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Causes Of Foundation Failure

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The Healthy Home Show wX Don Derry

The Healthy Home Show wX Don Derry


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Expansive Clay soil swells as moisture is added, often causes the foundation or interior floor to lift and/or settle. Join me while we talk about the causes of foundation failure in Kansas City, MO. I look forward to serving you and your property. Don Derry www.kcwaterproofing.com


0:31 Don Derry

Hey, good morning Kansas City! This is Don Derry with K.C. Waterproofing in the Healthy Home Show and welcome this morning. It is beautiful! Oh my gosh, I was out today. Got out at about 4 o'clock this morning, doing a little salting because that is what we do during the winter months and have a little fun with the snow and I was out and I am thinking, man it is 40 degrees at 6 o'clock in the morning on a February 14. Happy Valentines Day! And to everybody out there, I hope today is a beautiful and wonderful day for you. And I appreciate the opportunity to be here with you today and talk to you about one of the most important things that we have as an investment is our homes. And our homes are by far, a very valuable asset to us and that is why we get together once a week and we talk about keeping our homes healthy with the Healthy Home Show and my name is Don Derry and I am the owner of K.C. Waterproofing, a foundation repair and waterproofing company locally in Kansas City. I am also a certified personal coach on leadership. So if I can ever help you with something like that, my phone number at the office is (816) 505-9990. And you know, K.C. Waterproofing has been doing residential and commercial foundation repairs since 1985. I started when I was 18, right out of high school. And we specialize in foundation repair, waterproofing and mold removal and testing.

2:23 Don Derry

And my expertise is in evaluating structures or home issues related to your foundation and/or water problems. And, hey, this weekend, it is going to be 60 degrees on Saturday the 15th of February. Let me tell you what, you know what is going to happen? Come on, guess, is the snow is going to melt. And when the snow melts, we had 10 inches or so, close to 10 inches of snow, it is all going to melt and where is it going to go? All right down next to your foundation. And in some of those homes, what is going to happen? Your basement is going to leak. And I am sorry to tell you that but that is what is going to happen and if you have that problem, you know who to call, because I am your go-to man when it comes to foundation repair and waterproofing, here in the Kansas City Metropolitan area because our mission is to take care of homes and make them healthy. So today, I wanted to talk about the causes of foundation failure. We have been talking as the first part of this year, you know what causes foundation? You know what should I do to maintain my foundation? How does water get in my basement? All those things, so now we need to talk about the causes of foundation failure. You know, probably one of the most, the number one cause of foundation failure is the dry soils. And foundations constructed on dry and expansive soils are subject to uplift. They can actually lift upward or they can subside downward and this type of movement is usually caused by moisture migration over, you know a few years that continues for years.

4:16 Don Derry

When soils heaves, pushes upward, that means that there is water in the soil. It is there for a long period of time. It is not draining properly and the clay is a very expansive clay soil or a very fatty clay soil. We have some of those areas in the Leavenworth-Lansing area, we have some of those areas in the Overland Park, South _4:41_ area here in Kansas City. They do have some of that expansive clay soil. Also the clay soil, when it is dry, it subsides. And when I mean subside, it means it shrinks and drops and that is why, you know, a lot of what we are seeing right now is the interior of homes, especially slab-on-grade, front to back splits that the interior of the home is actually, the floor are settling or dishing. You will see a little bow in your floor and that is what the dry weather has caused that. Now a lot of times it's from the trees or in our case, it is almost three years now of expansive dry clay soil, that is causing the foundation failure and not enough water in the soil to make things better. You know another cause of foundation failure is through trees. I know you loved them. I love them too because pin oaks are favorite and this year for Christmas everybody on the show, you get a free pin oak tree and I want you to plant it at least five feet from your foundation. I am kidding okay. Not five feet from the foundation that is the problem is that everybody plants their trees close to house. The tree grows up, just like we all do. We get older. The tree roots will grow 1-1/2 times the size of the canopy.

