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An Inspection Checklist for Your Home Foundation for 2022

Christmas is only a few days away. You have probably used a checklist for the presents you want to get or have gotten already.

But, when it comes to your home foundation, have you created an inspection checklist? Leave it to the home foundation repair contractor to think of that! 

Anyway, as the New Year arrives, it’s a good time to take fifteen minutes out of your day off to inspect your home foundation. Here are some things you should look for:

  1. Walk around the exterior of your home: Inspect the foundation walls by looking up and down from one end. See if any areas bulge or lean. This may indicate an uneven load on the foundation as both the foundation walls and home walls should be flush and level. See if there are any water stains or cracks in the concrete. Pools of water can cause the soil to shift and wood to rot. This means that there may be broken pipes in the home. Horizontal cracks also may indicate stress on the foundation. 
  2. Walk around the interior of your home: Inspect for any cracks or separations. Look for bulges in the walls. See if any walls are leaning or if they are out of place due to shifting foundations. See if the floors are sloping over the length of the home when there are larger soil shifts. Roll a tennis ball or basketball to see if it rolls when placed on the floor.
  3. Inspect doors and windows: If they open and close without a struggle, you should be okay. If your home foundation is shifting, windows and doors will often begin to have difficulty opening or closing. They will jam shut or cannot be opened. 
  4. Inspect your water pipes: Check the pipes inside and outside your home for leaks and moisture. 
  5. Look at the home foundation: Inspect closely the concrete, or helical piers should not be unstable. Make sure they are level, not buckling and in good condition. Look for rust, which shows that there is moisture in the basement or crawl space. 

If you have found cracks, stains or moisture, you may have a home foundation problem. Consult with a home foundation repair contractor right away. Failure to do so now, may cost your much more in the near future. Make the New Year Resolution to repair your home foundation to protect your family and investment! 

M Taylor Enterprise can inspect your home foundation to see if you have any basement waterproofing issues. Call our home foundation and structural repair experts in Maryland at (301) 649-3406 or matt@mtaylorenterprise.com. We will do a free consultation, make recommendations then do any needed repairs done quickly and efficiently. We serve Montgomery County, parts of Prince Georges and Howard Counties.

How Helical Pier Technology Can Be Environmentally Friendly

As we have covered in a previous blog, helical piers are galvanized steel shafts with helical plates. Helical piers are used, mainly, to strengthen damaged or weakened home foundations. They are vertically installed by a home foundation repair contractor. Installation is done fairly quickly, usually within a few hours.

What is not generally known is that helical piers are good for the environment. Here are a few reasons:

  1. Home foundation repair contractors use hydraulics to screw the piers into place, instead of digging deep into the ground around the foundation.
  2. Quick installation also means that there is little need, if any, to dampen the construction vibration.
  3. Soil does not have to be broken to install them.
  4. They are made of galvanized steel, so they do not rust.
  5. They can be removed easily, without any harm to the environment.
  6. No heavy machinery is needed for installation. So there is no fleet of trucks using fuel or expelling exhaust.
  7. Screw piles can be installed, and left in place for many years. Then they are removed and reused at another site. So, there is little impact on the original location. 
  8. They are very easy to transport and install. So, they save money for architects, contractors, structural engineers, and builders. Les people are visiting the site. 
  9. There is less of a mess and project cleanup. So, there is less refuse going to public dumps that will sit there for many years.
  10.  No maintenance or upkeep is required. So, fewer visits to the home to check on it means less fuel used. 
  11.  Helical piers are also reusable, recyclable, and transferable. 

As you can see, not only are helical piers efficient, durable, and cost-effective, they are good for the environment. If you think your home foundation is in need of repair, call a repair contractor to do an inspection and analysis. As we have said, it is better to get it repaired now than later, at a higher cost. 

If you being kind to the environment is important to you, helical piers accomplish that goal!  

When getting your home foundation repaired, make sure you get a home foundation repair contractor who can do it accurately. When helical piers are properly installed, handheld equipment is used. This allows the customer to see the amount of resistance and torque that is being used. It also shows when to stop the digging. 

M Taylor Enterprise installs both helical piers and helical tiebacks. Call our experienced engineers for a consultation. We will analyze your home foundation issue and efficiently repair it. Call (301) 649-3406 or email us at matt@mtaylorenterprise.com. We serve the Prince George’s, Howard, and Montgomery County, MD area.

What Makes Helical Piers the Best Solution for Your Home Foundation?

We hear from a lot of home foundation repair customers who have experienced ice, snow, and now, heat, in Central Maryland. Their foundations have settled and this weather has done damage to it. 

Taking care of your home’s structural integrity is important. It is your largest property investment. 

Helical Piers, also known as screw piles or anchors, are vertical metal rods inserted in the ground then attached to your house’s slab. They add strength and stability to your home foundation.

