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How Much Does Your Home Weigh?

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.

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