What Are Concrete Piers In Foundation Repair?

Concrete piers are columns of concrete formed when wet concrete is poured into holes that have been dug into the ground. They can also be referred to us supplemental support devices or systems placed under house foundations to lift or stabilize the house.

What Underlies The Use Of Piers?

What Are Concrete Piers In Foundation Repair?The principle behind foundation repairs with concrete piers is to extend the depth of the foundation so that it is supported by a more stable soil layer, and extend its breath so that its load is distributed across a wider area.

Need For Concrete Piers

What Are Concrete Piers In Foundation Repair? - open area
The need for piers for foundation repair arises out of either changing structural conditions of the soil that supports the foundation or emerging factors that makes a house that was once stable require further support. How?

The foundation of your house is laid on a soil layer. Naturally when this soil soaks in water either through rains or moisture from underground, it expands. When it is dry, it shrinks. This expansion and contraction eventually results in soil movement or subsidence. You will notice this movement by seeing cracks in your slab. Cracks are an indication that somewhere on the house, the ground has moved. Other tale tell signs include having doors and windows that won’t shut properly or tilting of the house.

Other reason for foundation repair could be that the user needs of the house owners have changed therefore the house requires a more robust foundation. Natural hazards like floods and earthquakes can also affect the stability of the house. New constructions adjacent to the house may have caused soils supporting the present foundation to be excavated resulting in an unstable house. It may also be necessitated by   a cost-benefit analysis that shows that it is cheaper to repair the existing foundation than to build a new one.

How Are Piers Installed?

What Are Concrete Piers In Foundation Repair? - undergroundInstallation of concrete piers is a fivefold process. First the location or points along the foundation where piers need to be installed are identified. A hole measuring 12 inches in diameter is then drilled to   a depth of al least 12 feet below the foundation. Then reinforced steel bars are joined together and placed into the hole. The piers are then let to cure for a week in order for the concrete to harden.

When all the piers are dry enough, hydraulic jacks are brought in and placed on the pies. They are then used to lift the foundation. After the foundation is lifted, spacers made of concrete and steel are placed on the piers to offer support for the foundation. The hydraulic jacks are then removed. Lastly the piers are covered and the voids left after piers have been mounted filled.

The advantage of this system for foundation repair is that piers can be designed to bear any load, are simple to install, are relatively cheap when compared to other foundation repair methods, last long and the warranty is transferable to a new owner.

The Difference Between Quality and Imitation Steel Products

When using steel for construction there’s no substitute for the real thing. It’s stronger, more durable, longer lasting, and therefore safer than imitation steel and other materials. There’s a reason why it has been considered the best structural metal since the late 1800s, and is used in the construction of skyscrapers to small garden sheds.

Whether you’re a builder or contractor, or just doing some DIY, it is important to find a respectable supplier that sells only quality steel, not low grade or fake products.

Let’s look at some of the key differences in more detail.


steel - houseThe higher quality the steel, the stronger it will be and the more stress it can be put under. This is obviously extremely important when building or reinforcing a structure. An imitation or lower grade material could begin to deform and break at stress levels you wouldn’t expect, ruining your project and giving rise to dangerous accidents.



Withstanding The Elements

A high quality product is not going to be phased by the weather, be it cold, rain and wind, or dry and hot. Poorer quality steel might rust and corrode after only a short period of time, making it less practical for a building project. An imitation product may react completely differently than the real thing when exposed to the elements. So if you’re in an extreme climate it’s important to source the genuine thing.




steel - constructionAlong with the first two points comes rigidity, or the ability to keep its form over long periods of time. Genuine steel is not going to shrink or expand, or sag and twist. This can lead to doors and windows sticking or frames becoming misaligned, warped rooflines, and in the worst cases cracking and serious structural damage. In the long run this saves money because you won’t have to refurbish or replace anything in the future.



 Not A Fire Hazard

One thing that makes steel a preferable construction material is that it’s not flammable and withstands considerable heat before it weakens. The average fire is not going to bring down the structure and it will actually help contain it much better than wood or imitation materials that might combust quite easily.

Recyclable and Healthy

steelSome steel materials have to be treated with chemicals to get them up to a high enough standard for construction. If the building is to be lived in or used regularly this is not always healthy for people with asthma or other ailments. High quality steel does not have to be treated and is not linked to any adverse health issues.

It is also very easy to recycle, in fact it’s one of the most recycled materials on the planet and can be done so endlessly with no change to the core properties. It also weighs less than some other materials and does not require extensive and heavy foundations. In turn this leaves less waste onsite and does not damage the ground or surroundings.

How to Replace Garbage Disposals

How to Replace Garbage Disposals - SinkAn important part of any kitchen is the garbage disposal. Right underneath your kitchen sink is a highly efficient device that makes sure your food waste is properly shredded to pass through the plumbing system. Not only does it eliminate the need for you to deal with organic waste, which may be a messy business, it also helps keep your kitchen and your home clean.

