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WaterproofingLeaks in the foundation and basement, if not taken care of, only become worse with time. Therefore, it is important that you address these issues immediately. When the integrity of your home structure becomes compromised by leaks you will know it is time to have it waterproofed. The methods that are used for waterproofing require the expertise of skilled professionals, such as those from Engineered Solutions of Georgia.

Interior Waterproofing or Exterior Waterproofing?

When the point of leakage cannot be accessed from the exterior due to space restriction, interior waterproofing is the solution. Foundation leaks are not always the cause of leaks in your basement, as it could be caused by hydrostatic pressure. This is where the water underneath the concrete keeps rising, falling, and penetrating the slabs. With external excavation, some of these problems can be solved.

On the other hand, exterior waterproofing helps eliminate deterioration which would occur to your foundation walls. Experts recommend waterproofing the basement from an external part as it helps in addressing the water problem from its source. It usually requires excavation and the depth of excavation depends on elevation of the property.

Waterproofing Techniques We Offer

One thing that sets us apart from our competitors is that we are the only company that has an engineering team for in-house repair. Our professionals will design a comprehensive plan that addresses your foundation issues. We are able to investigate the integrity of your foundation to help determine the best technique to solve the current issue.

Sealants are used internally to prevent water damage and seepage. It does not prevent flooding but helps to close the holes in the floors, ceilings, and walls. This is a guaranteed technique when combined with our other methods.

The external techniques for preventing water from getting into your basement. In these techniques, installation of foot drains is done to lead water from the property preventing seepage into the walls, cracks, and floors.

Another external method is the installation of sump pump. Sump pumps pull water far from your foundation. This will all depend on your soil water level, flooding, and rain water frequency.

Contact Us Today To Get Started!

ESOG has different engineers that are available to help you with your waterproofing. Contact us today and we will help identify the best solution for your foundation issues.

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The proper foundation will make your home safer, cost effective, and more livable. In buildings there are three types of foundations: basement, crawl space, and slab. Engineered Solutions of Georgia will create a customized plan to build your foundation based on ground conditions and your choice of building aesthetic using our own in-house engineering department.

Basements Give You Extra Space!

The first type of foundation is the basement. Basements are popular because they essentially give you another floor as an extruded crawl space. You may also convert your basement into a living space to make your man cave, children’s sleepover den, or workout room.

Basement foundations are necessary in colder climates to prevent the building from shifting during a frost cycle. Do you not have a basement? Do you suddenly want one? If you answered yes to either or both of these questions, then Engineered Solutions of Georgia can convert your crawl space into a basement!

A Crawl Space is better for Shallow Frost Lines

The second type of foundation is the appropriately named “crawl space.” A crawl space is a raised foundation that is usually no more than two feet high. Crawl spaces are less expensive options than digging out an entire basement and are used more in areas where the frost depth is shallower.

Crawl space floors are usually soil and provide access and egress to pipes and underground mechanics that one could not otherwise reach. If you are worried about critters or the cold getting in through your crawl space, Engineered Solutions of Georgia also provides a crawl space encapsulation service to keep your heating costs down and nature out.

Keep it Simple: Make it a Slab

Lastly, there is the slab foundation. Slab is used mainly with large-scale tract home builds, where each home is similar. Slab is concrete poured directly over the ground with pre-made perimeter footings. Enough soil to even the grade is removed to allow the concrete to pour evenly over the foundation.

Slab is the most cost-efficient way to put in a foundation because there is no cost for extra digging or extra space, plus the long-term costs of heating and cooling the additional area that is made by a basement or crawlspace are also eliminated.

Decided on Your Foundation? Get Started Now!

To get your dream home started right, you need the right foundation. Engineered Solutions of Georgia has the only in-house engineering department in the area, allowing us to provide professional soil analysis to be sure that Georgia’s typically soft alluvial soil can support your foundation for decades to come. Our director of engineering will make and oversee every step of a plan that gets you home safely, quickly, and as cost-effectively as possible.

Having our own in-house engineering department also allows us to provide triple warranty coverage on our designs, materials, and labor while cutting out extra costs to contract out these essential services. Get your home started with a strong foundation designed by the engineers at Engineered Solutions of Georgia!

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One of the most devastating things that can happen to a building is foundation failure. Because a foundation shoulders the load of the entire structure, its failure can cause problems that make it unsafe and at risk of collapse. Replacement is not only expensive, disruptive and time consuming. In these cases, foundation piering is an efficient and cost effective method of foundation repair, one that results in significantly less inconvenience to home owners or businesses.

