Problems resulting from foundation settlement:
- Damage to the structure
- Loss of real estate value
- Tripping hazards
- Unsightly cracks
- Plumbing leaks
- The soil conditions in Texas respond to rain and drought like a sponge. This expansion and contraction with changes in moisture put stress on your foundation.
- Clay isn’t the only type of soil that negatively impacts foundations. The second biggest enemy to concrete house foundations is sand. While sand does not expand and contract like clay soils, it can be washed away, creating gaps beneath a foundation.
Loam and rock are the best soils for providing foundation support. They compact well and don’t move or swell with moisture changes causing further costly damage. Are you wondering if you have foundation issues? All foundations will settle with time, but problems arise when this settlement is uneven or extreme.
- Here are the common signs of foundation problems:
Exterior Warning Signs
- Wall rotation
- Separation around the garage door, windows and/or walls
- Cracked bricks
- Broken and/or cracked foundation
- Displaced moldings
- Misaligned doors and windows
- Cracked sheetrock
- Cracks in floor
- Uneven floors
This differential movement is largely caused by differences in soil moisture. Loss or gain of soil moisture can cause serious shrinkage or swelling.
If the frame of a house does not begin to distort until after three or more years of satisfactory performance, it is doubtful that the distortion is caused by full-depth foundation settlement, which is always evidenced by matching cracks. Cracks occur at each side of a portion of the foundation wall that is undergoing downward movement caused by soil bearing failure.
Settlement cracks are nearly always vertical, and they should not be confused with cracks that occur when a wall is subjected to lateral movement from soil pressure.
FOUNDATION CRACKS - Hairline cracks are a common result of normal foundation settlement. However, you should be concerned if large cracks appear suddenly. If a crack is wider than an eighth of an inch you could have a possible foundation issue.
“Horizontal or jagged 45-degree cracks are the most serious and usually indicate you will need professional help.”
If unsure, monitor the cracks in your foundation, if they continue to expand, call a foundation repair company out to inspect the cracking.
In a Slabjacking operation, grout is pumped beneath a slab or beam to produce a lifting force that restores the member to its original elevation.
In piering, steel posts are driven through the unstable soil and hydraulic jacks are used to raise or stabilize concrete slabs affected by changes in the underlying soil. The repair method used depends on the type of distress being treated.
Choosing the correct method for concrete foundation repair. Before deciding on a repair method, you must determine what is causing the distress. Examine moldings and trim boards, mortar joints in brick veneer, and windows in low areas for clues. Also, take note of recent weather. Unusually dry or wet weather can cause problems in the underlying soil.
The most commonly used method of correcting smaller slabs of sunken concrete, such as residential slabs, driveways, sidewalks, swimming pool decks, etc. is slabjacking.
Slabjacking is done by pumping a cement grout through small, strategically-located holes in the concrete slab. Once in place, the grout solidifies into a dense concrete mass and provides a competent bearing for the concrete slab.
If a soil-cement-lime grout is used, the lime content of the slurry will impart the benefits of lime stabilization to the base or sub-base. This combined treatment not only restores the slab to proper grade but also stabilizes the sub-soil to prevent recurrence of the problem.
HOW TO HIRE A FOUNDATION REPAIR CONTRACTOR Foundation work is definitely not a do-it-yourself project, so it makes good sense to get at least three licensed contractors to give you a detailed proposal along with an assessment of your issues. The average inspection takes about two hours.
- Educate yourself on foundation repair methods and ask a lot of questions. Don't make your final decision based on advertising and cheap prices. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Don't do business with a contractor that does not have their foundation repair methods evaluated by ICC-ES (International Code Council Evaluation Services). This nonprofit organization ensures that building products meet code compliance.
- In most areas of the country, a reputable contractor will have a clause for the depth of the hydraulic piling (typically 20 to 30 feet). Beyond that depth, there is usually an additional charge, ranging from $20 to $30 per foot. If a contractor has no depth clause, be cautious. It's unlikely that the contractor would continue to operate at a loss, and would instead just stop at the depth that would guarantee a profit.
- Some foundation repair projects require removal of landscaping in the areas of the work, and the contractor typically won't guarantee that a bush or shrub will survive after removal and replacement.
- Warranties or guarantees for foundation repair work are very important, so pay close attention to their terms. Remember that a warranty is only as good as the company that backs it. Look for a national company that can offer a warranty trust. This means that if the company goes out of business, there is a plan in place to provide follow-up service, if needed.
- Most likely your Irrigation System will be affected either by broken pipes, heads, and wires. Who is responsible for the repairs? (Get it in writing) What licensed company will be doing the repairs? Is the foundation company selling Irrigation services without a license? (Holding your foundation warranty hostage if you don't let them upsell you with a Foundation Drip System) ? Texas Law: Only Landscape Irrigators (LI) can sell, design, consult, install, maintain, alter, repair irrigation systems. Once you have an idea of how you are going to deal with your foundation let us help you with applying even moisture around your house. Not just at the dripline where most companies lay a ring of water around your house. The entire system needs to be evaluated for "head-to-head" coverage. Starting at the foundation and going 6' to 8' away, making sure you have uniform distribution all the way around your house. Over or under watering one side of the house can contribute to continued foundation problems in the future. Just like large shrubs and trees being too close to the house. Using a Weather Based WiFi controller to get alerts when things stop working or help you easily manage your watering schedules, is the best insurance for long term monitoring. The new Rachio Gen 3 is a perfect all in one Hydro Solution for Homeowners, especially if you travel. We are Rachio Certified Pro Installers. - Need help call us - 214.837.1553