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  • Foundation specialists and general contractors agree that one of the biggest threats to a building's structural integrity is an accumulation of water and moisture around the foundation. The entire building rests on the strength of the foundation so it's important to make sure that it's in good condition. Keep reading for six signs it's time to call a foundation specialist in Winnipeg and protect your home or building.

    1. Cracks
      The soil surrounding the exterior walls expands and contracts as seasons and moisture levels change. This puts pressure on your foundation and may even lead to structural damage, like cracking. Once a crack develops, your home or building is at risk of water damage and even flooding.
    2. Leaking roof
      Another sign that your foundation may have some issues is a leaky roof. A shift in your foundation can misalign roof tiles making it vulnerable to water infiltration. If water is able to penetrate your roof, your building is at risk of moisture damage, leaks and other issues. Call a general contractor in Winnipeg right away if you suspect that water is getting in.
    3. Moisture-soaked soil
      If the soil around your building doesn't have adequate drainage, water will eventually find its way into your basement. Soil with improper drainage expands when wet, which puts a great deal of pressure on your foundation.
    4. You're missing gutters
      The gutters surrounding your home help deflect water from away from exterior walls. Without them, rain water would run off the roof, down your exterior walls and straight into the ground along your foundation wall. Over time, this can cause major problems like water damage, mildew and structural damage.
    5. Overgrown trees and shrubs
      A large tree or bush growing too close to your foundation wall can threaten the footing of the entire building. The problem arises when the root system puts pressure on the foundation wall and pushes its way through. If left unchecked, a wayward root can do some major damage that will require the help of a foundation specialist to repair.
    6. Interior issues
      On the inside of your home, there are several issues that may point to foundation troubles. You might find that your interior doors and windows won't close, your drywall cracks or peels or that your basement is musty and damp.

    Early detection is key to maintaining the condition of your foundation. The foundation specialists at Sturgeon Construction in Winnipeg can check your building inside and out to identify any weaknesses or threats to your building's integrity and correct small issues before they become big problems. Contact us today to learn more about the services we offer or to request a free estimate.

  • Cracks happen. Whether a recently constructed or older building, cracks do happen - it is inevitable. Buildings are not rigid structures; they shift and settle as the ground adjusts to the building's load, and the building adjusts to changing soil conditions as well as climate conditions. Concrete also has its drawbacks. Newly poured concrete is subject to drying and shrinkage during the curing process. Older concrete is subject to wear and tear as it ages.

    Concrete dries, the ground shifts and buildings settle as a normal course of events. With all this movement, cracks are bound to happen. Minor surface cracking such as hairline or frost cracks are generally no cause for alarm. Many building owners choose to repair these purely for cosmetic reasons.

    Deep horizontal, vertical or diagonal cracks that exceed inch in width are a different story. You need to understand the exact cause of the crack and the extent of the effect on the building's structure. These types of cracks require further investigation and a repair strategy to prevent further damage.

    Because a foundation supports the entire building, undetected damage can devastate the structure. Left unchecked, this damage can result in a) costly repair bills to secure and reinforce the foundation, or b) the total loss of the building itself.

    If you know what to look for, your home or building will provide you with plenty of clues that something is amiss. Some clues are less obvious than highly visible exterior cracking, but should not be overlooked.

    As a homeowner or commercial building owner, get to know your property. A peripheral check of the foundation wall should be performed every year. By becoming familiar with the exterior and interior of your building you become the first line of defense. Additionally, precautionary measures such as ensuring adequate drainage, ground slope and proper gutter or drain spout installations should become part of your regular building maintenance routine.

    Early detection is your best defense against structural damage. By performing periodic inspections to determine potential trouble spots, you protect your investment. Look for trouble spots; there are exterior and interior signs that will help you determine if your home or building is suffering from structural complications.

    Sturgeon Construction Ltd. believes that a well-informed customer is a well-armed customer. For that reason, we have put this information together to help you spot the less obvious signs that your foundation may be in need of repair.

    If you are uncertain about the condition of your foundation, it is alway best to get an expert opinion. Sturgeon Construction Ltd. employs experienced estimators who will provide you with a FREE, no obligation inspection.

    Exterior Warning Signs

    During your annual review of the exterior of your home or building, look for the following signs of foundation distress such as:

    • cracks in the foundation wall
      (horizontal, vertical or diagonal)
    • cracks in exposed grade beam
    • diagonal cracks that emanate from windows or doors
    • exterior doors that stick and are hard to open
    • insufficient grading or slope around the foundation
    • gaps or separation between a foundation and steps, stoop or garage floor
    • leaning or tilting chimney
    • leaky roof

    Interior Warning Signs

    When reviewing the interior of your home or building, check for:

    • doors or windows that will not close properly
    • crooked trim or molding
    • uneven floors
    • bulging basement floors
    • staining
    • cracked or peeling drywall
    • gaps between windows, doors and drywall
    • cabinet doors that do not stay closed
    • leaking or water seepage
    • condensation, dampness and musty smells emanating from the basement

    At Sturgeon Construction Ltd. our professional estimators will perform a complete check of the exterior and interior of your building with you. We will point out any signs of trouble and offer suggestions for improvements or proper maintenance. We will advise you of any potentially serious condition that requires further investigation and corrective action.

