walls or windows has substantial impact on a slab’s performance.  The foundation was formed to support a specific weight and balance.  Some home redesigns aren’t optimal for the existing foundation, and these shifts can be a cause for repair. 
  • Overwatering your yard:  Our homes in Covington, and all along the north shore and the Baton Rouge area all sit on very expansive, clay laden soil.  With this being the case, overwatering your lawn, or dramatic amounts of rain (which we are all accustomed to) causes the soil around your home to expand.  This expansion causes a tremendous amount of pressure to be exerted against your foundation.  And of course as the soil dries during the heat of the day, this soil retracts.  Its this constant pulsing that causes serious foundation issues.  Of course we all have the desire to own the greenest yard on the street and between bouts of drought and rain we have a fine line to walk.   However, it is very important you maintain a consistent amount of water in the soil around your home.
  • Poor swimming pool installation:  What would we do with the kids without the convenience of a swimming pool in our own backyard?  Swimming season lasts an awfully long time in south Louisiana.  As early as March, as late as October.  However, if you have a pool in your backyard, or are considering it for next summer, there are some important things to remember.  No matter how well your pool is designed and installed, there is going to be some amount of water that seeps from it.  Keeping the pool an appropriate distance from your home is very important.  Also ensure the pool company is adequately waterproofing your pool.  Under protected pools release a lot more water into the soil, allowing it constantly expand and press against your foundation walls. 

These are just a view items that can unknowingly be doing more harm than good.  If you’re noticing any signs of foundation distress, consider if any of these activities could be the culprit.  For any questions or an estimate, WCK Foundation Repair specializes in damage caused by our unique soil, and have been educating homeowners and repairing homes for over 30 years.

5 Most Common Causes of Foundation Probl

Topics: Signs of Foundation Damage

Where Did That Crack in My Slidell Foundation Come From?

Posted by WCK Foundation Expert Team on Sep 4, 2013 3:29:00 PM

Where Did That Crack in My Slidell Foundation Come From?Heading into the fall is a great time of the year to give your home’s foundation a glance.  With the summer rain storms we’re accustomed to here in south Louisiana, there can be a dramatic impact on your foundation.  As things dry out heading into autumn, take a quick look around the visible areas of the foundation.  Look behind your landscaping and cover your entire home.  The effect of months of rain, humidity and high temperatures on our soil can mean damage.

The soil that our homes are built on in the Baton Rouge and North Shore area of south Louisiana is comprised of clay.  Rain and groundwater soak into this expansive soil causing it to expand and as it dries, it contracts.  As the water intrudes and activates the soil against your home it can generate 20,000 pounds of pressure on a foundation wall.  The soil expands and presses against the foundation, then eventually dries out and retracts, creating a constant pulsing that wears down concrete.  New Orleans homes have similar problems; however due their proximity to sea level and the water table, effective repair methods differ greatly from what homes in Slidell, Covington, Abita, Mandeville and Hammond require.

With cooler temperatures around the corner, this is a time of the year when the effects of soil movement can be exaggerated by raising and dropping temperatures.  With these fall weather conditions, if you have any speculation that you may have foundation damage, these elements can cause small problems to quickly deteriorate into big ones.  It is normal to see cracks grow rapidly this time of the year.  If you notice a crack get wider, or grow longer than 1/2” you will want to have a trusted foundation specialist check it out.

So in between kickoffs over the next few weekends, take some time to examine the state of your foundation.  If anything concerns you remember the drilled pier method is the most effective for your home on the North Shore or greater Baton Rouge area.

7 Signs of Foundation Repair in Baton Rouge

Topics: Signs of Foundation Damage

6 Reasons Why WCK & LSU Baseball Keep Winning

Posted by WCK Foundation Expert Team on Jun 7, 2013 11:14:00 AM

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It’s no coincidence that the LSU Tigers are hosting their 2nd consecutive NCAA Super Regional this weekend at Alex Box Stadium.  It’s also no coincidence that WCK Foundation Repair has become the premier foundation repair company in South Louisiana.  As the Tigers look to claim their 7th College World Series title, their 2nd in 5 seasons, let’s take a look how Coach Mainieri & WCK have each built successful programs, on and off the field.

