Oklahoma Weather

Summer Foundation Issues

Posted by on Jun 1, 2016 in erosion, Foundations, Oklahoma Weather, Piering, Slab Lifting, Trifusion Foundation Repair Events, Trifusion News | Comments Off on Summer Foundation Issues

Summer Foundation Issues

June is here, and summer weather is fast approaching.  With our mild winter and extremely wet spring, experts have predicted that the coming months will be extremely hot and extremely dry.  While that makes for great pool weather, it’s also going to exacerbate any foundation problems you may already have. Drought So what happens when the monsoon stops and the temperature rises?  As the soil around and under your home dries out, it contracts and settles, which reveals voids under slab foundations and can destabilize your home piering.  It’s not that the voids weren’t already there when the soil was wet, it’s just that the moisture in the soil was masking the problem. Seasonal Shifting Have you ever noticed cracks by the corners of your door frames, or on your exterior masonry, that seem to disappear in the winter and reopen in the summer (or vice-verse)?  If you have, and you mentioned to a Tulsa foundation repair company, you might be familiar with the term “seasonal shift.”  What this means is that your foundation is moving depending on whether the soil is wet or dry.  If not repaired, this shifting could result in a cracked slab or larger, year-round cracks in your...

Read More

Soil Erosion

Posted by on May 27, 2016 in erosion, Foundation Drainage, Foundations, Oklahoma Weather, Slab Lifting | Comments Off on Soil Erosion

Soil Erosion

With Memorial Day weekend upon us, now is a great time to be getting out in the yard and doing some planting.  For many of us, this means filling our flower beds or vegetable patches, but with the recent rains and more on the way, you might want to consider something a little larger. As I’ve mentioned before, Tulsa lies on a flood plain; its soil is very fine and, for lack of a better term, slippery.  When we have an extended wet season all of that rain and flooding moves the soil around your home, sometimes taking it away altogether.  This problem is exacerbated by hot, dry summers (which is exactly what the forecast has in store for us this year).  Beyond aesthetics, when the soil shifts and then shrinks, many homes see foundation shifts as well – sometimes even slab cracks and breakage. The simplest and, in my opinion, most fun way to combat that shifting and erosion is with trees and shrubs. It makes sense, doesn’t it?  Trees and shrubs have larger root systems which act as anchors, keeping your soil where it belongs.  Some Oklahoma favorites are crepe myrtles, butterfly bushes, and of course our state tree, the redbud.                                   Now, as much as I love trees, I’m not going to pretend that they’re a cure-all, nor will they fix any problems you already have – that’s our job.  But once you’ve had your slab foundation stabilized, or your piering adjusted, finding answers to your erosion problems will go a long way towards making sure your foundation repairs last for decades to come.   For more information on how to combat erosion caused by drainage problems, check out my article on French drains. Have a happy, safe, and fun Memorial Day weekend!  ...

Read More

Solving Drainage Issues

Posted by on Mar 31, 2016 in Buying Or Selling A Home, Foundation Drainage, Oklahoma Weather, Trifusion Foundation Repair Events | Comments Off on Solving Drainage Issues

Solving Drainage Issues

I want to start by saying that we at Trifusion have those injured by last night’s storm in our thoughts today, and that we’re all thankful that there were no fatalities.   But it does highlight the fact that storm season is officially upon us.  And naturally, spring rains always highlight the biggest problem for Oklahoma foundations: drainage. In theory, your home’s gutters are going to be doing a lot of the heavy lifting in this area, by funneling the water away from your home.  However, all those gutters do is catch runoff from your roof and channel it into one corner downspout.  It helps, yes, but it doesn’t solve the problem of all the rest of the rain – and often the downspout doesn’t direct the water far enough away to do more than have it only affect that corner of the house.  To that end, one of the most up-and-coming popular solutions is to install a French drain. A French drain is a gravel trench dug around all or part of your home, with a perforated pipe hidden inside.  It’s kind of a reverse moat: excess groundwater flows into the pipe through the gravel, and the pipe in turn empties out somewhere away from the home.  They’re easy to maintain, are unobtrusive, and can go a long way toward maintaining your foundation’s integrity as well as reducing problems such as ponding (where a depression in a driveway or walkway fills with water, creating a temporary pond).    “Gravel trench” doesn’t sound very attractive, but decorative rock can be used to turn them into a beautiful landscaping feature.  And hey, if you find yourself needing one, give us a call!  ...

