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HOW TO DETECT MOVEMENT IN YOUR KANSAS CITY FOUNDATION!

foundation movement kansas city

Live from the KC Property Guys and KC Pier studio in beautiful Kansas City. Owned over 200 fountains and more barbecue restaurants per capita than anywhere in the nation. It’s the Kansas City Real Estate Industry Leader Show, a show about industry leaders from the local Kansas City Metro market for Kansas City real estate related professionals and enthusiasts like you. And now here’s your host, Eric and Lucas Sheele.

Lucas Sheele:
How’s it going everybody? It’s Lucas Sheele and welcome back to the Kansas City Real Estate Industry Leaders Podcast. I’m here with my cohost, Eric Sheele today, as well as our director of operations for KC Pier, Brian Dufuor how are you guys doing today?

Eric Sheele:
Good, good.

Brian Dufuor:
Good.

Foundation Movement in Kansas City

Lucas Sheele:
Awesome. Well, we’re just going to jump right into it today. We’re going to be talking about foundation issues relative to the Kansas City area as well as just general maintenance that goes into the foundation movement fixes that we do.

Eric Sheele:
Yeah, you bet. And for us on the KC Pier side and you see this as director of marketing going to all the Pier jobs that we do and taking some pictures and there’s a reason why we’re a business and we’re not just privately done through KC Property Guys is because it’s in demand. I mean foundation fixes in Kansas City area is in demand and it’s mainly like we talked about on our last episode, the clay’s within our soil and the expansion and contraction just totally stressing out these basement walls and sometimes slab floors. Today we’re going to spend some time talking about specifically different types of farm. We’re going to dive in deeper. We did a good overview last chapter, this chapter we’re going to dive in just a little bit deeper about the different types of foundation issues that you can find.

Eric Sheele:
And then we’re also going to talk about from a homeowners perspective, what you can do to help avoid these things because they’re expensive, right?

Brian Dufuor:
Yes, they’re.

Eric Sheele:
Our average ticket is seven to $8,000 and they get much, much higher than that. We just got through few weeks ago with a $50,000 job that was a complete basically rehab without re-pouring the foundation. But it is fixed. It’s a lifetime product, but the average ticket is not cheap. And like we talked about before, these things don’t fix themselves. They only get worse. We’re going to talk to homeowners and give some general advice that it sounds so basic, but it is so critical to the lifetime of that home, to keep that foundation healthy and prevent movement. We’re going to jump into that and look forward to it. And so we brought Brian back into the studio with us today. Right? And let’s kick it off. We’re talking about just general foundation movement issues and maybe we just talk about some of the common ones that you guys see that in the field as you visit them. And then from there, we’re going dive into maybe some of the specific types of general issues that you see.

General Foundation Movement Issues

Brian Dufuor:
Correct. Usually what we see is cracking. It’s always cracking. In the basement, you’ll see horizontal cracks in the foundation or you’ll see actual vertical cracks. Each wall crack tells you what it’s doing and what type of issue you have. And also not every crack is a bad crack.

Lucas Sheele:
Oh really?

Eric Sheele:
In fact, yeah, I heard you mentioned that yesterday and we were in a house up in Lee’s Summit and it’s one that we actually just purchased on KC Property Guy’s side, but it was full of some talking walls. And I liked that you started with cracks because from a homeowner’s perspective, what do you see when you go to the basement and that’s going to alarm you, it’s cracks, right?

Lucas Sheele:
Definitely will, yeah.

Brian Dufuor:
Absolutely.

Eric Sheele:
It’s like a cut on your arm. You’ve got to adjust it. You’ve got to put a band aid on it. Do I need surgery? Let’s assess it, but I really don’t know what’s going on here. It’s a really common call that we get from home owners that basically says, “Hey man, I got cracks and I need help. I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t want it to get worse.” Or those types of things is what you’re dealing with, right?

Brian Dufuor:
Yes, absolutely.

How Can You Read Cracks?

