Using Foundation Elevations: (Reading this may well save you a bunch of money and help you avoid a lot of grief.)
Foundation companies sell piers. That’s how they make the vast amount of their profits. Buildings need to “settle” or drop, to benefit by using piers.
Piers cannot stop or reverse “upheaval, “which is the lifting of a structure by expanding soils. It is to the foundation companies’ advantage to have potential customers believe that all foundation movement is really settlement. To accomplish this they take foundation elevations without an original elevation benchmark.
The truth is that in areas of expansive soils such as North Texas, the majority of foundation movement leading to damage and repairs is upheaval, but the primary source of income for commissioned foundation repair salesman is selling piers. Here lies the conflict. This causes the foundation repair salesman to create a reason to sell piers providing inconclusive foundation elevations.
As stated, most foundation movement in areas of expansive soil is not caused by settlement. To give the illusion of settlement the foundation contractor salesmen generally use and instrument such as a “computerize level” to give the illusion of a slab settling. This is bad science!
Using leveling devices without being in possession of the original construction foundation elevations from sea level, which no one has, and a current government benchmark marked from sea level, one CAN NOT determine if a foundation has settled on one side, or lifted on the other.
In other words, the level will not tell you, if the foundation has gone up or if it has gone down. If the operator wants to make the foundation appear to have settled they put the zero mark at one point. If they want it to appear the building has heaved, which none of them do, they put it somewhere else. Either way, the foundation elevation does not show if or how the foundation moved.
If they want to sell piers they 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 un-needed piers will usually cause additional problems later on.
The real reason that there are so many foundation repair failures is not usually because of inadequate piers, but because the piers should not have been installed in the first place. And guess what, your warranty will not usually cover that mistake.
Contact me and I will explain it all.
The manipulation of elevations results is perhaps 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, as an example, 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.
If “X” is original grade (when constructed) then “O” has settled and the slab needs to be lifted. ………. HOWEVER, if “O” is at original grade, then “X” has heaved. You cannot tell by taking elevations unless you have the original elevations, from sea level, of the structure, when built, AND a benchmark based to sea level that can be used for reference. The foundation companies or “their” so called “professionals” do not have the sea-level elevations or benchmark, so do not buy piers based on their elevations.
All that any level can show is that the foundation is not level. It may not have been poured level, it may have settled, or it may have heaved. Or it may have been poured unlevel, and settled or heaved. The least likely option is that it just settled and this machine cannot tell you if it has! Once again it is at best bad science!
For additional information:
Contact me: Richard Rash at 817-308-8186f it did.
For more information go to www.foundationmanspeaks.com
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