JulianConstruction.com: House Leveling Tips

By Julian De La Torre

When a home starts to sink in one or more places, it can cause a myriad of problems, including wall cracks, slopping floor and doors or windows that won’t shut properly. Depending on the severity of the issue, your house may even appear unlevel when you view it from the outside.

Foundation settlement occurs for a variety of reasons. Most commonly, it is the result of changes in the soil beneath and around the structure. This can include a home that is built on soil that can’t support the building’s weight (weak bearing soil) or fill soil that wasn’t compressed sufficiently before the foundation was put in place.

Changes in the amount of moisture within the soil can also lead to settlement. As the moisture content increases, the soil will expand. When the moisture content decreases, the soil will start to dry and contract. The shrinkage creates spaces for foundation settlement.

Trees and other foliage growing near a structure can cause similar contraction problems when expanding root systems begin pulling water from the soil.

Foundation settlement can be fixed through a process known as house leveling, which restores the structure to its original level position.

There are several ways to level a home, including installing concrete pilings, pressed piling, helical piers, drilled bell piers and steel push piers.

Homes needing concrete foundation repair can also be repaired with mudjacking, a technique that involves lifting a sunken slab by pumping a mixture of “mud” underneath the foundation and pushing it up.

The entire weight of your home sits on its foundation, which is why keeping your foundation in good shape is so important. If you notice any signs of settlement, get help from an experienced foundation contractor. A professional will know how to correct the situation and address the root of the problem.

Julian De La Torre, expert in Los Angeles foundation inspection, foundation contractors and foundation repair (Los Angeles) and founder of Julian Construction (http://www.julianconstruction.com) in Los Angeles, has inspected over 15,000 structures, working with engineering firms & local departments of building & safety. The company has done more foundation repair (Los Angeles) than any other company in the area over the last five years (http://julianconstruction.com/services/house-leveling/). Julian Construction owns its own company and is a “no middlemen” model–no salesmen or subcontractors–you get the principals of the company & its workers under your home. Learn more about Julian Construction and Los Angeles foundation repair at http://www.anchorla.com/. See their video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oI6-SXw6Z1c

Julian Construction Offers House Leveling

LOS ANGELES, CA: Julian Construction (http://www.julianconstruction.com), a foundation repair and foundation construction company, is offering house leveling to homeowners in the Los Angeles area.

House leveling is the process of bringing a home back to as close to its original level state as possible. Leveling a home is normally done by performing foundation repair. Over time, a home’s foundation can begin to fail. This is due to various factors such as excess moisture, poor foundation design and more. A home that is sinking at one end or has sagging floors needs to be corrected and can be fixed with house leveling.

According to Julian Construction, many homeowners live with sloping floors, doors that will not open and cracking walls. Most floors can be leveled and returned to their original position, and the work can be completed in a structurally sound manner. Julian Construction specializes in house leveling to give homeowners a safer place to live.

“This is how you run a business. I paid a fair price and got what was promised. A small army of workers showed up on time, were incredibly efficient, and cleaned up so you’d never know they were there. The foreman was patient with a nervous and exacting homeowner,” says Carol, a past client of Julian Construction.

Julian Construction has done more foundation repair in Los Angeles than any other company in the area over the last five years. Julian owns its own company and is built on a “no middlemen” model – no salesmen, no subcontractors. When you work with Julian Construction you get the principals of the company and workers of Julian Construction under your home. The result is the highest quality work at affordable prices. They can be contacted by phone at 323-733-3377, by fax at 323-733-4477 or via their website, www.julianconstruction.com. You can see tips and advice about home foundations on their blog, at http://julianconstruction.com/blog/ or http://foundationrepairforlosangeles.com/blog/.

JulianConstruction.com: How Moisture Can Damage Your Foundation–What You Need To Know

by Julian De La Torre

Most homeowners know that water can cause extensive foundation problems. In fact, water intrusion is considered to be the single most important factor affecting the structural integrity of a building.

When moisture (condensed water) starts accumulating inside of a home, it can become an equally serious problem.

Moisture can come from any water source, such a plumbing, appliances, sinks, tubs, showers and toilets.

On walls, moisture will typically appear as a surface discoloration such as dark spots, mold and mildew. Mold has a black or green color, while mildew is usually grey or white. Other visual indicators include peeling paint, surface bubbles, warping and buckling, cracking and crumbling, swelling along drywall edges and seams, and soft or spongy areas on the drywall itself.

Moisture that builds up on or near the structure’s foundation can cause mildew, moss or foundation stains. Eventually the moisture will penetrate the foundation, which can result in cracking and other types of foundation issues and foundation repair cost.

