Foundation Maintenance For New Homes

For some, they choose to buy a new home built within at least the last few years because they are is less likely to be a problem. Everything inside and out is new so they are less likely to have an expensive home problems in the next few years. However, as with everything new, if you don’t perform proper maintenance, problems are in your future. If you hope to avoid that with the foundation of your new home, here are a few simple tasks you can do to keep your foundation maintained.

Foundation Maintenance For New Homes

New Foundation Maintenance Checklist

If you have a new foundation, you can expect some settling to happen. That is just what happens to new foundations. However, while you can expect to see some hairline cracking, anything deeper can be a sign of more serious issues. While you can’t prevent natural settling, you can still do the following to keep your foundation healthy longer.

  • Monitor exterior cracking and watch for interior cracking on walls or floors
  • Water your foundation in periods of drought, especially if your home was built on expansive clay
  • Making sure gutters and other drainage systems are clean and not clogged
  • Monitor landscaping and root growth near your foundation

These tasks are all relatively simple to do. A lot of new home foundation maintenance is just walking around your home’s exterior and making sure everything looks fine. Looking for tree roots, pooling water, or larger cracks is easy to do, and when caught early, foundation damage isn’t the financial horror story to fix that many make it out to be.

If you are having foundation problems, no matter the age of your home, contact us today. Steady House Foundation can help you assess the situation and advise you on the options you have to repair it.

by Steady House Foundation Repair Blog

Does Foundation Repair Make For a Perfectly Level House?

If you have casually taken a level to your floors and found that it is not level in more or more areas, you may think that it is time for a foundation repair. In truth, wildly off level homes may need correction, but even if you just had foundation repair done, your home may still not be perfectly level.

Does Foundation Repair Make For a Perfectly Level House?

In foundation terms, anything within 7/10 of an inch is considered fine. Typically, even if you just had your home leveled because there was a problem, anything outside of perfect level is from construction. When your foundation is poured, it can come out as uneven because it was poured thicker in some areas or it had higher levels of moisture exposure when it was poured – as in the day was more humid than the previous. There are other things that can affect the level of a home as well. Piers are subject to shifting with weather conditions and you may have more serious problems like expansive clay soil that can effect level. Typically, unless your home is an inch or more off level, you don’t need to be too concerned. You won’t notice much difference in just a slightly off level home and typically it doesn’t cause too serious of damage.

However, if you notice that your home is becoming uneven and increasingly so, then that is an issue that needs addressed. Contact us today to see what Steady House Foundation Repair can do to get your home back on a steady foundation. While a slightly off level home isn’t serious, a home that is rapidly off level or is changing its degree of leveling is a very serious matter that will need to be addressed. We can help you get to the root cause of the issue so that we can make the right repair.

by Steady House Foundation Repair Blog

What a Foundation Inspection Entails

We have stressed the importance of having regular foundation inspections done in order to catch problems early and repair them when the costs are at their lowest. However, most homeowners don’t actually know what goes on during a foundation inspection.

What a Foundation Inspection Entails

If you own a home on a slab, a foundation inspection is often a lot of what you would expect. The inspector comes out and walks the exterior of the home looking for and evaluating cracks in the slab, brick, or fascia board. However, if you have a pier and beam foundation, then the inspection is a little different. The inspector will need to enter your crawlspace in order to evaluate the piers, beams, joists, and check for any excess moisture that could be causing damage. They may also find a few plumbing problems that may need to be repaired as well.

Regardless of which foundation you have, after the exterior check, they will want to do an interior check to look for crack in the flooring, walls, and ceiling. Finally, the inspector will take measurements of your home to determine if there are any uneven areas. Typically they will give priority to areas in which there are signs of uneven foundation such as exterior or interior cracking.

Once this is done, the inspector will give you the full rundown of their findings. They will not only tell you what needs immediate repair, but point out any areas that may become a problem later and need to be monitored. This can help you keep an eye on your own home and will help you evaluate how soon a foundation repair may be needed in the future.