Read More

Tulsa Architecture

Posted by on Mar 24, 2016 in Oklahoma Weather, Trifusion Foundation Repair Events, Trifusion News | Comments Off on Tulsa Architecture

Tulsa Architecture

Did you know that Tulsa has one of the largest Art Deco districts in the country?  It makes sense: at the turn of the century, Tulsa was a booming oil metropolis.  But our beautiful downtown is only the beginning of a century’s worth of expansion, in the form of neighborhoods that spread out like tree rings, each one an architectural time capsule. Most of Tulsa Metro’s residential areas were built between the 20s and 50s; the further Southeast you go, the newer the homes get.  Tulsa Metro, also known as midtown, includes (but is not limited to) neighborhoods like Cherry Street, The Pearl District, Kendall-Whittier, Riverparks, and Patrick Henry.  A lot of these areas were built before Zink Dam was put in on the Arkansas River, and flooding was even more of a problem than it is now (my mother remembers having severe flood damage in her home during the mid-50s, two blocks in from Riverside).  Consequently, many of these homes are going to be on crawl spaces.  The same holds true for the neighborhoods that extend North from downtown, where neighborhoods like Brady Heights, Greenwood, and North Cheyenne have seen restoration and revitalization, including the addition of “Historic” to their monikers. It wasn’t until the 60s and 70s that Broken Arrow, Bixby, Jenks, and our various other suburbs started seeing significant growth, eventually blending seamlessly with Tulsa Metro.  South of 1-44 and East of Sheridan, South Tulsa and surrounding neighborhoods are largely slab foundations.  Contractors had found that in regions with water tables as high as ours, slab foundations were better for preventing moisture damage to the homes sitting on top of them. Regardless of where you live, I think we can all agree: we wouldn’t have our slice of urban sprawl any other...

Read More

Never a Dull Moment

Posted by on Mar 18, 2016 in Oklahoma Weather, Trifusion Foundation Repair Events, Trifusion News | Comments Off on Never a Dull Moment

Never a Dull Moment

Today, I’m hitting the road and accompanying our general manager to a job site!  It’s important to us to spend time with our clients after a job has been completed, to make sure we’ve done our best and are leaving them with a smile and a fixed problem. I’m definitely bringing my rain coat, though.  As beautiful as the clouds were this morning, they’re one more sign that April showers came early this year! Have a wonderful (and hopefully dry) weekend!...

Read More

Weather Patterns – Spring

Posted by on Feb 29, 2016 in Oklahoma Weather | Comments Off on Weather Patterns – Spring

Weather Patterns – Spring

As you’ve probably heard, El Nino has been wreaking havoc on our weather.  We’ve had major flooding over both Thanksgiving and Christmas, 80 degrees and sunny in February – and while not related to the weather, let’s not forget that Oklahoma is now the earthquake capitol of the country. All of these things affect what problems home owners face, and every season is different.  Let’s take a look at what the first blush of spring is doing to our region. Frost Heaves I’m from Alaska, and lived in an area where residential roads weren’t paved.  The city refused to waste the money: every spring the ice melts, the roads thaw, and suddenly there’s a brand new crop of pot holes. But that’s Alaska, and to be expected.  Who expects frost heaves in Oklahoma?  Well, Oklahoman’s do – especially in the last few years. Frost heaves occur when the moisture in the soil freezes.  Ice takes up more space than water, so as the ice crystals expand, so does the soil around them.  Then spring comes and those ice crystals melt, leaving air pockets and compacted areas of soil, altering the terrain.  Because of Oklahoma’s uniquely temperamental weather, this freezing and thawing can happen multiple times over the course of a winter (which only makes the problem worse).   Now, frost heaves don’t just affect our roads, they affect anything sitting on our soil.  So if you see a lot of new pot holes in your street or neighborhood, it might be worth your time to take a look around your home for the signs of settling that I discussed in this post. Flooding Something we’re well aware of and used to is flooding.  Oklahoma, particularly the Northeast, sits on a flood plane that lives up to its name every spring.  When our beautiful thunderstorms hit and bring those heavy rains with them, they knock out any air pockets frost heaves may have left as well as washing away some soil when the water finally drains away.  Thankfully a well-planted yard will help curtail that erosion, but it’s still important to check your home for issues after any major flood. Earthquakes In the grand scheme of things, our earthquakes tend to be on the mild side.  You might feel a little bit of a shake or hear your dishes rattle, but for the most part they’re more a point of interest than a safety hazard. Unless, of course, you’re something in or dependent on the ground that is literally shaking apart.   Our earthquakes may be year-round, but when you combine them with the above two geographically-impactful seasonal hazards, things can get a little more hairy.  That final jolt may be all your driveway needs to spring a new crack, or all your piering needs to settle on one side.  Unfortunately for us, no amount of crepe myrtles will stop an earthquake from affecting our land, so the best thing you can do is be mindful of the shifting geography and, again, be proactive about watching your home for new issues.   Spring is easily the most tumultuous season for Oklahoma.  Once we get through the floods, thunderstorms, and tornadoes it’ll be smooth sailing…right into the triple digits.  So put up your feet and have a nice hot cup of tea, while it’s still cold enough to enjoy it!...

Read More