DFW Landlords: Shift Happens & Tenants Can Sue

Foundation Repair Notes For DFW Landlords

Shift Happens! Your home and rental properties are some of the biggest investments you’ll make in a lifetime. Shift happens when the ground beneath your home becomes unstable due to weather, earthquakes or earth movements, local extraction (mining), mudslides or even just years of weight bearing under your home.

DFW Landlords: Shift Happens & Tenants Can Sue

Landlords face an extra risk when severe foundation problems affect the living conditions of a rental property. Sloping floors, cracks and other symptoms of foundation shift make your rental worth less to renters, affecting your bottom line. Even scarier, tenants CAN sue you if they get injured by a sloped floor or other foundation issue.

Foundation Problems on The Rise

Pay close attention to your buildings foundations, even in new homes. According to The New York Times (NYT) shifting soil is a very real threat with increased numbers of homes being affected in recent years. “Extreme weather possibly linked to climate change, as well as construction on less stable ground, have provoked unprecedented foundation failures in houses nationwide”.

Homeowners are spending a billion more dollars per year on foundation fixes than they were 10 years ago, reports NYT. Though there has been a tremendous increase in housing development as well.

Symptoms of Foundation Problems:

  • Doors & windows are difficult to open/close
  • Cracks in ceilings/walls/chimneys
  • Strange creaking noises
  • Floor cracks
  • Gaps & spacing between floors and walls
  • Sloping floors

Is a Texas Landlord Obligated to Make Repairs?

It depends on the severity of the situation. Loud creaking noises and bathroom doors that don’t shut are not really a health issue. But if your tenant falls and breaks their neck due to a sloping floor, or if the home separates from the concrete porch and someone breaks their ankle, the short answer is yes, you will be held responsible. Learn more about Texas tenant rights here.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you suspect a foundation problem. Shift happens and it’s not a matter of if, but of when. Whether your unit is built on a pier and beam foundation, or a concrete slab foundation, Steady House Foundation Repair is the right company to handle your rental foundation problems.

Related Reading:

Is Landlord in Texas Obligated to Make Repairs?

Steady House Foundation Repair / Dallas Fort Worth

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Can You Repair Foundation Cracks When It is Wet?

While the amount of times it is very wet in the Dallas-Forth Worth area are not exactly numerous, you just know as soon as you schedule a foundation repair, it is going to rain like never before. While more major repairs will need to wait until the weather dries up a bit, the repair of foundation cracks are another story.

Can You Repair Foundation Cracks When It is Wet?

If it is raining out, your foundation cracks can still be repaired, but only if the cracks themselves are pretty dry. If your cracks are not dry, your foundation repair company will need to reschedule. However, the small bit of good news is that they may have found a potential foundation problem before it even started.

If water is splashing up into foundation cracks when it is raining, this means you likely have drainage issues around your home that is causing shifting and cracking. If you rectify these issues, you may be able to stop potentially more expensive foundation issues down the line.

In some homes, water close to foundation can be as simple as cleaning out those overflowing gutters. In others, you may need drainage options like re-grading near your foundation or installing a French drain to deal with the excess water.

Of course, you don’t have to wait for foundation cracks to appear in order to know if you have drainage issues around your home. If you see pooling close to your foundation when it rains in any spot around it, then you will need to address a drainage issue. This means moisture is seeping down and it could be causing shifting and hydrostatic pressure.

If you have a foundation that is manifesting cracking or appears to have drainage issues, contact us today to see what Steady House Foundation Repair can do to help you get the issues fixed up fast.

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How Long to Wait to Repair Your Home After a Foundation Problem?

If you are lucky, you will catch foundation problems early before they become more than a few cracks. As a foundation issue goes on, it can manifest a variety of problems from doors sticking to huge cracks in the drywall. In some cases, they can even be the cause of roofing problems. While repairing your foundation can normally fix issues like a sticking door, cracks in drywall and most other issues will need to be repaired separately.

