Education

At Basement Repair Specialists we believe in the age-old adage “knowledge is power,” and one of our primary goals as a company is to assist homeowners in making an informed decision. The purpose of this “education” section is to provide relevant, unbiased articles and instructional videos that explain in a technical but not overly complicated manner some of the factors that might be affecting their home. You can also check out www.basementrepairblog.com, which was just launched in May of 2016, where the company posts articles regarding foundation repair issues and the company’s approach to fixing these. Generally speaking, structural issues concerning basement walls relate to one of two conditions: horizontal inward movement (i.e. “bowing”) and/or vertical movement downward or upward (settlement or uplift). These conditions nearly always exist where faulty soils are improperly placed next to walls or exist under footings. We strongly believe that the best solutions to these conditions are in the case of walls to remove the faulty soil and provide proper backfill, and in the case of inadequate footing design, to drive helical piers to a design depth that will provide the proper load bearing capacity.
  • This very brief article is a succinct introduction to a particular type of marine clay, and proper repair methodology:     http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpwes/publications/marineclay.htm
  • This article is an excellent and much more comprehensive discussion about how soil conditions, particularly expansive clay soils, can overwhelm wall design and that typical basement wall designs generally do not account for the fact that many general contractors backfill with excavated spoils when building foundations:     http://www.amherst.ny.us/pdf/building/soilsstudy/TOASFS_section3.pdf
  • This report is a study commissioned by the City of Menasha to address repetitive foundation repair problems and discusses the problems with clay soil types and the need for professional soil analysis where earth anchors are used:     http://www.cityofmenasha-wi.gov/content/departments/community_development/documents/report-body.pdf
  • This video published by the Colorado Geological Survey discusses an extreme example of expansive soils found in Colorado, but emphasizes and demonstrates the power of expansive soils.     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBqrIqqC3ow&feature=youtu.be
  • Avoiding the Sharks:  I often compare our industry to the automotive repair business.  How many of us go with our car to the repair shop with a stalling engine, or a jerky transmission, or some other problem only to find out that the cost of the suggested repair is many thousands of dollars?  At that point, we have a problem.  Do we believe our repair shop, or not?  This is an eternal problem in business: can we trust the company selling to us, or are they taking us to the proverbial cleaners?
We are providing these articles as general information to help educate homeowners and give them the opportunity to make an informed decision. All situations are different, so the totality of the circumstances should be considered in selecting a repair. This webpage is not intended to be engineering advice, which can only be provided by a licensed PE, and which may be required. As with any major purchase, it is important to get a number of quotes, consider all of the facts, and weigh your options before making a selection.