5 Things Buyers And Sellers Need To Know - Foundation Repair of Arkansas

 

1. How to spot the signs of foundation damage

When you’re looking at homes for sale, you’ll need to know whether there truly is a bad foundation or whether those cracks are from normal house settling. Here are some things to look for that could indicate potential foundation problems, courtesy of Janine Acquafredda, a Brooklyn, NY, real estate agent.

  • Misaligned doors and windows (could indicate a shift in the foundation)

  • Doors that stick or don’t latch shut

  • Windows that are difficult to open or that have cracks in the glass

  • Sloping floors or staircases (indicates a probable pitch in the foundation)

  • Cracked drywall

  • Gaps between the wall seams or between the wall and the ceiling

  • Large cracks in the exterior concrete

  • Water in the basement, crawl spaces, or around the perimeter of the home

If you spot any of these issues, consider hiring a structural engineer in addition to a home inspector. “The average home inspector often won’t know the full aspect of the damages,” says Mayer Dahan, CEO of Prime Five Homes, a real estate development company in Los Angeles, CA. Hiring a structural engineer typically costs anywhere from $500 to $1,000, but if you suspect you need foundation repair, it’s probably worth the cost to find out for sure.

2. Should you buy a house with foundation problems?

In a word? Maybe. If the house you’ve fallen in love with has foundation issues, you might not always want to back away — especially if you live in a competitive real estate market. But don’t expect the purchase to be a cakewalk: Now that you’ve uncovered some real problems, it’s prime time to renegotiate the home’s price to reflect the amount of money you’ll have to put into it to shore up the foundation. “If you are getting a good deal and love the house, by all means, go for it,” says Acquafredda. “Foundation problems can be corrected.”

3. Foundation cracks? Beware, but be smart

Not all foundation cracks are created equal. Some point to normal settling, but others can signal a foundation problem. How can you tell the difference? Consider the size. “Thin cracks — less than ¼ inch — on foundations and walls happen as a house settles, and have probably been around for most of the house’s life,” says Kelvin Liriano, a home inspector at Three Keys Home Inspections Inc. in the New York, NY, area. “They just have to be sealed to prevent water intrusion.”

But wide cracks or displacement could indicate a problem that needs to be addressed. Although it could be a costly repair, if you buy a house with a foundation problem, you should be prepared to take action quickly. “It will only get worse and more expensive to fix over time,” advises Dahan.

4. Selling a house with foundation problems? It’s possible

If you know that your house has a foundation problem, you might wonder if you should fix it before you list your home. Acquafredda says, to be honest, and upfront with buyers by disclosing what the foundation problems are, but not to fix them. Here’s why: “The history of the repair will most likely require permits to be pulled, and it will be documented and become public record.” The problem with that is, potential buyers will probably cross your home off their list if they see there have been foundation problems. And if buyers don’t even look at your house, you won’t have a chance to explain that you’ve fixed the issue. It might be better to not fix the problem but let the buyer know about it so they can bring in people they trust to do the job.

But as the saying goes, even a pancake has two sides. Dahan offers another school of thought on whether you should fix a foundation problem before putting your house on the market: “It is advisable to fix the foundation before selling. The warranty and reputation of the contractor will be a strong selling point to a potential buyer.”

5. You can turn cracked lemons into lemonade

Sellers can market a foundation problem as a good thing. (Yes, really!) After coming down on the price of the home, let potential buyers know that while they’re fixing the foundation, they “can easily add new amenities to the property,” says Elizabeth Jenkins with Source Capital Funding, Inc., a San Diego, CA-based real estate lender. “People like to create their own personal paradise, and this will attract buyers who have a can-do attitude.” Further proof: Atlanta, GA, real estate agent and attorney Bruce Ailion advises people to buy homes with fixable foundation problems. Why? “The discount to buy is perhaps 20% to 25%. The cost to cure is usually about 10%,” he explains.

Source: Trulia

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3 Tips for Successful Foundation Drainage in Arkansas

 

Drainage around your property’s foundation is important to extending its lifespan. Find out some of the top ways that Little Rock property owners have taken the approach to successful foundation drainage.

1. General Yard Layout

Foundation damage can occur because of many reasons, from moisture to excessive house settlement. However, based on information from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, one of the leading causes of foundation damage and failure to drain excess moisture is due to the layout of a yard and how its trees are placed.

