Will Homeowners Insurance Cover Foundation Repair?

Will your home insurance cover the cost of a foundation repair? We can’t give a simple “yes” or “no” answer because it depends on the specific policy and what it covers. More often, though, the answer is a “no.” Even if it does, it may only cover specific types of damage. Let’s explore this topic in further detail.

What Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover?

When it comes to homeowner’s insurance covering foundation repair, it comes down to the specific policy. As a general rule, most home insurance policies in the North Texas region do not include foundation repair insurance.

Nevertheless, we do suggest that homeowners extensively review their insurance to be certain what is and isn’t covered. A damaged foundation often accompanies other problems in the house, such as cracks and separations in the walls and ceiling. You will want to know whether your insurance covers this type of damage.

My Insurance Does Cover Foundation Repairs

Perhaps your policy does include foundation repair. Don’t assume that this means any foundation damage scenario will be covered. As with the rest of the home, the plan may only kick in if the damage meets certain criteria. Examine your policy or ask an agent the following:

  • Does the policy cover cracks in the slab concrete?
  • What foundation repair methods are covered under the policy? Common repair methods include concrete leveling, concrete piling, drilled pier, and spread footing. Know which of these are and aren’t covered.
  • What type of damage has to occur for the policy to go into effect?

It’s especially important that you have a clear answer to the third question. Policies that cover foundation repairs will only do so under specific conditions. Policies typically do not cover damage from acts of nature, such as an earthquake or flood, though you may be able to add those additional coverages with an increase in premiums.

We should also point out that homeowner’s insurance doesn’t typically cover damages caused by soil erosion and expansion. This is really important to keep in mind because the North Texas region is notoriously known for heavy sand and loam-based soil that is susceptible to expansion and compaction. When we dispatch a technician to evaluate a residential foundation, we often discover that the damage stems partially or fully from the soil conditions.

We Provide Affordable Foundation Repair

To summarize, most homeowner’s insurance does not cover foundation damage. If your policy does, the damage must meet very specific conditions for the insurance to kick in. This is why we highly suggest homeowners call Align Foundation Repair to schedule routine foundation evaluations. This will prevent a costly foundation repair down the line that your insurance more than likely does not cover. For homeowners insurance foundation repair services in Dallas-Fort Worth, call us today for a free estimate.

What Foundation Repair Methods Does Align Foundation Repair Use?

No single repair method applies to all foundation situations. At Align Foundation Repair, we only utilize tried and proven procedures effective for dealing with the type of foundation damage that is commonplace in the North Texas region. This includes:

  • Concrete/steel piling
  • Drilled piers
  • Pier and beam repair
  • Drainage systems

Let’s examine each of these more in-depth and learn when each is needed.

Concrete and Steel Piling

Concrete piling is the most common method used for North Texas residences. The pile is hydraulically driven in place and may be reinforced with steel bars. The piling helps transfer and distribute the weight of the house.

Steel piling is typically reserved for commercial facilities with load requirements that far exceed that of a traditional residential structure. Nevertheless, steel piling can and has been used in a residential capacity. An inspector may also recommend steel piling in lieu of concrete if dealing with less-than-optimal ground/soil conditions.

Drilled Pier

Drilled piers are another one of our mainstay foundation repair solutions. There are fundamental differences between piling and piers. With a pier, a shaft is drilled deep into the soil. Concrete is poured around the shaft. As it cures, it becomes a solid pier that holds the foundation firmly in place. Piers are intended for smaller residential units and don’t possess the weight capacity of piles. Piers are also installed at a shallower depth.

Pier and Beam Repair

In lieu of a conventional slab foundation, some homes consist of a wooden beam that rests on a cement block or pier that lays several feet below the soil. Homes with a crawl space typically have this type of foundation. Align Foundation Repair can perform repairs if either the beam or cement block/pier incurs damage. We employ a method known as spread footing. This is a poured concrete pad installed below the block/pier to provide additional balance and support.

Drainage Systems

This is more of a prevention measure rather than a direct foundation repair method. Puddling water is one of the primary causes of a foundation settling. The water accumulation is the result of an inadequate drainage system. Align Foundation Repair installs new drainage systems or repairs existing ones. We work with French and surface drains, gutter systems, and soil grading for effective irrigation and water flow that direct water away from the home.

