Can You Just Leave Cracks on a Foundation?

You have cracks on your slab, but it has been determined that those cracks are innocent. Every slab will endure some cracking as it settles, but unexpected settling that causes foundation damage has noticeably different cracks. The cracks in your foundation have been determined to not be those serious types of cracks, but should you just leave them?

Can You Just Leave Cracks on a Foundation?

Even if the cracks in your foundation is not considered one of those problematic types of cracks, it is still a breach in your foundation. Even thin and innocent cracks in a foundation should be treated. When spotted, most foundation contractors should recommend filling any crack with an epoxy mixture just to protect it from getting worse.

The issue you need to worry about with any crack is the addition of moisture. Even though we don’t get too extreme of temperatures in the Dallas Fort-Worth area, moisture freezing inside of a foundation crack can cause it to widen. Furthermore, moisture getting stuck inside a foundation crack can cause mold to grow inside it as well, which can also cause widening.

While epoxy isn’t the only filler for foundation cracks, it is the most flexible. If the filler is too rigid, you could see it degrade after periods of freezing temperatures. This is why you generally want to have foundation cracks filled by a professional rather than just pick any filler you can find off a hardware shelf.

If your foundation has even minor cracks, they should be filled before they turn into major ones. If you aren’t sure if your foundation cracks are a problem or not, we can help with that. Contact us today to see what Steady House Foundation Repair can do to get your foundation cracks patched up and make sure they aren’t an actual problem with your foundation.

by Steady House Foundation Repair Blog

How to Improve Drainage Around Your Foundation

The foundation itself is rock solid, but when everything around the foundation is unstable, it begins to cause problems. While soil shifting can happen for a number of reasons. Most commonly, soil shifts and foundation problems occur because the soil around your foundation gets too wet. This can cause erosion and hydrostatic pressure that will cause damage.

The good news is that standard home construction already comes with many ways to prevent excess moisture from puddling near your foundation, but they are not necessarily permanently effective. If you are having drainage issues near your foundation, here are some avenues you can explore to improve drainage.

How to Improve Drainage Around Your Foundation

Landscaping

This the simplest change you can make to help drainage near your foundation. Plants not only absorb water that does fall by your house more efficiently, but plant roots also help stop soil erosion. Landscaping by your home does quite a bit for foundation health, which is one of the reasons it is so popular.

Downspout Extensions

Keeping your gutters and downspouts clear is a good way to promote good drainage, but if you still find water pooling right up alongside your home, you may need a downspout extension. This makes sure the water is ferried further out so it is not right up against your home.

Re-Grading

While you may not see it, the soil starting at your foundation actually gently slopes away from it. This helps naturally promote water to drain away from a foundation. However, over time this grading can wear down, especially if you have had puddling or gutters overflowing in the area. The slope will need to be manually built back up.

Trench Drain Installation

This is the final solution to many drainage issues in a yard. A trench drain, or french drain, is a drain installed underground that collects water in an area prone to pooling, then takes it elsewhere. It can help solve water that just will not stop pooling by your home.

Do you have drainage problems that are causing foundation issues? We can help. Contact us today to see what Steady House Foundation Repair can do to help improve the drainage at your home.

by Steady House Foundation Repair Blog

How Often to Have a Foundation inspection Done?

When it comes to catching minor problems on a foundation before they become major ones, a foundation inspection is a must. However, the unfortunate reality is most people don’t call for a foundation inspection until there is already something problematic enough to notice going on with the foundation. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but you may wonder how often you should be having your foundation inspected to keep things on a steady.

How Often to Have a Foundation inspection Done?

Why to Do a Foundation Inspection?

Inspecting your foundation isn’t something that needs to be a bi-annual affair like HVAC inspections or even a yearly thing. This is because shifting and settling is something that happens quite slowly. In truth, a foundation inspection every five years is really good enough. There are, however, some situations in which you may want an immediate foundation inspection. These include:

Buying Or Selling a Home

Just like you would feel more comfortable with a clear foundation inspection on a property you are buying, so, too, would potential buyers of your home. If you are buying or selling a property, foundation inspections can be a great help.

