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Foundations and Retaining Walls

Everything You Need to Know About Home Foundations and Retaining Walls


As a homeowner, the foundation is one of the most important factors to consider when building or buying a house. A strong, stable foundation is crucial for ensuring the structural integrity of your home, and it is essential that you know how to maintain it. In this blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know about home foundations so that you can make informed decisions to protect your investment.


What is a Good Foundation 

Knowing the type of foundation is crucial when it comes to maintenance. The two common types of foundations are slab-on-grade and crawl space foundations. Slab-on-grade foundation means that the entire home is built on a concrete slab poured directly onto the ground. Conversely, the crawlspace foundation has a crawlspace between the ground and the first floor. Knowing which of these foundation types you have will help you to address potential repairs, structural issues, or maintenance issues accordingly.


Foundation cracks are a common problem that homeowners face, but there are different types of cracks. Cracks that are vertical, smaller than 1/4 inch, and located at the corners of the doors or windows are usually the result of the typical settling of a foundation, and they are not typically serious. However, horizontal cracks, wide gaps, or diagonal cracks are a cause for concern and require a professional inspection as they could indicate severe structural issues.


Regular maintenance, including cleaning and sealing, is important to ensure that your foundation remains in good condition. By cleaning gutters and downspouts regularly, preventing flooding, and repairing any leaks or drainage problems as soon as possible, you can reduce the risk of water infiltration, which can weaken the foundation over time. Sealing the foundation from time to time can also prevent moisture from penetrating the concrete, which can cause cracks or weaken the foundation.


Homeowners can take multiple measures to protect their home's foundation from natural disasters such as earthquakes or floods. If you live in an area prone to floods, you should have a sump pump in place. If you live in an area prone to earthquakes, you should ensure that you have installed shear walls or bracing in your home to handle lateral forces.

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Retaining walls 

Are you planning to build a retaining wall on your residential property? Retaining walls are known for their practicality and aesthetic appeal. They are a great landscaping option to level areas, prevent soil erosion, create outdoor living spaces and add value to your property. In this blog post, we will provide you with all the information you need to know about residential retaining walls.


1. Design and Materials 


The first thing to consider when building a retaining wall is the design and materials needed. You have a plethora of options to choose from, including concrete, stones or bricks, timber, or boulders. Each material has its advantages and disadvantages, and it all depends on the look you want to achieve, the soil type, and the wall's height. Retaining walls come in different styles that range from tiered to curved to straight walls around your property.


2. Purpose and Location 


The main reason homeowners install retaining walls is to avoid soil erosion or flooding, level an area, or create an outdoor living space. Therefore, determining the purpose of your retaining wall will determine the location you will erect it. For instance, if you intend to create an outdoor living space such as a patio or a garden, it is advisable to build a wall close to the house. This way, you have direct access to it.


3. Height and Drainage 


The height of the retaining wall and drainage is something to consider when building one. A wall over four feet tall requires a lot of experience and expertise not to affect the yard or house's foundation. Moreover, the wall must have proper drainage to avoid possible damage from water. Therefore, you need to invest in drain pipes or gravel and put them behind the wall at intervals. This helps promote proper water flow and prevent excess water pressure that can compromise the wall's structural integrity.


4. Cost and Maintenance 


It is essential to set a budget before beginning the retaining wall construction process. The cost depends on the wall's height, material, and location. The cost of a retaining wall can range between $20 to $200 per square foot. Maintenance of the wall will also vary depending on the material used. For instance, timber walls require regular sealing while concrete walls require little maintenance apart from occasional cleaning.


5. Hiring Professionals 


You might be tempted to save some money by building the retaining wall yourself, but it is highly recommended to hire a professional. Wall building requires a lot of knowledge and expertise not to compromise safety and structural integrity. Only professionals can guarantee you a well-designed, highly functional, and long-lasting retaining wall.


Hire JOMI Today!

Retaining walls are an excellent landscaping option to level areas, prevent soil erosion, and add value to your residential property. However, they require a lot of planning, knowledge, and expertise to construct. Therefore, it's essential to hire a professional to construct it for you. Ensure you have set aside a budget and determined the wall's design, height, material, and location. Above all, when you hire a professional, you can rest easy knowing they will get it right the first time, saving you the headache of costly errors.

JOMI Corp has been serving the South Shore, Cape Cod, Metro West, and Greater Boston since 2004. Our knowledge, proven ability, and collective experience ensure that you receive expert service from quote to completion. We evaluate your needs, prepare a free estimate, and perform all work with our dedicated in-house team.  Our expertise lies in excavation and site work, grading, demolition, foundations, utility and septic systems, hardscape construction, and snow management. For more information, contact us today!

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