How Long to Wait to Repair Your Home After a Foundation Problem?

While you obviously want to wait until the cause of the problem has been repaired – in this case the foundation – can you start repairing the other problems right away? In truth, it is best to wait at least six months before your do even minor repairs like replacing the drywall. Why? Well, the same reason as what caused the problem – your foundation will be settling. After foundation repair, your repaired foundation will settle again similar to how it settled after it was first installed. It will be minor and likely not to cause any new problems, but you will want to let it settle before fixing the old issues. It would be a shame to install new drywall in an area only to find it cracked again a few months later.

As for roof issues, while remodeling typically tells you to go “from the top down” in terms of replacement, you definitely want to get the foundation fixed before you fix the roof in this case. In the same vein as minor repairs like drywall, your roof will again be affected by settling. Setting up temporary fixes for a roof problem is advised before committing to something permanent.

Do you have foundation issues that are causing myriad other issues in your home? Contact us today to see what Steady House Foundation Repair can do to help you get your home back on stable legs.

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What to Do to Prepare Your Home For Foundation Repair?

If you have discovered that your home has developed foundation problems, your first step should be to call out a foundation repair company to confirm these potential issues. Once done, they will be able to give you a run down on what the problem is and what they recommend to be done to fix it. Once you have that repair scheduled, you want it to go smoothly, and here are some things you can do to prepare your home for foundation repair.

What to Do to Prepare Your Home For Foundation Repair?

Sort Out Your Landscaping

Obviously, you don’t want to add any new landscaping by the foundation before a repair. You will also want to remove items away from the perimeter to minimize the amount of work that needs to be done by the crew. While not always possible, you may want to reserve parking close to your home as well.

If you would like to really be proactive, you can ask the contractor if there are any areas where they will need to remove landscaping. While they can do that themselves, it can save them time if you start removing some items.

Have a Foundation Repair Plan

Not every foundation problem is something extreme like a complete concrete slab replacement. However, your contractor will go over what they need to happen. It may require you to be out of your home. Alternatively, foundation repair can be loud and somewhat intrusive, you may feel more comfortable relocating elsewhere. This means that even if you don’t technically need to leave your home, you may want a plan on where to go if you need to.

Secure the Interior

Not all foundation work happens outside. Just like the exterior, you will need to clear the interior as well. For example, if you have bowing basement walls, you will want to clean out the basement so the crew can work quickly and obstruction-free. You will also want to restrain pets or wandering toddlers for their safety during work hours.

Do you believe your home has foundation problems? Contact us today! Steady Home Foundation Repair can help you determine what the problem is and can help you get it fixed quickly.

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How Plumbing Problems Cause Slab Foundation Problems

Plumbing problems are an issue all their own, but if you put off calling the plumber to get them repaired, they cause different problems. If you let a plumbing leak persist, not only are you wasting water as well as money, but you are setting yourself up for foundation issues.

How Plumbing Problems Cause Slab Foundation Problems

While any type of foundation can experience issues from a leaky pipe left unchecked, slab foundations are a special case. Often a plumbing leak in a slab foundation is a major cause of problems because homeowners never knew that their pipe was leaking in the first place.

As slabs lack a crawlspace that provides immediate access to the pipes that run under the floors, you may never know there is a leak in your slab plumbing unless you notice a rise in your water usage. If this leak is left unrepaired, the extra water around your foundation from it causes shifting which leads to foundation damage.

If you have a slab leak that has caused a need for foundation repair, you may wonder which should be repaired first. In most cases, you will want to call a plumber out to repair the leak. However, if there has been significant shifting, then other parts of your in-slab plumbing may have been damaged as well. For example, extreme shifting can bend and break other portions of your pipe. If your plumber thinks this may be the case, you will want to get your foundation repaired before repairing the rest of your plumbing. The reason for this is simple. If you fix the plumbing then readjust your foundation, it could just damage it again.