Eric Sheele:
And the cracks are talking to you is what you’re saying. They’re telling us some information. So for our viewers and listeners and readers, how can you read the cracks? What do they tell people?

Lucas Sheele:
Yeah, what’s that difference between a really bad crack and something that’s not going to do so much damage?

Brian Dufuor:
Typically what the walls do and where the cracks come are the weakest points. So when you have windows or you have walls that go from eight foot to four foot, where those transitions meet are the weakest point of the foundation. Those are where cracks are always going to happen first. Whether your house is settling, whether the walls are moving in or the house is just adjusting to where it’s going to be permanently. Those are where you’re normally going to get your cracks to start. During that process a horizontal crack is usually caused by hydrostatic pressure. Basically our soils are like a sponge and it expands with the water and it’s mother nature verse foundation. Foundation’s never going to win if we have too much of it and the maintenance from foundation movement isn’t caught up to the house.

Eric Sheele:
Yeah, it’s not up to date.

Brian Dufuor:
Correct. During that process, that’s where some of the general maintenance comes in at, that will slow down the crack or stop it permanently. During that process, that’s where you call and we come out, we assess the crack and then we can come up with a best diagnosis to fix it.

Eric Sheele:
From a degree of severity, that horizontal crack, is that more significant than say a diagonal or if you’re in a brick and mortar and you’ve got a stair-step, what’s the degree of that horizontal versus the others?

Brian Dufuor:
It really depends on the soil outside. It really depends on how big the crack is and it depends on where it is in the foundation.

Eric Sheele:
Okay. So yeah, let’s dissect that a little bit. You got the one inch crack where it’s obvious, like the one yesterday, it actually shifted, it was one and a half inches apart and it shifted one and a half inches forward.

Lucas Sheele:
Came out. And started protruding.

Eric Sheele:
Two separate foundation movement going on.

Brian Dufuor:
Correct.

Kansas City Homeowner & Realtor Tips

Eric Sheele:
But then also within there you got these little small eighth inch thick little hairline cracks, none showing any signs of water intrusion. We can talk about water intrusion as well and how to read that. Some homeowners don’t necessarily pick up on that and maybe you can give them some clues as to what to look for because anybody that’s listening to this as a homeowner, they’re like, “Wow, I’m going to go check my basement.” Some of them are going to go down there and start looking for this stuff. So what are some good general tips that you can give to the observer, even to our realtors. We’re real estate people and we get some realtors that come in. For the realtors to help give buyer confidence or seller confidence that they know-

Lucas Sheele:
Some general knowledge.

Eric Sheele:
… what they’re talking about because a lot of times realtors are as fearful as the sellers and the buyers.

Brian Dufuor:
Oh, yeah because they don’t want to deal with it.

Eric Sheele:
And they ruin deals, they lose. And more importantly, as a realtor from a entrepreneur perspective, you’re losing an opportunity. You really are because the cracks and foundations are an opportunity to help your buyers and give confidence to your sellers by bringing a professional and to resolve the foundation movement issue permanently. But back on point, general tips on, on things that they can see are water intrusion and the different types of cracks. Could you kind of expand on that form?

Water Intrusion

Brian Dufuor:
The easiest way to see water intrusion is on the actual crack itself. You’ll see calcium buildup is pretty much white powder. You’ll see stains around where the water’s coming in. You might not have any on the floor because you’re not getting a lot at that time, but when you have that calcium buildup in that white powdery substance that’s in most basements when you have water coming in, that’s a sign of water intrusion in the area. Also, if you have dirt or mud at the bottom somewhere, as of yesterday, there was dirt running out of the crack onto the floor because water was coming in for so long. Those are typically the first two signs of you have water coming in.

Eric Sheele:
Any type of discoloration is a sign?

Brian Dufuor:
Correct.

Eric Sheele:
Right. The calcium buildup, I assume is a residual effect of the time of the amount of water that’s coming in over time probably.

Brian Dufuor:
Correct.