Thriving businesses, just like successful teams, aren’t easily made.  Both take a significant amount of work, time and skill to develop that winning formula.  Coach Paul Mainieri has brought his LSU Tigers to the pinnacle of college baseball by instilling these 6 factors in his program.  The same 6 elements parallel with what Mike Wall & WCK have been doing for years.  Again it’s not a fluke they both continue to hit the ball out of the park.

1.)    Talent:  In order to win, and continue winning, you need to have the best people.  Coach Mainieri does that by continually bringing in the highest ranked recruiting class each season.  Evidence of that this year is Aaron Nola, sophomore, being named SEC Pitcher of the Year, and Alex Bregman, freshman, being named SEC  & NCAA Freshman of the year & NCAA Baton Rouge Regional MVP.  The Tigers also set a school record for players named to the All-SEC team.

WCK has the same all-star caliber talent in place.  When it comes to something as critical as your home’s foundation, you can’t settle for anything less than the best.  That’s why the team at WCK hires the best, most professional, knowledgable and skilled crew.  To prove it, WCK offers a lifetime, transferrable warranty.

2.)    Process:  Once that talent is in place, it needs to develop on the baseball diamond.  For your home’s foundation, that talent needs to have the best resources & methods available to remedy any issue.  Last year LSU’s All-American pitcher, Kevin Gausman, wrapped up his Tiger career as the #4 overall draft pick to the Baltimore Orioles.  That is a testament to the LSU process.  At WCK, our pier drilling technique is the most successful foundation repair method for Louisiana soils.  Our talented team knows this process inside and out.

3.)    Commitment:  The collegiate baseball season stretches from February to June.  When you include the offseason conditioning, practice and training, it takes a substantial commitment from each player, coach, manager and staff member to keep that one goal of making it to Omaha in mind.  WCK Foundation Repair has an unending commitment as well; to the residents of south Louisiana.  WCK was born and bred on the bayou, and with no plans to expand beyond the great state of Louisiana, their lone goal and commitment is to folks of the Louisiana and any foundation problem they will ever have.

4.)    Leadership:  It’s no accident the Tigers have won a school record 54 games this season.  A key factor to that success is the leadership of head baseball coach Paul Mainieri.  The 2009 NCAA Coach of the Year has continued to be a tremendous influence in the dugout and in the community.  Just like a successful team, a successful business starts with great leadership.  Mike Wall of WCK comes from a family background in the foundation repair business.  His vision is to help Louisiana residents with any foundation issues.

5.)    Passion:  Successful coaches and athletes are passionate about their sport and leave it all on the field.  It’s tough to beat a team playing with passion.  The same is true at WCK.  WCK Foundation Repair is passionate about making a difference in the lives of our neighbors in south Louisiana, each and every day.  Our commitment to improving homes puts a smile on the face of our team members.  WCK will go the extra mile to ensure that your foundation is done the right way the first time.  A lifetime, transferrable warranty and our expert staff exemplify WCK’s passion year round.

 6.)    Fans/Customers:  For the past few decades, LSU has been the home to the greatest college baseball fans in the nation.  That holds true today, as last Saturday’s regional game drew 10,752 people, an Alex Box Stadium record.  WCK is the “Home” team.  We want our customers to be raving fans just like the LSU baseball fans in Baton Rouge.  Just like the Tigers put a winning product out on the field each spring, WCK puts a winning product under your home each and every time.

LSU baseball and WCK are a winning combination.  These qualities and more keep WCK & the Tigers in the spotlight.  

7 Signs of Foundation Repair in Baton Rouge

 

Topics: Foundation Repair, Warranty, Drainage, Method, Estimates, Signs of Foundation Damage, Services, Foundation Repair Companies

Homeowner's Guide To Getting Foundation Repair in Baton Rouge

Posted by Cherie Malbrough on May 9, 2013 10:59:00 AM

foundation repair baton rougeFoundation Repair can be a big job. Our aim is to partner with you so we can get the job done with the least amount of damage to your landscape and the interior to your beautiful home. We have developed a quick checklist that you, the home owner, can help us to prevent any type of major damage or headache for you.

