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Foundation Failure! 5 Things You Should Know Before Buying a Home

If you understand the early signs that show foundation problems, you will be able to head off the problem that may cost you too much in a foundation repair Houston in the future.

What to look for indoors: Houses may settle as the time passes and this is not something that should lead to panic. However, it is good to be aware of these signs so that you can learn when dramatic changes take place. A door may start to jam or may fail latching. Some cracks may start to appear in the walls mostly near the window, doorways and where walls meet. These cracks may open in the ceramic and vinyl tile over the concrete floor. The windows that were being opened or closed easily, they can start to stick or they may refuse to close.

While checking everything out, see if the foundation looks straight by making the comparison with the length of foundation from every corner. The wall has to be straight and it has to be both up and down from one side to the other. You have to check the leaning of the wall with a level. A curve or bulge in a poured concrete foundation or a block foundation may be a sign that the foundation had shifted and the soil found near the foundation has been contracting or expanding and this may be putting additional pressure on the foundation. If you are not sure of what is happening, you may call a Houston foundation repair expert and he will let you want it is taking place.

While probing the concrete to see if it is weak or not, you should check if there is a place where there are any concrete chips or flakes and use a sturdy screwdriver to see if the place is hard enough. If you manage to break or chip concrete off without much effort, it means that there is too much water, salt and dirt when the concrete was being made. If this is the case, you may not have any foundation repair solution for the case and you will have to have a lay new foundation.

Check the components of the structure: The foundation has other elements but not only the perimeters. You should look for the piers, posts and crawl space in a basement.  The posts have to be straight and they have to be planted firmly. The bottom of the posts has to be firm on the concrete pier. A foundation repair Houston TX expert may do the framing and can find the origins of the puddling. You should check for rot by probing any wooden posts with a screwdriver.  When there is moisture and other bad signs in the crawl space, it means that the house has poor drainage on the perimeter foundation. You have to make sure that the gutters were not plugged and that soil can slope away from a foundation for at least a rate of 6 inches for each 10 horizontal feet. When you find a problem with your house, you may need to learn how much to pay for pier and beam foundation repair before you decide on buying it.  Otherwise it may cost you too much before you have even stepped through the door.

Always visit http://structuredfoundationrepairshouston.com/ for more informations help.

Methods For Repairing Home Foundations

There are four major methods that you can use to repair the foundations of a home and each one has its own benefits and disadvantages when it comes to the foundation repair Houston.

Bell Bottom Pier Method: this is a foundation repair that has been researched thoroughly and is the best that can be found at the market right now.  It is a pier design that it is reinforced by the steel rebar and it is the same conceptual design which is used in construction of the multi-story buildings, highway overpasses and bridges. It can be used in any situation regardless of the moisture content and the soil and it can help the foundation cope well in different situations.

Pressed Piling Method is by now the most common method that it is used for foundation repair. It is cheap and fast and it is profitable for a Houston foundation repairer. They can be installed almost anywhere, but they are most popular in places with clay rich and soft soil. The pressed pilings have to be compressed in different series of precast concrete cylinders and they are installed through digging holes under the house. The weight of the home is used as a driving force behind the piling. Such methods have two problems: the cylinders may not be secured together; or the concrete slap may be damaged, because of the driving force behind it.  Because the cylinders cannot be secured, it is hard for them to resist horizontal movement and they may be pushed into the soil at an incorrect angle or the pilings may crack but may not be noticed in the installation. Since the slab has to be used like a driving process, there is no way that the repairer will know how far it will reach while being pushed into the soil.

Pressed piling with inserts method: The pressed method as a foundation repair was found to have too many problems and people who wanted to use them had to fix its drawbacks first before they could continue to use it. This is how they decided to use the pressed piling inserts method as an alternative. The last method is loosely based on the previous method, but there were some minor changes that took place since the concrete cylinders have to be reinforced in different ways to be able to stabilize.