It is highly recommended that trees should be planted no closer to the foundation than to what their eventual height would be. This may sound like a nit-picky rule, but really it makes sense when you consider the foundation damage that overgrown roots can really have on a home.

By planting the trees in your yard a certain distance from the foundation, you are preventing tree roots from filling perimeter drains and preventing the trees from absorbing all of the water from the soil surrounding the home. By preventing trees from absorbing all of the water from the surrounding area, you are taking the precautions to preventing settlement, which ultimately leads to foundation damage and repair.

2. Drainage Pipes and More

When discussing drainage, there are three areas that every homeowner should look for when trying to protect their foundation:

1. Surface Drainage

When examining surface drainage, it is important that surface water is easy to control. By controlling the surface water, one is ultimately controlling the soil moisture that resides beneath a home’s foundation. Your surface should slope away from the home. The degree of how steep your slope should be depending on the size of your property and what your foundation repair or replacement company suggests.

2. Gutters

Gutters are a simple way to protect your foundation from excessive water exposure. By utilizing downspouts and catch basins, you will be able to ensure that rain landing on your home drains away from the home and not underneath it.

3. Subsurface Drainage

Subsurface drainage is important because they naturally serve as your last resort of foundation protection if water does make its way below the surface. When dealing with these types of pipes, however, you want to make sure that your contractor takes the necessary steps to prevent them from being crushed during the backfilling of your foundation.

3. Moisture in Your Foundation

When focusing on your foundation and the state it is in, you want to pay close attention to soil moisture around your home. You don’t want to let your soil become too wet or too dry. Either case can create problems. Check with your local foundation company to find out how your home fares on its soil moisture.

Foundation Problems? Foundation Repair of Arkansas Can Help!

If your home has suffered from excess exposure to water, moisture, or tree roots, then your foundation is at a critical risk for failure. If you have noticed any cracks, leaks or shifting in your foundation, then get in touch with Foundation Repair of Arkansas today. Our professionals can guarantee an excellent job on any foundation repairs or replacement that you need. Call today to find out more about our services.

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Common Causes of Foundation Problems in Arkansas

EROSION

If heavy rains occur, the excess water that ends up in the soil can cause soil around and under your foundation to be washed away, leaving behind voids that cause the foundation to settle into the ground.

SOIL SHRINKAGE

Foundation settlement and sinking due to void and hole formation under the concrete can also be the result of soil shrinkage during very dry weather.

HYDROSTATIC PRESSURE

Water that has been absorbed by the soil around your home can also cause increased hydrostatic pressure.  This pressure puts stress on the foundation, pushing it and causing it to crack and shift.

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Arkansas Residential Foundation Repair

Polyurethane has many advantages over other methods of concrete repair:

  • Cost Effective

  • Does not stress the concrete

  • Small Injection Holes

  • Extreme lifting capability

  • Will not shrink

  • Repels water

  • Waterproofs walls

  • Excellent coverage

  • Lightweight and will not overburden the soil

  • Eco-friendly

  • Fast Curing Time

We can eliminate sidewalk trip hazards, repair foundation cracks, restore property value and offer peace of mind knowing that safety has been restored to your property!

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Slab Repair Cost in Arkansas

The cost to repair a damaged concrete slab depends on several factors, including the repair technique that’s used.

Foam injection techniques allow for fast, nearly invisible repairs, with little disruption or mess.

A sunken or settled concrete slab should usually be repaired as soon as possible. In addition to posing a safety hazard, a concrete surface that’s uneven or damaged due to cracking will surely detract from a property’s appearance and real estate value.

Who do I call for slab repairs?

Although general contractors and handyman services often offer slab repairs, it’s better to go with a concrete repair specialist with experience in slab raising or slab jacking. Get a FREE Quote!

How much will slab repair cost?

It’s nearly impossible to estimate the final cost of a slab repair, mainly because each situation is unique. A smaller slab-raising repair (like a single section of sidewalk, for example) will usually be less expensive than a repair that covers a larger area or involves multiple slab sections. Repairs that require patching or filling cracks and replacing missing sections of concrete are other factors that can add cost.

How long will it take before the concrete surface is usable again?