Considering the amount of work that your garbage disposal system has to do every day, it is inevitable that it may encounter some issues or even breakdown and stop working at some point. The first thing to do is to check whether anything is jammed into the machine. You can simply take a flashlight and aim the beam at the drum to see whether any foreign object is lodged in it. Taking the object off might solve the problem, but if it doesn’t, then it’s about time to replace your garbage disposal.

This might seem to be a difficult task, but by following a few simple steps, you’ll find out exactly how to replace garbage disposals.

Tool Preparation

Before you get started, make sure that you have all the tools you need within reach. This will save you both time and effort.

  • A light or torch
  • A screwdriver
  • A wrench
  • A pair of pliers
  • Plumber’s putty
  • A putty knife
  • An abrasive pad
  • A bucket or container for all parts that you would be removing

Old Unit Removal

How to Replace Garbage Disposals - Under the sinkWhen you’ve got all your tools in place, you are ready to get started. Before you even begin dismantling the old unit, make sure that you shut off the electricity, as well as the hot and cold water valves. Then, you have to disconnect several things: the drain trap, the fittings, and the dishwasher inlet hose. Once all these are disconnected, you can begin to unscrew the drum from the sink. Make sure that you hold the bottom so it won’t fall! When it’s removed, turn it upside-down and unscrew the cover plate, the cable connector, and the wires.

Next, remove the sink sleeve, flange, and fiber gasket. Then, use your putty knife to remove all the putty remaining in the sink. You can use an abrasive pad for any remaining putty. Clean all remaining components to ensure a good fit of the new unit.

Make sure that you do all these steps as carefully as you can. Ensure that all components are dismantled correctly and that nothing remains connected.

New Unit Preparation

How to Replace Garbage Disposals - PartsTake the new unit out of the box and check that you have all the necessary components. Before mounting the device, you have to install the new drain assembly first. The first step is to place a ring of plumbers putty around the underside of the drain. Then, press the drain firmly into the hole. Following this, put the cardboard washer, backup ring, mounting flange, and retaining ring in place, then tighten the bolts.

Wire the new unit before installing it. It will be easier to make all the connections while you can still move the unit around. Make sure all wire connections are correct and secure.

New Unit Installation

Now you can work on mounting the new garbage disposal. Hang the unit by twisting it into place, and rotate it until it is correctly aligned. You can then attach the dishwasher drain pipe and the drain arm. When everything is secure, switch the water valves on. Run water through the new garbage disposal to check for any leaks. When no leaks are found, you can turn the power back on, and your new unit is all set!

Overall, replacing a garbage disposal could be a daunting task. However, following these simple steps can help you learn how to replace garbage disposals so that you can have your new unit up and running in no time.

Tips on Fixing a Toilet Leak

Fixing a toilet leak - black bathroomFixing a toilet leak can be an overwhelming task, especially, if you have never done plumbing ever before. However, if you do it with proper measures and planning, you will be able to fix your toilet with minimum effort.

But first of all, you need to find out the leak before taking any action. It may sound like a straightforward task, but it can be very frustrating as well. Many people give up finding the leak and end up calling a professional plumber. So, here is a brief guide about finding and fixing a toilet leak:

Fixing Flapper

Fixing a toilet leak - flapperThe most common reason for a toilet leak is a flapper gone bad. The good news is that they are not very expensive and easily available at every hardware store. You can get it for as low as 10$. Flappers are made with rubber material and it can stop working properly, when minerals start to build around it. That is why, sometimes, cleaning the flapper lightly can also cause it to settle down and work as expected. Otherwise, replacing the it does not take too long either. You can easily follow each and every step mentioned on the flapper pack. However, always remember to turn off the water first, before replacing it. Once you have turned off the water, simply unhook the old flapper from the flush valve and place the new one.

Fixing Seal

Fixing a toilet leak - bathroomSometimes, the flapper is not the culprit, but it is the seal between the toilet and the tank. You can easily assess the seal by spotting water leak between the bowl and the tank. There may be two reasons for a leaking seal. It could be either set improperly or it could have simply worn. However, in both cases, you will have to unscrew the bolts that keep the toilet and the tank together. Remember, turn off the water valve before unscrewing the bolts. If the seal is worn, simply take out the old seal and place the new one. Otherwise, you can simply push it appropriately to fit the seal.

Fixing Toilet Base

Fixing a toilet leak - baseIf its not the flapper or the seal, it probably is leaking at the base of the toilet. There is a wax ring at the base that holds the toilet to the base. Sometimes, the screw may get loose and hence the water starts to leak. If it has been a long time since you installed your toilet, it may be time to replace the ring. However, replacing the ring is not that difficult either.

All you have to do is unscrew the bolts at the base and lift the toilet up. Again, it is extremely important to keep the water valve off. Now, make sure you clean the existing ring thoroughly before placing the newer one. Otherwise, it may not fit properly and the leak will not stop.

All in all, fixing a toilet leak can be a tricky task. But, once you have identified the leaking spot, it is a cakewalk.

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