You Notice Symptoms

If you spot a crack that is looking quite large or even wasn’t there a few months ago, find that your doors and windows have trouble shutting, or have noticed slanting floors, then it is definitely time to have an inspection. As we mentioned before, most people wait until they have a problem to get a foundation inspection done. However, that need not be the case if you want to catch problems early.

There is nothing wrong with being proactive in making sure you do not have foundation problems, especially when you live in an area with complicated soil conditions like in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. If you are having foundation problems or want your foundation inspected, contact us today to see what the professionals at Steady House Foundation Repair can do to help.

by Steady House Foundation Repair Blog

Problems That Come From a Wet Crawl Space

As a below grade area that sits under our house, we might be conditioned to believe that a crawl space should be a particularly dark and damp place. While it may be pretty dark down there, it definitely shouldn’t be wet in most cases. If you are constantly seeing unexplainable moisture or puddling in your crawl space, this is a problem that you will need to address before it is too late.

Problems That Come From a Wet Crawl Space

Moisture in this space isn’t necessarily an immediate problem. However, moisture that hangs around not only invites rot and pest invasions to the area, but it fosters the growth of mold. As a surprising amount of air in your home rises up from the crawl space, it is also bringing with it unhealthy mold spores in to your house.

Moisture in a crawl space comes from three possible sources, not all of them even a problem with your foundation. These sources include:

  • Plumbing Issues — Sometimes where there is a puddle of water in this area, there is a leaking pipe right above it.
  • Condensation — Common in times of high heat or humidity, but condensation should be able to evaporate away. If it cannot, this is a sign of foundation issues.
  • Surface Water Issues — Surface water should be kept out of the crawl space, if there is heavy puddling after rain, you may need your home re-graded, the gutters adjusted and cleaned, or your basement windows may be leaking.

Not all of these issues can be fixed by foundation repair, but all of them can be detected by a foundation repair specialist. If you are having problems with a wet crawl space and definitely don’t want to find out the long-term effects of that, you will want to contact us today for professional inspection and repair to keep your foundation on steady legs.

by Steady House Foundation Repair Blog

Microearthquakes & Foundations: Shift Happens Even at 2.0

Microearthquakes are extremely common, and they happen regularly in many states across the country. Most of the time, we don’t even feel minor earthquakes that are 2.0 or less on the Richter scale, but that doesn’t mean our houses and foundations don’t. Microearthquakes don’t normally cause severe damage, but they definitely affect foundations and often make shift happen, especially over time from multiple mini-quakes.

Microearthquakes & Foundations: Shift Happens Even at 2.0

Shift Happens: Check Your Foundation Regularly

Cracks, Cracks & More Cracks

Microearthquakes cause cracks. Check for cracks on the outside and inside your foundation, your walls, doorways, window frames, ceilings: anywhere your house could have cracks. Even hairline cracks should be addressed immediately, and any crack over a quarter-inch could indicate a serious issue.

If you find a crack, shine a light into it to get a better idea of the depth of the cracks.

It’s best to inspect for cracks at least once per month, as many microearthquakes can occur during this short time frame.

Other Signs of Shift Happening

If doors or windows become difficult to shut, it could be a sign that your foundation is shifting. If floors are becoming less level, it’s also a sign.

Depending on your foundation type, foundation blocks or bricks that are chipping or breaking-off is a sign of foundation issues. Leaning chimneys or exterior vents that are starting to break away from roofing can also be a sign.

If you start to notice any of these signs, it’s best to consult a professional immediately. Neglecting potential foundation issues is far more costly than addressing small foundation repairs as they naturally occur from microearthquakes and other circumstances.

What to Do When Shift Happens in Texas

Like many other states, microearthquakes are common in Texas, and there is a hazard level for earthquakes throughout the state. Over the last century, Texas has even seen over 100 bigger earthquakes in 40 counties.

