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Category Archives: Foundation Repair

High Water and Foundation Damage

High water can come from the sky in the form of rain or from flooded bodies of water. The water can cause damage by rushing rapidly, knocking down trees, buildings, and more. The flowing debris can cause even more damage, destroying roads, eroding soils, and demolishing structures. Commercial and residential properties can both be ruined by high water. Even if the building is structurally sound after the flood, the water can pollute the area and promote the growth of mold and pest infestations.

high water floodwaters foundation repair

Water Damage to Your Building

When floodwaters enter the interior of your building, it quickly works on destroying the wood and metal that is exposed to the moisture. Even when the water recedes, wood, carpeting, and furniture can be waterlogged a long time after the basement appears to be dry. You will most likely need commercial-grade heaters, fans, and dehumidifiers to completely dry the environment.

Even if the water doesn’t enter your home or business, it can cause damage to your foundation. The pressure of the water and oversaturated soil can put a tremendous strain on the foundation walls. The hydrostatic pressure can cause the walls to crack, bow, or even collapse entirely.

Check Your Property

You need to check your home or business when it is safe. Don’t put yourself in danger to check the property. You should keep an eye out for downed power lines and structural damage. If it’s not safe, just wait until it is. The water is full of pollutants, bacteria, sewage, and debris. You can be injured or made ill due to things left by floodwaters.

If the area around your property is safe, you can look around for damage and warning signs. Make note of the building materials that are waterlogged, especially if they are load-bearing. Check for new cracks, gaps, and joints that are out of alignment. Look for bulging walls and sagging floors or ceilings. These are all signs of foundation damage and a professional will need to be called in to do the repairs.

It’s usually a good idea to have a professional check your property if floodwaters have infiltrated it. They will be able to determine if the property can be repaired or if it has to be demolished. Many city governments have rules mandating the course of action depending on the amount of damage. It is important that buildings are safe for occupants to be in. Hopefully, there is insurance to cover the costs or at least help.

If the structure can be repaired, you will also need to have it professionally cleaned. There’s no sense in performing repairs if the building is contaminated with bacteria from sewage water, dead animals, and other pollutants.

Foundation Repair Contractors

If you do decide that you need to have foundation repairs done on your property, be wary of fly-by-night contractors. A lot of shady operators will pop up, trying to make a buck off of victims of floods and other natural disasters. Atlas Master Companies has been in the area for decades and we make Virginia our home and many of you are our neighbors. We have a reputation for honesty and quality work. It may be tempting to go with the lowest cost, but you get what you pay for: shoddy materials, poor workmanship, inexperienced workers, worthless warranties, and more. There’s no sense in having work done on your home or business, if it’s just going to allow more problems, perhaps even worse than the original issue, to occur.

Don’t be pressured into making a decision on the spot. An honest contractor is going to give you an estimate in writing and allow you some time to go over it and think about it. the easiest way to avoid high-pressure salespeople is to not even invite them on to the property. Look for a contractor that has been in business for a while with authentic references and free estimates. Foundation repairs are important and the decision shouldn’t be made lightly, quickly, or under pressure. Contact Atlas Master Companies to learn more about choosing a reliable contractor.

Category Archives: Foundation Repair

Hurricane Florence and Virginia

 

Fortunately, Hurricane Florence was not as bad as was predicted, but it still caused a lot of damage and loss to the area. Torrential rains, high winds, and even tornadoes have hit the East Coast. There has been a loss of possessions, structures, and life due to this storm.

tornado damage

Even though the Carolinas took the brunt of Florence, Virginia wasn’t completely spared. A deadly tornado hit the Richmond area which was caused by the weather that came along with the hurricane. The tornado damaged buildings, flipped cars, and knocked down power lines throughout Chesterfield County. A classification for the tornado hadn’t been assigned yet, but the National Weather Service called it a “a very dangerous situation” and it caused at least one death, when a commercial building collapsed.

Problems from Hurricanes

Although the largest portion of Hurricane Florence missed the Virginia region, the area hasn’t always been so lucky. This tornado on September 17th occurred 14 years to the day that Hurricane Ivan spawned 40 tornadoes in the state, breaking records for tornadoes in a single day and in a single year, according to the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.

In addition to tornadoes, hurricanes bring damaging winds and flooding rains. Normal weather can wreak havoc on a structure, imagine what tornadoes and hurricanes can do. Some issues that can occur include foundation damage, flooding, structural damage, and water issues.

After the storms have passed and it’s safe to walk around your property, make an inspection of the structure. Keep an eye out for downed power lines and avoid them at all costs. You survived the storm, don’t be a casualty to carelessness.

When inspecting the property check for any damage to the building including the roof, foundation, walls, and floors. If you see any signs of problems, contact the professionals at Atlas Master Companies as soon as possible. We’ll be able to let you know if the issue is something that needs to be addressed immediately, or if it can wait until things calm down. We can restore your building’s strength and stability.

Waterproofing Your Building

It’s obviously too late to waterproof your home or business for this storm, but you can be prepared for the next one with services from Atlas Master Companies. We will inspect your property and determine what kind of waterproofing services you need. There are a variety of solutions available, all of them playing a different role in protecting your commercial or residential property.

You may be in need of interior and exterior waterproofing, crawl space encapsulation, surface water collection, French drain installation, or a sump pump and pit. It is important that you keep your property dry and free from water damage. Water in your building can soften and damage the structure, weakening it. It can also promote pest infestations and cause health issues related to mold and mildew growth.

