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Outrageous Claims of Concrete Repairman, James Belville

 

Over that last year or two we have witnessed the misinformation and misdirection or worse from the Concrete Repairman, and or James Belville. He has defamed us and put out outrageous and unsupportable claims. Here in this blog, I call you out, James. I am asking you to answer for the claims you make, point out their inconsistency with the facts and challenge you to respond with any semblance of evidence you might have to back up your claims.

Here are the claims you make in public forums, including YouTube, Google Review replies and your own website (I have provided text copies of the posts, screen shots as well as a link to the original post to remain as transparent to our readers as possible).

James’ Ridiculous Claim #1:

 “When moisture builds up around the stem wall footing and the foundational substrate soil on which the foundation rests, the soil can shift and move under the weight of the vertical walls, and roof of a home, significantly enough to cause upward heaving in the interior sections.  This leads to uneven interior floors, broken tile, interior and exterior cracks, and dangerous structural instability ”.

 

From what I can tell it seems that you think soil under the footings being compressed is somehow redistributing itself back up under the floor! Wow that is a novel concept! Soil behaving as a pure liquid! I would love to see any support of such a claim.

 You go on to say:

 “This is misdiagnosed by most all engineers, and other foundation contractors that blame this on the old scare tactics “Expansive Soil.” Because these professionals don’t know exactly what is going on, so the blame it on expansive soil.

 

So James…. how is this misdiagnosed by “most all Engineers and Foundation Contractors”? I would love to hear your answer. So would “most all” engineers you have maligned with this comment.

James’ Ridiculous Claim #2:

 “Expansive soil is real, and is well documented. And is knot (sic) the reason why floor heave up (sic) and drywall cracks. I prove this wrong everyday with a simple test, that takes about 60 seconds, as long as there is no floor covering.”

Now this is rich. Please explain your claim that expansive soil is not the reason for floor heave or interior drywall cracks. I also would love to see your 60 second test. As a matter of fact, design professionals all over the world would love to see this trick! Please share.

You admit that expansive soils are well documented. Do you even understand what expansive soils are? It means soils that expand with moisture accumulation. If you knew that these soils are well documented, you would also know that these soils are also well documented to raise floors and cause interior drywall cracks.

 

James’ Ridiculous Claim #3:

“If you're reading this, please be aware of the snake oil salesman who will try to sell you a fan in your attic.”

So here we have a direct claim (one of many by James) against my Patented MoistureLevel® system. So I guess I must be the snake oil salesman since by patent laws I have the only rights to any system that uses a “fan in the attic” (it is actually a vacuum system) to mitigate expansive soil heave.

In another post you state:

“Some engineers will determine that you need this fan in your attic to dry out the water under your house that does not exist! This I call the “Expansive Soil Scare Tactic,” Creating fear to open your wallet. And is rather a $5000 upsell to you that does nothing to help your home, and take your money. Buyer beware of this Snake Oil Salesman here in Phoenix Arizona.

I guess expansive soils are well documented but water under the under the house has nothing to do with expansion of those soils…..wow now my head is spinning! OK James if not water, is it some other compound that is activating these soils…? If so please share. I am all ears.

You also state:

” I've been told by not just a few homeowners….."The moisture under your home is heaving upwards and you need this $8000 to $25000, "including fan in your attic" upsell to solve the problem". Not So. It hasn't worked in years from the testimony from a lot of homeowners I see, with the same problems getting more survive (sic) over time, after the snake oil install. Buyer be ware (sic) of this snake oil, and the fear of "Expansive Soil"

You state in yet another place (YouTube video descriptive):

 This one Snake Oil Salesman, will try to convince his victims, that they need a 6" hole drilled in the closet, through the floor, and attach a fan in the attic, so the soil under your home can dry out! Then drill into the side of your home's foundation wall in multiple areas, so the air, moving through, will solve the foundation heaving problem. This is the snake oil salesman. It will not stop or reverse, the cracks in your floor, drywall cracks or your roof from leaking. This is a direct attempt by creating fear, and opening up your savings account, for more profit. This has been proven, time and time again NOT to work at all, and is not the SOLUTION, to the problem. I have witnessed the frustration of many homeowners, that have paid from $5,000 to 20,000 for this snake oil salesman remady.(sic) This can very easily be proven false, in just one minute of time.”