Foundations can fail for many reasons, the most common causes being improper construction and unstable soil. This is often the case when construction is done very close to watersheds such as swamps and bogs, or when the soil has a higher than usual content of clay, as it does in Georgia. In either case, piering can restore the foundation back to proper form.

workers fixing a home's foundation with pieringFoundation piering involves sinking steel pilings, also called piers, into the ground to straighten and permanently support the existing building foundation. There are two different types of foundation piering, each serving to stabilize different types of structures. When the structure needing support is smaller or lighter, helical piers (also known as drilled piers) are used. These are threaded piers that are screwed into the ground using a hydraulic torque motor. For larger, heavier structures, the process of resistance or push piering is used. Resistance piering uses long, coated steel shafts that are pounded into the ground using a powerful hydraulic ram.

Both techniques involve sinking multiple piers to a depth where they are either embedded in rock or stable soil. Once inserted to their intended depths, they are fastened to the foundation using metal braces. Heavy duty hydraulic jacks are then used to raise and level the structure. Finally, the braces are welded or bolted into place, to permanently retain the structure.

Foundation piering is an efficient method of repairing a failing building foundation. If you see signs of a failing foundation in your home, such as cracking, crumbling, or gaps around doorways or windows, it is important to consult a professional as soon as possible. Assisting Georgia residents and businesses since 2007, the experts as ESOG will be there for your every need. Contact us today before it is too late.

 

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Water is not what homeowners want to see in the basement. Any amount of moisture in the basement can damage anything stored in that space, ruin finishing materials, and lead to mold growth. If you are having water issues in your basement, you need to get an experienced waterproofing contractor to come in and fix the problem.

With so many DIY waterproofing products on the market, why not do the work yourself?

Every situation is different. What worked for your neighbor or your cousin may not work for your home and your situation. You can spend a lot of time and money on trying multiple solutions to solve the problem. Or you can call in a professional and have it done right the first time.

The Water Sources

Basement Waterproofing SystemsWater can get into your basement in multiple ways. It may be coming through the walls, seeping up from the ground below, or from leaks in your plumbing, or any combination of the three.

A waterproofing contractor is going to start with finding out where the water is coming from. This will tell him what the best solutions are for solving your moisture problems.

A very common source is water pooling against the foundation, then seeping through the walls. This can be caused by negative grading around your home and misdirected downspouts. Even mulch piled too high, too close to the house can also cause water to move the wrong way.

These are easy-to-solve problems that can stop the water seeping. Hydrostatic pressure is not so easy to solve. This pressure comes from the weight of ground water pressing against the foundation. This pressure can cause it to start seeping through the concrete.

The Solutions Recommended

Engineers recommend two techniques for managing water getting into the basement: exterior excavation waterproofing and interior excavation waterproofing.

sump-pumpExterior excavation waterproofing involves digging down and exposing the foundation wall. The waterproofing company will apply a membrane to the exterior wall to keep the water from penetrating. Then, they will lay out drainage tiles or a French drain to capture and move water away from the foundation. This technique can involve one wall in the foundation or several of them.

Interior excavation waterproofing starts by excavating a trench within the perimeter of the basement. Then the contractor installs drainage tiles or pipes to capture and drain the water to a sump pump installed in the lowest point of the basement. The sump pump will pump the water up and out of the basement.

Deciding which technique is best for your home is something you need to leave to the professionals.

The Solutions Not Recommended

There are certain solutions contractors do not recommend for waterproofing your basement. One popular solution with homeowners is waterproofing primer and paint.

The advertisements say that it will solve any problem you might have with moisture leaking through your basement walls. In reality, you are only putting a bandage on the problem. It is still imperative that you find the source of the water and stop it if possible. Plus, the paint and primer can only block the water at a cosmetic level. The water is going to still get in, seeping through where it finds an opening.

Leave waterproofing to the professionals. If you have water getting into your basement, take action as soon as possible. Contact us here at Engineered Solutions of Georgia. We are foundation specialists.

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What is shoring and how does it affect the way in which homes are constructed? The short answer is that shoring is the architectural process of supporting a structure, usually a home, with shores or other props to prevent the structure from collapsing.

Why is Shoring Important? 

Laying down shores for homes in hilly terrain – think San Francisco or large swathes of the Northwest United States – is essential to making steep or hemmed-in sites habitable for homeowners and local businesses.

Actually, shoring has become an increasingly popular option over the years as developers are keen on building in previously untapped urban areas.

Soldier Pile Shoring 

In short, homes built on hilly terrain rely on shoring to remain safe and habitable. The shoring process that developers in urban areas frequently use is called soldier pile shoring. This is a type of vertical shoring that utilizes durable steel flanges enveloped in concrete to do most of the heavy lifting.