We Provide Foundation Solutions for Texas Residences

There are many effective North Texas structure foundation solutions, but no one-size-fits-all approach. Only an in-person evaluation from a qualified technician can determine the optimal repair approach for your foundation type and incurred damage. Contact Align Foundation Repair today if you spot early warning signs of potential foundation issues.

Will Align Foundation Repair Provide a Foundation Repair Warranty with Services?

A warranty isn’t just insurance; it’s a peace of mind. Align Foundation Repair provides an industry-leading, transferable lifetime warranty because we believe in our workmanship and back it up with a guarantee that ensures you are covered if a foundation issue reoccurs. If any problems occur with the piers we have installed to stabilize your home’s foundation, we will fix the issue at no charge for the life of the home. Our comprehensive lifetime warranty distinguishes us from the other contractors in the North Texas region. Learn more about our home foundation repair warranty and what it covers.

Our Lifetime Warranty at a Glance

Most of our foundation repair and installation services come with a lifetime warranty. If anything goes wrong between the initial service and the rest of the time you live in the home, we will perform prompt repairs at no additional cost to you. There will be no extra expenses related to either the labor or parts.

What exactly does the warranty include? It protects you against the failure of repaired piers installed.

Our lifetime warranty applies to foundation repairs requiring use of piling or piers. For pier and beam repairs (spread footing), the warranty duration is five years. The warranty excludes future unrelated damage, such as that caused by acts of nature.

All warranties from Align Foundation Repair are included with the original service contract. The warranty is not an upsell that we include at an additional fee.

What Factors Void the Warranty?

The warranty does not cover damage caused by:

  • Natural disasters
  • Additions to the property such as swimming pool, trees, etc.
  • Gardening that contributes to soil erosion
  • Natural soil erosion
  • Major home renovations

Excessive moisture is a common cause of foundation problems here in North Texas. Our technician will explain how you can minimize moisture accumulation during a foundation assessment. Failure to follow the recommended course of action can void the warranty should water-related damage occur. Please follow our expert’s advice regarding foundation maintenance, which may include foundation watering, drainage system repair/installation, etc.

Our Warranty Is Transferable

Should you decide to move out of your home, the warranty can be transferred to the next homeowner. This is an appealing selling point for homeowners and their real estate agent. The transfer process is simple and is free of charge if made within 45 days of the property title transfer. After 45 days, there may be a one-time transfer fee.

We Stand Behind Our Workmanship

Our North Texas foundation repair warranty ensures you never pay twice for services that should be done to your satisfaction the first time. We assess residential foundations throughout the North Texas region. The soil conditions of the area often lead to a very specific type of damage that we are well-versed in diagnosing and treating. Give Align Foundation Repair a call if you spot signs hinting at a foundation irregularity. We provide a free estimate if repairs are warranted.

How Much Does Foundation Repair Cost?

Questions about home foundation repair costs in North Texas? In some ways, it is like asking how much a car cost. So many factors are in play regarding the extent of the damage, the cause of the damage, and the methods needed to repair the foundation. The best we can do is give you a ballpark range, which can be as low as $500 or upwards of $10,000. Most repairs fall somewhere in between. Let’s examine some of the variables that affect the cost.

Pier Count

One repair method includes concrete or steel pier installation that repositions the foundation. The number of piers needed depends on how much of the slab is imported. Most foundation repair services go by the guidelines set forth by the Foundation Performance Association (FPA) for determining the number of piers needed. Pier installation costs around $300 to $800 per pier. For most residential repairs, concrete piers suffice. Concrete is cheaper than steel and usually falls within the lower end of the price range.

Some companies may ignore the FPA guidelines and save money by placing fewer piers set further apart. While this may reduce cost in the short-term, in the long-term it can lead to the foundation gradually settling.

Additional Variables

Factors aren’t just limited to the method required. The foundation size matters as well. Bigger homes have a larger foundation encompassing a greater area that needs to be treated. In addition, foundation damage may also damage the floor, walls, and ceiling in the process. These areas must be restored as well.

