Why Do Slabs Sink and Buildings Shift?
The buzz word is "expansive soil." An expansive soil will swell when wet and shrink when dry. We have a lot of that here in Illinois and we refer to it as clay. Approximately 50% of the United States is made up of varying types of clay and expansive soils.
As our weather changes from day to day and season to season, this clay will swell and contract numerous times. It is in constant motion putting various levels of pressure on slabs, footings and basement walls. To learn more, see www.geology.com.
How Do I Get Ahead of the Game?
Put an umbrella by your door. The next time there's a good rain, go for a walk around your house. You'll be surprised what you'll learn.
Caulk all major cracks in your concrete. Not necessarily the hair-line cracks, but any gap big enough for water and ice to get into. For great information and products we recommend you see Mathis-Kelly Construction Supply (www.mathis-kelly.com). They are located in Peoria, Springfield and Bloomington.
Make sure your downspouts have extensions to get the water as far away from the foundation as possible.
Make sure you don't have water standing near your foundation. You may need to add some dirt along your house to push the water away.
How Do I Know Who to Hire?
The website for the Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org) has a ton of useful information about what to look for. Hiring someone who is a member of the BBB is reassuring but not bullet-proof. If an unhappy customer goes to the BBB with a complaint, that company can choose to ignore the complaint or address it. All companies make a mistake or two but it's how they handle it that matters. One thing that the BB does not take into account is the number of jobs a company does in a given time period. As a business, Slab-Jackers Construction does betwen 500-700 jobs a year. If you do the math, that's approximately 0.001% of our customers that may have an issue with our work. We are very proud of our track record!
We love it when our customers send us nice testimonials but even testimonials can be faked! We would love to show you all the different cities, colleges and corporations that we have worked with but most of them have strict policies that prevent us from using their name. The best thing may be to check with some friends and family to see if anyone else has hired the company you're contemplating.
How long has a business been operating? A company's warranty is only good as long as they are around to honor it! Once they go away, so does your warranty.
Bottom line - take all things into consideration and make an informed decision.