If you believe your foundation is having issues and need an inspection or a repair to be made, contact us today to see how Steady House Foundation Repair can help you keep a steady home.

Construction Mistakes That Result in Foundation Problems

In most cases, foundation problems span from poor drainage or extreme weather conditions. However, typically these take many years to manifest. If your home is relatively new in its construction and is already showing signs of foundation issues, it may be due to an issue in its construction. So what construction mistakes can manifest early foundation problems?

Construction Mistakes That Result in Foundation Problems

Curing Concrete Too Quickly

If the concrete is not kept sufficiently moist during the curing process, it will dry too quickly. When this happens, it makes the concrete more brittle. In some cases, you may even see cracking before the home is even finished being built.

Concrete kept too moist can also manifest issues as well. If there is too high of a moisture ratio for your environment, it may crack in the winter as it freezes.

Uneven Slabs

Not all property is perfectly flat. When a slab is placed, it needs to be level or at least matching the grade of the property. If due diligence is not given to the leveling of the slab, it leads to unforeseen settling over time.

Voids

When being poured, if care is not given, the concrete can form voids, or hollow spots. This is an incident waiting to happen. Often these voids are weak and cause structural integrity issues as they break down.

Loose Soil

The soil that will sit underneath a foundation needs to be compacted down well before that foundation is placed. If it is not sufficiently compacted, the loose soil can behave unpredictably the first time it gets wet. It is a very big risk for home shifting.

Unfortunately, if your home was the subject of any of these construction flaws, there isn’t much you can do now that it is built other than have them repaired. If you have a home with foundation issues that needs to be fixed fast, contact us today.

Common Problems with Pier and Beam Foundations

Pier-and-beam foundations are very common here in the DFW area. If your home has a crawl space, chances are it has this type of foundation. While pier-and-beam foundations are normally very stable, they can nonetheless develop problems that would require a professional to address. Here are a few common problems as well as some solutions for them.

Common Problems with Pier and Beam Foundations

Pier Collapse-Your piers may fully or partially collapse, lean to one side, or sink into the ground. Collapsing piers can cause the rest of your foundation to become uneven, leading to cracks and other imperfections. It can also result in damage to the beams.

In cases of pier collapse, we can often stabilize them to prevent further damage. Some shimming may be necessary as well.

Shifting Beams-Unstable beams may shift over time. When this happens, you may notice sagging floors as well. Installing shims, foundation support, or new piers may alleviate this problem.

Shim Failure-If your home has previously been shimmed, contractors may have used inferior materials such as plywood. In those instances, replacing those shims with standard material such as steel is required.

Rotting or Decayed Beams-This is something you are more likely to experience if you have wooden rather than steel beams. Decay can happen as a result of moisture damage, flooding, or an insect infestation. Rotten or decaying beams are unstable, and should therefore be replaced.

If you notice mold or mildew, you should also replace your beams. The presence of mold and mildew suggests that your foundation has already been subject to moisture damage, in which case the beams may very well be compromised. Internal beam damage is something that cannot be eliminated simply by removing the mold.

Pier and beam foundation repairs are not DIY projects. If you notice a problem with your foundation, please contact us instead. We are an experienced foundation repair company, and will ensure your safety and the health of your foundation during every job.

by Steady House Foundation Repair Blog

Have You Found Long-Term Water Damage?

If you’ve found water damage from a crack in your bathtub or gaps in the shower’s grout, the last thing you might want to do is go looking for more problems. Once you’ve turned off the water and had a plumber come inspect the damage, bring in a foundation inspector. Here’s why:

Have You Found Long-Term Water Damage?

 

1. The core problem might be in the foundation.

All of the water damage might not be from cracks and rotted grout in the first place. Shifting piers and subfloors can knock plumbing askew or put enough pressure on the pipes to cause damage. In even more severe cases, the foundation may have shifted enough to put those cracks in the grout, and simply repairing the bathroom surfaces won’t be enough.