There are several benefits to having helical piers installed in your home:

  1. Easy to install: Using a hydraulic torque, helical piers are easily installed in just a few hours. 
  2. Versatile: Helical piers are installed vertically but can be installed horizontally, too. They are convenient as they can be installed in spaces that are limited. 
  3. Immediate results: Once helical piers have been installed, they can begin bearing weight. If you have a home under construction, you can begin framing right away. 
  4. New or existing homes can use them: As mentioned above if you have a home under construction you can install helical piers as you are building. Or, if you have an older home it can be installed. The age or type of home doesn’t matter!
  5.  Save money: Concrete installation is quite expensive. A contractor has to mix the concrete, dig out the ground, lay the concrete, and then clean up the debris. However, when a home foundation contractor installs a helical pier, it takes only a few hours, and it’s set up and bearing the weight!
  6. Environmentally-friendly: The advantages even stretch to being environmentally friendly! There is no soil removal or extensive landscaping. It is quiet and there are very few vibrations. Helical piers can even be recycled. 

Keep your house and investment safe! So, whether you are buying a home or improving the one you own now, helical piers are the smart, economical, and efficient way to improve your home’s foundation.  

M Taylor Enterprise installs both helical piers and helical tiebacks.  Call our experienced engineers for a consultation. We will analyze your home foundation issue and efficiently repair it. Call (301) 649-3406 or email us at matt@mtaylorenterprise.com. We serve the Prince George’s, Howard, and Montgomery County, MD area.

 

Helical Pier Technology & How Helical Tiebacks Work

Helical piers are so important we are revisiting this blog topic with some new information.

When your home settles, there is an engineered repair method for home foundation support. Most home foundations will settle after several years or decades depending on the weather, soil or quality of workmanship.

helical piers used in construction

The helical pier technology underpins a settling structure by raising it and supporting it. If the house is heavy, piers will be closely spaced. Load-bearing walls are heavier to underpin, too.

Also, the placement of the helical piers depends on the weight of the home, home foundation condition and the type of pier. Your home foundation repair contractor will consult you on the proper helical pier to use.

One method of helical piers technology is known as “helical tie backs”. Tiebacks anchor or support basement walls that are bowing, leaning or unsound.

Helical tiebacks are installed like this:

  1. A hole is drilled into the basement wall and a helical shaft is inserted.
  2. Then a helical screw anchor is installed.
  3. After finding the correct bearing depth, the wall plate is installed.
  4. The plate is tightened against the helical anchor bringing the wall back to its original location.
  5. The soil is then backfilled to the basement wall.

Helical tiebacks are an effective method of supporting damaged walls. They do not support a home foundation that is settling. You will need to work with a home foundation engineer to correct that. (We covered that topic in this blog.)

However, helical tiebacks are usually installed quickly and efficiently. They are load tested to verify the capacity and they can be loaded immediately after being installed. If your soil is sinking or unstable, helical tiebacks can also be installed.

Helical pier technology has many advantages and methods, more of which we will cover in future blogs. Consult your licensed home foundation engineer for the best method for your home foundation.

M Taylor Enterprise installs both helical piers and helical tiebacks. Call our experienced engineers for a consultation. We will analyze your home foundation issue and efficiently repair it. Call us for a consultation at (301) 649-3406 or email us at matt@mtaylorenterprise.com. We serve the Montgomery County, MD area.

Your Home’s Anchor: Helical Piers and How they Work

Boats have anchors.

Cars have brakes.

And, homes have helical piers.

A helical pier is, according to www.builderonline.com, is a:

A helical pier is a manufactured steel foundation pin that is driven into the soil to a depth below frostline using hydraulic machinery. Helical piers are primarily used in heavy commercial work, but they’re also well-suited for backyard decks, additions, and foundation repairs.

Helical piers which are also known as “anchors”, screwpiles or piles. They are foundation solutions that are utilized to new foundations or repair existing foundations. They are not difficult to install and are mainly used when soil conditions prevent standard foundation  repairs.

Helical piers are made by using steel shafts with helical shafts and are installed deep in the foundation underpinning elements constructed using steel shafts with helical flights. The shafts move to the deep below the foundation by  twisting them into the foundation soil. Torque is monitored to estimate the pile capacity.

Piers, which are galvanized steel, have a seven foot shaft with a helical bearing plate welded to the end and a cap on top. Length depends on the condition of the soil. Smaller piers are used heavy, rock-filled soils and larger piers for softer, clay soils. The helical anchor/pile is 3” and welded to a central steel shaft. The load is moved from the shaft to the soil using bearing plates.

So, when do you need to install a helical pier? Here are five reasons to install a helical pier:

  1. They cause minimal damage to lawn and vegetation.
  2. Your home’s foundation experiences minimal trauma and there is no     damage to it.
  3. Installation is completed in a small space.
  4. They can be installed in any weather.
  5. They are installed quickly with minimal traffic on your lawn.
  6. Can be installed to a any known load-bearing capacity.

M Taylor Enterprise  has used helical piers in construction and foundation projects throughout Montgomery County Maryland. Projects have included tiebacks for walls that were bowing and leaning, new construction, old construction, sloped areas and also to help add lift for sunken concrete and stone slabs.

Hydraulic motors are used to quickly and safely install these supports and our team has extensive experience utilizing this effective source of foundation repair support.

Contact us at (301) 649-3406 or at matt@mtaylorenterprise.com if you think helical piers may be an answer to your particular project. Advice is always free.