Some slab repair techniques take longer than others, and require additional time before the repaired concrete surface can be used again. For example, slab replacement, grout leveling and grout pumping (mud jacking) are three techniques that require fresh concrete or mortar to be used. Once the fresh concrete or leveling grout is placed, it can take days for the repaired area to harden and cure properly so that the slab can be put back into use. In contrast, the repair process can be completed in less than a day. A polyurethane foam slab repair enables you to use the restored concrete right away. Down time is minimized.

Is the repair permanent?

Why pay a lot of money for slab crack repair if you know the slab may sink or settle again in the future? Pouring more heavy concrete over soil that is susceptible to compression or settling might increase the chance of settling in the future. In contrast, polyurethane is lightweight and extremely stable. It imposes very little weight on the soil, so it won’t cause further slab sinking or settlement.

Interested in this fast, cost-effective method of fixing settling concrete slabs? Contact us today for a Free Estimate!

Source: PolyLevel

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Arkansas Residents: Why Fix A Sinking Slab?

Why Fix A Sinking Slab?

Erosion has created voids beneath these slabs. Polyurethane injection was used to consolidate the underlying soil and to provide structural support.

A sinking, cracked concrete slab can be a symptom of a more serious problem

A sinking slab (also known as sinking concrete) is always worth fixing, whether it’s located in your basement, garage, driveway or patio. A simple crack in a concrete slab isn’t necessarily a problem. Cracks are even supposed to occur along “control” joints such as those built into a sidewalk.

When a concrete slab cracks AND sinks, this indicates a more serious structural issue. In addition to looking bad, a sinking slab can create an uneven surface that poses a safety hazard. Instead of hoping the problem will go away or worrying about the potential for injuries and even lawsuits, it’s smart to fix a sunken slab.

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What causes a slab to sink?

When all or part of a slab sinks, it’s usually due to one of two possible conditions. First off, the soil beneath the slab may have characteristics that make it compress easily. In other words, the weight of the slab pushes down on the soil, causing the slab to sink. Soil erosion can be another cause of a sinking slab. Heavy water flow sometimes washes away soil beneath a slab, which then sinks into the resulting hole or void.

Some contractors recommend repairing a sinking slab by demolishing the damaged area and pouring new concrete. There are several problems with this repair strategy.

For starters, it’s expensive and the repair will take at least several days because the fresh concrete must harden and cure before the slab can be used again. But even more importantly, if weak soil caused the slab to sink, the soil may compress again under the weight of the new slab. A shortcut repair –adding more concrete to level or even out the slab—imposes even more weight on the soil, increasing the risk of sinking in the future.

Polyurethane can repair your sinking slab quickly & effectively

What if you could raise a cracked slab back to its proper level in less than an hour, with no “down” time waiting for new concrete or mortar to cure? This fast, affordable repair is possible with a new slab-raising technique called PolyLevel®. The  process involves drilling one or more small holes in the sunken area of the slab, then injecting an expanding “geotechnical” foam beneath the slab.

As the foam expands due to a chemical reaction, it pushes the slab back towards its original position. Our experienced technician can gauge the expanding action of the foam, controlling the injection process for just the right degree of slab-raising action.

Because the injected polymer material cures quickly, the restored slab can return to its full weight-bearing function within a matter of minutes. Slab repair cost through our method also costs far less than replacing the concrete slab altogether. Get a Free Estimate today!

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Living in Arkansas - Do You Have Foundation Problems?

All foundations will settle with time, problems arise when this settlement is uneven or extreme. 

Signs of foundation trouble:

  • Cracked walls (inside or out)

  • Doors or windows that won't close properly

  • Uneven or cracked floors

  • Visible cracks in the foundation

  • Displaced or cracked moldings

  • Gaps between the walls and ceiling or floor

If you think there is a problem with your foundation call Foundation Repair of Arkansas today!

We can assess any damage that has occurred and determine the best plan for your situation.

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Functions of a Foundation for Arkansas Homeowners

The Principal function of a foundation of a home is to transfer the weight of a structure to its underlying soil and rocks.  One of the factors that bring about the need for foundation repairs is improper foundation settling.  Foundation settlement can devalue structures and also render them unsafe.  Building on expansive clay, compressive or improperly contracted fill soils and improper maintenance in and around foundations are some of the major reasons of improper foundation settling. 

