How Much Does Your Home Weigh?
Knowing the weight of your home will give you, the homeowner, a better appreciation of
the weight the soil beneath the foundation is supposed to support. Why is this
important? The ground will shrink and swell in volume with changes in the weather.
During periods of hot, dry weather in Kansas City, St. Louis, Columbia, and Wichita
areas, the soil will lose water and shrink in volume. During periods of wet, rainy weather
the soil will absorb water and swell in volume. This seasonal soil movement places
enormous stress on foundations. Keep in mind that the foundation is supporting its own
weight, the weight of the house, and the weight of the content inside the house.
Factor of Safety
Why does Spartan Ram Jack go through the process of determining the weight of the
house? Because we want you to know that any foundation repair method will have to
support tons of weight.
“Factor of Safety” is an engineering term that indicates how much additional weight a
system can hold than the estimated actual weight of the building. The cheaper and more
common piers (especially concrete piers) have a factor of safety = 1 or incipient failure.
Incipient failure is a condition where any increase in load or condition will cause a
failure. Stated another way, a foundation repair method with a factor of safety =1 is at its
maximum weight-bearing capacity and will begin to fail if any additional weight is
added. We see this all of the time when improperly sized piers are installed. As soon as
the homeowner parks their car in the garage, they have exceeded the weight-bearing
the capacity of the piers. Failure has begun. A failed repair means your home will sink and
crack again, requiring more money to fix it correctly.
Another way this is measured in the foundation repair industry is by “Ultimate
Capacity” and “Working Capacity” where “Ultimate Capacity” is two times the “Working
Capacity”. When a pier is manufactured, it should be tested to determine the maximum
capacity of the pier. Based on this the “Ultimate Capacity” is set as something less than
the breaking point. For safety reasons, this number is divided in half. The divide by 2,
also known as the safety factor is defined by the IBC (International Building Code) to
determine the “Working Capacity”. We size our solutions based on “Working Capacity”
which is one of the reasons we can offer a “Life of Structure” warranty. If the building
exists 100 years from now, the warranty will still be in place.
In addition, our unique “National Warranty Trust” means that even if we are no longer
in business 100 years from now, your warranty will be backed up by all the existing Ram
Jack dealers and factory. If this is your forever home, you know you are safe. If you
plan on selling the home, this warranty is transferrable at no cost, eliminating any
concerns from the buyer.