  1. Protection of Plants and Landscape - While not always the case, there are many instances where we are able to maneuver our equipment into tight spaces to allow for the conservation of nearby plants and trees.  Because of the nature of our job, we certainly have to be near the edge of the foundation of homes.  However, we make every effort to maintain the beauty of the current landscape of the home.  Also remove and patio furniture and other yard items that could be obstruct the repair

  2. Remove All Items From The Wall – Your prized plague, the favorite painting from your niece, and all other treasured items should be removed from your walls. The walls will get a bit shaky as we repair the foundation of your home. We try to do the least amount of damage to the outside of your home as possible, but we also want you to consider the inside as well. By removing all items from the wall, we can do our job without you worrying about the family portrait above the mantle that you care so deeply about.

  3. Utility Damage Prevention - Obviously, when a foundation repair company starts a job at the property of a homeowner, the utilities and power lines become a concern.  At WCK Foundation Repair, we are able to install our piers into the ground without any damage to the utilities.  This prevents any additional headaches on the part of the home owner.

  4. Post Project Clean Up - This is a major complaint of many homeowners towards the foundation repair business.  When the average foundation repair company is done with the repair of a home, they walk away with numerous dirt piles still on the homeowner’s property. This leaves extra work on the part of the resident and often times leaves a bad taste in the mouth of the homeowner towards the foundation repair company.  At WCK Foundation Repair, we not only consolidate all your dirt into one neat and central pile, we will also haul it away for the homeowner.  With this act, we will leave the homeowner's property nice and neat, and more importantly, we will have a happy customer at the end of the project. 

WCK is always ready to go the extra mile to be a full service foundation repair company for your job. We promise to not just show up, make a mess and leave you to deal with clean up. With this simple checklist, you can have peace of mind for you, your pocessions, and your property will be well taken care of. For any questions about our process, call (225) 664-5956 to speak with one of our experts. You can also download a quick guide to see if your home is in need of foundation repair.

 

7 Signs of Foundation Repair in Baton Rouge 

Topics: Foundation Repair, Signs of Foundation Damage, Services

How Do I Know For Sure That This Is Foundation Problems?

Posted by Cherie Malbrough on Mar 26, 2013 3:22:00 PM

Foundation Problems Baton RougeSome signs of a foundation needing repairs are obvious. Problems such as a slanted floor, for example, can be caused by little else. However, a variety of issues with your house can indicate a problem with the foundation, not all of which are obvious. Only a professional can tell you whether your house has a foundation problem, but knowing what signs to look for can help you fix any foundation problems quickly. 

Causes of Foundation Problems


Foundation problems are caused by instability of the soil which lies underneath your house; the soil sinks or rises unevenly, causing the house to move unevenly along with it. The most common causes of foundation problems are:
  • Under slab plumbing leaks occur in cast iron or concrete pipes, which are more common in old houses; this type of leak can create a gap between the soil and the slab foundation
  • Poor compression of soil during the building process will usually cause problems within 1-5 years
  • Clay soil can continually swell and shrink as it becomes inundated with water, causing foundation problems; clay soil is dominant in Louisiana, and most of the foundation problems we see are caused by this issue
Signs

Foundation problems can be seen in either the floor, the walls, or other structures, and either inside or outside the home. If you notice the following issues in your house, you should contact a professional regarding house foundation repair and diagnosis:
  • Slanted or uneven floors
  • Trouble opening, closing, or latching doors and windows
  • Cracks in the walls or moldings
  • Separation between wall and ceiling or floor
  • Caulking, wallpaper, or sheetrock that curls or cracks
  • Cracks in the bricks on the outside of the house
  • Uneven posts or puddles of water in the basement or crawl space
While some of these issues can be caused by other problems in the home, such as wood rot, they all warrant further investigation by a professional.

House Foundation Repair 

The earlier you catch a house foundation problem, the better. House foundation repair is quite effective, and can prevent further damage to the frame. Once the issue is repaired, the house regains its initial market value, making repair a strong investment for homeowners.

The longer a foundation issue goes unaddressed, the more extensive damage becomes and the more repair is needed. Choosing an excellent house foundation repair company is key when you are looking to address this problem.

WCK Foundation Repair is always here to keep you informed and protected against foundation problems. If your home is showing signs of foundation problems, call (225) 664-5956 to take the first step towards repairing your home's foundation. You can also download more information by clicking on 7 signs of foundation repair below. 

7 Signs of Foundation Repair in Baton Rouge

Topics: Foundation Repair, Signs of Foundation Damage