If the soil underneath a foundation has too much moisture, it will start to expand. When the soil dries, it will contract. This can lead to uneven settlement and structural problems such as bowing walls, slopped floors and windows that won’t open or close properly.

One of the best ways to detect moisture is with a moisture meter. Pin-type moisture meters have two pins designed to be inserted into wood and other types of building materials. Once inserted, the device measures the resistance between the two electrodes. When any moisture is present, the electricity flows more easily. There are also meters without pins that use radio frequency signals to penetrate the material that is being tested.

If you find any evidence of water or moisture penetration, contact a foundation contractor to find out what is causing the problem and how to fix it.

Julian De La Torre, expert in Los Angeles foundation inspection, foundation contractors and foundation repair (Los Angeles) and founder of Julian Construction (http://www.julianconstruction.com) in Los Angeles, has inspected over 15,000 structures, working with engineering firms & local departments of building & safety. The company has done more foundation repair (Los Angeles) than any other company in the area over the last five years (http://julianconstruction.com/services/foundation-repair/). Julian Construction owns its own company and is a “no middlemen” model–no salesmen or subcontractors–you get the principals of the company & its workers under your home. Learn more about Julian Construction and Los Angeles foundation repair at http://losangelesfoundationrepair.us/. See their video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6I8j7dXzpj4

3 Primary Solutions to Save Your Home Foundation from Water Damage

LOS ANGELES, CA: Julian Construction (http://julianconstruction.com), a foundation repair and replacement company serving the greater Los Angeles area, is informing the public of three primary solutions for saving a home foundation from water damage, which leads to deterioration and needed replacement.

According to the company, foundation problems are unfortunately more common than we think. If a homeowner sees any leaks or cracks appearing in their foundation, the problem has already become serious. The damage from the issues that were previously ignored must be handled quickly otherwise irreparable damage could ensue, along with much more expensive repairs.

Three primary solutions to save your foundation from water damage are the use of downspouts, grading, and water.

1. Downspouts
An inexpensive option — that requires no construction – which expands your current downspouts to make your foundations safer. There are three options with downspouts regarding extensions. First, you can simply extend it away from the house. This can be done for $30 or less, as long as the water is being conducted at least 10 feet or more from your house. The second option is to make an extra long extension underground to send all the water to a storm drain/curb. Lastly, you can make an extension to send water to a dry part of your lawn.

2. Grading
Without proper soil excavation, water can seep to your house’s base and through the walls of your foundation causing water damage. Adding several inches of grading, meaning the soil slopes away from your house, can be a preventative measure for any homeowner. While hiring a construction company may be necessary, it is also possible for an individual to accomplish this by themselves with the simple tool: a level. It’s not necessary to dig more than approximately 10 feet in order to ensure the water will move away from your foundation.

3. Water
Contrary to what some people may think, your foundation does need a little water. The trick is to make sure you have control over how much and how often its watered so no water damage occurs. Hence, with the suggestion to use downspouts, you don’t want constant rain to be sitting near the foundation of your house. On the other hand, during a dry spell, it could be beneficial to soak the soil around your foundation in order to prevent the foundation cracking and drying out. Using a hose to allow just a few inches of water to seep around the soil of your home’s foundation will not only stop the contraction of it, but also control the expansion.

“Water damage, if unsuspected and unhandled over a period of time, can do serious damage to a home foundation. It is important to ensure this is not happening with your home. The best solution is to have a foundation inspection done by a knowledgeable foundation repair specialist, if you suspect any water damage or other problems with your foundation,” Julian Construction founder Julian De La Torre advised.

Julian Construction has done more foundation repair in Los Angeles than any other company in the area over the last five years. Julian owns its own company and is built on a “no middlemen” model – no salesmen, no subcontractors. When you work with Julian Construction you get the principals of the company and workers of Julian Construction under your home. The result is the highest quality work at affordable prices. They can be contacted by phone at 323-733-3377, by fax at 323-733-4477 or via their website, www.julianconstruction.com. You can see tips and advice about home foundations on their blog, at http://julianconstruction.com/blog/ or http://houseboltinglosangeles.com/blog/.

3 Underpinning Options to Handle Home Foundation Problems

LOS ANGELES, CA: Julian Construction (http://julianconstruction.com), a foundation repair and replacement company serving the greater Los Angeles area, is informing the public of three different methods of underpinning a building. Underpinning is defined as a method used to increase a building’s foundation depth or repair faulty foundations.