This is a frustrating situation to be in, but a common one for those with slab foundations. If you have a slab foundation or any foundation that is manifesting issues, contact us today to see how Steady House Foundation Repair can help.

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Roof Leak? It Could Be a Sign of a Foundation Problem

When you have foundation problems, you anticipate the problems to manifest symptoms in the foundation, floors, or even the walls if it is bad enough. However, when the foundation has issues it can affect everything from the slab to the roof top. This is why if you are having a roof problem, you may also want to consider looking into the foundation as well.

Roof Leak? It Could Be a Sign of a Foundation Problem

If you are having a roof leak, only to find no explainable cause, it could actually be a foundation issue. A sturdy roof can typically withstand a few inches of foundation shift, but eventually, it will start to curve and separate. This will allow rain to leak into your home and the moisture will cause further damage to the roof. The gaps will also allow animals to enter your home.

If your roofing company informs you that your roof has curved and separated, it is time to call a foundation company to see what is going on down below. You will want to fix the foundation issue before you fix a roofing issue. If you fix your roof first, the foundation may settle in a new way that could just cause the roof to separate again. You really do need a solid foundation in order to build a solid home. It is best to just temporarily patch a roof to prevent further leaking before permanently fixing it, at least until the foundation is repaired.

Are you having foundation problems in your home that are starting to affect your walls, door, windows, or even the roof? The longer you wait to have these foundation issues repaired, the more expensive they will be to fix and the more extensive the damage will become. If you need foundation repair, contact us today to see what Steady House Foundation Repair can do to help.

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Why Soil Erosion Around Your Foundation is a Problem

Have you noticed that a bit more of your foundation is showing around your home? Have you spotted puddling around you foundation or areas where water flows through paths in the soil? These are all signs of soil erosion and while it might not seem like a big problem now, it can become one when your foundation starts to suffer.

Why Soil Erosion Around Your Foundation is a Problem

You may not know it, but your foundation is supposed to be surrounded by a graded soil slope. It will be so slight you don’t even notice it, but it serves an integral purpose. The soil grade around your foundation is meant so that water flows down the slope and away from your foundation. When the soil erodes, it can cause that water to instead pool by the foundation and may invite potential problems.

Soil erosion typically happens when there is nothing to hold the soil firm. This is why landscaping around a home is not just a trend, but a necessity. Landscaping usually prevents erosion as well as helps to limit the amount of moisture left in the soil.

If you notice the soil around your foundation has eroded, you should consider regrading it and planting landscaping with good surface roots to hold the new graded soil in place. However, you will also want to monitor that area of your foundation to see if problems have already started due to the previous erosion. If enough moisture was sitting up against the foundation, it could cause shifting and new settling that may cause problems. If you notice any sinking or new cracks, it would be best to call a foundation company.

While foundation companies can’t help with regrading your soil, if you are having any foundation problems, contact us today. Steady House Foundation Repair can help get your home back on a steady foundation.

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4 Signs of a Foundation Drainage Problem

To many homeowners, drainage problems may appear to be minor concerns. However, drainage problems can cause structural damage to your foundation if they’re not addressed. The soil around your home’s foundation will swell as it becomes saturated with water, creating hydrostatic pressure. The pressure creates cracks in your foundation and may lead to further damage. If you notice any of these warning signs of poor drainage, seek help from a professional as soon as possible.

4 Signs of a Foundation Drainage Problem

Foundation Cracks

Foundations often develop small hairline cracks as the house settles. These small cracks are normal. However, cracks that are more than 1/8 inch wide or cracks that are growing may indicate a drainage problem. If you notice growing cracks, have your foundation inspected by a professional.

Overflowing Downspouts

While it’s usual for your downspouts to overflow during very heavy rain, you may have a drainage problem if your gutters overflow continuously. Clogged gutters may put your foundation at risk of water damage.

