30 Apr 2017

Springtime in Oklahoma means rain. And lots of it. Flooding can have a major impact on your home’s foundation. Tulsa foundation repair specialists, Metro Structural, are well versed on how the Oklahoma rains impact resident’s homes. Rain damage is preventable and 2-1o.com has shared some great ways to make sure that your home stays safe.


Ensure good drainage. The rooftop is the primary structure that keeps rainwater from entering a home. Check all aspects of the rooftop and ensure its construction is not damaged in any way. A tiny opening in the rooftop is enough space to permit leakage. Additionally, ensure all gutters are cleaned regularly, direct downspouts away from the house, and ideally, the slope of your yard should be directed away from the foundation to ensure rainwater is directed away from the home and not into the foundation.

Check your chimney and sump pump annually. Two vital areas that can allow rain damage if they fail are a home’s chimney and sump pump. Not only should a sump pump be inspected by a professional annually, it should be checked visually and operationally more often during long periods of heavy rain or more extraordinary climates, like hurricane seasons. Chimneys should also be checked to ensure bricks have no gaps and are tightly sealed. Additionally, bricks should be waterproofed to ensure water and moisture is not absorb from the outside. Finally, consider installing a chimney cap prior to the stormy season to prevent rainwater from coming in at all.

Fix water leaks. Plumbing leaks can be a potential catastrophe if left unresolved. It’s important to address these issues promptly by repairing any noticeably leaking pipes, checking for dark spots adjacent to pipes or on ceilings, repairing or replacing any cracked caulking, and inspecting the roof for any missing, loose or broken shingles. Poles, trees and other large objects can also fall on a house during heavy rain; therefore, cut off branches that are dangerously close to a home’s rooftop. Additionally, raise downward sloping areas to ensure heavy rain water doesn’t collect near the foundation and weaken it.

Be aware of potential health hazards. If your home does suffer from water damage caused by internal leaks, heavy rain or other inherent problems, it is important to hire a water damage restoration company as soon as possible. Moisture promotes the growth of mold and other dangerous organisms, especially in already-damp climates, which increases the risk for serious health problems. Exposure to these types of water-related growths can also aggravate symptoms for allergy and asthma patients and may compound these problems in children, the elderly, and people with poor immune systems.


If your home has rain damage, do not wait, call Metro Structural immediately for an inspection.
Connect with Metro Structural Services on Facebook and Twitter for more information and tips on what to do if your home suffers rain damage.

05 Apr 2017
Foundation Problems

 Foundation problems can wreak havoc on your home. Property Casualty 360 shared 5 warning signs of foundation problems.


cracked foundation

1. Cracked, crumbling or compromised foundations

When doing routine property inspections, start with the foundation itself. Built to last, this underlying support should never show any noticeable signs of structural damage, including:

  • Hairline fractures or cracks (vertical, horizontal or zigzagging)
  • Sloping, sagging or buckling of foundation floors or walls
  • Ruptures or gaps
  • Crumbling or flaking (of the concrete)
  • Moisture (including pooling water, mold, and stains)

These inspections should be conducted both inside the home (within the basement) and along all exterior surfaces of the foundation.

Water Damage

2. Water damage and soil shifting

Improper water drainage is one of the leading causes of foundation failure. When soil surrounding the home rapidly expands (during wet spells) and contracts (during dry ones), this can lead to unnatural soil shifting — a process that places tremendous pressure on the underlying foundation.

In addition to being a major cause of foundation damage, improper water drainage is also a telltale sign that foundation failure has already taken place. Cracks in the foundation can redirect water to lower soil levels, resulting in excessive moisture buildup around the property.

Whether a symptom or cause, water damage requires immediate intervention. Fortunately, homeowners can check for potential signs of water damage by inspecting the soil around the property to see if it is:

  • Unnaturally wet (assuming no rain has fallen recently)
  • Unusually dry (following a heavy rainfall or after watering the lawn with a garden hose)

However, water damage and improper drainage often exist in other parts of the home — sometimes hidden from view. In addition to doing a top-to-bottom inspection of the property, homeowners should also check for invisible leaks by:

  • Shutting off all water-based appliances, spigots, and faucets
  • Noting the exact readout of the water meter
  • Waiting six to 12 hours
  • Checking to see if the water meter has changed

If there is a change, leaks may exist behind the wall or underneath the floor. Call in both a plumber and foundation repair expert immediately — before the problem gets worse.

Sagging Floors

3. Sagging floors and warped ceilings

Issues that originate in the foundation can sometimes appear in some of the upper levels of the home — often in the form of sagging floors or warped ceilings. Also be on the lookout for exposed gaps where interior walls are supposed to meet with each floor and ceiling.

With a level tool, verify whether the slope is consistent on each floor and ceiling. For a “low-tech” solution, use a tennis ball to see if minute gradients exist. When placed in random locations on every floor, the tennis ball should never move.

Cracked, crumbling walls

4. Cracked, crumbling or buckling walls

All properties settle with time — it’s only natural. In fact, building materials are designed to “give” a little bit.

But excessive settling is another common sign of foundation failure, with the most obvious symptoms manifesting as cracks, buckling and crumbling in the upper walls of the home.

Homeowners should routinely inspect all interior and exterior walls for:

  • Cracks, fissures, warps and shifts
  • Crumbling and decay — especially with cement or brick façades
  • Water damage (moisture, mold, and stains)

Cracked joints

When conducting these inspections, don’t overlook corners, pillars, joints, molding, and chimneys — all of which should be straight and flush.

Windows

5. Improperly Fitting Doors and Windows

All of the windows and doors throughout the home should fit snugly in place — neither too tight nor too loose.

Even when foundation damage isn’t to blame, homeowners should fix these problems right away. Improperly fitting doors and windows often lead to uncontrolled heat loss and unusually high utility bills.

When conducting these inspections, don’t forget to include garage doors, HVAC vents, and attic windows.

By scanning for these signs on a regular basis, it’s possible to catch problems early and keep foundation repairs to a minimum while extending the lifetime of a property.


If you see any of these signs, don’t worry – the structural experts at Metro Structural are ready to help you save your home.
Connect with Metro Structural Services on Facebook and Twitter for more information and tips on what to do if your home has foundation problems.