Denton Foundation Repair
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Foundation Repair Denton TX
Everyone has heard the old adage “You can’t build on a crumbling foundation”, at least some version of it. The saying is very old, but it remains true, especially when you’re speaking about houses and other buildings. If you find your home’s foundation starting to sag or move up in certain places, it’s time to call the Denton foundation repair experts. We’ve been in business for over 30 years and have the experience and skills required to level out your home.
What is a Foundation?
A foundation is simply the base of your home that is built on top of, or into, the soil. The vast majority of homes built in Texas today are built on concrete slabs. Many homes are also built on what’s called a pier and beam foundation, which differs from a slab. All types of foundations serve the same purpose: they serve as a structural base for the entire home. The full weight of the house, including the walls, flooring, fixtures, and roof, is supported on top of the foundation.
Having a level foundation is critical for all homes. When foundations start to shift, homes can experience a myriad of problems and issues. When a home’s foundation starts to shift, it’s critical that a Denton foundation repair expert be called to survey the foundation and make any repair recommendations. When a foundation starts to shift, it generally continues until something intervenes. Unfortunately, the more a foundation shifts, the more damage is usually done to the home. The cost of foundation repair also increases with the amount of shifting and damage.
How do you know if your foundation needs repair?
The signs that your foundation may be shifting are relatively easy to notice. Below is a list of commonly noticed issues related to foundation upheaval and settling:
- Cracks in walls and/or ceilings
- Window and door frames pulling away or no longer closing or opening properly
- Dips and bumps in flooring
- Cracks in exterior bricks
- Cracks in foundation cement around the base of the home
- One or more sides of the house feel like they are higher or lower than the others
Cracks in the drywall or plaster of your walls and ceilings can sometimes just be natural settling. Usually, cracks that follow natural drywall seams are a sign of normal settling and are not usually attributed to major foundation issues. On the other hand, cracks that run through the middle of a piece of drywall, especially those that run through several, could signal potential foundation issues. Sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference, so it’s best to refer to a professional.
Windows and doors no longer opening or closing can be another sign of foundation issues. When a home is built on a level foundation, the doors and windows should be square and plumb. The windows and doors open and close freely. If the foundation starts to sag or rise, the problem can be identified by shifting the frames of doors and windows. The result is that the door or window no longer properly opens or shuts.
Dips or bumps in flooring can also signal foundation issues. It’s important to note that not all bumps or dips in a floor or foundation cause issues. In addition to natural settling, certain floor types are more prone to bubbling and warping, and that may not have anything to do with foundation issues. However, bumps or dips in the flooring, especially if they appear quickly, should be looked at by a foundation specialist, as they could indicate potential issues.
Cracks in the bricks on the exterior of your home could also signal foundation issues. Very much like drywall, if the cracks are going through the mortar between the bricks, it may signal mild and natural settling. Cracks going through the middle of bricks, especially those that traverse several bricks, can often mean foundation issues are happening below.
Cracks in the foundation concrete around the base of your home may also indicate foundation problems. Like the other potential signs, some smaller cracks are normal and can develop on their own. If you notice cracks in the concrete foundation, it’s best to call a professional and have them look at it.
Elevation changes on one or more sides of the home can be a strong indicator of a shifting foundation. It’s unlikely that you would notice any minor shifting from one side of your house to the other. On the other hand, if you can feel a definitive dip or rise in one section or one room of the house, you should call a professional to come in and check your home.
As you can tell from the examples above, there are many signals that your home may have foundation issues, but remember that not all of these indicators definitively mean that your home requires foundation repairs. In many cases, it’s best to consult with a local foundation expert for a free estimate and consultation.
Foundation Repair Denton Texas
Slab foundations are pretty simple to understand. They consist of a thick layer of concrete, usually about 6 inches deep, that is set into the soil. Plumbing and sewer lines are run beforehand and go directly through the concrete. These types of foundations lack any access or crawlspace, so any work done under the home later must be dug out or jackhammered.