Eric Sheele:
Diagonal cracks, are they telling you something pointing in a different direction? Some that are going left, some are that are going right. Does that mean anything?

Brian Dufuor:
It really depends on where they’re at. Usually when you a crack like that, it’s coming from the corner and it’s working its way up to the middle of the foundation wall. Usually when you have something like that it means the wall has pressure on the outside and it’s starting to move its way in. So you’re getting what’s called a stress crack. If you catch it quick enough you’ll save so much time and money to repair it.

Eric Sheele:
Is the crack is actually reaching towards the point of pressure?

Brian Dufuor:
The point of pressure.

Eric Sheele:
If it’s all the way to the middle, because the middle of the… And we’ve talk about this a lot. The middle of the wall is the weakest point of the wall.

Brian Dufuor:
Correct.

Eric Sheele:
Because you got the corners that support the outside points of the wall. So if the pressure is coming to the middle, specifically the crack is going to talk to you and reach back towards the middle. If you catch it early enough before it gets to the middle, it’s a lot less expensive.

Brian Dufuor:
It’s a lot less expensive.

Eric Sheele:
And can be extremely, extremely less expensive because if you have to actually start to dig out the exterior wall and push that thing back, which we’ll probably touch upon that, that gets pricey.

Early Foundation Movement Detection is Key

Brian Dufuor:
It can definitely get pricey if you wait too long.

Eric Sheele:
Yeah, you bet. So I just touched upon the transition I guess to, what can we do? How can we fix it? Right? What are some things that homeowners can expect from the least expensive where I’m being proactive and trying to reach it and get it early to the point where well it’s late but it’s not too late. We still need to rescue this thing and resolve it.

Lucas Sheele:
Get an expert out there or something.

Eric Sheele:
You bet.

Brian Dufuor:
Yeah. As we touched on last week when we were going over it is if you catch it quick enough, then you have options. The first option is the wall is not in too far, roughly around two inches or so. You can put up i-beam braces, you put them every four to five foot down the wall and then you inject the cracks and you can stop the wall where it is and you don’t have to do anything outside other than grading.

Eric Sheele:
Perfect.

Brian Dufuor:
The walls coming in for some reason. And usually it’s because of lack of grading on the exterior of that foundation wall. Now it could be either your Kansas City deck ceiling system or gutters are clogged, your downspouts are not out far enough, or the general grade is negative to the house. That can be something that can be done by the homeowner itself once we come in and put in the beams.

Eric Sheele:
Right. In fact, you’ve mentioned something on that and pretty recently where you saw the sump pump drain basically going into a pool where it essentially sat and didn’t necessarily run back to the house, but it didn’t-

Brian Dufuor:
It had nowhere to go.

Eric Sheele:
… leave the area of the foundation. It’s still hung around the foundation so it would still trickled in and then basically put pressure, not necessarily end up in the basement again, but it remained a constant pressure on that wall.

Brian Dufuor:
Correct.

Eric Sheele:
So getting the water completely away from that foundation is a big piece of some of those resolutions.

Brian Dufuor:
Absolutely. The option that you can have is you can also excavate the wall out, either homeowners choice of the walls, not in far enough or the walls into far to stop it where it’s at. And what that is, is you have to come in and you have to excavate the wall out, pass the footing, take all the pressure off the wall. Once that’s done, we have to raise the house roughly a quarter to a half inch off the foundation. That way when we pull, we don’t pull any of the structure with it. We push the wall to a structural limitations, we don’t guarantee level, but usually when you push a wall we can get it back pretty close. Once we get it there, we secure the beams and then we do all the waterproofing outside. We use a 60 mil membrane, we seal the entire wall down past the footing, and then we put in a brand new drain tile next to the footing and we backfill with 85% gravel.

Eric Sheele:
Okay. Super cheap fix, fill the cracks, call it good. Wall’s going to stay in place. You caught it early enough. Fantastic because you probably just saved yourself thousands.