If your home or business experienced flooding, you should have it professionally cleaned before using the building. Floodwaters are filthy and full of bacteria and other health hazards. Dead animals, overflowing sewage systems, and other contaminants are in the water, even if it looks clean. Floodwaters can cause a variety of serious illnesses, so it’s important to avoid exposure to the threat.

Stabilizing Your Structure

High winds and high water are a terrible combination when it comes to the stability of your home or business. The soil your building is on could be oversaturated and soft and the winds could be weakening or damaging your structure.

The foundation experts at Atlas Master Companies can determine if your foundation needs repair and, if so, what the best method would be. There are a variety of methods available including tiebacks, soil nails, steel piers, plate anchors, and helical piers, among other options.

It is important that you make sure your building is strong and secure, protecting your people and your investment. Make sure that the contractor that you use is trustworthy and reliable. Remember, cheapest isn’t always the best choice, especially when you think about how much your building is worth.

Repairing Your Concrete

High water and torrential rains may have caused the concrete surfaces around your property to sink, settle, or crack. An uneven slab can cause a tripping hazard or cause drainage or structural issues, so it’s important to have the concrete repaired.

In the past, people would just tear up the old concrete and start over, but there is a more efficient and effective option that is becoming more popular. Atlas Master Companies uses the method of polyfoam slab jacking to repair concrete.

If the earth under the slab has eroded and created voids or washed away, the concrete can sink or crack. The polyurethane foam will expand under the slab, filling the empty areas and compressing the soil, giving the slab a strong foundation to rest on. The foam is water-resistant so it will seal the bottom of the slab and it won’t wash away like the slurry from mudjacking can.

Another option is the installation of a concrete slab push pier system. These can be used when the soil under the slab is just too weak to support the concrete. Our experts can determine the best method to restore your concrete slab.

Protect Yourself and Others

We know that there is a lot going on when bad weather hits, so we encourage you to be proactive and make sure your home or business is ready to weather the storm. Contact us today to learn more about making sure your property is strong, stable, and safe.

Category Archives: Foundation Repair

What Type of Foundation Repair Do I Need?

Find out what kind of solutions we offer for your foundation repair problems at Atlas Master Companies.

Drywall Cracks

Photo of cracked drywall.Problem:

Drywall cracks are a common problem, yet they can be hard to diagnose and easy to ignore. Even when the crack is small, it can become a major issue because it can grow to become a major structural problem. Too much water, incorrect soil compaction on construction, or very hot and dry conditions can all cause drywall cracks.

Solution:

AMC will use underpinning products like steel push piers, helical piers, or plate anchors. The piers are pushed deep into the soil to produce a stable structure for the home. The choice of steel, helical, or plate will depend on the specific situation.

Sinking Foundations

Photo of sinking foundation with tape measure showing distance. Problem:

Sinking foundations can be a big problem in Virginia homes. Have you ever walked out of your home and noticed that the ground around it is sinking down? Do your doors stick? Do you have wall or floor cracks? These could be signs of a serious foundation problem that needs to be addressed immediately.

Solution:

AMC uses ECP (Earth Contact Products) underpinning products like helical piers, steel push piers, and helical torque anchors. Steel push piers are the most common choice for sinking foundation repair, but helical piers are great for unstable rock basements. Once again, the solution will be specialized to your specific situation, and we will work with you for the best solution.

Bowed Basement Walls

slab push pierProblem:

Bowed basement walls are due to pressure from water on the building’s foundation. This can be because of improper drainage in the yard, frost heave that causes pressure on different piece of the foundation, or because of improper original construction. In any case, this is a serious issue that threatens the safety of your home.

Solution:

There are three main solutions to this issue and they are helical tieback anchors, wall plate anchors, or carbon fiber straps. Helical tiebacks are put in through a small hole in the basement wall, and they will strengthen and revert the wall to its original position. Wall plate anchors will stabilize the wall and cause minimal damage to landscaping. Lastly, carbon fiber repair will go up on the walls, and it can be painted over afterwards for almost invisible coverage.

These are just a few repairs you may come across, but please check out our website for more problems and solutions for your foundation. Contact AMC for a free estimate, and get started on keeping your house safe and comfortable for many years to come.

Category Archives: Foundation Repair

Chic’s Beach Helical Piles

Team Atlas installed new deep foundation helical piles at a residence in VA Beach. This area is referred to as Chic’s Beach. New FEMA regulations call for new deep foundation piles for any new construction within a certain distance from bays, rivers or oceans.

Category Archives: Foundation Repair

Signs That Your Foundation is About to Fail

Some of the physical signs of foundation stress are things like floors that are suddenly uneven, pictures beginning to hang askew where they used to hang straight. The soil density under many houses is not uniform, and therefore settles differently in different places, causing the foundation to have more stress and potential damage in some areas.

Usually, if there is significant damage, or potential for it, it will be visible in the frame and in the floors of the structure within the first 5 years if it is going to be caused by vertical stress (soil settling differently in different areas under the foundation). Damage after that is most often attributed to lateral or horizontal shifting. Here are a couple ways to tell if a foundation is shifting vertically. If your doors, windows, moldings, etcetera, no long longer meet properly, (both those inside and outside the house) you may have a problem. Another sign is cracks forming in the masonry (for instance the brickwork around the fireplace.)

 

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