Steel piling method for foundation repairs Houston TX: The steel piling method is the same as concrete pilling, but tries to utilize the strength of the steel in order to overcome weaknesses that arise with the concrete method. This method is common in places where the soil may be sandy or dryer with harder strata between the layers and this normally a refusal point.  Normally, the steel pilings are the same as other two methods but it has its difference. They should reach deeper down before they reach the refusal ground and this is an advantage in the places that are dryer. Contrary to pier and beam foundation repair, thinner pilings do not have that much ability of resisting the force when it comes to shifting of the soil.

How to Avoid a Bad Experience with a Home Foundation Repair Contractor

Put simply, your situation is going to get worse if you get the wrong contractor to do any foundation repair Houston for you. When you choose the wrong contractor, it is going to be a headache and no one would be happy to deal with such a problem. That said, it is easy to get a good contractor as long as you know what you want and where to look for one.

Following are tips on how to avoid dealing with a bad Houston foundation repair contactor.

Check referrals and the references: Never hire a contractor if you do not know anything about them. You should check the work of the contractor and, if you can, get some references and talk to the people he had worked for in the past. In case someone referred you to a certain contractor, ask that person all the information you can about him – even check the work they did.

Check the history and the reputation of the contractor in the area: you have to have a clear picture of a contractor and the experience they have.  Even an inexperienced contractor may not be a bad contractor in the real world, though the lack of the experience means that you may not expect great work from them.

Read the reviews of contractors online: many people who undertake foundation repair are in the business on their own and people often like to give comments about how a certain company dealt with them and the job.  Look for the reviews that are written by people who used a particular contractor in the past and see what they say about them.

Any contractor for the foundation repair Houston TX has to be fully licensed. You should not let just anyone do the repairs on your home. When a contractor does not have a license, it is likely that he will not have insurance either and it means that none will compensate you if anything goes wrong. When something happens, you could even be the one to pay for the expenses and medical bills. You have to check the qualifications and the license of the foundation repairer before you can hire them.

Sign a contract: Do not let any contractor come to your home and start the pier and beam foundation repair work before you have signed a genuine contract with them. The contract should include the work that is to be done and the full price to pay together with the conditions and the terms of the contract. You and the contractor should sign for such an agreement before the work starts. If this is not done, you should never let the work to start. This is important since it will protect you when there is disagreement or if anyone is injured while a contractor is working on your home. More tips in this link: https://www.angieslist.com/articles/10-tips-hire-foundation-repair-inspector.htm

You should be aware of every person that you want to hire: It is not right to hire the first person that can see in the newspaper, since this will not guarantee that you will get the best work. It is always a good idea to take time to search for contractors and to do a background check on them before you hire anyone.

What Are the Different Types of Home Foundation Repair?

Foundation settlement and structural movement may lead to some serious problems in the structure of your home and the problems can lead to the sinking of the foundations. Sometimes, you can make simple foundation repair Houston by using the sealant or crack patches if it is just a minor shrinkage. However, if it is vertical movement of the foundation – even slight – then this is a potentially serious problem regarding structure. Such cracks may be the result of sudden forces of nature, heavy frost, soil settlement or erosion. The structural damage requires professionals who are going to use different methods to repair the foundation by piering or slab jacking.

Deciphering which cracks are serious and those which are not: when there is a foundation crack, it is the first indication to homeowners that there is problem with the foundation like a hairline crack. Such a problem can simply be caused by shrinkage as the plaster settles and does not involve the structure. However, problem can be serious if you have damaged concrete block, heavy settlement and cracks appear in the brick wall or in the concrete blocks.  When cracks are as wide as they are long, it means that both or one end of the foundation has dropped or the center of the foundation is rising or falling.  When you find that a crack in the foundation is more than 1/4 inch and that it keeps increasing, you should not try to carry out a Houston foundation repair yourself, but you call a professional to help you to do this instead. More explained in our post here.

Sealants and masonry patches as foundation repair: when the foundation has cracked because of the shrinkage, then the repair should be done using sealants or patches.  Shrinkage cracks generally appear at a corner of a slab foundation; caulk can be used to fill it or hydraulic cement can be sued which may expand as it dries.  Different methods can be used to repair shrinkage cracks easily and cost effectively, especially as there are different types of the products to use. Even if such a crack may not be the issue of structure, it has to be sealed to prevent water permeating into the foundations.