Lucas Sheele:
Yeah, just being proactive.

Brian Dufuor:
Absolutely.

Eric Sheele:
Being proactive or catching it soon enough. Absolutely. Next step up, a little bit more severe. We can brace it. Maybe six, four to five feet apart. I-beam embraces, holds that wall in place, still fix the cracks and then that additional support is going to maintain it as long as the wall hasn’t come in far enough. Comes in too far, we got to dig from the outside. Very expensive. Manually dig, machine dig, either way it’s a dig. You got to remove the issue, which is the soil, right? Then finally get the house up just enough so you can push that wall back in place and then do A and B that we just talked about.

Kansas City Homes without a Basement

Eric Sheele:
Fill the cracks, put the beams in place so you obviously can tell that it just escalates. And so by catching those cracks early enough, it can be a very big cost savings. Real quickly for those… and then I want to move into next type of issue, which is some settling issues. But real quickly some people might be saying, well I don’t have a basement, or I got a block and mortar, I’ve got a slab or it looks like I need garage door repair because my garage floor is uneven or is cracking what about my porch? Or even my Kansas City concrete driveway and some of those things we don’t necessarily address. So maybe if you can quickly touch upon that and then the general homeowner can say, “Okay, well Brian said, no-go, I don’t have to worry about it.” And others, he’s like, “I better give him a call.” Let’s quickly summarize all the cracks. And then the homeowners can take that information and assess their own home. Do quick self-assessment maybe.

Lucas Sheele:
For sure.

Brian Dufuor:
Yeah, absolutely. Now when you’re actually basing on slabs, driveways, garage floors, front porches in your house, it’s slab on grade, either one, it’s exactly what we said last. It’s either too much water or not enough. So grading and positive slope is going to help with that as well. When you have a slab on grade house, the foundations poured differently. So the cracks that you have in the floor are also going to tell you the same thing that cracks in the foundation wall would tell you. When you have cracks on a slab on grade slab, that means it’s actually moving, it’s not a floating slab. So when you start getting those cracks, that is a settlement issue. And usually what happens is you’ll get a star crack, a star pattern and that’s where the soil has expanded the most and it’s tried to point load and push.

Eric Sheele:
Pop right through, okay.

Brian Dufuor:
Pop right up and cause that. And then you start getting the hairlines that come off that break off and then whatever corner it is, is the one that starts to slowly settle. It’s the exact same thing with driveways and garage floors.

Eric Sheele:
Makes sense. All right, so the point of pressure is going to crack first and then it just works its way out towards the settlement or the heaviest part of that driveway and it just follows those lines?

Brian Dufuor:
Yes.

Eric Sheele:
Again, preventive maintenance things that we can do or what’s the resolutions for something like that?

Brian Dufuor:
It’s really everything is positive grade and drainage. When you’re doing driveways, usually you have downspouts that are pouring onto the driveways. If you can get those and push them away, either underground downspout extensions or above ground and get them away from the driveways to prevent the water from building up there so that you won’t need Kansas City mudjacking services later to lift the driveway concrete. Because those are usually four to six inches thick. It takes nothing for water to get there and swell up and move them.

Eric Sheele:
Get the water away, same as what we talk about with positive grade, which is sloping away from the house. Just make sure the water and the positive slope. So any future water gets itself away from the concrete itself. Whether it’s a driveway, porch, sidewalk, vertical wall, just get the water away.

Brian Dufuor:
If you can get as much water as way as possible, it will limit the amount of foundation movement you have.

Fix Down Spouts to Prevent Water Instrusion

Eric Sheele:
Limits foundation movement and most important, speak about the water again, going back to our first episode is going into clay. And that clay is just like a sponge. It’s expanding and given pressure. It’s contracting without the water. So you get the water away from the house, so the clay is not expanding and pushing back into that foundation or on that driveway or sidewalk, just get the water away. Many times you see people that they don’t think much of it, the downs spout, pops off in a heavy rain or he hits it with a mower or the-

Brian Dufuor:
[crosstalk 00:17:53].