6:11 Don Derry

So what ends up happening as the tree roots get up underneath the foundation. There is a constant moisture underneath your home but if you got a lot of trees. That moisture bubble is deprived because of the tree roots that pulled moisture out from underneath the home. And they actually pull the soil away from the foundation walls which caused the foundation to settle and yes settling is not a bad word. You know, it can be good for foundation repair companies and for engineers but really not for homeowners and businesses. So you know, trees play a huge part in our causes of foundation failure. So we talked about, the sun, just dry like expansive clay soil, we talk about trees. You know, the large trees _7:06_. You know that is what causes a lot of our problems but let us talk about plumbing leaks. Because this is one of the ones that people do not talk about a lot and I am telling you, this is the difference between a good foundation contractor and a bad foundation contractor. Let me tell you, there is about three or four good foundation contractors in the Kansas City Metropolitan area and that is K.C. Waterproofing foundation is one of those and not to mention anybody else's names but when you have _7:40_ on the interior of your home, you have to have the plumbing check.

7:46 Don Derry

And when I say, have the plumbing checked, you have to have a camera run down your main drain line across your floors and make sure that you do have any leaks or breaks underneath your home, because here is the reason, if you _8:02_ where you fill soil in Portland cement up underneath the slab or use polyurethane and you push it up underneath the slab, what ends up happening is you will literally fill those pipes underneath you house. And you will go to flush the toilet and the toilet will not flush because you filled the pipes with a solid substance. Okay, so that is number 1. Number 2 is that you spend thousands of dollars on repairs of your home, one of your most important assets, you do not fix the plumbing leaks, three years later, you have the same situation go on even though you just fixed it and contractor says, "Ah, we are not responsible for your plumbing leaks!" and that is a problem. So you have to have, and it is not the foundation contractor's responsibility to know whether your plumbing is working or not or your water lines are working or not, it is you, the home owner, on recommendation with the contractor, to have those plumbing lines checked. And if you live in an older house, my gosh, you need to check those plumbing lines. They will rot and break underneath your floor and you will never ever know it. There, I have seen toilets dislocate the pipe, not even be glued underneath the floor and just erode all the soil underneath the floor. We have seen 2- and 3-foot voids underneath interior floors at homes before because of plumbing leaks. So it is a very important thing to check.

9:38 Don Derry

Hydrophysics is one of the companies that we highly recommend to do that. They are a local company here in Kansas City and they do a wonderful job and it is not expensive at all. You do not have to pay thousands of dollars to have your plumbing lines checked. $200 to $300 would be the max that you will pay to have your plumbing lines checked. So, talked about the dry soil, we talked about trees, we talked about plumbing leaks, what about the drainage around your house? We have already talked a lot about this this year but we have got to keep talking about this because let me tell you, if your gutters and downspouts are dumping water right next to your foundation folks, you are only going to cause problems. That is when you are going to have to call me, we are going to come out and most of the time that is not an inexpensive repair, it can be very expensive to have your foundation repaired, but you as the home owner can do some things about it. You can extend your gutters and downspouts away from the home. I did not say burry them, I said extend them. I am a big fan of burying your downspouts and you want to know why? Well, go and ask me why. Well because, tress, leaves, rodents. Should I say anymore? Because they plug up. And nobody checks them after that. And then I have got video after video of watching downspouts overflow because they are full, because they have buried them. So do not bury them, put them on the ground, get them out of the way from the house 6-10 feet. That way, you do not have to worry about them anymore. Also, dirt, slope your dirt away from your house and you do this all the time. Do not tell me you have done that before because you have to do it all the time. So, you know, we talked today about dry soils, just good hot dry weather. We talked about plants and trees. You know what, I do not recommend you plant anything right next to the house, keep a gap, 2-3 feet away from your foundation so you can maintain it.

11:38 Don Derry

We talked about plumbing leaks and before you do a project, you those inspected. I recommend Hydrophysics to do that. And then also the stuff that you can see is the stuff that is just there and that is you know, that is improper construction, that is just bad work. You know, all those different things and they all cause foundation failure. But I tell you, the certified water proofing repair specialist and as a certified structure repair specialist, it is my privilege to come to you every Friday and at the Healthy Home to hear and talk to about foundation repair and keeping your home safe. If I can help you or a friend in anyway, my number is (816) 838-8813, that is my cell. So you can call me direct, I will answer the phone. Or you can call the office at (816) 505-9990, talk to Marcy or Sadie there at the office. All of our repairs are guaranteed lifetime structure. We have been in business for over 29 years this year and I am very privileged to be a part of that. If I can help you or your family, please give us a call. My goal is to help you maintain your number 1 asset, and that is your home. I want to keep it healthy, I want to keep it safe and I want you to be able to enjoy the living space that you have. If you have water or anything else, give me a call. If not, hey, we will talk to you next Friday. I am going to be live from Orlando.