Piles and Lagging 

Every flange is placed approximately eight feet apart or even closer on tight lots. Architects and developers call these flanges “piles” when they’re arranged in a shoring configuration.

Now that we’ve talked about the vertical process of “piles,” we can move onto the horizontal concept of “lagging.” In the context of shoring, lagging refers to the wood boards that move horizontal and tamp down the surrounding area so that the overarching shoring structure doesn’t suffer too much stress and collapse.

The horizontal lagging structure has the appearance and many of the internal features of a retaining wall.

Concrete Retaining Wall vs. Shoring Wall 

In fact, some forms of shoring actually involve retaining walls as well as the use of trenches, hydraulics and steel reinforcing bars.

With respect to shoring, concrete retaining walls are sometimes used but they have some serious drawbacks vis-à-vis using a shoring wall. A concrete retaining wall requires excavating a sharp angle on both sides of the wall, which may be difficult in already tight spaces.

A shoring wall, contrastingly, requires a few inches on either side and remains the easier option to work with.

Shoring’s Relevance for Homeowners 

So, why should homeowners and local businesses be concerned with shoring? Shoring can help to protect the integrity of your home or place of business by providing vertical and horizontal structural supports.

Timeline 

The process of shoring can also be done cheaply and efficiently by contractors – it normally takes one workday for delivery and setup at which point five piles and/or five lagging structures can be installed each day.

Other Considerations 

What are some issues that homeowners need to be concerned about when it comes to shoring?

Even considering the advantages of a shoring wall over a concrete retaining wall, it’s important for homeowners to know the exact locations of surrounding structures and their own property lines.

Neighbors should also be keep abreast of the shoring that’s underway to ensure that their home or business place isn’t compromised in any way.

Contact the Professionals at ESOG 

If you’re considering shoring for your home or business, contact the professional engineers and experienced contractors at Engineered Solutions of Georgia (ESOG) today for a quote and consultation.

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Overview

Emory University planned to expand its baseball facility at Chappell Park for its baseball team. The plan is to add a 1,500-square-foot CMU locker room to match existing structures. The only available area for construction was a slope with approximately 30 feet of backfill with an uncertain soil bearing strata. The area also bordered Peavine Creek. 

Engineered Solutions of Georgia Geotechnical Services and Engineering team collaborated to design the solution for Emory University. 

Challenge

The soil bearing strata and backfill was in question for the assembly of the new locker room. While installing the new foundation piers to stabilize the new structure, Engineered Solution of Georgia’s production team ran into rock obstructions. Because of the unstable soil underneath the rocks, some piers reached flat spin refusal. The repair plan was re-engineered to replace 11 helical piles with grouted micropiles.

Solution

Engineered Solutions of Georgia designed and engineered a pier capacity and layout plan. The piers needed to be 2 – 7/8 diameter- 8″/10″12″ helix lead sections 25,000 lbs allowable capacity 50,000 lbs ultimate capacity factor of safety = 2.0 all galvanized assembly. 

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The soil of your property actually plays a major part in determining how strong your foundation is and/or how successful your remodeling or construction project is going to be. Soil is usually one of the ingredients that makes up a structure’s foundation and, for that reason, it’s important to have strong, stable soil that you can rely on. If your soil is less than perfect, however, you can use certain soil stabilization techniques to make it better and more useful for your purposes. Other helpful procedures, such as compaction grouting, can also be used to make up for any faults in the soil or to strengthen the overall foundation of a property.

Adding Materials to Soil

One of the simplest soil stabilization methods is to simply amend it with certain materials. Different soil additives have different effects, but a foundation repair professional will know which additive to choose for your home’s foundation needs.

Get Strong Soil with Lime

Lime has long been known for its soil stabilization properties. It creates what is known as a “pozzolanic reaction” when it is added to soil. While that fancy term might be a little confusing, the only thing you really need to know is that, when added to soil, lime has the power to make the soil much stronger. And, even better, those strengthening effects aren’t temporary; they can actually continue and get better for several years after the lime has been applied. However, don’t count on lime to do all of the hard work for you. You’ll still have to have a good, reactive soil to start with. Furthermore, a quality construction job and the proper soil to lime ratio are imperative for success.

Major Benefits from Fly Ash

Another great additive to choose for the purpose of soil stabilization is fly ash. Like lime, fly ash is an excellent option for improving the overall strength of the soil to which it is applied. Likewise, it can also be useful at ridding excessive moisture from the soil and reducing the soil’s shrink-swell make-up. You can use fly ash in conjunction with other soil stabilization additives, including lime, but it’s important that you know what you’re doing and that you understand how the mixing of fly ash with certain other additives can alter the soil.

