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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 bearing. 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 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 weight a support structure can bear. 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 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 is 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 “Transferable 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, eliminating any concerns from the buyer.


If you are considering having your failing foundation repaired you have choices. If you want the repair to last and want peace of mind from having 2 warranties, you only have one choice, Spartan Ram Jack.

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