Frequently Asked Questions
CONCRETE OR STEEL? WHICH IS BEST?
Steel piers typically install between 12–20 feet on average in Oklahoma, while concrete pilings usually only go down 2–4 feet. That’s a big difference!
Some piering companies won’t tell you which piers they use. At Triton, we believe in transparency — we ensure our customers in the Oklahoma City and Tulsa metro areas know exactly what they’re getting.
WHY DOES SETTLEMENT HAPPEN?
If left untreated, settling can lead to unsightly cracks, difficulty opening/closing doors and windows, uneven floors, and even burst pipes. That’s why it’s crucial to address foundation problems quickly to avoid additional damage and costs.
Differential settlement occurs when one section of the foundation settles at a different rate than the rest. These issues are caused by poor soil conditions, inconsistent moisture content, poor building practices, or seasonal changes affecting the soil.
A helpful tip: remember to water your foundation during dry months and protect it from over-watering during wetter months with guttering. These good habits help maintain consistency with the soil and foundation (along with guttering and drainage).
HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE FOUNDATION PROBLEMS?
- Wall cracks
- Floor cracks
- Sloping floors
- Leaning chimney
- Bowing walls
- Ceiling cracks
- Doors and windows that stick
- Cracks in brick
- Leaning garage walls
- Pad pier or insufficient structural supports
What should I do?
If you notice any of these signs, you may have one or more issues with your foundation. It’s important to address these issues as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your home. Our Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Edmond and Norman customers know who to call: Triton Foundation Repair!
WHY IS A CRAWL SPACE IMPORTANT?
Like any part of a home, however, they can develop issues over time. Some common problems include:
Moisture and humidity: If your crawl space is not adequately ventilated or in a moist area, water can seep in and cause rot in the wood floor system. This exposure can lead to mold, mildew growth and a musty odor in your home.
Inadequate support: Since crawl spaces are located directly beneath your home, they play a significant role in your home’s structural integrity. Crawl spaces rely on foundation walls and crawl space support columns to bear weight. However, an inadequate support system that is either rotting or has soil issues cannot safely hold the weight of your home.
How do you fix these issues? In many cases, installing crawl space supports is a strong solution. This quick and efficient job can provide long-lasting results, and the installation process is often completed in less than one day.
WHY IS SLOPE MAINTENANCE IMPORTANT?
If you discover ponding, consider re-contouring your property to create a slope that leads water away from your home. Otherwise, a sub-surface drainage system may be necessary.
It’s recommended that the slope of your property have at least a 5% slope for the first 5 feet away from your home or a 3-inch drop in that distance, and then taper off to a 1% slope from there. Ground cover, such as mulch or gravel, can be used to prevent erosion and minimize maintenance.
WHY SHOULD I REGULARLY INSPECT FLATWORK, SIDEWALKS, AND PATIOS?
Suppose you notice settling or sinking in your flat work. In that case, it’s important to re-level or re-pour it to correct any negative slope. If the slope is less than 1%, sealing all cracks and entrances to the soil below can help prevent water from seeping under the slab. A flexible urethane sealant, for example, can stop water from passing through.
It’s also important to note the barrier that should be present between the flat work and the slab. This barrier should be replaced regularly to keep moisture out. Keeping an eye on your concrete flatwork and taking action when necessary are the best steps to keep your property in great shape for years to come!
HOW AND WHY SHOULD I MAINTAIN MY FLOWER BEDS?
Some landscaping professionals may suggest using certain planting materials that can increase moisture levels unnecessarily. These issues and more require proper drainage systems. The key is finding a balance between practical engineering and visually appealing fixtures that won’t cause damage to the load-bearing soil.
One common issue with flower beds is that water can become trapped inside and unable to run off. To combat this, we recommend installing barriers with large openings to allow water to flow through.
Another possible issue is the type of shrubs you plant around your home’s structure. It’s best to select shrubs with short and contained root systems. Your local nursery can recommend which types of shrub are best suited for this purpose.
HOW AND WHY SHOULD I MAINTAIN MY GUTTERS?
Gutters need to be able to drain properly. At the wrong slope, they can rust faster or become outright useless. Any gutter section over 35 feet long should be sloped to drain both ways or have downspouts spaced no more than 20 feet apart.
Checking your gutters
Pouring water down the gutter with a hose or bucket is an easy way to check for proper drainage.
Clogged downspouts may require disassembly and cleaning. Some may require a plumber’s snake to de-clog. Downspouts should have an extender to move the water at least 5 feet from the foundation. If there’s dirt or erosion around the exit point, splash blocks can be used to prevent any problems.
WHY DO I NEED SUB-SURFACE DRAINS AND HOW DO I MAINTAIN THEM?
When checking the drains, look for leaves, grass, soil, or anything else that could clog the drain and prevent water from passing through it. Dirt can also accumulate at the exit and interfere with proper drainage, so remove it if necessary. If there’s a blockage in the middle of the drain, you might need to use a mechanical cleaning snake to clear it. Using a hose, you can check if water going into the top exits the other end freely.
Maintaining your drains
Sub-surface drains can get crushed if heavy trucks drive over the area, reducing water flow and causing dirt to build up in the pipe. This can also happen as your yard settles over time, so regular check-ups are essential!
If you ever need to take corrective action, you’ll want to know where your property’s clean-outs and discharge lines are located. Making a map and taking notes during installation can be especially helpful for the future.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF IRRIGATION AND SPRINKLER SYSTEMS
Different sides of your home will need different amounts of water, especially the sides that get more sunlight. Watering early in the morning can help reduce evaporation.
Overwatering with sprinkler systems can be just as damaging to the foundation as underwatering. Electronic sprinkler systems should incorporate all of these factors into their programming. However, you’ll still need to check and make adjustments visually.
Find the right system for you
Many types of watering systems can becustomized to your needs, such as bubble sprays, side sprays, and angle sprays. If evaporation is a concern, a drip system can provide more efficient watering. Inspect your system at least twice yearly to ensure everything works correctly and waters your property evenly!