Homes that sit above a crawl space may also incur additional costs. As a safety precaution, contractors may need to replace the existing wooden beams to ensure a secure operation. Also, if the crawl space is too small for a crew to work out of, additional space may need to be created, which adds to the overall labor and cost.

Contact Align Foundation Repair

We suggest calling Align Foundation Repair the minute you notice irregularities in the floor, walls, or ceiling, all of which may point to a compromised foundation. We provide a free foundation repair cost estimate for services requiring concrete lifting or pier installation. Routine inspections will prevent repairs that run in the higher end of the average price range.

How Can I Maintain My Foundation?

Homeowners can take proactive steps to help maintain the stability of their home foundation:

• Monitor splits in the walls and ceilings
• Inspect home exterior for cracks
• Check crawlspaces for moisture, mildew, and rot
• Schedule routine inspections for plumbing leaks and sprinkler leaks
• Keep soil around the home from becoming too dry or wet

Follow these foundation maintenance tips to offset preventable damage.

Inspect, Inspect, and Inspect Some More

The foundation is out of sight, so you cannot perform a direct visual inspection. However, other signs alert you to possible damage. This includes cracks and splits in the walls and ceilings. When the foundation is compromised, the concrete slabs begin shifting, which in turn causes the walls and ceilings to do the same and come apart. Perform a visual inspection by walking around the home exterior to spot for cracks. If you have a crawlspace, inspect the area for excessive moisture, mildew, and rotting wood. If any of these signs are present, call Align Foundation Repair right away.

Schedule Routine Plumbing Inspections

It may not occur to homeowners to think about the connection between the foundation and plumbing. The foundation, though, is at risk if there is a plumbing leak. If an underground pipe bursts, the leaking water can damage the concrete. Aside from a plumbing checkup, also check for leaks in the sprinkler system and even the septic system if the home is not connected to a municipal sewer line.

Regulate Outdoor Moisture Levels

Most areas in the North Texas region contain heavy sand and loam-based soil. These sediments are prone to water retention. When soil consistently fluctuates between high and low moisture content, it expands and contracts, causing the foundation to shift.

A key for proper foundation maintenance is to keep the perimeter of your home from becoming too wet or dry. Water the soil around the foundation during the warmer months using an automatic lawn sprinkler or soaker hose. In conjunction, you can also install rock beds about two feet away from the foundation to allow moisture to penetrate the soil and prevent it from drying out.

We Maintain Texas Home Foundations

While there are many effective preventative measures that homeowners can take to protect their foundation, a professional evaluation is required to know the true state of your home’s foundation. For exemplary North Texas foundation repair and maintenance service, give Align Foundation Repair a call today.

Should I Water My Foundation?

Should you regularly water your foundation the way you water plants? Homeowners may wonder if this is an effective strategy for keeping your foundation stable or just a myth. In reality, watering your foundation on a regular basis can have a positive effect, and may contribute to saving you thousands of dollars in foundation repairs down the road.

Why Soil Needs Watering

Though we mention watering the foundation, you are actually watering the soil. Why is this necessary? Think of the soil as a giant sponge; it swells as it absorbs water and shrinks as it dries. The degree of swelling and shrinkage differs depending on the soil type. The North Texas region has a strong concentration of clay, which are highly porous, making the swelling and shrinking very pronounced.

The soil tends to expand at its peak during winter and spring when high humidity and rain is commonplace. The soil dries and shrinks down during the hot summers and subsequent fall. The soil is essentially in a never-ending cycle of expanding and contracting. What does this mean for your foundation? Since the foundation rests on the soil and beneath it, it will move and shift as the soil undergoes its cycles of moisture absorption and drying out. Over time, this causes the foundation to split and crack; the same can also occur in the walls, floors, and ceilings.

Furthermore, the expansion and contraction may not occur evenly among the soil, causing the foundation to move in multiple directions or excessively slope to one side.

How Watering Prevents Foundation Damage

Watering the soil prevents it from becoming excessively dry, thus avoiding the extreme end of soil contraction. This keeps the contrast between the soil swelling and contracting minimal, thus reducing the chance of foundational shifts. As long as you water the soil evenly, it will help prevent uneven swelling and contracting.