Slabjacking as foundation repair houston tx: The contractor may repair the serious problem of sinking foundation through the use of a process known as slabjacking. This revolves around the filling the space found under the slab so that it can float back to the original place. This involves drilling of strategic holes in a base of the concrete slab and must use a portable pump in order to fill such holes with additives, fly ash and cement.

Pier and beam foundation repair is also known as piling and it is meant to be used on different types of the steel pipe piling in order to correct the settlement of the foundation. The push piers are the section of epoxy-coated and galvanized steel pipe that are driven deeper in the ground through the use of the hydraulic ram.  Helical piers use the screw-like piles with the steel shafts. In order to install the helical pier, the trench should be dug on the foundation and the helix plate has to be attached on the shaft before it can be driven within the soil.

Check out this link for more ideas and informations: http://homeguides.sfgate.com/types-foundation-repair-87558.html

How to Fix A Leaking Water Heater

How to Fix A Leaking Water Heater

Is your warm water heater leaking? If water swimming pools at the bottom of your water heater or drips from the new water tank, observe those steps for smooth prognosis and restore.

Problems Arises

A water heater leaking can indicate any of several problems, starting from free valves to a corroded water tank. In reality, water pooling around your heater does now not usually indicate a leak it could be the end result of condensation.

Insurance Coverage

The first and foremost step to fix water heater leaking is to determine whether or not water is dripping, spraying, or flooding. Begin with the worst of those: spraying or flooding. If your water heater is dripping or flooding, pass down the page. If your water heater has flooded and damaged flooring or different components of your house, make certain to analyze the insurance of your house owner’s coverage policy.

How to Fix A Leaking Water Heater

Turn Off the Valves

If water is spraying from the pipes that deliver the water heater, immediately turn off the valve that controls the flow of water to the entire house, usually placed close to where the cold water pipe enters the valve is usually out of doors in warm climates, inside in cold climates. See a way to shut Off the Water supply.

Supply Valve

In some cases, the valve is placed on a pipe right earlier than the water heater and may have a red handle. To turn it off, rotate the knob clockwise.If you need to know more you can also check out this link:http://www.hometips.com/repair-fix/water-heater-leaking.html here. If water is spraying from the water heater, flip off the deliver valve above the water heater which can be a lever just like the one shown inside the photograph at proper or, if there may be no supply valve for the water heater, the residence’s water delivery valve.

Electric water Heaters

Leaks from water heater’s heating element gasket. On electric water warmers, leaks can spring from heating element gaskets. turn off the electrical electricity, shut down your water deliver, and drain all the water out of the heater earlier than replacing the gasket as described above. Also, before turning the strength returned on, make sure to turn at the water supply to the heater and run warm water right into a sink in your property to launch air from the water heater tank. Failure to achieve this ought to break your heating element.

Water Is Dripping from the Water Heater

If water is dripping from the water heater, determine going through tankless water heater reviews where the drip is coming from. A couple of the maximum apparent assets of a drip are the strain-relief valve and the drain valve. Much less apparent leaks may be coming from condensation or from leaky fittings replace defective strain-comfort valve.

Temperature-strain Relief valve

It’s pretty not unusual for water to be dripping from the temperature-strain (TP) relief valve, which is designed to release water when it senses extra strain. In some instances, the TP valve itself can be defective if it’s miles, it will want to be replaced right away. If you want to know more you can also visit this site. Seek advice from tankless water heater reviews for instructions on what to do and see a way to replace a Water Heater Valve, or contact a plumber who works with water warmers. A running TP valve is without a doubt important to prevent immoderate construct-up of steam that might cause a water heater tank to blow up.

Replace a Leaking Water Heater Drain Valve

If your water heater is leaking, you may be quick to call in a repair man to fix the problem. However, before you call in reinforcements, consider learning how to fix the problem yourself.

Why Fix It on Your Own

Water heaters that leak are not a new thing or a rare thing. In fact, they leak quite often so instead of letting the maintenance bills pile up, learn how to do it yourself so that when it happens again it will be a quick and easy, and still cheap fix. You will be surprised how simple it is and there is basically no risk involved. Many people see the tankless water heater reviews and think it is time to switch but it is completely unnecessary, and those systems are expensive. People are also afraid of doing their own home maintenance because they are worried about causing worse problems if they mess up that if you mess this up, not much happens. It will probably just keep leaking, and you will have to try again. No big deal.