    The material contained on this page is for information purposes only. The details provided by Sturgeon Construction Ltd. at the time of publication are believed to be true. Information is subject to change without notice and Sturgeon Construction Ltd. assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions.

  • Causes of Foundation Problems

    At Sturgeon Construction Ltd., our foundation specialists in Winnipeg know what signs to look for to accurately diagnose and repair foundation issues. We also know that moisture is the primary culprit behind most foundation problems. Melting snow and spring rains saturate the soil surrounding a building's foundation, and without adequate drainage water will begin to accumulate or pool at the base. Moisture-soaked soil expands and begins to apply tremendous pressure against the foundation wall. Over time the foundation wall will succumb to this pressure and begin to deteriorate - eventually water will find its way through to your basement.

    Left untreated, any one of these conditions can lead to structural damage such as cracks in the foundation wall, which will allow water to seep into the basement.

    Leading Contributors

    1. High Water Table - In Manitoba this is particularly problematic during the spring. The water table reaches its annual high point due to melting snow and spring rains. As the soil moisture level increases it applies pressure on foundation walls and under a building's sub-floor.
    2. Hydrostatic Pressure - This is the pressure exerted against a foundation wall from accumulated moisture or high water table. The more water contained in the soil, the more it expands and the more pressure exerted against the foundation and sub-floor. This pressure must be released otherwise the entire structure is subject to cracking, buckling and bulging - and water will find its way in.
    3. Settlement - The earth is a living, breathing force; the ground shifts and moves, soil compacts creating pockets of air where soil once was. With all this movement underfoot a building will react by shifting and adjusting in an attempt to support its weight.
    4. Temperature Changes - These changes can wreak havoc on any structure. With the onset of winter the ground freezes, and the clay against your home will expand, putting pressure on your foundation. In the warmer, dryer spring weather the ground thaws, relieving that pressure. This contraction and expansion puts added stress on your foundation, which can cause the foundation wall to shift and crack.
    5. Drying & Shrinkage - During the summer months Manitoba is known for its hot, dry climate. Soil moisture levels are at an all-time low, the ground cracks and pulls away from the foundation creating gaps and leaving the foundation vulnerable. Water contained in the cement mixture also evaporates over time leaving the foundation susceptible to cracking.

    Other Contributing Factors

    On top of the major contributors to structural damage mentioned above, there are many other possible triggers. As your foundation specialists in Winnipeg, we have encountered problems of all types and we are constantly educating customers on ways to protect your homes and businesses. We encourage you to consider the following factors known to cause foundation distress, poor drainage and water accumulation:

    • Faulty or missing downspouts and gutters - water run-off from the roof needs to be moved away from the foundation. If downspouts and gutters are missing or not performing properly, water will accumulate around the base of the foundation leading to any one of a number of preventable problems.
    • Insufficient grading around a building foundation - grading is the degree or ground slope around the foundation edge of a building. The purpose of grading is to ensure that water drains away from a foundation wall. Did you know that approximately 85% of homes and commercial buildings have inadequate grading? Many of the structural problems we encounter can be attributed to poor grading.
    • Structural cracks - if left untreated, either horizontal or vertical cracking will expand and allow water to enter the basement. If untreated for long enough, the entire building itself may require significant structural overhaul.
    • Malfunctioning drain, weeping tile or sump pump - the primary purpose of these devices is to move water away from the foundation base. If one of these devices malfunctions, water will accumulate and the foundation is at risk.
    • Window wells not draining properly - window wells are installed in homes where the basement windows are below grade, or ground level. These wells are installed to prevent soil from filling in against the windows. Window wells do not stop water from collecting, however they should redirect excess water out through the weeping tile.
    • Thick shrubs, bushes or trees planted too close to the foundation wall - these can act as a barrier to natural water run-off.

    Many of these contributing factors are preventable. Homeowners and commercial building owners should perform a peripheral foundation check on an annual basis. To reduce the risk of structural damage, as well as spot less obvious conditions or trouble spots, it is worth having an expert review your property.

    Request a Free Inspection from Foundation Specialists in Winnipeg

    At Sturgeon Construction Ltd., our foundation specialists in Winnipeg are pleased to provide a free, no-obligation inspection. Our professionals will complete a walking tour around the foundation with the building owner. We will point out any signs of trouble and offer suggestions for improving drainage. When you need an accurate assessment from an industry expert, turn to Sturgeon Construction Ltd. Let us find solutions to protect your property for years to come.

    The material contained on this page is for information purposes only. The details provided by Sturgeon Construction Ltd. at the time of publication are believed to be true. Information is subject to change without notice and Sturgeon Construction Ltd. assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions.

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