Wafflemat on Pepper Stewart show




Pepper: Some good old odd news that everybody likes, I guess some, some sheep on the lamb, some bear you probably can't afford that's illegal in 15 states (think about that) and a dog wedding. I don't know. We’ll tell you about it when we get to it, but I don’t now. And then Halloween is coming up. So, we've got the new trailer for the new Halloween movie. We're going to check that out today. And then we've got the wafflemat. Those of you out there want to know about the wafflemat, we're going to show you a short clip about that, and then we're going to discuss it.


Narrator: Many people ask us what makes a wafflemat foundation different. First of all, all a typical wafflemat foundation requires a levelled path. No presoaking is necessary, and no in ground ribs or deepened footings in the interior are needed.


Second, a series of waffle boxes, 8 half inch tall, 19x19 inch void forms are placed throughout the footprint of the building pad following the engineer's design. And since the waffle boxes are primarily void and occupy only about 20% of the contact area, 80% of the swell experienced by alternative slabs are mitigated with the waffle.


Third, those tension cables are then placed in the channels created in between groups of waffle boxes. And as opposed to alternative slabs, the clips used to connect waffle boxes also serve as support for the reinforcing steel, meaning each cable is placed perfect and to the engineer's specifications.


Fourth, a concrete top slab, usually 4 to 5 inches in height is placed over the waffle boxes in steel, creating a post tensioned mat slab where the waffle boxes allow for movement of expansive soils and mitigate the upward pressure on the soil.


Constructability of a wafflemat slab is on par with the ease and quickness of a uniform thickness foundation, yet it possesses the greatest floor stiffness of any system in its class. These qualities are the reasons why, since its first installation in 1993, wafflemat foundation has been used in over 25 million square feet of single and multifamily residential and light commercial structures across the USA, all without a single reported structural failure.


If you are looking for a foundation system for use in expansive soils, that delivers superior performance and cost savings, please visit www.waflmat.com.


Pepper: Wafflemat, check that out. Right now, the housing market is going crazy. Everybody's building houses. Everybody's moving. And you're looking into putting your house and I'd be like, “Hey, let's try for the wafflemat.” And with that, I don't know a lot about the wafflemats. I'm guessing they come in all colors. You can probably get blue ones if you want, but don't Google it. Barry's here to tell us about that.


Barry: Hey, Pepper. Thanks for having me on.


Pepper: So, tell us about the wafflemat.


Barry: Yeah, the wafflemat, you might think of it is the next evolution in post tensioned foundations. And the reason it was developed, like you saw in the videos, for expansive soils. Soil is nasty. In the summertime, it dries out and gets big cracks in it. In the rainy season, it gets wet and swells up. And you put a foundation on top of that, and the foundation is going to move. And of course, Texas is number 1 in the nation for Foundation Repair because of that. So, we started marketing wafflemat this year in Texas to help solve that problem. And people have been trying to solve that problem for years, different foundation designs, what can we build that will withstand the movement in the soil? Because last thing you want is you don't want cracks in your sheet rock and your brick and your doors stick and your windows won't open.


So, we've developed a structural engineered foundation based on the plastic cartons that we put on the ground that absolutely eliminates the movement from soil. So, the last thing you want is move in your, house and 10 years from now, you gotta have foundation repair inexpensive. It’s expensive and very damaging to your foundation. So, we've been building these things on the West Coast for 30 years. We haven't had a single foundation repair. So, it's a good product.


Pepper: Yeah. And what was the technology behind that to come up with to figure out that that's... what to go with as far as...? Because like you say, here in Texas, you got to... depending on where you're at, you're either going to have swamp if you go south, you're going to have swampy soil. You go west, it's going to be dry, hot. You go north up here, and like up here, you've got the... you’re going to have rock. You got sandy loam. Or if you get out east Texas, kind of where I'm at, you run to that black land.


Barry: That clay.


Pepper: And you get... yeah, clay, and you get that black land. And that black land in the summertime, when it gets hot, you walk out in the pasture, and you just fall down in a hole.


Barry: Yeah, because it separates.


Pepper: It cracks so big.


Barry: It sure does.


Pepper: You'll just fall right and nobody finds you.


Barry: Yeah.


Pepper: So, with this wafflemat, you’re saying that whatever soil top you're in, it’s going to adjust to the soil conditions you have.


Barry: Yeah. We developed it specifically for expansive soils. It'll work on any soil, but for expansive soil, about 80% of the foundation is not on the ground. So, we develop these boxes that you put on the ground, scatter all these boxes all over the ground, poured concrete on top of that, keeps concrete up off the ground. Essentially, they're a void carton. It's a patented system with post tension cables. And you know about post tensioning.


Pepper: Yeah.


Barry: So, we've got the structural steel in there to make it strong. And if you were to... the reason it’s called wafflemat, if you were to flip your foundation upside down, I don't recommend you do that, by the way.


Pepper: Yeah.


