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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.

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.

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.

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.