Slab foundations have several advantages and disadvantages:
- lower to the ground, fewer steps
- lower likelihood of gasses or water coming up through the ground
- can be cheaper than pier and beam, depending on the build
- Protection from underground pests
- repairs to water, sewer, and gas lines can be costly
- slab can crack
- no crawlspace or access to basement
Pier and Beam Foundations
Pier and beam foundations are very popular in some older neighborhoods and can be more ideal than slab foundations in certain areas or conditions for new homes. These foundations contain two components: peers and beams. The piers are vertical concrete pilings, generally driven down as far as possible and sometimes all the way to bedrock. These piers usually contain rebar to strengthen the concrete and prevent it from cracking. The beams play horizontally across the piers and form the foundation for the house.
Pier and beam foundations have several advantages and disadvantages.
- easy access to repairs
- lower site excavation costs
- can be used on uneven terrain
- flood protection
- easy access to plumbing and electrical
- wood beams will deteriorate with time
- critters can set up camp under your home and cause issues
- mold and fungus can thrive in the damp and dark areas under the home
- heating a home during the winter can be harder with cold air under the home
Why Do Foundations Shift?
There are many reasons why a foundation settles and shifts. Here are some of the reasons that foundations shift:
Too much moisture or water can cause upheaval in foundations. On the other hand, drought and lack of water can cause settling
- Too much moisture can cause the soil and clay around your foundation to expand. If it expands enough, it can press hard enough on the size of the foundation to crack it.
- Drought or a lack of water can easily crack a foundation. This happens often in Texas, where our soil contains a high level of clay. When the clay dries, it contracts significantly, leaving large gaps. The weight of a home pushing down onto a slab is significant, and if there are gaps for long enough around the foundation of a home, the weight can crack the slab and push it into the newly formed voids.
- Soil compaction, or lack thereof, can cause foundation issues. Before a slab is poured, the ground must be prepared and compacted. If the area isn’t compacted enough, the slab in the home will compress into the soil, thereby causing foundation issues.
- Tree roots, especially large ones, can grow and reach under a foundation and cause upheaval. If that tree dies, it can leave a void where the house can sink.
- Plumbing leaks can have a devastating effect on the soil under a foundation. These leaks allowed too much moisture in the soil under one specific portion of the home, thereby expanding the soil in the leak area but not the remaining portions of the home.
- Poor drainage can also cause problems. If too much water pools around the foundation, you’ll experience soil expansion there by straining the concrete under the home.
How to Fix Foundation Issues
There are many different ways to fix foundation issues. We utilize concrete pilings for work on both slab and pier and beam foundations. A basic explanation of both slab repairs is listed below so that you can get a general understanding of how the work is completed.
Pressed Concrete Piles
This is the most common way to fix a slab foundation. A concrete piling is simply a pre-formed concrete column that can be purchased by the pallet. They’re roughly a foot in length and about six inches wide. The process begins by identifying the key areas that require foundation support and digging a small hole near the foundation at those points. Utilizing a hydraulic ram, we press the concrete piling into the soil under the home’s foundation. We continue to drive these pilings, one by one stacked on top of each other, until we reach bedrock, or a layer of soil that offers enough resistance that it’s similar to bedrock. Once we’ve driven enough pilings into the earth and have a steady column, replace a cap on top of the pilings. The house is then leveled by small hydraulic jacks in unison. Metal shims can be installed between the piling caps and the bottom of the foundation in order to keep the home level. Once all the work is done, the holes are backfilled.
Pier and Beam Foundation Repair
Pier and beam foundation repairs are completed in a somewhat similar manner to slab repairs. First, access to the underside of a house must be established by removing any plants or objects that are in the way. Our technicians will go under the home and look for rotten wood, which they will replace. Concrete pilings will be pressed into the soil under the parts of the home that are sagging. New beams will be attached at specific points in order to level the home and provide structural support in areas of need. All of this must be done carefully and in unison to avoid cracking doors or windows, breaking plumbing or electrical lines, and making sure the flooring in the home stays as intact as possible.