To schedule foundation inspection, maintenance, or repair in the Dallas and Fort Worth area, contact us today.

by Steady House Foundation Repair Blog

The Difference Between Push Piers and Helical Piers

If you have a slab or pier and beam foundation with problems, the installation of piers could be a solution for it. While your foundation contractor will pick the best pier for the job, you may be curious about what is the difference between them. When piers need installed, you have two primary solutions – push piers and helical piers. They do the same job, but have their very specific benefits depending on the environment.

The Difference Between Push Piers and Helical Piers

A push pier is much like a nail, it is long and straight, made of steel and driven deep into the earth using a hydraulic pressure. The pier then comes to rest on the most stable level of bedrock available to provide a stable support for your sinking foundation. These piers are quick to install, disturb the surrounding soil very little, and are great when the soil conditions on your property are unknown. However, push piers need a significant weight sitting on top of them. This means lighter loads, like a deck for example, are not suitable to sit on top of them.

Whereas push piers are the nail, helical piers are the screw. They are designed in a screw-type way so they can be driven down into the earth mechanically. These are typically used when the local soil condition is known because they can be installed at a specific depth. As they use a screw-type motion, they can provide highly accurate adjustments to your foundation that seals any cracking right up. Unfortunately, they need more space in order to install and need proper soil conditions to be supported.

If you are having foundation issues and believe piers could be a solution for you, find out for sure by contacting us. Let Steady House Foundation Repair come out and help you get the best solution to fix your unique foundation problems.

by Steady House Foundation Repair Blog

5 Biggest Consequences of Postponing Foundation Repair

Foundation problems are often sudden and unforeseen. There are several reasons as to why your home’s foundation would deteriorate. Alongside the causes often come telltale indicators showing that the foundation needs repair. Today we look at some consequences of postponing foundation repair.

5 Biggest Consequences of Postponing Foundation Repair

Escalating Costs of Repairs

If you have noticed a problem with your foundation, perhaps a tiny crack, it is best to repair it as early as possible. A small problem may be proof of an underlying issue which, if left unattended to, may escalate further. Repairing it soon will save you a lot of money than postponing the matter.

Property Value Goes Down

If you are trying to sell your property with foundation issues, the truth is you will have a hard time selling it at the right price. Home inspections will reveal that the property has problems to do with the foundation, which will be an extra cost to the new owner. Unfortunately, very few buyers will be interested in buying the property at the market value with all these in mind.

Insects Invasion

Creepy insects such as spiders, ants, mosquitoes, and termites breed comfortably in humid environments such as the cracks in foundations. The insects can be destructive and sometimes even cause severe health conditions to the people within the property.

Mold and Mildew Growth

Damaged and poorly maintained foundations form surroundings for the growth of fungal interlopers such as mildew and mold. These can trigger different kinds of allergy reactions and sometimes even asthma attacks that will leave your family and loved ones sick and uncomfortable.

Plumbing Problems

Postponing the repair of your foundation may lead to issues to do with plumbing. When the concrete in the foundation drops or gets dislocated, it may damage the pipes passing through the walls. Thus, a professional is required to step to carry out the extent of the damage to diagnose the issue.

If you have any foundation issues, contact us, and we will bring in our expertise for many years and satisfy your foundation needs.

by Steady House Foundation Repair Blog

4 Common Signs of Foundation Problems

When purchasing a house, assess the condition of the foundation structure. That is vital as the structural integrity of the home depends on the foundation. Below are some common signs that indicate foundation problems.

4 Common Signs of Foundation Problems

Sagging Or Uneven Floors

Floors that appear to sag or out of level is a clear indication of a foundation problem. Concrete slabs that have difficulty are easily noticeable as the ground will appear to be uneven and produce a squeaking noise. Slab foundations, however, have different signs of damage compared to concrete foundations. Sagging floors are hazardous to your children and even the elderly.

 Cracks on the Foundation and in the Walls

Check for cracks on the wall and foundation to ensure the structural integrity of the building is in good condition. A hole through the foundation is a red flag. Thus, you need to contact a professional foundation contractor. It indicates that the foundation is shifting, and it will end up tearing apart the foundation of your house. Horizontal cracks indicate that there is too much water pressure under the foundation structure.