Patching a Water Heater Drain Valve

When you drain your water heater, often the valve will start to leak- it’s just how things go. They are used so little that this just tends to happen when they are old or not used frequently. If there is not a significant amount of damage, you can get away with simply patching it up. All you need to do in order to patch it is to use a hose cap on it to keep it from leaking. A hose cap is easy to find at your local plumbing and home maintenance and hardware store, just talk to a sales associate there if you have trouble finding it. More details here.

Replacing a Water Heater Drain Valve

When the damage is significant from your water heater leaking you will need to replace the valve completely. Or even if you are not one to just patch something up, and you would rather have a more lasting fix, replacing it is the way to go.

  • First, make sure you drain the water heater, so it is completely empty. It is hard to work on the valve when there is a constant leak going on.
  • Second, unscrew the old leaky drain valve that has temporarily ruined your life. If it is stuck on tight, use a pipe wrench or pliers to assist in the unscrewing process- you will want to turn it counter-clockwise, or it won’t be going anywhere.
  • Third, check out the length of the drain valve and match your new one to its specifications. The best thing to replace it with is a full port ball valve because it works a lot faster and will last a lot longer.
  • Fourth, use Teflon tape on the threads of the valve you are installing in order to prevent future leaks.
  • Fifth, make sure that your new valve is on tight and facing the correct direction.
  • Sixth, fill up your water heater again and make sure that it does not continue to leak. Make sure to keep checking on it for a few weeks in order to make sure that it is a lasting fix.

Now You’re Handy!

Congratulations! If you have completed this process, then you can now officially consider yourself handy. You have not only learned a new helpful skill, but you surely saved yourself some money as well. The process is relatively simple to fix a water heater leaking, which comes as a surprise to many people, so if you haven’t tried it yet, go ahead and give it a shot!

Read more here about water softener maintenance here: http://www.fbrwaterproofing.ca/water-softener-maintenance/

Water Softener Maintenance

We often don’t think much about a water softener or the maintenance that is required when owning one. Besides adding some salt every now and then there isn’t much you need to do so we push the thought to the back of our mind. It’s only when something goes wrong that we really start to think about the system.

About the Water Softener

No matter how many tanks you have or what kind of water softener you have, they all work the same. The “hard” water goes into a resin tank where beads collect the minerals from the water. Without these minerals the water is known as soft water. It then passes through the system to give you the water you desire.

The resin beads occasionally have to be cleaned. On a preset schedule, the softener stops the inflow of water so that the salt water from the brine tank can “clean” the resin beads. It does this by dissolving the accumulated minerals that are on the beads and then flushing them down the drain. This system is called a “recharge” or a “regeneration” and is necessary to keep the resin beads clean so they can keep catching the “hard” minerals from the water.

Types of Water Softeners

When deciding on the best water softener to get, it’s important to look at the different types to ensure all your needs are being met. The most commonly used type is an ion-exchange unit or “cation exchange” as it is also known but there are other types that are also important to understand.

 Salt-Based Ion Exchange Softener

This water softener cycles the water through two tanks. The first tank is one with resin beads and the second tank has the brine. It softens the water by substituting sodium for hard minerals like calcium and iron.

Salt-Free Water Softener

In this water softener, a potassium-chloride salt substitute is used instead of sodium. For those concerned with salt intake, this might be a better option. This type of water softener doesn’t reduce the minerals but prevents them from being deposited as scale to the surface of the water. This treatment is not as effective but is better than no water softener at all.

Magnetic Water Softener

This is the more controversial option of water softeners. According to the manufacturers, this device clips onto the incoming pipe and sets up a magnetic field. The electromagnetic properties of the calcium-carbonate minerals will be changed so they are repelled by pipes and each other.

The upkeep of a water softener is not difficult. There are several options out there from the basic ion-exchange to a dual tank water softener so that pesky recharge doesn’t affect your water usage. Finding the best water softener for your needs takes a bit of research and talking to experts. Once you compare prices and features, it will be easy to find the right one for you and your family.

