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Month: September 2019

How Is House Leveling Done?

As a homeowner you’ve probably heard of the terms foundation repair and house leveling. For average people who know nothing about these things you’ll probably think that these services are going to cost you a fortune, well, they won’t. The rates are reasonable, which is a good thing because these services are necessary to preserve the safety and the value of your home. When it comes to house leveling, you should not attempt to do it by yourself. This is not the kind of DIY project you’d want to involve yourself in because it’s risky and making mistakes may cost you a lot.

How do you know if your house needs leveling? Let’s find out.

What Is House Leveling?

House leveling involves lifting your home back to its original position (when it was first erected). For new erected houses the slabs should not go beyond 1.5 inches out of level. This is the standard set by the American Concrete Institute. When a house starts to move and shift out of its original position, house leveling is done to get it back to its usual spot. Majority of homeowners fail to notice changes to their home’s foundation elevations.

You see, all houses are built on a strong and solid foundation but over time this foundation can move and it can heave, crack, settle or sink. There are various factors that cause the foundation to move including problems with the soil, foundation that is poorly done and soil that have too much moisture. If the foundation of your property has moved you should have it repaired right away. Foregoing foundation repair or house leveling can lead to numerous structural damages and significantly reduce the value of your home.

Does Your House Require Foundation Repair or House Leveling?

Ideally, the best way to know if your house needs foundation repair or house leveling is to ask professional foundation repair specialists. Nonetheless, there are several signs that will help determine if your house needs repairs. Cracks in your ceilings or walls and outside your home are signs that you need to have it repaired. Doors that stick out or don’t properly shut also need to be repaired. If your floor appears to dip and sag or feel softer than the usual then you definitely need to seek the help of experts.

What Are the Different Foundation Types?

There are two main types of foundations – Pier & Beam and Concrete Slab.

Pier & Beam

A Pier & Beam foundation consists of three parts. The first part is a concrete foundation beam that’s built around the borders of the house. The second part are concrete columns or pads that are installed within the borders and the third wood beams that are placed on the interior pads on the border beam.

Slab Foundation

Concrete is the main component of slab foundation. It basically consists of a massive sheet of concrete that is directly poured to the ground. Standard thickness is between 4 to 6 inches. The outer parts of the slab have a depth of around 24 to 36 inches.

How Is House Leveling Done?

House leveling makes use of various techniques. The technique or process used is going to depend on your house’s foundation type. Each type of foundation can be repaired in various ways. Regardless of the technique used the ultimate goal is to level the foundation.

Pier and Beam Foundation Leveling

Each case requires a specific set of tools. If your house has a Pier & Beam foundation affixing concrete or steel pilings under specific locations under the concrete perimeter beam can level the foundation. The interior can be adjusted by either removing or adding shims on top of the columns or interior pads. Often times the movement is caused by incorrectly installed or damaged wood.

Concrete Slab Foundation Leveling

For concrete slab foundation leveling, certain areas in your home have to be excavated in order to make room for the installation of steel pilings, concrete pilings or concrete piers. Often times the terms slab jacking or mud jacking is confused with these types of repairs. To minimize the chances of soil swelling your professional foundation repair specialist will use soil injections.

After the successful completion of a house leveling project you must make sure to trace the source of the problem otherwise it will keep on coming back. Find out what is causing your house to move. If the problem is caused by water then you have to find a way to fix your drainage system and seal any leaks or perhaps it’s caused by a badly constructed foundation. If yes, we recommend that you find a professional company to take care of it.

An Overview of California’s ADA Compliance Laws

If you’re a business owner with an actual brick-and-mortar store it is important that you be mindful of your physical store and make sure that it complies with California’s ADA compliance laws and proper ADA Designs. While you may be busy improving your products and service with your customers in mind, never forget that your actual store has a huge impact on your customers. When your property does not comply with ADA regulations then it means you failed to include people with disabilities in the picture. Are you aware that if you don’t comply with the regulations set by the ADA you are putting yourself at risk of costly lawsuits? ADA compliance is mandatory by federal and state law.

How to Know If Your Property is ADA Compliant?

How do you know if your property is compliant? The only surefire way to know is if you conduct an ADA accessibility assessment or otherwise called CASp Report. This report will identify and record every issue in your property that does not comply with ADA. By obtaining this report you are taking a vital step in safeguarding your business against potential lawsuits. Of course, action must be taken if the report indicates that your property has issues with accessibility.

Why Are ADA Complaints in California High?

Failure to comply with ADA can lead to expensive consequences. Are you aware that California receives the highest non-compliance complaints? Do you wonder why this is so? There are two reasons why ADA non-compliance complaints have gone through the roof over the past years. Number one, it is very easy to file a complaint because all the complainant needs to do is to fill out a form and submit it. The second reason is that most if not all complainants are winning the cases and as a result of winning the case, they will be rewarded with a whopping $4000 aside from lawyer fees and court costs.

What Are the Most Common Claims Made?

The following are some of the violations that complainants use in their reports.

Failure to put up signage or putting up the wrong signage for entrance and exit points or the absence of accessibility symbols

Routes that are too sloped or too steep that they cannot be accessed by people in wheelchairs or routes that are difficult to navigate by people with disabilities

Bathrooms that do not have sufficient floor space for adequate turning or bathrooms without accessible stall and those without affixed grab bars and a non-compliant sink

You will also be prone to violation if your property’s stairways do not follow the correct riser heights and tread widths, failing to install non-slip treads and when handrails are not set to the proper height or stairways that do not offer extensions and open risers. A crane or a foot can get stuck in it and this can cause people to trip and fall

If the parking spaces in your property are not spacious enough and if doesn’t display the correct designation signage or if it is not located near the entrance and accessible route

Not being able to provide appropriately designed seating for individuals in wheelchairs

Incorrect height of bars, work surfaces and service counters

What Happens If You Violate These Regulations?

One thing is for sure; you are going to be spending money if you violate ADA regulations. Aside from paying lawyer fees and fines, the owner of the property and those involved in the design and construction of the building will be held responsible for finding ways in fixing the issues. According to the law, property owners should execute readily achievable changes. For example, changing the position of a sign if it is wrongly placed, recoating parking lines to make them more visible, adding a ramp or redesigning a bathroom.

Why Hire an ADA Specialist?

If you are not familiar with the ADA regulations of California then your best course of action is to hire a reliable ADA specialist to help you. Hire an ADA expert prior to the start of the construction work or before it reaches completion so you can still make the necessary changes. Some business owners are lucky enough to have an employee who has had some experience with ADA compliance, if so then there’s no need to hire a specialist, otherwise you need a CASp professional to assist you. California Senate Bill 1608 made the Certified Access Specialist Program. These professionals have been trained and certified to determine what ADA requirements are needed for your property. It doesn’t matter whether you are constructing a new building from scratch or doing a major renovation, if you are not sure if your property adheres to ADA guidelines then you definitely can benefit from hiring an ADA specialist to help you. You can check out the list of Certified Access Specialists by vising the website of California Division of Architects. Investing in an ADA specialist will save you money in the long run as it safeguards your property from possible lawsuits.