How to Water the Foundation

There are several ways you can water the foundation. One way is to plant leafy shrubs or other plants with non-invasive roots along the home perimeter and keep them watered year-long. Avoid large trees and shrubs, as their roots can consume excessive quantities of water from the soil.

Another approach is to invest in a soaker hose. Turn it on once a day or set it on an automatic timer. If you don’t have a soaker hose or do not wish to plant additional shrubs or greens, then go for the simple manual approach of lightly hosing the soil daily. This is especially beneficial during the dry seasons. Water from the perimeter of the house to about three to four feet out. Be sure to water every part of the perimeter that comes into contact with the soil.

A sprinkler is also a great option for watering the foundation around your home. Ideally, you want to place the sprinkler such that the water lands on the soil that is 10-15 inches away from the foundation, rather than on the foundation itself. If you have a timer, set it to water the area for 15-20 minutes.

Don’t Forget to Schedule Routine Inspections

Doing foundation watering is one form of damage prevention but should not be your only one. Regular inspections from our Dallas-Fort Worth foundation repair service are highly recommended. Give us a call today and schedule your home foundation inspection.

Tree root and green grass

Can Trees Cause Uneven Floors in My House?

Tree roots can extend to the soil beneath the home and cause shifting that leads to uneven flooring. A tree is far larger than what you can see. There is an entire extensive root system below the soil that can extend for meters. Though the root is out of sight, it shouldn’t be out of mind.

How Roots Can Damage the Flooring

Roots naturally grow in the direction of water and nutrients in the soil. A cracked plumbing pipe near the home can cause water to seep into the soil. This causes the roots to gravitate in that direction.

Contrary to popular belief, the roots themselves don’t cause direct damage. The roots typically don’t have the strength to split the concrete unless the concrete has pre-existing damage. Instead, the root disrupts the soil condition. The root can consume the soil’s moisture and nutrients. This leads to loose soil that is less able to support the weight of the foundation and floor. Soil requires moisture to retain solidity. Without it, soil becomes less compact.

Soil Type Plays a Role

The degree to which tree roots can inflict damage depends largely on the soil conditions. Soil containing heavy concentrations of clay compacts more easily, making it harder for roots to push through it. Soil consisting primarily of gravel and loose dirt, on the other hand, is less compact, making it easy for roots to navigate through. Soil with heavy sand composition is also really vulnerable since sand is moisture-dependent for retaining its solidity.

Some parts of the North Texas region contain soil of the loose dirt and sand variety. This makes uneven flooring from root intrusion commonplace.

What to Do if You Have an Intruding Tree

If you notice uneven or sloped flooring, a North Texas foundation repair expert will need to perform an evaluation to determine the cause. If a tree rests on your property, then it may very well be the culprit. If so, then the tree may need to be removed. When we say removed, we mean uprooted. It is not enough to just cut the tree and leave the stump behind; that means the roots also remain. If the root remains, the tree may be able to resprout.

Should You Remove Your Tree?

Even if the floor is fine, should you be concerned if you have a tree? Multiple factors are in play, such as the soil condition which we mentioned. The tree species matters as well. Some species grow longer root systems than others. Examples of trees with non-invasive roots include:

  • Sugar, silver, and Norway maples
  • Willow trees
  • Oak trees
  • Ash trees

These trees have shallow roots, usually extending only four to eight-inches below ground. Don’t forget, though, that distance matters as well. Trees should be planted no closer than 20 feet within your home, though even this rule isn’t ironclad. Once again, it depends on the tree species.

Have Uneven Flooring? Give Us a Call

Trees on your property may be causing unseen damage. If you suspect problems with your foundation, take action immediately. Call Align Foundation Repair for a free evaluation and estimate. An uneven floor foundation problem only exacerbates over time if ignored.

Can Flooding Cause Foundation Damage?

Prolonged water exposure can be detrimental to a residential foundation. This is especially a pressing issue after a flood-inducing storm, which is not that uncommon in the North Texas region. The aftermath of a flood can deal immense damage to a foundation if the problem isn’t addressed and the water is left to linger.

