The WCK Foundation Repair Blog

Covington Foundation Repair: Getting Your Home Ready for Hurricane Season

Posted by WCK Foundation Expert Team on Jul 6, 2015 10:44:11 AM

Covington Foundation Repair: Getting Your Home Ready for Hurricane SeasonThe first tropical system recently made its way into the Gulf of Mexico. While it created plenty of wind and rain for our neighbors to the west in Texas, it is also a great reminder to us in south Louisiana to make sure our homes are ready for hurricane season. Of course stocking the pantry, testing the generator and checking flashlights are all important, but hours and days of rain can take quite a toll on your home’s foundation as well. Here are a few tips to make sure your foundation is protected.

  • Check for standing water: The soil that our homes are built on pose a serious threat to our homes. It is full of clay and expands with moisture. Anywhere you see pooling water is a place where soil can swell and create pressure against your foundation. If you have any troublesome pools near your home, you may want to check for other signs of foundation damage if they have been there for a while.
  • Check for dry areas: In the same sense, during a dry spell the soil that supports the foundation can shrink and retract. So while we don’t want too much water, keeping equilibrium is very important. Watering dry spots in between rain spells can prevent huge swells when the next shower comes through.
  • Clean gutters: The way water is channeled away from your home is crucial. The points made above can all be mitigated with clean gutters. Gutters that are clogged with leaves, sticks and other debris will force water to spill over, consequently landing and collecting directly next to the foundation. This constant precipitation can wash away valuable soil as well as force it to expand and create pressure.
  • Check downspouts: Clean gutters can only be as effective as your downspouts. While the gutters collect rain water, the downspouts channel it away from the vulnerable areas of your home. It is important to make sure these spouts are clear and strategically placed. If you notice water ponding at the end of a downspout it may be time to extend or move them.

While it is important that you consider all of these tips year round, the wet climate that Louisiana summers and subsequent tropical systems bring make them all the more crucial. This is also a good time of the year to take inventory of the common signs of foundation distress.

  • Slanted floors
  • Sticking doors and windows
  • Cracks in bricks
  • Cracks in concrete
  • Windows and doors that won’t stay closed

These are only a handful of the signs of foundation damage. A complete list can be found here. If you have noticed any of these now is the time to have your foundation looked at and get an estimate from a local, trusted foundation repair company that understands our area’s unique conditions. If these problems exist now, a tropical storm or hurricane could only exaggerate them, making for a more costly repair.

For over 30 years, WCK Foundation Repair has been helping the homeowners of south Louisiana restore the safety and value of their homes. With the only proven method for homes on the North Shore, WCK’s drilled pier is ideal for the soil along the I-12 corridor. Foundation repair companies in the New Orleans area are specialized for that unique soil, which is drastically different from the Covington area. With a fully-transferrable lifetime warranty, WCK stands behind their work and is focused on supporting the community. For more information, click here.

7 Signs of Foundation Repair in Baton Rouge

Topics: Weather

Zachary Foundation Repair: The Impact of Cold Weather

Posted by WCK Foundation Expert Team on Jan 20, 2015 1:00:00 PM

Zachary Foundation Repair: The Impact of Cold WeatherWe’ve all walked out to the driveway after a very chilly night, gotten in our car and been greeted by the low tire pressure light.  Of course, it’s not because you ran over a nail, it’s because the air in the tire contracted due to the cold weather, making it flatter.  A very similar thing happens with the soil that our Zachary homes are built upon. 

The soil in south Louisiana is a clay-laden, expansive soil.  So as it gets wet it expands and creates intense pressure on the foundation walls of our homes.  In the same token, when the weather changes and it gets very dry, or very cold, the soil contracts.  It is this constant pulsing that can create foundation damage.

In Louisiana, while we don’t often get ice or snow, but we do get rain throughout the year.  In the colder months the rain combined with low nightly temperatures can create a damaging environment for your home’s foundation.  There are some measures you can take to combat these conditions during the winter, just as you would during the spring and summer.

  • Look for areas where water collects:  If you notice a place in your yard where water pools, this could point to a problem area as the soil becomes saturated and expands.
  • Keep gutters clean: Having a sound drainage system to channel water away from the house is key to keeping your foundation healthy.
  • Monitor for signs of damage: Cracks in the foundation, uneven floors, windows and doors that won’t open or close, cracks in bricks and more all point to foundation problems. 

While the colder temperatures during winter can accelerate some existing foundation problems, especially when ice is involved, there are steps that can be taken to prevent damage from occurring.  For over 30 years, WCK Foundation Repair has been caring for south Louisiana homes.  With the proven method to combat the damaging effects of our soil, and a transferrable lifetime warranty, WCK is committed to restoring your home’s safety and value.  For more information, click here.

7 Signs of Foundation Repair in Baton Rouge

Topics: Weather

Preparing your Baton Rouge Foundation for a Tropical Storm

Posted by WCK Foundation Expert Team on Oct 9, 2013 10:51:00 AM

Preparing your Baton Rouge Foundation for a Tropical StormWhen there’s a tropical system churning its way toward our gulf coast there is a laundry list of things to accomplish.  Collecting fuel, bottled water, batteries, flashlights and canned food are the essentials.  It’s also an all too familiar chore to prepare your home as well.  We are well rehearsed in everything from trimming trees to moving patio furniture to boarding up windows, but what about a part of your home that the wind doesn’t affect? 

During tropical storms the accompanying wind is only one factor to worry about.  What can spell serious trouble for your home’s foundation is the deluge of rain.  According to NOAA, depending on your location from the center of the storm, rainfall averages can range from 10 to 18 inches and more.  These dramatic amounts of rainfall can wreak havoc on your homes foundation.

A major contributor of foundation damage in our area starts in the clay laden soil on which our homes are built.  When it rains, especially when it rains hard, the soil around your foundation reacts to the water by expanding.  As it expands it exerts a tremendous amount of force on your foundation.  This is only half of the problem.  As the soil begins to dry, it retracts, thus lowering the pressure on the foundation walls.  The damage comes from the constant expansion and retraction of the soil, pulsing against the concrete. 

Now of course, one rainstorm, even a tropical storm, isn’t going to doom your foundation, but if this storm is the next one in line after a rainy summer, or several rainy summers, it could do more harm than you think.

Now of course we can’t stop the rain, living in south Louisiana avoiding this type of weather is never an option.  But you can absolutely control where the rain goes around your house.  These measures are a sure way to limit the influences of rainwater on your foundation.

  • Gutters:  Equipping your home with gutters and downspouts are an easy and very effective way to control where rainwater is dispersed around your home.  Ensuring an adequate size and keeping your gutters cleaned and maintained will allow them to work at their best.  Water should be discharged at least 10 feet away from the foundation.
  • Collecting water:  Pay attention to areas of your home where water tends to collect.  These could indicate problem spots for your foundation.  To keep water from collecting near your house, create a “French drain” or other similar ditch to channel this water away from the foundation.
  • Moisture barrier: For any area around your home for which you can’t seem to find a remedy, a moisture barrier may be in order.  Moisture barriers prevent water from impacting the integrity of your foundation.  They should be installed at least 5 feet deep to ensure effectiveness.
  • Cracks:  Keep an eye out for any minor cracks.  These can develop over time.  While they could be signs of foundation distress, fill these small, hairline cracks with an epoxy to prevent further spreading.

Of course these are great ideas to follow and implement year round.  However during a particularly wet season or weather event, these activities can pay major dividends by preventing major repairs.

 

7 Signs of Foundation Repair in Baton Rouge

Topics: Weather