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Category: Foundation repair

Commercial Foundation Repair and Construction

Although residential construction and commercial buildings have some similarities, the differences are important. A commercial foundation must be able to safely support thousands of tons, between the structure, people, and other materials and supplies inside the building. It is vital that you have a foundation company that has the engineering experience to make sure that the soil under the structure is stable enough to support the weight of the building and that the materials used to build the foundation are also strong, stable, and secure.

commercial foundation repairIndustrial and Commercial Foundation Construction

There is no set size for a commercial building, so the contractor working on the construction should be able to adapt to anything from a one-floor office to a multi-story building. Matthews Structural Solutions employs a structural engineer to make sure that no matter what kind of foundation is needed, it will be the right size and stability for your building. There will be different construction methods and materials needed, depending on the type and size of the commercial foundation and the building.

Most commercial foundations today are built using piles. Matthews Structural Solutions wants to make sure that the materials we use match the level of expertise that we have. We use commercial piles manufactured by Earth Contact Products (ECP). ECP is the leading manufacturer of foundation repair equipment in the industry. The piles are driven through the soil until they reach a strong base. This creates a permanent support for your commercial building, giving it the stability it will need for years to come. Once the piles are placed, the foundation can be built upon the piles and construction will be completed.

Industrial and Commercial Foundation Repair

There are a variety of causes for commercial foundation damage in the Pittsburgh area, however, the most common reason a foundation begins to fail is due to the soil settling. If the soil underneath a commercial structure becomes oversaturated or shifts due to poor construction techniques or natural reasons, the foundation may settle unevenly, causing stress to the structure. This may manifest itself in sticking doors or windows, cracks in walls or floors, or crumbling foundations.

Fortunately, the damage from a settling foundation can be reversed and stopped entirely. The sooner repairs are begun the less time, money, and effort it will take to implement a solution. The engineers at Matthews Structural Solutions will inspect the property and determine the cause of the problems. If the foundation is settling, they will most likely suggest that underpinning is performed to stop the foundation from settling. The foundation is stabilized by installing piers or piles into the soil under the problem areas. The load of the building will be transferred to the underpinning, relieving the stress on the structure. Once the building is stabilized, the entire structure will be raised to its original height.

Matthews Structural Solutions and Commercial Foundations

For over 35 years, Matthews Structural Solutions has been providing commercial foundation repair to the Pittsburgh area. We offer quality structural engineering and can provide both repair and new construction services to you. We offer both commercial foundation repair and structural design engineering, ensuring the project is in good hands from start to finish. Contact the professionals at Matthews Structural Solutions today to keep your commercial property, strong, stable, and functional.

 

Spring is Coming, Are You Ready?

Spring thaw can cause foundation problems.With about a month until the official start of spring, it’s probably not too soon to think about what the thaw can do to your commercial property. There is still a lot of winter ahead of us, with freezing temperatures, ice, and snow, but now is the time to start getting ready for the warmer weather.

Winter Was Rough

You’ve spent the last couple of months dealing with snow removal, monster storms, power outages, and flooding. Your property has taken a beating and you may have had to take some steps to temporarily repair some issues. You need to make sure that your commercial property is safe, secure, and stable and Matthews Structural Solutions can help you take care of your business, no matter the size.

Frequent water infiltration or flooding can weaken your foundation and the soil surrounding it. If you have had water in your building, you should have it inspected by a qualified expert. We can check your foundation walls, slabs, retaining walls, and other structures on your property for damage. A little bit of water inside a crack will expand when it freezes, making the crack bigger and weakening the wall.

Oversaturated Soil Can Cause Problems

The ground was soaked when we had our heavy rains earlier in the season. Add on the snow and ice we’ve experienced and it will be no surprise that a lot of people will have foundation problems this spring when the soil thaws.

Oversaturated soil will also expand when the water freezes. Oversaturated soil or expanding soil can exert hydrostatic pressure against foundation walls, causing them to crack, lean, bow, or even collapse. We offer shoring solutions to reinforce the walls, protecting your building. We can shore up walls through the use of wall plates, soil nailing, and other permanent shoring solutions, such as helical tiebacks.

This winter threw everything at us, so don’t let the bad weather get the upper hand. Flooding, blizzards, polar vortices, and more have taken a toll on your commercial property.

Don’t wait until you have a problem, we can implement most of our structural solutions in any kind of weather. Contact us today to learn more about all the commercial structural solutions we offer.

 

Warning Signs of Building Structural Issues

structural repairYou may notice some small foundation problems around your property and just figure it’s no big deal. However, if you don’t take care of a small problem, it can quickly become a big problem. The small problem can not only cause damage but if ignored, the problem can quickly become too costly to afford.

It is a good idea to take a look around your property and see if there are any warning signs of structural issues occurring. There are many things that should throw a warning flag if you come across them:

Cracked or Crumbling Foundation

A small crack can be a sign of a bigger problem. Something is causing that crack and it’s not going to heal itself. There may uneven settling going on under the structure, causing the building to lose support. Another cause of foundation cracks is the soil that is against the wall. Too much water or not enough water in the soil can cause a problem for foundation walls. Too much water and the soil can exert hydrostatic pressure, causing the wall to lean or bow into the basement. Too little water and the soil will contract, leaving little support for the foundation wall.

Water Damage

If you discover water damage in the walls or a leak in your basement or crawlspace, that is a big sign that there is probably some type of structural damage going on. An experienced inspector can determine the cause of the leak and suggest the best method of repairing it. A water leak should be addressed as soon as it’s discovered because there may be a lot happening behind the scenes. It might just be caused by a misplaced downspout or it could be something more serious like a leaking pipe or cracked foundation.

Sagging Floors

If you begin to notice a dip in your floor, you need to waste little time in contacting a foundation expert. If your floor or ceiling is losing support, your home or business is in great danger. An expert from Matthew’s Structural Solutions can inspect the property and quickly come up with a solution that not only will save your building but work with your budget. There are many answers for a sagging floor, but only an expert can know the right one.

Cracked Walls

crack walls foundationA crack in your wall can be nothing more than normal settling, but it can also be a sign that something is going on with your foundation. There are different types of cracks and depending on what they look like or where they appear, you can usually tell whether it’s serious or not. If the crack is vertical and begins where the ceiling and wall meet, it is most likely caused by normal settling, however, if the crack is horizontal or at a 45-degree angle, it can be a sign that your foundation is shifting. Stair step cracks that follow your cinder block or brick can also be a sign of foundation problems or uneven settling. Only an expert can tell for sure.

Sticking Doors and Windows

A door that won’t close or a window that suddenly falls is more than an annoyance. If a door jam or window pane is no longer plumb, it’s a good sign that the house is shifting unevenly. These are pretty apparent problems and if you fix them, you’ll also save on energy costs with your home being sealed up tight.

Structural Experts Can Save The Day

Matthews Structural Solutions can help you with any structural issue you may have, no matter the size or the problem. Our engineers have the knowledge and expertise to assess the situation and implement the best solution. If you find any of the above signs of structural issues, contact us immediately for a free inspection and quote.

 

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