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.

31 Mar 2017

1. How to spot the signs of foundation damage

When you’re looking at homes for sale, you’ll need to know whether there truly is a bad foundation or whether those cracks are from normal house settling. Here are some things to look for that could indicate potential foundation problems, courtesy of Janine Acquafredda, a Brooklyn, NY, real estate agent.

  • Misaligned doors and windows (could indicate a shift in the foundation)
  • Doors that stick or don’t latch shut
  • Windows that are difficult to open or that have cracks in the glass
  • Sloping floors or staircases (indicates a probable pitch in the foundation)
  • Cracked drywall
  • Gaps between the wall seams or between the wall and the ceiling
  • Large cracks in the exterior concrete
  • Water in the basement, crawl spaces, or around the perimeter of the home

If you spot any of these issues, consider hiring a structural engineer in addition to a home inspector. “The average home inspector often won’t know the full aspect of the damages,” says Mayer Dahan, CEO of Prime Five Homes, a real estate development company in Los Angeles, CA. Hiring a structural engineer typically costs anywhere from $500 to $1,000, but if you suspect you need foundation repair, it’s probably worth the cost to find out for sure.

2. Should you buy a house with foundation problems?

In a word? Maybe. If the house you’ve fallen in love with has foundation issues, you might not always want to back away — especially if you live in a competitive real estate market. But don’t expect the purchase to be a cakewalk: Now that you’ve uncovered some real problems, it’s prime time to renegotiate the home’s price to reflect the amount of money you’ll have to put into it to shore up the foundation. “If you are getting a good deal and love the house, by all means, go for it,” says Acquafredda. “Foundation problems can be corrected.”

3. Foundation cracks? Beware, but be smart

Not all foundation cracks are created equal. Some point to normal settling, but others can signal a foundation problem. How can you tell the difference? Consider the size. “Thin cracks — less than ¼ inch — on foundations and walls happen as a house settles, and have probably been around for most of the house’s life,” says Kelvin Liriano, a home inspector at Three Keys Home Inspections Inc. in the New York, NY, area. “They just have to be sealed to prevent water intrusion.”

But wide cracks or displacement could indicate a problem that needs to be addressed. Although it could be a costly repair, if you buy a house with a foundation problem, you should be prepared to take action quickly. “It will only get worse and more expensive to fix over time,” advises Dahan.

4. Selling a house with foundation problems? It’s possible

If you know that your house has a foundation problem, you might wonder if you should fix it before you list your home. Acquafredda says, to be honest, and upfront with buyers by disclosing what the foundation problems are, but not to fix them. Here’s why: “The history of the repair will most likely require permits to be pulled, and it will be documented and become public record.” The problem with that is, potential buyers will probably cross your home off their list if they see there have been foundation problems. And if buyers don’t even look at your house, you won’t have a chance to explain that you’ve fixed the issue. It might be better to not fix the problem but let the buyer know about it so they can bring in people they trust to do the job.

But as the saying goes, even a pancake has two sides. Dahan offers another school of thought on whether you should fix a foundation problem before putting your house on the market: “It is advisable to fix the foundation before selling. The warranty and reputation of the contractor will be a strong selling point to a potential buyer.”

5. You can turn cracked lemons into lemonade

Sellers can market a foundation problem as a good thing. (Yes, really!) After coming down on the price of the home, let potential buyers know that while they’re fixing the foundation, they “can easily add new amenities to the property,” says Elizabeth Jenkins with Source Capital Funding, Inc., a San Diego, CA-based real estate lender. “People like to create their own personal paradise, and this will attract buyers who have a can-do attitude.” Further proof: Atlanta, GA, real estate agent and attorney Bruce Ailion advises people to buy homes with fixable foundation problems. Why? “The discount to buy is perhaps 20% to 25%. The cost to cure is usually about 10%,” he explains.


Source: Trulia

13 Mar 2017
earthquake damage

While earthquake damage used to be a problem only those in the western part of the country would have to be concerned with, Oklahomans are having to deal with this issue more often than ever before. Earthquake damage can range from minuscule to major, depending on how close you are to the epicenter. Oklahoma’s Own, News Channel 6, gathered information from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) about how to check your home for earthquake damage:

1. Check The External House Structure:

• Survey all portions of your house to see if any part collapsed or sustained damage.

• Check to see if the house shifted on its foundation, or fell away from the foundation in any place.

• Check to see if the house is noticeably leaning, or looks tilted from a distance.

• Look for severe cracks or openings, especially around outdoor steps or porches.

• If inside the house, check to see if you are experiencing seriously increased vibrations from passing trucks and buses.

• Look for cracks in external walls. Check to see if existing cracks in the walls are getting bigger.

