The hydrostatic plumbing test is to determine whether or not there is a plumbing leak. While we do everything we can to avoid the danger of a breakage in the plumbing, lifting up a foundation does put the plumbing on a certain risk. Due to this, we want to make sure that nothing happened to them as a leak can greatly affect the foundation and cause damaging stress on it. This test is performed on the property's sanitary sewer system where an inflatable test ball is inserted in the mainline sewer cleanout. This ball artificially plugs the sewer line near the perimeter of the foundation so that no water can flow past it. Afterward, the sewer system is filled with water up to the slab level, where the water level is observed for around fifteen minutes. If the water level decreases, there is a leak somewhere that needs to be addressed.
To make this easier to visualize, imagine a glass. The bottom of the glass blocks the water from leaking out onto the table just like the inflatable ball in the pipe. We fill up the glass with water up to the surface of the glass but not overfill it. If this glass is functioning properly, the water level should remain the same. However, if the water level decreases for no apparent reason there has to be something wrong with the glass. The glass is designed to be able to keep water in, just like the pipe. Hence, filling it with water is not damaging to the material. If there is a plumbing leak, this needs to be addressed as soon as possible to avoid your newly leveled foundation to react negatively to the excess moisture. The test is done as the very last part of the work. In some cases, there might be air pockets in the pipes with more that gives a false negative so the first thing we would do is to eliminate the possibility of human errors or air pockets if the test fails by checking everything and test it again. If this test fails again (water is leaking out), the next step would be to have a plumber find out why and where the issue is located.
Winter is coming and with it the chilly winds. The wildlife will start trying to find warmer places to live and are likely to find your crawl space the perfect paradise. Here it will escape the weather conditions while having an insulated undisturbed place to build its nest. However, the rodents can damage vital equipment under your foundation as well as cause disturbance to your sleep schedule and unpleasant smells if they end up passing away underneath your home. Our underskirt will provide a well-built long-lasting defense barrier against these rodents. It is installed to go down 6-12 inches below the surface level to provide a sustainable blockage for both runoff water and critters to enter.
An underskirt has more upsides than just make it difficult for critters to access the area, it also helps to maintain an even temperature underneath the building as it blocks the sun during the hot summer days and the cold winds during the winter. This will help keep the utility costs down as well as to some degree protect the pipes from breaking due to freezing.
Additionally, the cosmetic aspect of a well-installed underskirt will make you increase the value of your home as well as the neighborhood. Our stucco underskirt will be a pleasure to lay your eyes on as well as give you peace of mind.
Texas is hot and dry and as we are moving into September we are seeing more and more desiccation cracks, which means that the soil itself is starting to crack. This is something that happens during prolonged dry spells to certain types of soil. The soil type that experiencing the biggest issues is soils that have a high content of clay minerals such as smectites. When smectites get wet, water is able to get in between the molecules causing the soil to expand by pushing the structural units apart. When these water molecules evaporate, it shrinks down again. These clay contents that have a high shrink-swell plasticity will result in large crack formation during dry spells and it is not uncommon to see shrinkage of ten percent or more.
Why should you care about this and what does it have to do with foundations? The soil that underlies most properties here in Austin are shrink-swell soils. As the soil desiccate its capacity of bearing and stabilize the foundation decreases, which means that your foundation might get damaged. On top of this, most homeowner's insurances do not cover damages that are caused by expansive soils. It is estimated that the expansive soils in the US alone generates a cost of damage of $2-3 billion every year. A cost that I know most of us would like to escape.
When there are significant and repeated moisture content changes, the foundation takes the most damage. This means that by maintaining an even moisture level around your property, you can avoid these costly repairs. The moisture level needs to not only be evenly around the property but also during the different seasons. While a well-constructed drainage system can help you keep the moist level down during wet seasons, watering your yard can help it during the dry seasons. This can be done by using a sprinkling system or even a regular soaker hose within 10-12 inches of the foundation edge. Make sure to not add too much water and not too little. If you are seeing desiccation cracks on the south side of your home but not the north, the south side will need more water than the north to keep the moisture level balanced. As a result, the soil will not experience as great changes, and if it does these changes will be somewhat even throughout the home and minimizing the stress it puts on your foundation.
