Foundation Elevations: Help or Scam?
At the top of the list of foundation repair scams, foundation elevations is the leader. They all use them and they are all wrong!
One must have the "as built" original elevations to determine if a foundation has settled in one area, heaved in the other, or the slab was poured that way. In other words, you can’t tell if it has gone up or has gone down without original elevations. When the commissioned salesman wants to show the foundation to appear settled they put the zero mark at one point. If they want it to have heaved, they put it somewhere else. Since they want to sell piers, they will make it appear that settlement is the problem. Foundation companies do this to customers every day, to convince homeowners to buy piers they don’t need. These unneeded piers are not only quite expensive but will usually cause additional problems later on.
The real reason that there are so many foundation repair failures is not necessarily because of bad piers, but because piers were installed when and where they should not have been. And guess what, your warranty will not usually cover that mistake.
Contact me and I will explain it all. The manipulation of elevations is one of the biggest frauds in the foundation industry. In areas of expansive soils, upheaval is more often the cause of foundation movement than settlement. In North Texas, concrete beams, in both slab and pier and beam (crawl space) construction are designed to be supportive and protect against settlement from minor voids under beams. Expanding soils, on the other hand, are able to push areas of the slab up essentially causing the same damage signs as settlement, only in a somewhat different pattern.
When“X” is original grade (when constructed) then “O” has settled and the slab must be lifted. HOWEVER, if “O” is at original grade then “X” has heaved, and you cannot tell the difference without an original benchmark elevation, which homeowners do not have. NOBODY THAT I KNOW OF IN NORTH TEXAS HAS THAT ORIGINAL ELEVATION FOR THEIR HOME!
The foundation companies do not have the sea-level foundation elevations or benchmark, so you should not buy piers based on those misleading elevations. Below is a computerized level used by many foundation companies to take elevations. All it can show is that the foundation is not level. It could have been poured not level, it could have settled, or it may have heaved, or it could have heaved in areas and settled in other areas. The least likely option is that it just settled, and if it did, this machine cannot tell you.
For additional information:
Contact me: Richard Rash at 817-308-8186f it did.
For more information go to www.foundationmanspeaks.com
This computerized level is a wonderful instrument used my most everyone in North Texas to take elevations. The problem is that when being used to try and understand foundation movement, the instrument alone can not provide the information needed. To make a determination whether a foundation needs to be lifted, where it would need to be lifted or how much it needed to be lifted, It must have original elevations from time of construction to tell what's up, what's down, where and how much. Understand, concrete in not poured in moist soils, so if movement occurred, and remember only a small percentage of all homes experience foundation movement, the soil was likely in a contracted condition when the foundation was poured. Later rains, likely ponding next to the home, caused the soil to swell back to a preconstruction volume, possibly continue to keep the soil swelling then shrinking and swelling again until the moisture problem is solved. In many of these situations the job fails, the home moves again and the warrantee does not cover upheaval! Contact me, I'll tell you all about it.
Thanks for the newsletter. It was very timely because I getting ready to drop you an email with a report and a question. We have done all of the remedial work that you suggested (replacing the gutters and adjusting the drainage away from the foundation. I feel like we have done everything that you recommended. We have repaired the damage inside and have had no cracks since then. With all of the rains that we have had we stopped the soaker sessions, but having lived in this country all my life I know that the rains will not continue much longer. My question is, through the winter do we need to continue to use the soaker or are we good until summer comes along? Thanks again for all of your help. I am recommending you to everyone that I know that have foundation problems.
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