Water Damage and Shifting Soil

Check the premises for wet areas to see if there is a water leak that could lead to foundation damage. Besides, soil-shifting is also another cause of foundation damage. Soil shifting is caused majorly by water damage or uneven ground level.

Difficulty in Closing Doors and Windows

When you notice that your doors give you a hassle when closing or opening, this is a sign of a shifting foundation. Your doors and windows are the parts that get affected in case of a soil shifting. You can try solving the problem by lubricating your doors and windows. If the issue goes on for an extended period, hire a professional foundation contractor to make the repair where necessary.

If you notice any of the above signs of foundation problems, you can contact us. Steady House Foundation Repair offers quality and professional services that will leave you impressed.

by Steady House Foundation Repair Blog

Top Advantages of Hiring Foundation Repair Contractors

The foundation of your house is a vital structure. Thus, you need to ensure that it is durable to avoid damage in the future. Opting for DIY in case of a problem will only worsen the situation. Leave the work to the professionals, and you will not incur unnecessary repair costs in the future. With that said, here are the top benefits of hiring professional foundation repair contractors.

Top Advantages of Hiring Foundation Repair Contractors

Expertise

This is one of the best benefits that you will get to enjoy when you opt to hire the services of an expert foundation contractor. A professional contractor is likely to give you the value of your money. Experts offer quality services, leaving you without any single doubt that your home will stand-still after a natural calamity.

 Access to Tools

Professionals have the necessary tools that are needed to carry out the job. Purchasing the tools yourself can be a daunting task since they are not readily available. Therefore, hire an expert service provider who will use the proper tools and get the job done in time.

Saves Time

Expert foundation repair contractors know their line of work very well since they are trained on how to handle foundation problems. Besides, opting for a DIY will only take up most of your time trying to find a solution for the foundation problem.

 Cost-effective

When you decide to repair the foundation of your building structure, hire a qualified contractor to perform the task. Doing it yourself will only cost you a lot of money, and you might end up not doing it correctly. The expert offers solutions to foundation problems at reasonable and pocket-friendly prices.

In conclusion, avoid solving your foundation problems on your own. Contact us, and we will provide a professional to do the repair work in the best way possible. There is no room for error, especially when it comes to the foundation of your structure.

 

by Steady House Foundation Repair Blog

Why House Shifting Happens in Texas

Most home in Texas have slab foundations, while some have pier and beam foundations. Each type of foundation comes with potential house shifting caused by design, but shift happens in Texas for a variety of other reasons.Why Shifts Happen in Texas

 

Slab Foundations

In Texas, the frost depth is rather shallow, so the home builder simply and cost-efficiently pours concrete on the ground in a big pad with rebar reinforcements. While this type of foundation is great for protecting your home from termites, it’s not so great for the drainage pipes in the concrete when the foundation starts settling.

Pier & Beam Foundations

The oldest type of foundation, pier and beam foundations look just like they sound: the house sits on girder beams held-up by piers, which leaves a little over a foot of crawl space under the house. This type of foundation shifts when there’s not enough ventilation, or insulation for water pipes, or when critters get under there and start making their own little homes.

Texas Soil & Climate

The climate in Texas gets hot and cold, sometimes very hot and very cold. Texas soil is clay soil, and clay reacts to the heat as much as it reacts to the cold climate. When it’s cold, clay expands, putting pressure on your foundation, whether slab or pier and beam. When it’s hot outside, clay shrinks, and your foundation goes with it.

This back and forth shrinking and expanding often makes your foundation and house shift.

Shift Happens Everywhere

Aside from shift in Texas, drainage systems that are not designed or constructed well can lead to shift no matter where a house sits. Moisture is a big issue when it comes to foundations and everything supporting the structure, including shims and joists. Plus, there can be issues far beyond the damage point when there’s a plumbing leak, which can also lead to moisture, and you guessed it: shift.

Tree roots can also cause issues for pipes and structural components, as well as soil that wasn’t properly compacted during the home building process.

For more information or to find-out if you have house shifting that needs to be addressed, contact us today at Steady House Foundation Repair.

by Steady House Foundation Repair Blog