Understanding Foundations and Repair

Repairing foundations of any kind can be challenging. The foundation supports the entire structure and it is essential it retains its structural integrity. Houston foundation repair is especially challenging because of the expansive clay soils found in the area.

The clay soils absorb water in the wet season and lose moisture during the dry season making the cycles of swelling and shrinking severe. The volumetric changes can cause significant foundation problems, and if the problems are not addressed immediately, the problems will only become more costly to repair.

foundation
image via http://www.squareoneinsurance.ca

The foundation repair team fully realizes not one size fits all when it comes to foundation repair. It takes the expertise of geologists and engineers knowledgeable in Texas soils to identify the nature of foundation problems and design a solution based on the specific soil types. Foundation specialists, such as Perma Pier Foundation Repair will design the best solution along with utilizing the best technology for a long term repair. Foundation design is a function of the soil type and any repairs made must also meet the requirements of the soil type.

Foundation problems typically do not appear out of nowhere or overnight. They are usually the result of wear and tear over time, but the wear and tear is not always visible until the result is a problem. The foundation repair specialists are trained to identify problems which include cracks in bricks, uneven doors, doors or windows that no longer open or open with difficulty, cracks in walls, fascia board separation and floors that become slope and/or crack.

The foundation repair specialists will take the time to analyze the problem and address specific issues before designing a solution. The team will explain the problem, and the recommended course of action to be taken to remedy the problem. The recommendations will also include the necessary fixes to prevent foundation damage in the future. For instance, if the foundation problem is due to groundwater and groundwater infiltration, the remedy will include the installation of a foundation drain to prevent groundwater problems in the future. The repair team will also present the customer with a detailed cost estimate before beginning the work.

The repair team at Perma Pier is well versed in the commercial and residential foundation repair and is always available for a consultation and foundation analysis. They not only design solutions to repair the problem, but they also address the issues that cause the problems.

How to Fix Broken Pot Metal With a Blow Torch

The term pot metal (also known as monkey metal, white metal, and die cast zinc) refers to any alloys that are inexpensive, have a low melting, and can produce a cost effective casting. These metals include zinc, copper, tin, lead, magnesium, cadmium and iron. Due to the low melting point of these metals, high tech and costly foundry equipment is not necessary. These alloys are used to make toys, electronic components, some furniture fittings, and many other products including car parts. It is also used to experiment with moldings before a final product is created with more expensive metals. White metals are popular due their cost effectiveness but repairing them is not as easy as producing them. The low melting point which makes the metals inexpensive to use also makes fixing these metals with a blow torch quite difficult.

While using a propane torch to fix broken metals may be difficult, it is not impossible. There are a few things the welder must know before attempting to repair any monkey metal. First the person behind the torch must be trained in its use safely as it can be very dangerous piece of equipment. The operator must know how to operate the supply valve properly to ensure they the use correct temperature but they must first be educated in the exact temperatures for the types of metal with which they are working. After being schooled in proper torch execution for the particular metals the actual repair can begin.

Monkey metals have melting points that vary from 610 to 1600 degrees Fahrenheit which can make repair difficult as it may reach the melting point before the repair is complete. This is especially true when working with aluminum. Recent developments in heated metal repair have produced a product known as Super Alloy 1. This rod melts at 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bonds at about half the melting point of most white metals. Its honey flux turns brown telling the welder when it has reached the proper temperature for bonding. The finished product can be plated or polished and is as strong as the base metal making this an inexpensive and effective way to repair zinc metals with a torch, even for an inexperienced welder.

Pot metal repair was once next to impossible and can still be difficult without the proper tools and knowledge. It is important to first know what kind of metal you are trying to repair so you know what the proper tools for the job are. Research the types of rods best used in your torch for the type of metal you need to repair and make sure the repair is necessary and cost effective; it may be more plausible to sell it as scrap and buy a new item. If the item cannot be replaced easily or cost effectively and repair is the only way to go all you really need is a blow torch and Super Alloy. If you are still hesitant to make the repair at home there are always professional welders that are skilled and knowledgeable in white metal repairs and would be happy to help you for a marginal fee. 

This is a guest post by Vit Marks