2. Long-standing water damage can start to rot subfloors and piers.

If water has been standing or spreading for a while, you may need to cut out more of the flooring and subflooring than you first thought. A foundation expert can inspect the damage from all angles, including in the crawlspace, to make sure all of the damaged or weakened wood is cleanly cut away the first time. They can also recommend the best way to “air out” the crawlspace that just received an influx of moisture.

3. Tree roots could be behind all of the problems.

Tree roots try to grow wherever they can find moisture. Give the opportunity, that could include your home’s pipes and up into the drains and fixtures. If roots are crawling up your home’s drains, they could just as easily be making your foundation walls crumble or knocking aside the piers.

Calling a foundation inspector can help give you peace of mind or let you catch the damage before it grows and causes another emergency. Contact Steady House Foundation to schedule an appointment today.

3 Reasons to Install Drainage Solutions Along Your Fence

Now that the summer is solidly underway, it can feel like it’s “foundation damage season.” The hot, parched soil is pulling away from your foundation unless you actively counter the moisture loss, and some of your new spring foundation plants might not last the season. While shoring up your home’s foundation defenses is always a good idea, don’t just focus on your property. Think about home your neighbors or the surrounding area might be leading to foundation damage, too. Here are 3 Reasons to Install Drainage Solutions Along Your Fence

3 Reasons to Install Drainage Solutions Along Your Fence

1. Your neighbor’s house is on a higher slope than yours.

Even in the suburbs, there are still hills and variations in soil height. While developers may have tried to create the perfect neighborhood drainage areas to counteract these problems, your house may still be downhill from where. That pushes water and soil onto your property. Excess water along your foundation can create unequal settling, and the extra pressure from new soil can knock the bottom of your fence out of position.

2. Surrounding drainage systems might be pushing water in your direction.

There are lots of DIY drainage solutions that are free for people to try. But many of those plans don’t alert people about the secondary harms of redirecting drainage or digging into the soil. If your neighbors are installing retaining walls or French drains, that’s going to change how effectively your own drainage systems work.

3. Neighboring construction projects can hurt your soil’s stability.

If someone is constructing a room addition, a basement, or an in-ground swimming pool nearby, that’s going to change how your soil drains and behaves. The soil pressure will change, and that will impact the settling rate at the side closest to the construction. While some settling is inevitable, the real damage happens when one corner of your house settles more than the other.

If you want to make sure your foundation is safe from general summer settling and neighborhood projects, contact us today to schedule an evaluation.

Should You Buy a Home With Foundation Issues?

“Should I buy a house with foundations issues?” – Ask this question to any real estate agent in the world and you will probably get a very animated “No” as an answer. Foundation issues are the bane of any home, and most new homeowners don’t want to deal with them. However, while you can probably find a good home with a good foundation, you may be able to get a better deal on a home with foundation issues.

Should You Buy a Home With Foundation Issues?

The housing market is fairly hot across the United States right now, and the Dallas-Fort Worth area is no exception. Houses can sell within hours of being listed, but houses with foundation issues will likely be on the market for a bit longer and be listed cheaper. This means you can probably get a better deal on a house with a foundation issue, but you need to know what you are getting into.

Foundation Inspection

If you found a home that you love, but it has foundation issues, your first step should be to call for a foundation inspection. Home inspections will find many problems, and will even cite foundation problems, but only a foundation inspection will detail how serious those foundation issues are. Furthermore, a foundation inspection will likely give you a forecast of how much it will cost to repair.

Fixing the Issue

A home with foundation issues is often around 20% cheaper than comparable homes in the area because it is such a major issue. This means you obviously want the foundation repair to not exceed that amount you are saving. You may also be able to angle that the issue is fixed by the homeowners before you buy the home in negotiations. However, it is better to fix it yourself so you can choose a good contractor rather than just the cheapest one.