The Many Uses of Calcium Chloride

Calcium chloride is another soil stabilizer that is effective at strengthening soil. Plus, it has many other abilities as well. It is very useful for reducing the acidity and sodium levels in soil and works well as a fertilizer. It is an all natural soil additive and is not harmful to humans, plants or animals so you can use it outside of the construction or remodeling site as well without fear.

Beneficial Portland Cement

Portland cement is an excellent soil additive that can be used for a variety of purposes. In fact, it often outperforms lime as an additive. It can be used to help soil achieve a higher dry density and to strengthen soil. In fact, it’s quite good at increasing a soil’s load-bearing capacity, as evidenced by several studies and can increase the soil’s wet-dry durability.

If you think your home’s soil would benefit from an additive, speak with a foundation repair professional about which is the right additive for your needs.

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Soil with a high clay content can be a major headache for homeowners, especially those in Georgia, California, Colorado, Texas and the Dakotas. Why? If the ground contains expansive clay, it is subject to shrinking and expanding with the seasons, leading  to soil movement and, ultimately, the movement of any structures built on top of it.  This can cause serious issues to a home’s foundation, leading to damage that often requires extensive and costly foundation repair.

Choose Contractors Carefully

If you live in one of the above states, and suspect your home has foundation problems, it is important to consult a foundation contractor who understands expansive clay soil, knows how to test for clay levels, and can provide you with solid, informed advice about what to do to remedy the problem.

The Benefits (and Drawbacks) of Backfilling

When you’re dealing with expansive clay soil, one solution that your contractor might offer is backfilling. Backfilling involves separating foundations walls from the movement of the soil so that the walls are not affected by the movement. Usually, the backfilling material of choice is either gravel or a more stable soil. Backfilling is extremely effective when done correctly but it’s also quite costly. If your contractor presents this option to you, remember to ask whether there are other less costly options available.

Maintaining Moisture Levels

When backfilling isn’t an option or in your budget, an alternative solution is to take steps to keep the soil’s moisture level constant, since it is the shifts in moisture levels that causes foundation problems. There are many different methods and strategies for maintaining moisture levels, and you can talk with your contractor to find the best solution to match your needs and your budget.

Another option is boring beneath the home to install a perforated pipe. This type of foundation drainage system can help to prevent water from entering the basement wall, and keep water away from the footing. The pipe should run to a storm sewer. If the area around the pipe is particularly moist, you may need to fill it in with crushed stone as well.

There are also some basic measures to take to keep your soil’s moisture level constant. Keep trees and plants away from the foundation. Water naturally pools in these areas and roots from trees are notorious for growing into the foundation, as well as for breaking through water and sewage pipes, which can cause additional moisture problems.

Check that your gutters and downspouts do not drain around the foundation as well. If you find that there is water pooled around the exit of the gutter system, you may need to have a drainage solution implemented. Gravel around the perimeter of a home can help with drainage concerns, and can even assist with storm water runoff when necessary.

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mudjacking for sidewalksThere was a time when the only thing you could do for an uneven sidewalk was to simply tear it out, and pour a new slab. This cost a great deal of time and money, and down the line, you knew that it was just going to happen again. There is a new concrete repair remedy in town though, and it’s called mudjacking. For a long time, this process was used to fix big roads and highways, but today it can easily be done with small equipment to fix sidewalks.

It’s usually pretty easy to tell whether or not you need mudjacking for a sidewalk. If a section of sidewalk has sunken into the ground, and the section hasn’t disintegrated too much, a concrete repair contractor or foundation repair contractor will drill a small hole through the slab. Subsequently, they will pump a slurry mixture into the void under the sunken concrete, raising it back to its even height and position.

The Benefits of Mudjacking

The benefits of mudjacking are many. First of all, mudjacking is extremely cost-effective, compared to the classic rip and repour method. Apart from it being easy on the wallet, it’s also simply more effective in general, and can increase the healthy lifespan of the sidewalk by many years. Considering the large liability that’s involved with uneven sidewalk slabs, mudjacking has become very popular in recent years.

Eco Friendly?

Mudjacking is considered by many to be an eco-friendly concrete repair remedy, because it’s not disruptive to the surrounding landscape. When a section of sidewalk is ripped out and repoured, the grass is usually badly damaged from the heavy equipment and the removal of the old slab. With mudjacking, there’s virtually no waiting for the concrete to cure. With a rip-and-repour, it takes about a 24 hours for the concrete slab to finally cure.