Visit http://structuredfoundationrepairshouston.com/ for more informations and help.

The best Methods of Water Softening

waterWater softening primarily entails the process of removing metal cations such as calcium, magnesium that are responsible for hard water, this article cover the best water softeners. The main reason to soften water is to make it more compatible with soap from washing as well as increase the durability of plumbing. Water softening can be done with the use of various methods, but we are going to discuss the best ways. The methods come with advantages as well as shortcoming.

Salt-free water softeners

The best water softener methods, which use NaturSoft media. The media used has calcium carbonate crystals on its surface. This attracts the excess hardness in the water by removing it from the solution and integrating it into the calcium carbonate crystal structure. The crystal grows larger as the water flows, and the granules keep on rubbing as well as fragmenting on the same time. The crystals keep moving in the pipe dissolving the excess hardness.

The method is recommended because of

  • The method does not need any maintained as well as an additional cost as it does not use any potassium or even salt.
  • The essential mineral required in the water are remved
  • The system does not waste any water as it allows 50% of soap as well as detergent hence saving on the washing cost.
  • Its 100% environmental friendly
  • The system increases the lifespan of appliances such as dishwasher, water heater among others.

The method only disadvantage is that it’s not used with hard water with oil or even traces of H2S.

Salt based water softener

The method is described as ion exchange process and is used by people who use salts or even potassium in the removal of calcium as well as magnesium to make the waste soft. The method works by removing calcium and magnesium ions that are responsible for hard water. The hardness ions replaced with nonhardness ions hence the soft water. The method uses sodium in the removal of calcium and magnesium. Read more in our post here.

The effectiveness of the method depends on

  • The hardness of the water
  • Water unit size to be softened
  • The amount of water used
  • The capacity of the exchange media for soft water

The method recommended as it leaves no scaling on the household appliances, hence increasing their lifetime. Clothes washing with soft water from the process always have more delicate feeling, and still the approach reduce soap usage as well as detergent hence lowering the cost of washing.

The disadvantages with the use these methods are

  • The soft water from this method is not used for drinking, lawns, as well as watering plants and gardens due to the sodium salt.
  • The process induces extra cost for maintaining the brine.
  • Reverse osmosis

This method involves passing the water through a semi-permeable membrane which traps out the salts are causing hard water hence soft water. The reverse osmosis process refers water from a concentrated high salinity to permeate to the other high purity stream with the use of pressure to drive the water through the membrane. The impurities and salts are left on the membrane. The primary benefit of the technique is that the process is efficient to remove 98% of all unwanted salts, as well as impurities.

The method has so many cons

  • The methods removal the entire essential mineral needed for drinking water
    75% of the water is wasted
  • The process is very slow and needs a large storage tank
  • The method adds to the cost as it requires regular disinfectant to reduce the growth of bacteria’s

The above technique is not the only one used in water softening as there is the use of magnetic water conditioner that we can’t recommend for use. The first method is the best water softer.

Build a Shed with Windows, Skylights, Shelving

Garden Shed

Garden Shed

Your Storage Space Problems Are Solved With Building a 8-by-10-Foot Outdoor Storage Shed with Window, Skylights, and Shelving.

The answer to your problem could be the plans for a 8-by-10-Foot Outdoor Storage Shed with Window, Skylights, and Shelving, if you don’t have any space left to store things.

This is a great project for the do-it-yourselfer. I love to do things like this, so beautiful. This makes my old job look like working on a chain gang! The storage area of seventy-one square feet it provides does come at a not inconsiderable price of more than one thousand dollars. During the day it will be filled with natural light streaming through the four large skylights it is built with. Even more features are a rack system that conveniently can be personalized, a window that is shatterproof and two screened vents to let in air but keep out pests. Here are some inspirational photos of what is possible.