Eric Sheele:
The kids kicked it, running around the corner of the house playing hide and seek and they don’t think much of it. It sits there in January, but guess what? It’s still sitting there in April and we just had one of our heaviest rains in March of all time. And they’re wondering why they get water in their basement. And that water had just been coming straight down that corner going down to either the crack or the cold joint and pushing right through into the basement. We’re getting phone calls.

Lucas Sheele:
It’s finding its way in.

Eric Sheele:
Simple fix though. Think about that. Take two minutes, stick your downspout on there, problem would have been solved. But now you have a wet basement that you got to address. You have a potential mold issue that you have to address with a Kansas City mold remediation company because, Fido the dog, running around the corner chasing the rabbit, hit the downspout and pop it. It popped off and now we got this issue. It’s super simple fixes.

Brian Dufuor:
Yes, it’s very easy fix. It’s a simple walk around when you’re outside doing gardening work or mowing the lawn or something like that. It’s just something to watch. Something very easy that could save you thousands of dollars.

Eric Sheele:
Thousands of dollars. Interesting. Okay, so those are the wall cracks, [crosstalk 00:19:03] right?

Lucas Sheele:
Yeah. Just did wall cracks. Let’s hit settling.

Signs of Foundation Movement & Settling

Eric Sheele:
Settling. So on settling now, Brian can talk about this all day. This is the Pier side of KC Pier, right? This is our whole brand’s sake. So, what do homeowners see? What are some of the common ailments that are giving them indications that this house is doing some form of settling.

Brian Dufuor:
The biggest thing you see is doors not working and cracks coming off trim work or going through the ceiling. Those are the biggest things that homeowners see first that shows signs of the foundation settling. You’ll see those before you see the cracks in the foundation itself. When your foundation starts to settle, your foundation has a little give, your sheet rock don’t have little give, your two by four studs start bending with it and causing nail pops and causing the cracks to pop. It’s just like a foundation when you have the doors or the windows, those are the weakest point of your sheet rock. They’re the easiest ones to be affected by foundation movement.

Eric Sheele:
Right. I get it. So the doors and the windows aren’t attached to either framing or back to the foundation. They’re basically sitting with two or three contact points. They’re the first ones to give you an indication of something’s going on when they start to stick.

Brian Dufuor:
Correct.

Eric Sheele:
Right. And it makes a lot of sense. And then from there is what I’m repeating what I’m hearing is, all right, the door is sticking, the windows are sticking, but then all of a sudden nail pops are starting to show because now the sheet rock is starting to adjust.

Brian Dufuor:
Correct.

Eric Sheele:
Right? And what types of tolerances it is. The house is made to move. I mean, it’s Kansas soil and builders know that going into this and so there are some tolerances already built into housing construction now, but at what point do we really need to start paying attention to some serious resolutions for a house that’s settling.

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Brian Dufuor:
Once your house starts having foundation movement, at that point you have to call the professionals to come in and evaluate it to make sure you can correct everything that’s going on.

Eric Sheele:
Not totally surprised. There’s very little that I can think of as a homeowner in that house, multiton house starting to have foundation movement on you, that you can really do. And we’ve seen some things, we’ve seen some real interesting self-help attempts in some of these basements, right?

Brian Dufuor:
Yes, we have.

DIY Attempts & Foundation Movement

Eric Sheele:
We’ve seen multi foundations, rock and block in front of rock and poured in front of block and the old two by fours holding up, floor… We’ve seen it all, but guess what? It doesn’t work.

Lucas Sheele:
DIY, doesn’t really help foundations issues.

Eric Sheele:
No.

Lucas Sheele:
Especially on your biggest investment you’ve ever had.

