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Why is The Soil Pulling Away From My Foundation?

While it is found in many areas of the United States, much of Texas is home to expansive soil. Many homes in the Dallas Fort Worth area are built on this expansive soil that is heavy with clay. While this soil seems pretty sturdy, it comes with a unique issue when it comes to foundations. When the clay is wet, it swells. When the clay is dry, it shrinks. This is why on some hot Texas summer days, you can actually see the soil pulling away from your foundation. What does this mean for your foundation?

Soil Pulling Away

What the swelling and shrinking of expansive soil means is that shifting is a regular occurrence. Any shifting is bad news for a foundation, which is why we try to limit it as much as possible. In the wet seasons, drainage solutions are employed to keep the soil nearest your foundation from becoming too swollen with water. However, too few consider the shrinking in summer a problem.

In truth, if you see the soil pulling away from your foundation during the dry season, it is not necessarily something you should panic about. It is, however, something you should do something about. Just like you employ drainage in the wet seasons, you should employ moisture when the soil is too dry. If you do actually see the soil pulling away, it is recommended that you water the foundation with a hose to introduce some more moisture. This helps limit the extreme shifting that can happen as the soil switches from dry to wet.

Do you have a home built on expansive soil? It may not mean you have foundation problems yet, but you do need to monitor your foundation more closely than other homeowner’s might. Contact us today to see what Steady House Foundation Repair can do to keep your home on a steady foundation.

Do Foundation Contractors Need to Come Inside My Home For Repair?

In this age of pandemic, many people have been putting off crucial home repair tasks simply because they don’t want several strangers in their home to do those repairs. However, even before COVID-19, you may still wonder if you will have foundation contractors and work crews inside your actual home if you are having foundation repairs done.

Do Foundation Contractors Need to Come Inside My Home For Repair?

The answer as to whether foundation repair contractors will need to come inside is not a simple answer. As you may expect, it depends on the nature of your problem. Some foundation repairs can be done completely outside your home and some of them will require crews to come inside.

The good news is that your foundation contractor of choice should fully inform you of what needs to be done as well as how it will be done. In most cases, you will find that they will actually dig under your foundation to do common repairs like installing piers to provide stability. However, in some circumstances, they may need to come inside and do installations from inside your home.

Aside from various check-ins with you, typically done at the end of the day to be transparent with the work that was done and the work that still needs to be done, usually there isn’t a lot of reason for a foundation contractor and their crew to need to be inside your home. However, you do want to be aware that if you need to have a foundation inspection done, your inspector may want to come inside to look for signs of foundation damage. Sometimes the very first signs of damage start inside your home.

Do you have a foundation issue? Unfortunately, just letting it sit will not be doing it any favors. Ignoring foundation issues just makes them more expensive to repair later. If you are having foundation problems, contact us today to see what Steady House Foundation Repair can do to help.

When Insurance Helps with Foundation Cracks and Issues

When you spot foundation cracks, one of the first questions is whether homeowners insurance covers the damage if the cracks signify something beyond a cosmetic issue. As a general rule, people take out homeowner’s insurance to protect against natural disasters. Most if not all mortgage companies require borrowers to have a homeowner’s insurance policy in place as part of the loan processing. When it comes to foundation repair, your insurance may or may not cover it. Homeowners are expected to maintain their properties whether they own a new home or a home with an aging foundation.

When Insurance Helps with Foundation Cracks and Issues

Understanding normal factors

In some cases, people spot foundation cracks that are part of the home settling over time. In other cases, drought or various climate changes cause shifting. A professional puts your mind at ease by determining whether your home needs actual foundation repair.

Reviewing your policy

Review your homeowner’s insurance policy to find out whether the company covers foundation cracks resulting from fires, explosions, natural disasters and plumbing backups. Most policies cover reconstruction after such problems. If not, make changes to your policy for maximum protection. People with flood and earthquake insurance rely on the coverage for such catastrophic issues.

Keeping up with maintenance

Because insurance doesn’t cover normal wear and tear of an aging home, it is important to keep an eye on your home. Don’t make the mistake of simply painting over foundation cracks because the cracks signify possible damage due to improper drainage, tree roots or improper ground preparation prior to construction.

The good news is that a foundation repair expert takes measures that mitigate foundation damage before the problem gets out of hand. Remember, too, that when you change homeowner insurance companies they often come out and inspect the home. Your insurance rates could go up if an inspector sees foundation cracks or other signs of foundation problem. Before switching property insurance providers, it’s always good to enlist the help of a foundation repair service.