House leveling is another phrase or term used often in foundation repairs, and the terms are used interchangeably in most cases. It’s generally used for pier and beam foundation repairs and is often requested when a home starts to shift or lean in certain areas. An experienced technician can quickly determine if there is a need to level the home.
The process for house leveling or home leveling is the same as pier and beam foundation repairs. The technician usually starts by visually inspecting the interior and exterior of the home for cracks, gaps, and other signs. The technician then uses a special type of level, often called a Zip Level, where the main portion is set in the center of a home, and a secondary sensor is then moved from room to room. The difference between the altitude of the main sensor and the secondary sensor tells the technician whether the house is flat or if it has elevation changes in certain parts of the home.
Home leveling is usually completed by accessing the crawlspace and placing shims between piers and beams. The foundation repair specialist will take into account the visual inspection of the home and the results that he or she finds using the Zip Level. Once a technician has access to the crawlspace and can visually assess the foundation of the home, they place shims in the exact areas needed in order to raise the home. This is done by raising certain parts of the home with specialty hydraulic jacks and then driving the shims underneath the beams.
The basics of house leveling are simple to understand, but repairs can be complex. Issues with crawlspace access, pests, proximity to a neighbors house or shed, and many other factors can dramatically increase the complexity of a house leveling job. It’s best to call the experts and get an estimate instead of trying to complete the work yourself.
Foundation Repair Costs
The big question on everyone’s mind when we start talking about foundation repairs is, “How much is this going to cost?” It goes without saying that the cost can vary greatly, depending on the repairs and how extensive the damage is. Our average ticket price over the last decade has been about $5000 to $6000, with repairs usually ranging between $2500 and $13000. The only way to know exactly what it would cost to repair your home is to give us a call and have us come out for a free estimate.
Fortunately, there are many things that you can do in and around your home to help reduce the chances of foundation issues in the future. We’ve compiled a rock-solid list of things you can do or avoid in order to maintain the structural integrity of your foundation:
- Proper Drainage: Improper drainage is one of the biggest causes of foundation issues that can be avoided. Make sure the ground around your foundation slopes gently outward. It should be highest near the foundation and gently slope downward towards the yard. Any type of pooling near the foundation is always a bad thing. Make sure your gutters are clean, and make sure all downspouts direct water away from the foundation, at least 5 feet away.
- Maintain Soil Moisture Levels: Keeping a consistent moisture level in the soil around your foundation is another vital component. If you have proper drainage, then periods of high precipitation shouldn’t change the soil moisture content too much. Alternatively, during the summer and other times of drought, a soaker hose around the foundation can make a big difference in maintaining moisture consistency.
- Plant Carefully: Choose the plants that you put close to your home carefully. Larger plants and trees can pull in an enormous amount of water from the soil around their roots. Additionally, roots can and often do grow under and around foundations, and if they’re large enough, they can create stresses and cracks.
- Regular maintenance: if you happen to notice any issues, such as small cracks or fissures, patch or waterproof them as soon as possible to avoid moisture seeping into the foundation. You can also call your local foundation maintenance specialist, like Rock Solid Foundations.
While it’s impossible to guarantee that a home won’t have foundation issues in the future, if you follow these simple rules, you can reduce your chances of having issues or the severity of those issues. Understanding the underlying factors that cause foundation problems is an important part of being a homeowner.
Why Choose Rock Solid Foundation Experts?
We’ve been in business for over 30 years, and our work comes not only with a satisfaction guarantee but also a rock-solid lifetime transferable warranty. Our foundation repair specialists have extensive knowledge and have helped hundreds of homeowners in the DFW metroplex. That experience translates into quality work at a competitive price. Call today and see why we’re the best company for foundation repair Denton, Texas, has to offer.
Our Service Area
We serve most areas in the northern half of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. The cities include Sanger, Denton, Little Elm, Corinth, Lewisville, Carrollton, The Colony, Dallas, Plano, Frisco, Highland Village, McKinney, Allen, Mesquite, Garland, Argyle, Southlake, Keller, Roanoke, Fort Worth, and many more.