According to Julian Construction, there are three primary methods of underpinning which can be used in order to repair foundations that are faulty and/or that need an increased depth for greater stability. Underpinning is extremely useful when there are cracks appearing in a foundation.

First Option: Mass Pour Underpinning
An extremely common method of underpinning is the mass pour method. This can be accomplished by excavating small sections beneath the current foundation and pouring concrete into each hole. This action is repeated several times to cover the entire area that is underpinned.

Second Option: Using Brackets & Screw Piles for Underpinning
Another method is to use brackets and screw piles to underpin. This method makes the foundation able to withstand strong lateral and vertical winds, as well as the shaking the wind can cause to buildings. Not only is it fast to install, noise of vibration caused by wind will be decreased.

Third Option: Pile & Beam Underpinning
This option requires a min-pile installed in on both sides of the wall which is affected. When the piles are installed the brickwork can be taken out underneath the wall and then it will be reinforced with a particular needle beam that will support the wall by connecting the piles together. This is the preferred method because it’s quicker than underpinning under restricted access, causes smaller amount of disruption, as well as handles a large load capacity.

“Underpinning is often a very needed and effective method of handling home foundation problems. Which method is most advisable depends on a number of factors. That’s why it’s important to get a foundation inspection by a knowledgeable foundation repair specialist, if you suspect any problems with your foundation,” said Julian Construction founder Julian De La Torre.

Julian Construction has done more foundation repair in Los Angeles than any other company in the area over the last five years. Julian owns its own company and is built on a “no middlemen” model – no salesmen, no subcontractors. When you work with Julian Construction you get the principals of the company and workers of Julian Construction under your home. The result is the highest quality work at affordable prices. They can be contacted by phone at 323-733-3377, by fax at 323-733-4477 or via their website, www.julianconstruction.com. You can see tips and advice about home foundations on their blog, at http://julianconstruction.com/blog/ or http://houseboltinglosangeles.com/blog/.

Julian Construction Explains Why You May Need a Caisson Foundation for Your Hillside Property

LOS ANGELES, CA: Julian Construction, Inc., (http://www.julianconstruction.com), a foundation repair and construction company in Los Angeles, explains why hillside properties will often need a special type of foundation called a caisson foundation.

Julian De La Torre, founder, and owner of Julian Construction explains “The foundation of your home is extremely important. Both Caissons and grade beams support your foundation and are constructed by putting reinforced steel and fresh concrete into a deep shaft in the ground. They are reinforced piles which are cast in holes that are drilled through enough soil and rock layers in order to reach the desired bedrock. The work of caissoning is a process that requires drilling 24” holes into the ground all the way down to a layer of bedrock, and it is particularly critical when houses are located on unstable soil or a hill in order to stop the house from sinking.

“You shouldn’t have to worry about whether your home will be safe in the event of an earthquake. You should rest easy, knowing your home rests on a structurally sound foundation. We can inspect your home to find out what steps are needed to get it there. We offer free foundation inspections for homeowners, and for those with a higher cripple wall, we can review plans or obtain the engineering necessary for your project.”

There are regulations and safety requirements that mandate grade beams and caissons, particularly in additions, new construction, or under circumstances where repair is recommended by soil or structural engineers.

Grade beams and caissons are usually used to set piers for bridges, tall concentrated loads, structural passes, and underpasses. But they are also an important solution to prevent slides for residential homes on hillsides. Caissons are looked at as economical, versatile, and reliable foundation solution for support in Los Angeles.

De La Torre states “If you own a home on a hillside, and particularly if you suspect the house is sliding downwards, it is vital to have the home inspected by a foundation repair expert. Otherwise, your house could slowly sink an inch at a time into the soil.”

Julian Construction owns its own company and is built on a “no middlemen” model – no salesmen, no subcontractors. When you work with Julian Construction you get the principals of the company and workers of Julian Construction under your home. The result is the highest quality work at affordable prices. They can be contacted by phone at 323 733-3377, by fax at 323 733-4477 or via their website, www.julianconstruction.com. You can see tips and advice about home foundations on their blog, at http://julianconstruction.com/blog/ or http://quakeproofers.com/blog/.

JulianConstruction.com: Storms Can Cause Foundation Damage

by Julian De La Torre

Rain can seriously damage a home’s foundation. If it enters the crawl space, it can cause the wood to warp and decay.

Water can also cause the soil near a foundation to expand and contract. When the soil’s moisture content increases, it will start pressing against the foundation walls. This additional pressure can lead to cracking and bowing. As the water content decreases, it will leave spaces in the soil. Over time, the foundation will start to settle into these gaps. If the settlement is extensive or uneven, it will damage the foundation.