• Check to see if mortars are separating from the blocks.

• Look for sink holes or large divots in the ground next to the foundation.

2. Check The Chimneys:

• Look for cracks between the chimney and the exterior wall or the roof.

• Look for cracks in the liner.

• Check to see if there is unexplained debris in the fireplace.

3. Check Utilities:

• Check to see if power lines to your house are noticeably sagging.

• Check to see if the hot water heater is leaning or tilted.

• Check to see if all the water connections, dry-pipes, toilets, faucets are secure.

4. Check the Inside Of the House:

• Check to see if doors and windows are harder to open and if doors do not shut properly.

• Check to see if the roof is leaking. Look for water damage to the ceiling.

• Check to see if the furnace has shifted in any way and if ducts and exhaust pipes are connected and undamaged.

• If inside the house, check to see if you are experiencing unexplained draftiness. Look for cracks in the walls, poorly aligned window frames, and loosened exterior siding. They can all let in breezes.

• Check to see if the floor is separated from walls or stairwells inside the house.

• Look for cracks in walls and built-in fixtures such as lights, cupboards or bookcases.

• Look for gaps around plumbing pipes that exit the foundation wall.


Connect with Metro Structural Services on Facebook and Twitter for more information and tips on what to do if your home suffers earthquake damage.

15 Feb 2017
foundation repair

With Oklahoma receiving all that rainfall the other day, it’s safe to say we’ve needed it. But, what happens when that rainfall becomes excessive and has nowhere to go?

There are many reasons to why your foundation needs repairs, but the one main issue that indicates foundation damage is poor drainage.

Here are 3 reasons causing foundation problems and how to fix them.

Replace the Soil

Once you’ve removed a tree or a couple from your yard, you’re left with a big hole in the ground. The first thing to do is fill that hole back up, but now with the dirt that was dug up. Replacing the soil to refill the hole needs to be firmly packed with water.

Another reason to replace is the soil is by seeking out a spot not draining properly. Water build up isn’t good for the foundation of your home because it can create a shallow ditch along your home. Instead of draining outwards from your home, it will stay put and continue to build up until it damages your foundation.

Make Drainage Improvements

Whenever you remove a tree from your property the ground will reach its saturation point sooner since the tree isn’t there to soak up the water. To avoid standing water after a storm and expanding towards your home, it’s best to improve the drainage.

You want to divert excess water by correcting or replacing your draining systems such as the French drains, gutters, down spouts and catch basins. Check these items to make sure they’re doing their part and if they are leaking, it’s time to replace!

Top of Your Home

The first-place water to come into your home is through the attic. Although it might seem backwards to be investigating drainage problems in the attic, it will give you the best insight to what’s happening on the ground. Most attics consist of crawl spaces where moisture can build up from poor drainage. With moisture in the attic, it can create mold and mildew. If you can catch the early foundation problems in your attic, you can save your home from a lot further damage.

Recognizing the signs of foundation problems and drainage issues can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. Give Metro Structural today for a free estimate!

 

 

04 Jan 2017
sump pump basement

What to do with Sump Pump Problems?

As a homeowner, you’ll go through good times and bad times. The bad times are when your basement has suffered through a flood, which means the sump pump isn’t always guaranteed to work.

The sump pump is one of the things to fall back onto when a flood occurs, but there is no guarantee for a dry basement. We’ve put together a list of common sump pump problems along with ways to avoid a basement flood.

Sump Pump Problems to Avoid

  • Power failure. Like any other appliance in your home, without power the sump pump is no good. One way to avoid a powerless sump pump is by investing in a high-quality back-up sump pump.
  • Check the switches. With a sump pump, there could be various switches that you’re looking at. Some of the most common switches are the vertical and tethered floats. These two switches are known for getting stuck on the side walls of the sump pit which can result in a flooded basement. Another switch that tends to fail is the mechanical pressure.
  • Frozen Sump Pump. If you live in a place where you live through brutal winters, it’s a possibility that the pipes have frozen. When the pipe isn’t pitched properly, the water will sit and collect that will eventually freeze once it’s below 32 degrees. The water that sits there backs up the pit and ends up spilling all over your basement floor aka it floods.
  • Old age. The sump pump is one appliance in your home that you don’t want to overlook, even if it’s not broken. If the sump pump is old, it’s best to get a new one or have it looked at so your basement never must go through a flood. Tip: Sump pumps should be replaced every 5-7 years for safety reasons.

If your sump pump has any of these issues above, please contact us today and Metro Structural will help you fix it or replace it. You shouldn’t have to enter the new year with a flood basement!

Connect with Metro Structural on Facebook and Twitter to learn more about our services!