Barry: But if you were to flip your foundation upside down with a wafflemat, that's what it’d looked like. It’d look like a waffle because it's got all these beams crossways both directions and cartons in between. So, when it sits on the ground, as the ground moves, it doesn't affect your foundation. So, that big hole that you might fall in back on the backside of your ranch, your foundation is not going to fall in that.


Pepper: Okay. So, by looking at that, so by looking at those videos have those sittng on... so, they just sit on the ground. So, they're you're not out there digging trenches...


Barry: That's right.


Pepper: ... putting your cables on. You just...


Barry: Everything's above the ground.


Pepper: ... clean the ground off.


Barry: Yep.


Pepper: Knock out the vegetation.


Barry: Yep.


Pepper: Set it on the ground and just go.


Barry: Yeah, simple as that. The foundation contractors love it, because think how much digging in this dirt in the summertime, it's tough work. And trenchers help, of course, because a lot of hand digging goes in there. But you just scraped soil with Bobcat and get it level, nice and level, and then you put these cartons out and you pour the foundation right on top of that. No digging into ground.


Pepper: Man, those foundation diggers are going to be mad at you.


Barry: There's much of it that they wake up in the morning thinking, “Okay, am I going to do a regular foundation today, or am I going to do a wafflemat?” They much prefer to do a wafflemat foundation.


Pepper: Oh yeah.


Barry: They're going to get to beer 30 a lot quicker with a wafflemat foundation.


Pepper: So, what areas do you service? Are you global? Are you Texas here in Dallas? Or what's your coverage area?


Pepper: Our product has been installed coast to coast and border to border Canada and Mexico. We primarily service the west coast and Texas, but we will deliver anywhere. We manufacture in 3 different places around the nation and 1 place in Mexico. And so, we can actually ship our cartons anywhere. We've done dormitory buildings in North Carolina. We've done hotels in Hawaii. So, we can serve as anybody that needs to put a wafflemat foundation. And quite frankly, we're hoping that people all over the nation will start using this product, because it finally solves that problem with, “How do we build a foundation that won't move, won't crack, won't have to be repaired 20 years from now?”


Pepper: Right. And what about how's it standing up as far as in the coastal regions, you got tropical storms like that. So, how does that set compared to your other foundations?


Barry: Yeah. Well, the one thing good about a foundation that's on the ground, slab on the ground, it's going to withstand quite a bit of damage. Hurricane can come through, tornado can come through blow house off, the foundation is still sitting there.


Pepper: Yeah.


Barry: You got those foundations that are up above the ground, like they have done on the coast because you got coastal tidal waves that come in and all that, and those are subject to damage from Hurricane. But anytime you pour foundation straight on the ground, typically it's going to be able to stay there through any kind of weather.


Pepper: Okay. Alright. So, if they're trying to figure out where to get these, then when they go set put through these foundations, do you have to specifically go out there and set these up? Or how does that work? Do you just order them or...?


Barry: Yeah, good question. So, we manufacture the product. It’s a patented system, and we sell it to the foundation contractor or to the builder, either one. And then we have people that will go out and train you on how to put it in. It just takes about an hour's worth of training to learn how to install it. And of course, an engineer engineers it, just like any other foundation.


Pepper: Right.


Barry: So, if you're going to put any kind of post tensioned foundation in, it's got to be engineered by someone that's qualified to do that. So, same thing happens with wafflemat. So, you go to wafflemat.com, get in touch with us and send us your plans. We'll have an engineer engineer it for you. And then we'll ship the product wherever it needs to go. And then we've got people, if it's your first time you've never done one before, you’re contractor, you’re foundation contractor or builder, we've got project managers will come and spend a day with you, getting it set up help you learn how to do it.


Pepper: Okay. Now, do they come pre-cut for that foundation, or are they cut them when they're there? Or is it they go engineer, get the design for the house, send it to you, you precut everything, send it to them? Or is it... how does that work?


Barry: Yeah. So, good question. These boxes are 19 inches square.


Pepper: Okay.


Barry: And so, they hooked together in groups of 4. So, it makes a 38-inch x 38-inch group of 4 when you connect them together. It’s a bunch of clips and things, real simple plastic clips connect them together. So, they'll stay where they're at. But they don't have to be engineered for each foundation. So, the structural engineer will lay them out so they fit on your foundation. So, we just put the number that it takes to do your foundation, and they'll fit just about any foundation that you want.


Pepper: Okay. That's easy.


Barry: Yeah, it’s adaptable. Yeah, you got a foundation, we make it work.


Pepper: Yeah, that's easy enough. Alright. So, before you get out of here, where is the best place for the folks to go look you guys up and find out about getting a waffle foundation?


Barry: Yeah, simplest thing is wafflematt.com. We got videos on there. We got white papers on there, instructions on how to do this. Of course, we got a contact page on there where you can get ahold of us, and we're happy to spend all day long talking with you about it.


Pepper: Okay. Well, check them out, wafflematt. Go get one. If you're building a house, the house market is great right now. People are building new houses, you want a good foundation, especially for North Texas when it's hot, hot in the summer and cold in the winter. So, check out the wafflemat and get one of those in your next new home.