When rainwater collects and pools around a concrete foundation, it can start to penetrate the foundation and break down the concrete. As the concrete deteriorates, cracks will begin to appear. Foundation cracks will weaken a structure.

A heavy rain can wash away the soil around a building and underneath its foundation, which can cause the structure to sink.

Severe downpours can lead to flooding, one of most common types of natural disasters. Many areas throughout the United States, including Southern California, typically experience some type of annual flooding.

A flood will push against the sides of a building, weakening its structure and possibly even separating it from the foundation. The water will also penetrate deep into the ground, moving or breaking foundation pilings.

You should always check the condition of your foundation after a rainstorm. Look for foundation cracks or fissures. Other signs of foundation problems include doors and windows that don’t close properly, bowing walls; sloping, sagging or even floors, and gaps around window frames or exterior doors.

If you do find any indicators that your foundation has been damaged, contact a home foundation repair expert or foundation contractor immediately and request an inspection. Any foundation issues should be addressed quickly to avoid more serious problems and the need for expensive home foundation repairs.

Julian De La Torre, expert in Los Angeles foundation inspection, foundation contractors and foundation repair (Los Angeles) and founder of Julian Construction (http://www.julianconstruction.com) in Los Angeles, has inspected over 15,000 structures, working with engineering firms & local departments of building & safety. The company has done more foundation repair (Los Angeles) than any other company in the area over the last five years (http://julianconstruction.com/services/foundation-repair/). Julian Construction owns its own company and is a “no middlemen” model–no salesmen or subcontractors–you get the principals of the company & its workers under your home. Learn more about Julian Construction and Los Angeles foundation repair at http://losangelesfoundationrepair.us/. See their video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oI6-SXw6Z1c

Julian Construction Starts Soft-Story Retrofit Job in Los Angeles

Building peace of mind, one building at a time.

Thanks to Julian Construction, there will be another earthquake retrofitted building in the city. Julian De La Torre’s company has started a soft-story earthquake retrofit on the 1800 block of South Victoria Ave. in Los Angeles.

Structures, like the one pictured below, are more vulnerable to damage and collapse during an earthquake if the property has not been properly retrofitted.

Buildings most at risk are those that were built before January 1st, 1978 when safer building codes were introduced. Generally, these properties will have a lower level parking garage or a similar open floor space (called a soft-story) below the structure.

A soft-story building is characteristically defined as a multi-story structure with a susceptible first floor. The structure is more vulnerable when there are large windows and doors surrounding the perimeter of the space or areas inside.

Unfortunately, soft-story structures are still quite common in Los Angeles — it’s estimated that tens of thousands of soft-story buildings remain throughout the city. Usually, they can be found in apartment buildings or retail spaces that have been built on top of parking garages.

Other soft-story buildings can resemble office buildings with large ground floor lobbies and street level retail stores with large windows and entryways.

“Past earthquakes have demonstrated that soft story buildings are particularly vulnerable to severe damage or collapse in a major earthquake relative to other building types,” the Structural Engineers Association of Northern California ( http://www.seaonc.org/soft-story-faq#3 ) reports. “Collapse itself poses a safety risk to occupants.”

Besides the damage that’s incurred when a building collapses, these disasters can also ignite fires which pose major safety risks to occupants and neighboring buildings.

As most Angelinos know, L.A. remains at extreme risk for earthquakes due to the San Andreas and the San Jacinto fault lines which run below the city (link http://www.latimes.com/science/la-me-quake-risk-20160317-story.html).

Most soft-story structures are not built to withstand the lateral movement of an earthquake. But, thanks to the retrofitting work of Julian Construction, soft-story buildings can be remedied with a retrofit to minimize the damage that a property and it’s occupants could sustain during a major disaster.

If you’re concerned your building could be a soft-story structure, contact Julian Construction for an inspection.

Julian De La Torre is a trusted expert in foundation repair, house leveling and foundation inspection. De La Torre’s company, Julian Construction ( http://www.julianconstruction.com ), has inspected over 15,000 structures in Los Angeles alone, working alongside engineering firms and local departments of building & safety.

Julian Construction: Top 3 Signs You Have a Drainage Problem

Julian Construction, Inc., (http://www.julianconstruction.com), a foundation repair and construction company in Los Angeles, discloses the top three signs that you have a possible drainage problem on your property.

According to Julian De La Torre, founder of Julian Construction, “By discovering any drainage issues early, especially with regular inspections, you can avoid building foundation trouble later on. The issues can be faster to fix, save money, and lots of heartache in the future. It does not take a degree to understand that water in your basement or a mini ‘lake’ in your front yard are signs of drainage problems. However, several other issues are not as clear cut.”