07 Dec 2016
DuraLIFT Tulsa

Winter is coming. That’s not just a saying from Game of Thrones, but it’s our way of reminding you to get your home up to par for the season.

As the seasons change, you’re constantly working on your home whether it be structural damage, saving energy or keeping your home’s systems running the right way. These maintenance tasks will continue to keep you busy during the winter season. So, it’s vital to keep these tasks in order.

Here are some tasks to perform for the winter season.

Cleaning Your Gutters

Depending on where you live in Oklahoma, you might not see this as big of an issue. But, to others, having to clean the gutters before the winter is a must! The debris that gets clogged in the gutters over the fall season makes it hard for water that falls off the roof to push through the gutter system. This can leave mold or rotting areas on the shingle and roofing system. Whenever the snow comes, it will help clear out the excess water from when it melts.

Heating Systems

From saving energy to keeping your home warm during the winter seasons, it’s important to keep the heating system in check. One thing to get checked first is the HVAC. The inspector can tell you if it will need a tune-up or an electrical hookup if necessary. Not only is it important to make sure everything is in-tune, but it’s highly imperative to make sure they are changed out from dirty filters and ducts.

Weather-stripping and Caulk

The best places to check the weather-stripping and caulk is by opening the exterior doors. You will want to make sure it isn’t crumbling or gaps. Those signs mean it’ll need replaced. The weather-stripping and caulking to the exterior doors are extremely vital because it enables the airflow to penetrate from the outside to the inside and vice versa.

Taking the time to check your home during the winter season is vital to keep it functioning properly.

 

03 Nov 2016

Common Issues with Oklahoma Homes

The Midwest goes through some of the strangest weather changes, seasons, and storms than any other place in the United States.

In the summer time, the temperature is exceeding 100 almost every day with tornado season towards the end of Spring. We can’t forget about the dry ground and strong winds that can lead to common issues within a home.

Most of the damage that is done requires professional help. If your home has experienced these issues you don’t want to deal with the nightmares of expenses and the damage getting worse.

Common issues could be roof damage, faulty wiring, mold and mildew, heat or A/C problems and pest problems. Other issues that your home can go through are:

Foundation Issues

Foundation issues can come from strong and heavy winds to the dirt that the house is built on. Oklahoma ground is typically full of clay and moisture, which makes it hard to build homes and can cause foundation problems. Droughts are very common in the Midwest and when a big rainstorm comes through, it causes the soil to shift, expand and contract. Having this common issue causes the ground to be unsettle under the house that leads to buckling and cracking within the concrete flooring.

Bad Drainage

When a big storm rolls through Oklahoma or the Midwest, there comes heavy rain. The heavy rain combined with the thick, moist soil can become a huge headache for homeowners. Certain areas will build up with the rain water and most times build up against the foundation of the home. When this occurs, it means there isn’t a way for the rain water to drain away from the home into a storm drain or street. Sometimes installing a drain can fix it, but more serious issues can arise and that’s when it’s time to call in the professionals at Metro Structural for a drainage correction.

Contact Metro Structural today for a free estimate!

16 Sep 2016
foundation repair

Anytime you get work done to your home, you want to make sure the contractor knows what they are doing at all times. Most people have had a bad experience or two with contractors working on their home. Whether the work is being done to the exterior of your home or the interior such as plumbing, you’ve spent lots of money on your home and you want the best working on it.

Choosing a foundation repair contractor can be difficult. Metro Structural Services has been in business for over 40 years and has solid experience with serving the Tulsa, Oklahoma area. The owners, Calvin Cozort, Russell Cozort, and Matt Cozort, offer a full service foundation and drainage repair service with specializing in using their product, DuraLIFT which is a customizable and adjustable steel pier system.

There are many factors that goes into choosing a contractor.