Water Stains

Water stains in your basement may be caused by water coming in after a storm. If the stains appear high on the foundation wall, it’s likely the water is coming from an overflowing gutter. A continuous line of water stains indicates a more serious issue. It’s possible that your home was constructed below the water table line and municipal storm drains are backing up. You can resolve this issue by installing a sump pump.

Mold and Mildew

Mold and mildew thrive in a warm, damp environment. Mold in your basement or your crawlspace is a sign of a drainage problem. You may also notice mold and mildew in your attic. Moisture from your basement can rise and condense under your roof. If the problem isn’t fixed, you may need to repair your roof as well as your foundation.

Steady House Foundation Repair offers foundation repair and drainage correction services to customers across the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Contact us now for a free estimate.

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Seven Possible Causes of Home Foundation Cracks

If you’re wondering why cracks have appeared in your home’s foundation, there are many potential reasons. The causes range from natural disasters to soil settlement:

Seven Possible Causes of Home Foundation Cracks

1. Both minor and major earthquakes can inflict this kind of damage. A powerful tremor could even detach your home from its foundation, thus harming a wide range of building materials and equipment.

2. Fast-growing roots may cause or exacerbate cracking. Certain tree species are prone to damaging the underpinnings of homes. Examples include elm, aspen, sycamore, boxelder, ash, poplar and oak trees.

3. Fissures can appear when the ground underneath your home settles. This may occur as a result of poor construction practices or an unsuitable soil composition. High clay content promotes cracking.

4. If a piece of heavy equipment or a particularly large vehicle travels near your cellar wall, it could inflict damage. A crane or cement truck might cause this type of harm.

5. A nearby river, lake or ocean could overflow its banks, allowing the water to reach your home. This liquid could exert enough pressure to crack your foundation or damage it more severely.

6. Flooding doesn’t only have natural causes. An abandoned swimming pool could leak water and harm your home’s basement. Roof runoff and water main leaks can trigger similar problems.

7. Falling or windblown objects may hit the part of your foundation that’s visible above the ground. It’s also possible for a car accident to damage this section.

Indications

Your house might require repairs when you see cracks in door frames, floors, walls or the ceiling. Diagonal or wide fissures generally pose a greater threat. Previously flat surfaces may develop slopes.

If you’re concerned about the condition of your foundation, turn to our well-versed repair professionals. We’ll promptly inspect your home and inform you about any serious problems. Please contact us today.

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3 Signs That You May Need House Leveling

Taking care of your home is essential to ensuring that it stays safe and functional for many years to come. One part of your home that must be kept in excellent condition is your foundation. When your foundation is initially put in, you likely won’t have any problems, however, issues can arise over the years for a variety of reasons. Your foundation may not have been put in properly initially, the ground may have shifted, or there may be too much moisture in the soil. In any of these cases, foundation repair is necessary and house leveling must be completed. House leveling involves lifting your home back into the original position that it was in and is very effective at solving your foundation problems. If you are worried that your house may be in need of house leveling, here are three signs to look out for.

3 Signs That You May Need House Leveling

Visually Un-Level

If you go outside and stand in front of your home and notice that it slants to one side of the other, this is a very obvious sign that something is wrong with your foundation. In this situation, house leveling can restore your home to even ground and make it functional for you once more.

Cracks In Your Walls

If you see that there are cracks starting to form down your walls, this is also a sign that you may need to have your house leveled. As the foundation shifts, this can cause your walls to pull in opposing directions, thus creating cracks in them as they shift to try and accommodate this movement.

Shifting Door Frames

If you notice that your doors are sticking or are unable to shut, this may be a sign that your door frames are beginning to shift to accommodate changes in your home’s structure. This is especially worrisome if multiple doors in one area of your home are sticking or won’t close and should be something that you watch closely for.

To see if your home is in need of house leveling or other forms of foundation repair, visit us at Steady House Foundation Repair.

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