Eric Sheele:
Right? It’s time to call the professionals who deal with foundation movement and you’ll draw that up. You’ll take all the measurements and that’s a really good time to assess as a homeowner, to sit back and just let the professionals draw it up for you and assess your issues and options from there. I guess that’s how it works, right? At that point they’re calling into, for you at KC Pier. And they’re going to set up some type of consultant to come out, a structural consultant, maybe yourself or one of the others to come out and then take those measurements that we talked about, draw it up for them and give them an assessment of what’s going on.

Brian Dufuor:
Correct. And it’s just like the waterproofing phase. If you catch it fast enough, there’s options. Once you catch it and you start seeing the movement faster, you call us the cheaper it is.

Kansas City Foundation Piering & Foundation Movement

Eric Sheele:
True because you don’t have to pier, and we’ve talked about this before, you don’t have to pier a whole house. You can actually just do a section of a house. If this section is the only section that’s really moving, you don’t want to do everything necessarily because you’re overspending and maybe spending unnecessary monies. And so catching it early can really be an affordable option in the long run.

Brian Dufuor:
It can be very affordable. There’s a lot of people that go in and just shave doors to make them fit. Well, you can only shave that door so many times until you start going from door to door, to door and then you go from three piers to 13 piers.

Eric Sheele:
Right. Yeah. Fixing a residual effect of the issue does not fix the issue, but I like it’s a great attempt, but man, that’s going to get expensive shaving that $50, $100 door is not piering the house to resolve the issue. So you don’t ever have to shave it in the first place.

Brian Dufuor:
Correct. Correct.

Eric Sheele:
Right, Okay. At that point we’ve talked about cracks, we’ve talked about settling, I guess-

Lucas Sheele:
I had a question real quick on settling. I was actually wondering, like you said, just shave one door and you find yourself going down the hallway in your house and you had to shave all these doors over time because they start just from like a back corner and settle throughout the entire house? Or is it usually just one side that falling?

Brian Dufuor:
It really depends on the house itself. It depends on the grade outside. It typically starts in a corner. Usually once it starts moving, it’s going to find the path of least resistance, just like water does. It’s going to continue to move. Usually the most exposed foundation starts movement first versus a full basement that’s eight foot under. Usually when you have a walkout that’s the one that starts foundation movement first cause it’s easier to get to the bottom of the foundation with the soil and the heat. But once it starts, it just don’t stop. The foundation continues movement and the more it moves, the more money you have to invest.

Lucas Sheele:
Yeah. So catch it early and avoid the last step.

Eric Sheele:
Yeah, and you could be a victim of just the substrate in the soil where sides of houses could need adjustment. But yeah, typically you’re right, it does starts in an area and then spreads. But there are exceptions to that. We’ve had houses that four piers and you’re done, you’re out, you’re done, you call it good. We’ve also had houses where it’s 35, 40 piers and you’re basically penning the whole house. Something that what we call is in full tilt. It’s just, we’re going to put everything on stilts essentially. So it really does vary. And again, if you have or see some type of indicator, the doors are sticking, the windows are sticking and the nail pops are there. Especially if obviously if you’re seeing the cracks in the dry wall then it’s time to just call somebody in and let’s get an assessment and they give you an idea of how severe that issue may be.

Brian Dufuor:
Correct.

Resolutions for Water Issues

Eric Sheele:
Okay. So we talked about cracks and reading cracks. We’ve talked about settling. The one thing that maybe we’ve touched upon maybe a little bit, because we talked about water but we really didn’t expand on it. Let’s maybe jump into, especially with this year we’ve seen a ton of waterproofing. So let’s talk about wall issues, waterproofing, what are some of the different techniques that homeowners can… because they are dealing with water. What are some of the different techniques that homeowners can help address some of the resolutions for water issues in the house.

Brian Dufuor:
The cheapest effective way is downspout extension. Get the gutters and the downspouts away from the home. By far the cheapest one is keeping your gutters clean. If they’re-

Lucas Sheele:
[crosstalk 00:26:52]

Brian Dufuor:
… clogged the water’s going straight over it and it doesn’t matter what’s going.

Eric Sheele:
And some of those houses that don’t have gutters at all.