De La Torre gave several of the subtle signs of bad drainage and why to fix these issues now instead of later.

1. Overflowing Gutters

“A tiny waterfall from your gutter is an indication that dead leaves are blocking it. Without taking action this can ruin paint jobs, lead to rotted siding, and even cause structural damage. While you may not need to get gutter extensions for this issues, depending on the damage you could simply need to hire a professional to clear out the leaves. The worst case scenario, if the gutters are improperly sized or pitched, they could need replacing. Even with the most expensive option, it is cheaper than replacing your siding which could eventually lead to foundation trouble.

2. Dumping Downspouts

“Runoff totaling more than 600 gallons is produced per inch of rain that falls on 1,000 square feet, which equals filling 10 bathtubs completely. Depositing that much water very close to the home foundation can cause foundation damage. This might be handled by getting gutter extensions in order to carry water 5 feet or so from the house. Or, worst case, if your downspouts are too short, which deposits buckets of water near your foundation, it can seep into the walls and put too much pressure on the walls of your foundation, which can lead to them cracking. You may need to excavate the foundation in order to fix everything.

3. Water Stains in Your Basement

“It is important to first determine the size of this issue, especially with regular inspections, by first looking at the location of the water spot to determine if there could be foundation troubles. Surface water at the source is easier to deal with then water that is traveling underground. Stains that are on top of your foundation wall can be from overflowing gutters or surface runoff that is backed up next to your house because the slope of the soil around it is not adequate. However, it is a bigger problem if the stain is an extended line around the basement. This can mean you are looking at a high water mark which is ever-changing based on a fluctuating water table. Gutter extensions may not be sufficient here. You would need an interior drain system and sump pump in order to extract any water from out of the basement.

“Regular inspections can help you avoid foundation trouble,” says De La Torre, who adds that it’s also important to identify the source of the problem, not just fix it.

Julian Construction owns its own company and is built on a “no middlemen” model – no salesmen, no subcontractors. When you work with Julian Construction you get the principals of the company and workers of Julian Construction under your home. The result is the highest quality work at affordable prices. They can be contacted by phone at 323 733-3377, by fax at 323 733-4477 or via their website, http://www.julianconstruction.com or http://foundationrepairforlosangeles.com/. You can see tips and advice about home foundations on their blog, at http://julianconstruction.com/blog/

Differentiating Between the 3 Primary Foundation Types

LOS ANGELES, CA: Julian Construction, Inc., (http://www.julianconstruction.com), a foundation repair and construction company in Los Angeles, explains the three primary foundation types.

Julian Construction founder De La Tore says “The three primary foundation types are full basement, slab-on-grade, & crawlspace. They are each used in varying conditions and depending on the local market.”

1. Full Basements

“This type of foundation has footings deep below the frost depth of the region as well as eight-foot walls that surround a four-inch, very thickly poured, concrete slab.

2. Slab-on-Grade

“Slab-on-grade is a type of foundation that’s essentially a poured concrete slab at grade level. It offers itself as the home’s primary living area. In warm places, slab-on-grade foundations are particularly common if there is a good chance of high water tables, like in Florida.

3. Crawlspaces

“Crawlspaces are the most common foundation within some parts of the Midwest and even in the Southeast. Footings will be placed under the frost line but there is barely enough room for a person to crawl in there. It is important to know that while this foundation tends to include vent openings in order to stop the buildup of extreme moisture, it can typically backfire as the moisture is able to soak into the house’s framing, which can lead to rot and failure in the structural integrity of the building. It can even host pollutants like mold spores in the living space of the home. To assist with these issues, it is important to insulate and seal the crawlspace with a barrier of polyethylene vapor, or possibly a concrete slab.

Julian Construction founder De La Tore says “It is imperative to understand the various types of foundations and to speak with a foundation expert before deciding which type of foundation you would like for your house. Even after you have picked your foundation, take care to regularly inspect your foundation for signs. If a problem is caught early, it can usually easily be fixed. The longer you wait, the more you have to spend on repairs”.

Julian Construction owns its own company and is built on a “no middlemen” model – no salesmen, no subcontractors. When you work with Julian Construction you get the principals of the company and workers of Julian Construction under your home. The result is the highest quality work at affordable prices. They can be contacted by phone at 323 733-3377, by fax at 323 733-4477 or via their website, http://julianconstruction.com. You can see tips and advice about home foundations on their blog, at http://julianconstruction.com/blog/ or http://quakeproofers.com/blog/.