If the math behind a foundation repair works out so that you are getting the home for a good price, then it may be worth purchasing. However, you will also need to make sure that whatever caused the foundation issue won’t come back as well.

If you are looking at a home with potential foundation issues or need foundation repair at your home, contact us today. Let Steady House Foundation Repair come to your aid.

5 Questions To Ask Your Potential Foundation Repair Contractor

Foundation repair is something that is always best left in the hands of a professional, but choosing the right foundation repair contractor isn’t easy either. As this can be a very serious repair, you want to pick the best contractor for the job so that it gets done efficiently and correctly. If you are starting the search for a foundation repair contractor, here are five questions that you should be asking.

5 Questions To Ask Your Potential Foundation Repair Contractor

Do I Need Foundation Repair?

Not every crack in your foundation means serious repair is needed. Unfortunately, some more shady contractors may be happy to tell you quite the opposite in order to take your money. It is often wise to get a second opinion on foundation repairs. Getting a foundation inspection is also crucial if you suspect damage and they will usually tell you if repair is truly necessary.

How Many Repairs Have They Completed?

It is always best to choose a well-documented foundation repair contractor. Not every contractor will have testimonials, but they should have photos of their previous projects. When choosing any contractor, experience is important and as a customer you should be able to see that.

Are They a “Foundation Repair” Contractor?

You should always check the licenses of a contractor, as they are legally required to have them. Yet, there are contractors that don’t specifically call themselves “foundation repair” contractors in order to get around this licensing and insurance issue. You want a contractor that specifically handles foundation issues to fix your foundation issue.

What Caused This Issue? Can It Be Fixed?

You need to fix your foundation, but you will also want the issue that caused it to be fixed as well. For example, if poor drainage caused erosion, you will want to fix the drainage issue and most foundation contractors will be able to help with that. If they can’t identify the issue causing foundation damage to your home, it may be wise to pass on their help.

The How’s of It All?

How much will it cost? How long will it take? How will you fix it? These are all common questions and you want to make sure your contractor of choice answers them all very clearly. Foundation issues can be expensive and time-intensive to fix, so you may not always love the answers to these questions, but they should be laid out clearly for you.

Need Help?

If you have foundation issues and are in the market for a foundation repair contractor in the DFW area, contact us today. Steady House Foundation Repair can confidently answer all these questions and any more you may have to give you confidence in our repairs.

Innocent Home Problems That Really Mean Foundation Issues

No one want their home to manifest foundation issues. They are the homeowner horror stories that everyone hopes to avoid. However, while you may check your exterior for major cracks, signs you have a foundation problem do not always come from the visible foundation. Sometimes your home can be trying to tell you of foundation issues in more innocent ways you might not expect.

Innocent Home Problems That Really Mean Foundation Issues

Stuck Doors and Windows

If doors and windows no longer close smoothly – or at all – foundation issues probably won’t be your first suspect. You are more likely to think the wood around the frame is swollen or warped rather than your house is manifesting foundation issues. However, any time these entryways stop working as intended, you should be suspicious of the foundation.

Uneven Flooring

Despite being on the floor, if a few tiles come up or you get a raised area in your hardwood, you might not always look to the foundation, but you should. Raised flooring doesn’t happen for no reason, and while it could be an issue with the floor itself, it is important to make sure it is not a problem with the foundation affecting the floor and the flooring.

Drywall Cracks

If your foundation issues have progressed enough that you are manifesting drywall cracks, then you have a really serious problem, especially if a very large crack has manifested. Drywall is somewhat flexible and can endure very small changes, but if it is cracking, then a major issue in the foundation is affecting it.

Need Help?

If your home is manifesting any of these seemingly innocent problems, you should look to the foundation first. If foundation problems are caught early, repair may be able to stop the issue from getting much worse and vastly more expensive to fix. If your home is having potential foundation issues in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, contact us at Steady House Foundation Repair today to schedule an inspection and get any issues repaired quickly.