Brian Dufuor:
Yeah.

Eric Sheele:
And clogged gutters are just like not having gutters at all. Right?

Brian Dufuor:
It’s exactly the same thing.

Eric Sheele:
And that water… it does, it goes straight down and it’s going to go straight in, especially if you don’t have positive grade or even over time. The water coming down off that roof line or over those gutters is going to create a channel and the depression where the water can’t get away from the house and it’s going to have to go down.

Brian Dufuor:
It’s going to go down, expand the soil and it’s going to cause foundation movement or it’s just going to flood your basement depending on which way it flows and where your crack is depends on the floating slab. But if you don’t have positive grade, you don’t keep your gutters clean and you don’t have downspout extensions to get the water away from your home, you’re not doing any favors to your home.

Eric Sheele:
Sure.

Lucas Sheele:
What about like the DIY warrior that just wants to inject the cracks themselves? What do you got to say for people who try to do that? Because I know we’ve seen a few at some jobs.

Eric Sheele:
Good point.

Brian Dufuor:
Honestly if you want to try it that’s fine. But if you try it and it doesn’t work and you call professional out for foundation movement, it costs you more because we have to dig it all out before we can do it correctly.

Lucas Sheele:
Got you.

Brian Dufuor:
So if you don’t have any experience with it, I wouldn’t do that. It’s just going to cost you twice as much because for one you have to pay for the material and you’re doing your own labor and then when it doesn’t work you have to pay for us to tear it all out, clean it and then inject it correctly.

Lucas Sheele:
So basically [crosstalk 00:28:30].

Eric Sheele:
And be sure you have the correct material because the hydraulics amount or the caulk, the mortar, the grout-

Lucas Sheele:
[crosstalk 00:28:38] you never know what they’re going to do.

Eric Sheele:
… I found in the corner, and we’ve seen that, right?

Lucas Sheele:
That flex sale spray, that’s been huge over the last few years.

Eric Sheele:
Absolutely. Spray it and forget it. Well it doesn’t work. It’s not a boat floating in the water. This is hydraulic pressure. So yeah, having the right material, which you’re absolutely correct. We’ve seen a lot of DIY and it does get more expensive because we have to undo the work before we can do the work. Again, it’s one of those things before you try it, maybe you just have someone assess it and go from there. So the crack and downspouts and water away from the house is definitely the least expensive, easiest general maintenance. The injection is probably next. Right? What’s after that? Continue the escalation if you could.

Brian Dufuor:
If you have the water pressure there and you don’t have the right drains, usually what happens is you have to go into the beam, press the beams that you have on the walls. Once you do the injections correctly, the cracks are there for a reason. If it’s water only, and the walls are not coming in, you can get away with the ejections and it’d be something that you can monitor. Once you do the injections, once it’s done, it’s sealed so you can see if the wall is continuing to move or not. So it could be a very cheap way of assessing the issue before you have to put a major amount of money into the wall.

Eric Sheele:
Sure. Yeah. Some people wonder if those cracks are moving.

Lucas Sheele:
Makes sense, yeah.

Eric Sheele:
So get them treated and if they pop back open, obviously you’ve got an active moving house, but not many times that resolves that and it’s static.

Lucas Sheele:
Cool.

Kansas City Drain Systems & Sump Pumps

Eric Sheele:
So good. So the drain systems, also though we didn’t really touch upon drain system. That’s common. Next escalation for water retention. You can either do an interior drain, right, and catch the water as it enters the house. Or you can do the exterior, which you talked about earlier, an exterior dig out which goes with a wall push back that gets the water away. The one thing that homeowners that I’d like to touch upon before we wind up is sump pumps. Because it’s almost in every house. Right? Or especially in basements and they need to be, if they don’t and most home owners obviously want to know more about sump pumps and have our…https://www.kcpier.com/interior-drain-system-kansas-city/

Eric Sheele:
That’s their relationship to waterproofing, where in many cases of sump pumps. Any couple of pointers on sump pumps, sump pump maintenance. What are therefore, what are they doing? Just if you can expand there, that’d be great.