Bruecher Foundation is a locally owned family business who are offering foundation repair, drainage, and tunneling for both residential and commercial homes in the Austin area. We have been in business for over 30 years and some of our employees have been with us for almost as long. To us, our employees are more than just workers. We have watched each other grow with every challenge and developed the unique expertise you can only get from true hands-on experience.
Our team approaches every job with superior workmanship, close attention to details, and safety. We always have our crews work in groups for both safety and efficiency and they are trained to recognize and respond to any hazards associated with the work they perform.
Our goal is to establish a strong foundation for our clients that will last a lifetime and our work speaks for itself with recommendations from close to a thousand realtors* and a low rate on warranty repairs. After 30 years of experience in the business, we still believe that "word-of-mouth" is our best advertising.
During one of our visits, our knowledgeable experts will assist you in any questions, you might have while tailoring the best solution for you and your foundation. We offer foundation repair as well as drainage and tunneling for both residential and commercial homes in the Austin area and are educated in both pier and beam foundation and slabs.
Warranties solutions, trained experts. Bruecher Foundation is a locally-owned company with a team that has decades of hands-on experience. Foundation cracks, moist crawl spaces, sagging floors, or unleveled foundations. Don't worry, our specialists are here to help you!
The ground is moving under your feet! This is something that can be hard to grasp as the shifting is so slow that we often do not experience the movement ourselves. However, our home does. Austin is built upon mainly clay and limestone. This gives the soil high plasticity that follows the seasonal climate and changes. As the ground gets wet the soil expands, and through this lifts everything with it and the elevations of the foundation increases. While we move into the hot Texas summer the soil starts to shrink as it dries up and lowers everything again. As a result, the ground is continuously moving.
An unbalanced moisture level in the soil can cause one area to expand while the rest doesn't. This causes tension as one part of the foundation becomes more supported than another and foundation issues arise. Extended dry periods can also cause the soil around your foundation to shrink away and leave your foundation lacking an adequate amount of support. This is why it is important to try to keep an even soil moisture year-round.
Our piles are hydraulically driven through these unreliable horizons until it reached ground that is solid enough to firmly support the structure. Even though the soil keeps shifting, the piles and thus your property remains stable. We will test the integrity of each concrete pile during installation to make sure that not only the repair but also the products are of the best quality. We believe in our work and our slab repair is warranted for the life of the structure it supports and transferable between owners. Our work is then inspected by an independent non-biased engineer that certifies our high standard.
All to give a peace of mind to our clients and a firm foundation under their feet as the ground keeps moving.
We all need a solid foundation to stand on, not just metaphorical but also literal. The foundation of your home does not just keep your house up from the ground but a faulty foundation could in the long run cause mold-related health issues, higher electricity bills, and unpleasantness like difficulties opening and closing doors and windows, or cracks. The foundation also helps to insulate your home from both heat and cold. In order to give you, not only a long term but also an efficient solution to your foundation issues, we have chosen to install open/close vent instead of regular ones. These would allow you to keep down the maintenance fees as well as optimize this insulation feature. Additionally, the air from the crawl space finds its way into the property, which makes it important to keep the air in this area as good as possible. With an open/close vent, you will be able to close the access to the crawl space during heavy rain and avoid the area from getting flooded. During the dry period, you can open the vents to help eliminate moisture in the crawl space area. As a healthy foundation and well-constructed drainage system are very important for your home for various reasons. If you see signs of your drainage system failing, contact us at Bruecher Foundation to come and take a look at how we can help you improve and maintain a stable moisture level.
If you see signs of puddles forming around your property, scent a moldy smell from your crawl space, or even have water leaking into the property during periods of heavy rain. Your home might be in need of a different or better drainage system around your property. Even dark stains on our basement walls could indicate that water is finding its way into the foundation. Water can cause a lot of issues for your home and decrease your home's structural integrity, which in the end can become a costly experience. It can cause the foundation to shift, the beams to rot, the plaster to crumble, and floors to sag. Not every drainage solution will be the best for every home. This is why we, at Bruecher Foundation, work with different systems to tailor our suggestion to the best match for your property whether it is French drainage or retaining walls with more.
Bruecher Foundation is located in Austin, Texas. We have 32 years of experience in commercial and residential foundation repairs.
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