  1. Years of Experience. When you’re choosing a foundation repair contractor, it’s important to see how long they’ve been in business. Companies that have a reputable status around town and have been in business for many years is typically the go-to choice of contractor. The more years the company has been doing foundation repair, the more you’ll probably trust them.
  2. The System. Foundation repair services is a huge deal to your home, so you want the best system in place for where you live. There are many foundation repair services out there, but it depends what conditions are lying underneath the structure of your home. Once you’re sold on the contractor, the work begins.
  3. Does the Company Offer a Warranty? Metro Structural offers a warranty that our company stands behind. It’s important to seek our contractors/ companies that offer a warranty because it’s always best to have it in case something else goes wrong with your foundation.
  4. Is the Company Insured? Gathering all of the information such as the insurance certificate from the insurance provider is very imperative to the work that’s going to be done. For example, your home was being worked on by a contractor without insurance and something happens, it’s on you.
  5. The Price and Quality Work. If you’ve ever looked for a contractor to do work on your home and seek out the cheapest one, most likely you’ll get just that. For a long-lasting foundation repair, it’s best to find a happy medium with price and quality of work. The important item you’re looking for is VALUE.
  6. Seeking out a foundation repair contractor requires some research and reference. You will want to look for the best referral from a friend or view their ratings on Google + or their website.
  7. Search on Trade Associations. If the contractor is part of a trade association, the contractor and company will most likely be in good standing with the BBB and has good insurance. These places are great for looking for a contractor because it’s the most reliable companies that are portrayed on these sites.
  8. Knowledge All Around. Whether it be sales knowledge or knowledge of the foundation repair, it’s best to represented by both of those aspects as a contractor.
  9. No Badmouthing Allowed. One thing that you don’t want to do when hiring a foundation repair contractor is hear them badmouthing another company or contractor. It typically shows that the contractor or salesperson has nothing nice to say about their own company, so they choose to put down others. At Metro Structural, we’re not here to badmouth others. We’re here to repair your foundation and settle your foundation problems once and for all.

Contact us today for a free estimate on your foundation!

01 Aug 2016
tulsa foundation repair

Tulsa foundation repair –  Have you ever noticed the ground surrounding your home that looks cracked or dried up? This is expansive soil.

Expansive soil is also known as shrink-swell soil that surrounds your home and causes foundation issues. The expansive soil is known for causing lifts in the soil during periods of high moisture. Once the moisture period is over and a period of dryness will cause the expansive soil to collapse, which results in building settlement.

The expansive soil creates pressure on the foundation, basement and the retaining wall in a lateral movement. Since the soil expands around those areas, the soil loses its strength or capacity which results in a slope failure. If you have expansive soil or are not sure if it is soil expansion, Metro Structural will have someone come out and look at it because more than likely your foundation has been affected or has begun to move.

Ways that the expansive soil forms:

  • Fluctuations in the moisture that’s contained in the foundation soil
  • Desert or very dry areas
  • Common in river bottoms or valleys that are formed by sediment
  • Typically formed where seas or lakes have been

Best Way to Act and Control Soil Expansion

The best way to control the soil expansion is by keeping water off of it. If it rains a lot, try and collect the rainwater into gutters that gets pushed towards the road or into rain collectors. The key is to have the drainage directed away from the building. It’s good to be cautious about the trees and shrubbery around the area because of the roots.

Metro Structural can control your soil expansion by fixing the foundation of your home. The foundation of your home is vital in order to keep your home from collapsing. Give us a call today for to settle your foundation problems once and for all!

Connect with Metro Structural Services on Facebook and Twitter to learn more about our Tulsa foundation repair and other services for your home’s structure.

 

13 Jun 2016
foundation repair Tulsa

Foundation Repair Tulsa – Bowed, cracked, or shifted walls typically indicates that your foundation has structural damage.

When your foundation has structural damage, it’s best to address the problem right away. Without dealing with the issue, the damage will get worse over time.

Restoring the foundation of your home is vital to your safety. Using quick fixes such as concrete mix or patching mortar won’t resolve your foundation problems in the long run. In order to permanently repair your damaged foundation, it’s imperative to call in a professional to indicate what caused the damage.

Various elements could lead to foundation issue such as the soil that your house sits on, water damage from a flood or leak, or construction-related damages that weren’t properly assembled. Metro Structural foundation repair in Tulsa will help identify the problem through a variety of conditions that might have occurred.

  • Sinkholes can be created by plumbing leaks or erosion that will leave the walls and slabs unsupported.
  • Expansive Soil can occur when clay-rich soil is expanded when wet and exerts pressure against the walls and foundation.
  • Weakness in the soil
  • Poor construction from previous work done to the home that left foundation elements prone to damage.

Without the proper foundation repair, your home will start to slowly diminish. Our product stabilizes, secures and supports the home without any damage done to the home-site. DuraLIFT® is a process that takes anywhere from 1 to 3 days to complete. It’s engineered to secure your home’s foundation to prevent any movement. Our product is cost-effective, permanent, and guarantees a lifetime to your home.

Are you concerned that your home is having structural issues? Contact our expert services in foundation repair to complement foundation stabilization. With your structural problems, there might be other complications along the way in which we specialize in:

  • Slab floors
  • Floor bracing
  • Pressure grout
  • Concrete repair
  • French drains
  • Repairing cracks in masonry walls

Your foundation needs to be taken care of right away when dealing with a structural issue.

Connect with Metro Structural on Facebook and Twitter to learn more about our foundation repair services to create a safe environment for you and your family.