When population grows globally, the structure of the world must compensate to support it. In terms of housing, this often means that the existing structures in an area are likely old and poorly maintained, but must continue to provide homes for more individuals. According to azfamily.com (http://www.azfamily.com/story/34980466/maricopa-county-saw-biggest-population-growth-in-the-us-last-year), in 2016, the rate of increase in Maricopa county’s population was more than that of any other county in the United States. (us census data – http://meredith.worldnow.com/story/34984757/census-bureau-reveals-the-fastest-growing-county-in-the-nation).
As houses get older in Phoenix, the components deteriorate in different ways. Since the mid 1990’s, contractors have been aware of expansive soil, and have deliberately avoided parts of Phoenix where they know it is present. Unfortunately, as land costs increased, contractors moved into these areas. Expansive soil is an occurrence that affects about half of homes in the United States. It causes more damage than most natural disasters, and can lead to costly and dangerous problems. The cause of expansive soil comes from its composition. The microscopic solids of clay can expand and contract greatly with changes to the levels of water present in soil. When the Arizona monsoon rains come down in the mid-late summer, moisture can seep down through the soils below the foundation. When this soil expands and contracts, it can push up in some areas, and sink in other areas. This leads to heaving swells in the interior floor, interior and exterior cracks, and roofing malfunctions. When addressing the possibility of expansive soil, the first step is for a qualified, experienced, guaranteed, and local professional to inspect the home – because a quality inspection will lead to an accurate diagnosis, and an accurate diagnosis is the first step for a valid cure. For the most accurate information and best service and value, call James Belville at Concrete Repairman LLC.
While the problem of expansive soil exists, there are also less noticeable, more gradual effects of excess moisture beneath a building. Too often, repair companies misdiagnose the problem. Expansive soil is a term that rattles the nerves of many homeowners, and they sometimes assume the worst, without evidence. This can lead to remediation techniques that can cost up to $12,000, while failing to address the root causes of foundation problems, thus costing more in future repairs.
When it comes to concrete foundation repair, the most devastating factor to look out for is water. Water, by itself, is not very scary, and Phoenix Arizona receives so little rain that it might seem silly even to be concerned about water. But don’t be fooled – the most dangerous water does not reveal its presence.
When the monsoon rain comes down, the hot desert sun appears to evaporate it quickly, but that moisture stays around much longer than people realize. When it’s not mitigated using proper rain gutters, drainage systems, efficient dirt grading and foundation sealer, water sticks around: it seeps down below the paint line, and can invade the area inside the stem wall and even beneath the main slab.
One major issue, as described in the article at http://www.concreterepairman.com/foundation/repair/, shows itself in the form of spalling. Spalling is a result of the fact that in 99 percent of homes, the foundation is only treated and painted down to the line where the foundation meets the soil. When rainwater builds up around a foundation, some of the water sinks down below the paint line, below the foundation. When it evaporates, water vapor rises up behind the paint line, and through the porous concrete material, leaving behind salt deposits that chew through the foundation.
***The critical flaw of most repair jobs in Phoenix, Arizona is that they are just “repair jobs” to a contractor. Plainly said, most contractors in this city are ignorant of the importance of thorough repairs and prevention methods for foundation damage.
Most repairmen offer patchwork solutions that do not hold up, and cannot be guaranteed for long. The builders and contractors simply do not engineer their work to last. Rust damage is an example: since oxidation is an active electrical process that effects rebar reinforcement steel in concrete foundations, it’s necessary to treat affected areas with a rust inhibitor. Usually, the repairman should treat the inside of a stem wall foundation with a waterproofing concrete sealant in order to stop the spread of moisture that is obviously present in the ground. Most concrete repair companies do not do this.
James Belville is quite familiar with the other guy’s patchwork, because Concrete Repairman LLC has been called to fix jobs that other repair companies didn’t to do right.
***Exterior cracks are almost as common as half-hearted solutions that many Arizona repair companies offer. Half-hearted solutions might be cheap, but with time, they are the most expensive. Most companies don’t do what Concrete Repairman LLC does. James Belville always does things in his repairs that make them last through Arizona’s conditions. That’s why his repairs aren’t necessarily more expensive, but they are always more valuable. This is due to James’s understanding of the moisture that causes damage. With exterior foundation damage repairs, he carefully removes the dirt and rocks from the foundation grade, and applies a waterproofing sealant. No other foundation repair company in Arizona does this.
***Of all the Arizona companies that offer repairs, Concrete Repairman LLC is the only repair service that waterproofs and paints their repairs all the way down, in order to prevent the recurrence of water vapor damage.
It’s also extremely important to consider holistic damage prevention methods for residential and commercial foundations. As many Phoenix homeowners remember, unmitigated monsoon floods can cause severe damage to Arizona homes, both during and after a storm. That’s why James always recommends proper rain gutters and simple water drainage systems around a home. His company is also the only one that routinely brings in additional dirt to repair jobs, in order to create the efficiently engineered dirt grade slope necessary to prevent water from building up and staying present.
If you would like to talk about the condition of your residential or commercial foundation, please feel free to call us today at (602) 418-2970.