Two steel-reinforced high-arched doors provide entrance to the shed through an opening which is 4 feet wide by 6 feet high. They come with an internal latching apparatus for locking the doors. Due to the opening being so wide, storing things in the shed will be easy. The roofing, containing steeply-angled sides, is supported by trusses of the A-frame type, which gives you adequate headroom of six feet and eight inches. The steep pitch makes for rapid drainage whenever it snows or rains. The bottom is constructed of high-density polyethylene which doesn’t chip, crack or peel, so you need have no worries in that regard. It has a bevelled edge, and a surface which will be slip and stain-resistant. If you imagine keeping the shed for the long term, it is advisable to erect it on a level surface like a concrete patio or wood platform, or create a pad with pea gravel or poured cement, or asphalt.

Because of the significant investment it calls for, you should read the reviews for this shed before possibly buying it. Any purchase from an online retailer has got the benefit of free delivery, which takes about a week. It is shipped in a couple of boxes. You could have difficulty working to move the heavy boxes, so get them shipped to exactly where you want to build your shed. Just before you unpack your kit and begin assembling your shed, you must have the pad prepared and in place. When you check out the plans site, you can get set up instructions in PDF form, which will facilitate things for you. It will take you a couple of days at most to erect the shed by following the instructions.

Probably the most difficult part is putting on the roof – especially if you are doing it by yourself. It could actually all be done from the inside, with the help of only a step ladder. You have to line up the plastic panels and screw them in their place. A bit of aid from someone takes away the difficulty and makes it a lot more fun, like assembling a large puzzle. The experience of the folks who wrote the reviews was not consistent, so read carefully to ensure they are referring to the correct shed.

The majority of purchasers of a 8-by-10-Foot Outdoor Storage Shed with Window, Skylights, and Shelving report being satisfied with it. The storage space is ample for lots of things, certainly for storing your garden and yard tools.

Winterize to Check for Leaks

Winterize the Home

Winterize the Home

Spring cleaning happens to be something many people do, but probably only a few people understand what it is to winterize your home. Fall means winter season is around the corner, and you should use the occasion to make sure that your house is ready for it. Fall, with the attendant dying out of leafy growth, is an excellent time to examine your residence’s walls, since it will be easier to spot any shrubs that are becoming invasive. Exterior siding is easily damaged by roots and vines that cling to the surface – even bricks aren’t immune – and they should be cleaned off.

When they are no longer needed to do any watering, the garden hose should all be emptied and rolled up to be placed into storage for the winter. The water to the exterior faucets should be turned off, so that they can drain and get dry. When you believe you won’t make use of the garden furniture once again that year, get it cleaned and stored in a dry place. You need to protect any young trees you’ve got with mulch, particularly in their first year of growth. All drainage ditches really should be cleared to enable them to cope with any heavy rains.

Once the weather starts to get colder, it is time to start thinking about fireplaces. Almost everyone requires a chimney sweep at the same time when a cold spell shows up, so call early to beat the rush. In case you use firewood, don’t delay in finding someone and getting a good supply built up. If you make use of a fireplace during the winter, you should check all of your smoke alarms to make sure they are working. Also check the flashing around the chimney, this is a source of many leaks.

As far as outside the home focus on the following: The connections to the Christmas lights may become brittle and crack if you don’t ever take them down, so check them for sufficient flexibility. Check your outbuildings and sheds for rotting boards and make repairs or replace them as needed. When you use storm windows, they must be installed with weatherstripping to be completely weather tight. You need to check if some of the weather-stripping has become dried out from the summer’s heat and should be replaced. The windows usually are seldom opened in winter, so it will be necessary to check the condition of the filters in the range hood as well as the air conditioner returns.

Check the ground around your home to make sure that it still slopes away. In case water happens to drain into the cellar, or the foundation, that can be bad news for your house. The first damage is wet rot, which sooner or later leads to dry rot, and this is definitely something to be prevented anywhere in your home. Regularly inspect your home for warning signs of seepage.

Leaks will not be kept away forever, so check the places where leaks most commonly occur, these being the roofing, the guttering, the downpipes and the interior plumbing. If you find any type of leaks, you should obviously get them fixed. Prevent a draft by covering up air-conditioning units, and look at wrapping exterior pipes, especially if the house is older. After a summer of tracking dirt into the home shampooing the carpets is recommended. While you are at it, you might also thoroughly clean the windows.