At Steady House Foundation Repair, we are proud to be your one-stop shop for foundation and concrete needs because your home’s value and security rests on its foundation. We are a specialty foundation repair service based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. For more information or to have one of our experts diagnose foundation damage, please contact us today.

Does Flooding Damage Slab Foundations?

Flooding is a concern no matter what type of foundation you have under your home. However, as the simplest and sturdiest foundation type, slab foundations are mostly unaffected by flood waters. It is likely that you will find yourself more concerned with the damage that the flooding has caused to the structure on top of your slab foundation instead. However, after you have cleaned up, this is actually when you should be checking out your slab foundation for problems.

Does Flooding Damage Slab Foundations?

Flood-Caused Erosion

The major concern you should have about flooding when you have a slab foundation is any erosion that has occurred. If the grade that forces water to drain away from your foundation has eroded away, this will cause drainage issues and eventually foundation problems.

However, a lesser known erosion issue is undercutting. During a flood, the soil is saturated and easily malleable. As such, when the water recedes or is affected by a current, the soil under your slab can be eroded away. This can cause extreme settling, and often does so unexpectedly because you might not notice undercutting right away.

If your slab is not sitting on a stable surface, it can cause settling that can actually crack the slab. This is why if you have had flooding you will want to wait a month or two in order to let the soil fully dry out, then have a foundation inspection conducted. This can check for undercutting and make sure your grade is intact enough. If nothing else, you will want to monitor your slab foundation in the following months to make sure new cracks do not appear on it.

Do you have foundation issues from flooding or any of the other various causes? We can help. Contact us today to see what Steady House Foundation Repair can do to help.

Foundation Types and Common Problems That Come With Them

Do you know what type of foundation your home has? It is not a difficult question to figure out with the help of the internet, but it is important to know the answer. There are the three primary foundation types.  Each comes with their own unique issues you need to watch out for to avoid a costly repair.

Foundation Types and Common Problems That Come With Them

Slab Foundations

The slab foundation is the most basic type, and the most popular. If your home sits close to the ground on what just looks like a solid slab of concrete, it has a slab foundation. These are prized because of their simplicity. You have less room for problems and it is excellent at weight distribution to limit settling on unstable soils.

Potential Slab Foundation Problems

  • Slab cracking
  • Slab sinking

Raised Foundations

Also referred to as pier and beam foundations, raised foundations sit raised up slightly from the ground with piers holding up your flooring. Not enough to be dug into the ground far enough to have another room, but often enough room for a crawlspace. You will see these in areas that have the potential for flooding since it does raise the home up a bit.

Potential Raised Foundation Problems

  • Sagging floors
  • Moisture issues in the crawlspace
  • Pier shifting

Basement Foundations

The basement is more common in homes in the northern United States, and even now are less popular in newer construction. It turns out building your foundation inside the ground can be problematic as well as wildly more expensive to repair compared to other alternatives.

Potential Basement Foundation Problems

  • Bowing basement walls
  • Cracking walls
  • Flooding

Is your foundation, no matter what type you have, manifesting issues? We can help. Contact us today to see what Steady House Foundation Repair can do to help you get your home back on a rock solid foundation.

Will Foundation Repair Damage My Landscaping?

If you are having foundation problems, you may be curious as to how the process of repairing them will be. While your contractor can fully walk you through what will happen, you may begin to wonder what will happen to your landscaping while all that is going on.

Will Foundation Repair Damage My Landscaping?

Having landscaping around your foundation can be a great way to prevent foundation issues from manifesting in the first place, but most people plant around their foundation to beautify their home and yard. The good news is that some foundation repairs can be very low impact on your landscaping.

If you catch foundation issues early before the issue becomes serious, often foundation repair can be done without having an effect on the landscaping at all. Unfortunately, if there has been major shifting and piers need to be installed, this will require a bit of digging in order to do.

The technician, in order to dig, may need to remove landscaping in the area to do so. If there is a tree or shrub that obstructs the area, this may need to be uprooted as well. However, the silver lining to this is that the contractor may be saving you from foundation issues again later. Trees and deep-rooted shrub planted too close to the foundation can be responsible for shifting due to their root growth.

Do note that if at all possible, your foundation repair contractor will try to keep your landscaping. Removing landscaping is just extra work that no one wants to do. It will only be removed if it is absolutely necessary.

Are you noticing the early signs of foundation problems? Even if you are worried about your landscaping, it is always better to address foundation issues sooner rather than later. It can save both your landscaping and your wallet. If you are having foundation issues, contact us today to see what Steady House Foundation Repair can do to help.

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.

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.

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.

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.