Since sidewalks are in constant demand of usage, mudjacking is the preffered method, because it’s more inconspicious and doesn’t disrupt peoples’ daily goings-on. Slurry is mixed in a truck, dumped into a hopper, and wheeled into a pump. Then it’s pumped through a hose down into the slab, so dust and debris are minimal. This is a far neater alternative than dealing with the dust that’s created using the traditional method.

Guaranteed Work

Guarantees differ from contractor to contractor, but most mudjacking contractors will provide a guarantee of their work for a year, though this is dependent on when the ground under the affected concrete slab is done settling. Some sidewalks will settle in increments for 6 to 10 years before finally settling. Nevertheless, this large time span is not typically common. If a portion of new sidewalk becomes uneven after a long winter, and a  building owner or the association wants to level it in order to avoid liability, most mudjacking contractors will take the job, but without a gurantee.

The price of a mudjacking job varies as well, but it’s usually calculated by square foot (slab being lifted). The cost is usually somewhere around $4 per-square foot of concrete slab. A four-by-four-foot section of sidewalk can cost between $50 and $80 to put back into position, but some variables may apply that can drive up the cost:  if the area to be mudjacked is difficult to access, if special care needs to be taken with surrounding vegetation, etc. Also, if a lot of slurry needs to be used, the cost can increase that way, as well. Still, it will probably still be less expensive than paying up to 50 percent more to have that same area ripped and re-poured.

Although we’re making mudjacking sound like an all-purpose, miracle remedy, the truth is, it’s not for every situation. Mudjacking is widely used to remedy many different types of leveling problems, but in areas where there’s a sinkhole present, mudjacking simply won’t work. Also, when the concrete slab has broken into pieces, mudjacking can’t do much, because the slab actually is not only not level, but cracked. In this case, a complete sidewalk renovation needs to be done.

If you’re interested in having a mudjacking procedure done, don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

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One of the worst things that can happen to your home’s foundation is water damage, which often leads to basement mold. Unfortunately, many homeowners face basement flooding at one point or another during their homeownership. It’s important to understand what basement mold actually is, how to treat it if it happens to you, and how to prevent it in the first place.

Defining Mold

file1341278775677Mold and mildew are two of the known 100,000 species of fungi. While both are made up of spores that fly through the air, mold is the one you really need to watch for. Unlike mildew, which is white or grey, mold is generally black, brown, red, or green. It is found in humid, damp, and wet areas; basements are ideal for mold growth. Mold spores can enter your home through even the smallest of openings, and often attach themselves to items like clothing and furniture. Once attached to a surface, these spores grow at a rapid pace.

The problem with mold is that it causes potentially serious health problems for you and your family. It also damages, and eventually destroys, the things on which it grows. According to the CDC, exposure to mold is linked to the following conditions:

  • Nasal stuffiness
  • Throat irritation
  • Eye irritation
  • Coughing and wheezing
  • Skin irritation
  • Lung infections in people with compromised immune systems
  • Respiratory illness
  • Triggering of asthma symptoms

Treating Mold

If you happen to find mold in your home, immediate action is necessary in order to prevent it from spreading. The best way to take care of a mold problem is to remove all infected areas. If the mold is on furniture, replace the furniture. If it’s on the wall, tear out that part of the wall if possible and replace with new material.

However, if you’re unable to remove the material, then you’ll need to make every effort to thoroughly clean the affected areas. Disinfect with bleach, vinegar, or borax several times to ensure the infestation is completely eliminated. Once you’re satisfied with the cleanliness of your basement, be sure every inch is dry in order to prevent future problems.

Preventing Mold

Preventing a mold infestation is much easier than treating one. Here are some tips for keeping your home dry, safe and mold-free.

  • Control the humidity levels in your home with air conditioning or a dehumidifier
  • Make sure your house has plenty of ventilation, using exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom that vent to the outside
  • Repair leaky roofs, walls, or plumbing as soon as you find the problem
  • If your home floods, clean and dry it within two days
  • Use mold inhibitors in paints
  • Clean your bathrooms regularly with mold-killing products
  • Get rid of carpets and upholstery that have gotten wet

Additional Preventative Measures

Unfortunately, taking the above steps doesn’t always guarantee the prevention of mold growth. Sometimes, for example, you may not discover leaky plumbing until mold has already begun to grow.

Another, more effective, option to consider is basement waterproofing. At Engineered Solutions of Georgia, we provide both interior and exterior basement waterproofing for your convenience. With these services, you can prevent moisture from ever entering your home, eliminating the chance for mold growth. Contact us today to learn more about protecting your home and your family.