Brian Dufuor:
Yes, absolutely. Sump pumps are great. I truly believe every basement should have one, no matter what. A lot of homeowners want to put them in the easiest access possible. And usually that’s not the best place for them. The best place for a pump is at the top grade of your soil outside. So if you have a walkout, you don’t want it at the back of your walkout. You want it where the soil is sloping at the highest point and basically water flows down hill, so if the land is flowing down hill, you don’t want it at the back of your house to allow the water to get all the way under your slab. Continue to swell the soil and get to the pump.

Lucas Sheele:
For sure.

Brian Dufuor:
You want it at the highest point in the house to catch everything. The other option is a battery backup system. They’re very good. The one we use is LED, so there’s no chasing lights. It literally tells you up top what’s wrong with it. We also use one of the biggest pumps that we can put in the market strictly because of the water that we have coming in.

Eric Sheele:
Right, right. No cutting corners. No quarter pump and half pump on sale. This is real commercial equipment with a backup and that talks to you. So it dummies down to the point where it’s easy maintenance. It’s set it and forget it for the most part.

Brian Dufuor:
Yes. Anybody use it, anybody can look at it, tell you exactly what’s going on with it. There’s no looking up a manual or doing anything like that. It literally tells you-

Eric Sheele:
From a real quick, from a concern homeowner’s perspective, exploring sump pump replacement or an assessment is also something that you do, I assume.

Brian Dufuor:
Correct.

Eric Sheele:
Yeah, pretty often.

Brian Dufuor:
Yes. That’s actually one of our easiest installs we have and we love them. It’s very inexpensive for the homeowner itself, if you already have the basin in place, it’s not as expensive as you think to change those out.

Eric Sheele:
Right. So great preventative maintenance tool inside the home. I mean everything we’ve talked about in terms of homeowners preventative has been outside, a preventative maintenance is maybe an assessment of your sump pump, right? And let’s make sure, because builders grade, anybody that’s built a home and seen builders grade carpet and builders grade this and builder’s grade that. The sump pump’s no exception. It’s builder’s grade as well.

Brian Dufuor:
Absolutely.

Eric Sheele:
And you just bought a three or $400,000 house, a $500,000 house with a builder’s grade, sump pump. It may be time to do some assessment and really get a professional piece of equipment in there with the backup that is there to protect that extremely large investment that you just committed to for the next 30 years most likely. Right?

Brian Dufuor:
Absolutely.

Eric Sheele:
Okay.

Lucas Sheele:
I think we’ve covered basically everything today.

Eric Sheele:
I think so too, is a great overview, good general maintenance there for homeowners. We’re going to continue to dive in to each of those fixes over the next few weeks specifically case by case and really look into horizontal cracks, and diagonal cracks and how to resolve those. We’re going to break those all down over the next few weeks so we look forward to that. We’re just slowly getting a little bit more deductive and finite for our homeowners and realtors that are watching. We appreciate the time.

Lucas Sheele:
Yeah, absolutely.

Brian Dufuor:
[crosstalk 00:34:32].

Eric Sheele:
Right. And then we’ll say, we’ll have you back here and probably a week or two and we’re going to dive into next subject-

Lucas Sheele:
There’s some more stuff?

Eric Sheele:
… areas of these specific types of issues even further.

Brian Dufuor:
Yeah, that’ll work.

Lucas Sheele:
Awesome. Well, I hope you guys enjoyed this podcast for today. Talking to some foundation movement with the guys. We’ll see on the next episode and you guys have a great day.

Eric Sheele:
Take care.

Speaker 1:
Thanks for joining us this week on the Kansas City Real Estate Industry Leader Show. Please support all things local to Kansas City. And hey, be sure to subscribe and share our podcast on Facebook and LinkedIn. This has been a KC Property Guys production, kcpropertyguys.com.