You make numerous similar claims in additional responses to Google reviews. So I challenge you now James, if you have proof that the MoistureLevel® system does not work lets have it. Again, I am all ears.

Speaking of MoistureLevel®, I also noticed a claim on your website that reads:

” We have developed a reasonably low-cost solution for installing pipes under the house to ventilate saturated soil and protect the foundation of your home.”

This is interesting. So now you are offering this same technology…. and I am the snake oil salesman? It appears you are violating my patent.

To reiterate James, let’s hear some evidence to back up your outrageous claims.

Try to be succinct.

 

**5/2018: Dispite my invatation to discuss the various points above, Mr. Belville responded with simply removing Google Review comments where he made the above outrageous claims.  As a result, the links no longer work.  However, we have preserved the reviews via screen shot for our blog viewers!


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Showing 6 Comments

Sam Bandimere wrote on March 16th, 2018 06:03:10pm
Anytime you have a structure moving differentially or rotating it is always necessary to determine the cause and address the problem properly. i.e. is it caused by soil consolidation, heave or perhaps is it just related to some structural problem.
If forensic engineering has proven anything over the years it is that "It is an art based on scientific principals". The "Art" aspect cannot be applied if the "scientific" principals are not understood and properly addressed. While it is true that there may be different approaches to the means and methods of applying a repair program to a given project but it certainly doesn't do the industry any good to let ego's take precedence.
I appreciate Bob's position of simply defending the science side of John's obvious egotistical accusations.
bob brown wrote on March 19th, 2018 10:03:48pm
Thanks for your support Sam. As one of the pioneers of Geotechninical remediation you ought to know.
Curt wrote on March 21st, 2018 05:03:32pm
What I find interesting is that James takes the position that most engineers misdiagnose soil related problems. He also states that we use the fear tactic of "Expansive soils". Well.. I am sorry to inform him, but I am a geotechnical engineer, have a bachelors and masters degree in civil engineering, and have worked on thousands of homes in Arizona. The most common problem I find is due to expansive soils. Am I wrong to diagnosis such? Am I wrong to conclude that when I observe the results of a floor level survey showing the home is high on one side, with corresponding cracking, that is has in fact lifted due to expansive soils? I guess I should have gone to a "special" kind of school in order to not "mis-diagnose" such expansive soils problems. I guess I am a fear mongerer.
Mike S. wrote on March 24th, 2018 10:03:54am
Bob Brown is correct, expansive (swelling) clay soils is an issue for construction, and particularly in the arid southwest, where soils are very dry. The science of expansive soil is Geotechnical Engineering 101, dry clay particles have a need for ions, as the water satisfies the need, the clay particles become negatively charged and "push" off of each other (the term is diffuse double layer). Similar trying to push the two negative ends of two magnets together. The clay particles repel each other and the soils swell.
Full disclosure, I do engineering (I specialize in geotechnical and foundations) work for Mr. Brown from time to time, so don’t take my word for it, go and see what the Arizona Geologic Survey has to say about the hazards of expansive soils in the southwest:

www.azgs.az.gov/HomeOwners-OCR/HG4_problemsoils.pdf

azgs.arizona.edu/center-natural-hazards/problem-soils
J. David Deatherage, P.E. wrote on April 5th, 2018 01:04:07pm
I am a geotechnical engineer and president of Copper State Engineering. I have worked with numerous soil/foundation mitigation companies over the last 38 years here in Arizona. I helped develop Bob Brown's moisture level system and observe that it can work well to remove excess moisture from under slabs provided there is good air flow. The system can be monitored and adjusted to selectively remove moisture from specific areas under slabs to better control the drying process. Our arid environment is optimal for this treatment. Please call me with any questions 489-368-1551.
bob brown wrote on April 23rd, 2018 06:04:45pm
thanks for your support guys. notice that James does not have the guts to respond here....