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

Cracks in Your Foundation – How Big is Too Big?

We have talked about cracks in your foundation cracks a lot. We have stressed that as a foundation settles naturally with age, it will crack. As long as the crack is thin and not horizontal in direction, it is probably pretty harmless. However, when we say “small,” you may want something that is slightly more specific. How big is too big when it comes to foundation cracks?

Cracks in Your Foundation – How Big is Too Big?

If a crack is what could be defined as “hairline” or otherwise the width of a strand of hair, this is from naturally settling and nothing to worry about. As there is more tension put on the concrete, such as soil erosion on one side causing the foundation to tilt, that crack will widen. If you ever notice a hairline crack go from hairline to bigger, then this is a problem. It means that the crack was not caused by natural compression, something foundations are designed to handle, and is instead being widened by tension.

Any time a crack widens after it forms is cause to call for a foundation inspection. However, it may not be growing due to tension. Another potential cause of larger cracks in your foundation is erosion. Over time, water can get into those cracks, which attracts dirt as well as naturally erodes them. In the winter, water can get in there, freeze, and also serves to widen them. If you notice the edges of a crack fraying, but the interior is still rather hairline, you might not have a tension problem, but rather an erosion problem. This is why even with hairline cracks, you want a professional to come out and seal them with epoxy. It prevents the cracks from naturally getting worse.

What this means for you is even if you have minor cracks in your foundation, they still need some attention. If you have a cracking foundation that needs addressed, contact us today to see what Steady House Foundation Repair can do to help.

by Steady House Foundation Repair Blog

Own an Older Home? Look Out For These Common Foundation Problems

While you likely haven’t kept up on foundation laying techniques, they have only gotten better over the past 50 years. This means that properly laid foundations in modern houses are manifesting less problems and standing sturdier. However, as older homes already have a whole house one top of the foundation, there is really only reacting to problems and doing all you can to prevent problems. If you own an older home and are concerned about an aging foundation, here are three common problems to look out for.

Own an Older Home? Look Out For These Common Foundation Problems

Uneven Flooring

If you have doors or windows that don’t properly shut or items that roll on what should be a flat floor, then you likely have uneven flooring in your old home. While this can be a warning sign of foundation problems in a home, if you have wood sub-flooring or original hardwood floors, they are prone to warping over time. Still, it merits having the issue checked out.

Slab Leak

It is amazing how a small leak can cause such huge structural problems. If there is a leak in or beneath the foundation of your home, it is an issue that compounds. Not only is the moisture attracting mold and mildew, but it can eventually lead to further foundation shifting. This puts the pipe at risk of completely breaking which turns this into a much more urgent issue.

Cracking Walls

A sure sign of foundations problems in older homes is cracking on exterior or interior walls. You will likely see it more around windows or around chimney flues. Not every crack in a wall, particularly exterior wall cracks, is a huge problem, but it merits investigation.

Do you have foundation issues in your older home? Unfortunately, ignoring the issue won’t make it get any better. If you want help fixing up your foundation problems, contact us today to see what Steady House Foundation Repair can do to help.

by Steady House Foundation Repair Blog

Repairing Foundation Cracks before Listing a Home to Sell

Before listing a home in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, area, homeowners often make cosmetic improvements and stage their home. But what if a home has foundation cracks? In the eyes of a home buyer, foundation cracks are a lot more serious than faded carpeting or outdated appliances. Even if a home inspector assures a potential buyer that the horizontal or vertical foundation cracks are not of imminent concern, the presence of cracks leaves doubt in the buyer’s mind. In other words, even a few visible signs of foundation problems can scare the daylights out of would-be home buyers. Whether selling a home today or in a few years, consider a few steps for repairing foundation cracks.

Repairing Foundation Cracks before Listing a Home to Sell

Receiving an official diagnosis

In addition to regular foundation inspections by a professional, take time to look for visible signs that you might need professional repair for a slab or pier and beam foundation. Inside the home, take note of cracks in the paint and bowed walls. Outside the home, are there lines that look like stairs?

Budgeting for foundation repairs

Putting money aside to fix a foundation has an immediate return on investment when selling. Not only can a seller command a higher price, but the buyer keeps the good will with skittish buyers who don’t want a fixer-upper. In addition, be aware that a buyer could sue if a seller does not disclose the foundation problems. Cash offers on homes sold “as is” are too often dismal in terms of what a solid home fetches.

Turning to the professionals

A professional knows how to judge whether you have the telltale signs of foundation damage whereas a homeowner typically experiences a bias. Misaligned windows, sloping floors, drywall cracks, uneven floor planking, cracks in the windows and tile are just a few of the signs that may or may not indicate a problem.

Who is to blame when you notice foundational cracks? In some cases, it’s Mother Nature. Soil often expands and contracts. Temperature and moisture plays a role. Homeowners with plumbing leaks sometimes notice the moisture adds stress to the foundation. Poor drainage and building site preparation are other possibilities. No matter what causes the problem, fixing before listing typically translates into a positive home sale transaction.

At Steady House Foundation Repair, we provide one stop shopping for foundation needs. For more information about scheduling a foundation repair estimate or information about foundation lifts, please contact us today. We serve clients in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area.

by Steady House Foundation Repair Blog

My House Is Sinking! How do I fix it?

My House Is Sinking! This is a fixable problem. It may sound like an end of the world issue, but it is fixable. There could be many reasons why your home is sinking, it could be caused from water leaks, the type of soil your home was built on and how well the foundation was prepared during the initial stages of construction.

My House Is Sinking! How do I fix it?

Common Causes:

Soil:

Soil is easily saturated by water, even if it is underneath your home. Soil is highly absorbent, and can get water from some of the most out of the place sources like a nearby lake, stream, river, or ocean. It can even be caused from heavy rain and floods, which is a common occurrence in Texas.  While all soil is absorbent, a common soil found throughout Texas is called “expansive clay soil.” The constant change in weather causes the clay like soil to rapidly expand and contract, which causes massive shifting around and underneath your foundation.

Water Leaks:

Another common problem is from water leakage. You could have a nearby pipe which brings water throughout your town, or you could have your own underground source. Even sewage pipes which are not directly connected to your home could cause water leaks. It doesn’t take much for the soil to absorb from these sources

Solutions:

There are several solutions to this sinking problem. You can detect an area in your home which has sunk by placing a ball or other round object and see how it rolls. A perfectly level house shouldn’t even allow the ball to move at all. This can be fixed by readjusting the piers which your house was built on. Sometimes, an underground water source can be removed or drained. If your home has a concrete slab foundation, piers can be installed underneath to help further secure your home.

Call us today and get that sinking feeling in your home fixed!

by Steady House Foundation Repair Blog