General signs of a structure needing foundation repairs are bulging or cracked walls and doors that don't close properly.  Exterior warning signs of improper floor settling are  rotation of walls, displaced moldings, cracked bricks and foundation separation around doors and windows from the walls.  Interior warning signs of improper floor settling are cracks on the floor, sheet rock and misalignment in doors and windows.

If you begin to see signs of foundation problems, call FOUNDATION REPAIR OF ARKANSAS today!

Early Diagnosis Saves MONEY!!   501-539-5218

Source: Structural Sciences

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Don't Get Tripped Up With Trip Hazards in Arkansas

IN TODAY’S LITIGIOUS SOCIETY IT IS IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND WHAT MAY LEGALLY CONSTITUTE A ‘TRIP HAZARD’ AT YOUR PROPERTY.

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITY ACT (ADA) DEFINES A ‘TRIP HAZARD’ AS ANY VERTICAL CHANGE OF ¼” OR MORE AT A JOINT OR CRACK IN WALKWAY SURFACE.

The trouble spots that we are seeing most often are sidewalk and curb damage, as well as displaced pavers on walk ways.

These trip and fall hazards are important to address as they expose property owners and managers to potentially expensive litigation, and consumer, patrons, and customers to injury risk.

SLIPS, TRIPS, AND FALLS STATISTICS:

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, slips, trips and falls are responsible for the majority of general industry accidents and a leading cause of workers’ compensation claims.

  • Slips, trips & falls make up majority of general industry accidents (USDoL)

    • 15% of all accidental deaths; 2nd leading cause behind motor vehicles

      • ~12,000/year

    • One of most frequently-reported injuries

      • ~25% of reported claims/year

    • Over 17% of all disabling occupational injuries result from falls

  • Most could have been prevented

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR:

  • Sidewalks that have shifted, lifted and/or spalled due to frost heave and thermal movement

  • Snowplow damage to concrete and curbing

  • Deteriorated concrete and exposed rebar from excessive use of salts and deicing chemicals

  • Failed expansion and control joints due to the extreme contraction of the building façade’s substrate resulting from extremely cold temperatures

AVOID THOSE TRIP-AND-FALL LAWSUITS!

You can avoid these potentially expensive legal costs by taking a quick site tour of your property.

  • Inspect your sidewalks.

  • Examine stairs and landings for broken concrete, uneven treads or risers/steps.

  • Check transition areas where dissimilar materials meet.

  • Ensure that stairs are properly pitched to redirect water.

If you have any of these issues on your property, please contact Foundation Repair of Arkansas to help.

Allowing the condition of your concrete to deteriorate more may increases the severity of your trip hazards, increases your liability risk, and add to the costs to fix it.

Let us help you provide a safer environment for tenants, visitors, staff, ect. Call us today at 501-539-5218 or email us at info.froa@gmail.com to learn more.

Source: PCM Services

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What Causes Concrete Slab Settlement in Arkansas Homes?

The most common causes of concrete slab settlement are drying and shrinking soils beneath a slab, poorly compacted fill soils, or a washout of soil. All of which will create a void below the slab. If the concrete is not strong enough to span the void, the slab will eventually crack, break and settle. This type of damage can cause serious destruction to a home or building.

1. DRYING AND SHRINKING OF SOIL UNDER THE SLAB

Settlement occurs if the soils beneath a concrete floor slab become dry and shrink. This leads to voids below the concrete which causes the slab to sink and crack. If the partition walls of your home or building start to settle with the concrete slab, this is when cracking in drywall can occur.

2. POORLY COMPACTED FILL SOILS

When homes or buildings are being constructed, often times layers of soil are moved around or spread out to lift the grade to a desired level. After the structure is built, the footings may extend below the fill soils, but the slab could still remain on top. If those fill soils were loosely compacted, they will eventually consolidate beneath the weight of the slab which causes a void to form. The slab will then begin to crack and break as it settles into the void.

3. WASHOUT OF SOIL FROM PLUMBING LEAKS

It is common during the construction of a home or building to install plumbing lines below concrete slabs. Soil can wash away if those plumbing lines beneath a slab start to leak. The displaced soil will create a void beneath the slab, causing the slab to crack and settle.

Get Started Today

At Foundation Repair of Arkansas, our permanent concrete slab settlement repair is the most cost-effective in the industry. Call 501-539-5218 to speak with one of our experts and schedule your free, no-obligation inspection.

Source: Frontier Basement Systems

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