How Does Flooding Damage a Foundation?

The foundation issues from flooding can be numerous and should not be shrugged off by homeowners. The heavy rainwater and gusts from a storm can wash and erode the soil the foundation rests on. This leaves gaps and spaces where rainwater can collect and remain long after the storm settles. The water can seep into existing cracks in the concrete and compromise the foundation’s structural integrity.

Excess water can also cause the soil around your home to expand, which in turn puts pressure on your foundation and can ultimately cause it to shift dangerously to the point where it requires repair intervention.

There is yet a third factor that can damage your foundation, and that’s the moving force of the water itself. Water traveling at 10 mph has the equivalent force of winds traveling at 270 mph. The water pressing against the foundation is powerful enough to separate a foundation from the walls. The moving water can also push against and damage the concrete piling underneath the foundation.

Signs of Foundation Damage from a Flood

Perform a home checkup in the aftermath of a flood. Be proactive and look for the following:

  • Cracks in the floor, walls, and ceilings that were not there before
  • Doors and windows may not open or shut properly
  • Tears in the wallpaper
  • The soil appears lower or not level with the lawn
  • Noticeable gaps between the wall and ceiling or floor
  • The garage door may appear slanted in the open or shut position

Flood Damage Prevention

The key is to prevent water from pooling anywhere near your property. You can take these precautions:

  • Inspect your downspouts and ensure they point away from the home. If your home lacks a gutter system altogether, install one before the next incoming storm.
  • Install a sump pump or foundation vent. This enables water to flow through the home rather than pool around it.
  • Apply sealants and coatings on your walls, windows, and doorways. This prevents floodwater from entering the home through cracks in these components.
  • Grade your lawn so that the ground slopes away from your home. If the slope is toward the home or the ground is completely flat, water can pool around the house.
  • Keep mulch away from the home. Mulch can absorb water and cause the foundation, walls, and siding to rot.

What to Do Next

Contact Align Foundation Repair if you notice signs of damage. We provide comprehensive flooded foundation repair services in North Texas. We can inspect the foundation and determine whether immediate fixes are necessary. The first and most important step is to make the call; never assume that your foundation is fine after a flood!

Will Foundation Repair Destroy My Landscaping?

Many North Texas homeowners recognize the signs of a settling foundation. However, some hesitate to take action, fearing the process will destroy their landscape. This will hurt the curb appeal they have invested so much in to make their property an eye-turner. The truth is that foundation repair will have some impact on your landscape. There is simply no way around this especially if the work requires excavation. The question is the degree of impact.

Foundation Repairs Don’t Always Disturb the Landscape

There are some instances where your landscape will be mostly unaffected. If you detect damage early on, the foundation may simply have settled or sloped by an inch or two. If you need only minor work, affect is minimal.

What Factors Will Affect Changes to the Landscape?

If damage is severe enough, it may require concrete or steel piers and beams. These need to be installed below the foundation. Naturally, this requires digging. The extent to which this will affect the landscape depends on multiple factors, such as:

  • The degree of concrete damage
  • The size of your property
  • Physical obstructions like tree roots

As a general rule, the excavation work will require a minimum working space of 4-feet beyond the foundation’s perimeter. Anything inside the boundary can get disturbed. Beyond the digging, an area will need to be allotted for displacing the soil from the excavation. Existing foliage may have to be removed to create room for the work to be done.

How to Restore the Landscape

After determining the appropriate remediation steps, the technician will assess ways to keep landscape disruption to a minimum.
Keep in mind that if you have trees or shrubs that fall within the working space, they may have to be uprooted and moved. We must stress though, that this is actually beneficial. A tree that close to your home poses a risk to your foundation. The roots can extend and shift the soil below the foundation, causing shifting that can crack or split the concrete.

We Keep Landscape Damage to a Minimum

We will do our very best to minimize any damage to your landscape. If portions of your landscaping are affected, we will provide you with foundation landscaping options to restore the curb appeal. Call Align Foundation Repair for an evaluation and free estimate.

How Long Does It Take to Repair a Foundation?

Repairing a foundation doesn’t have to be a long, drawn-out process, but it generally will take more than a single day to finish. For a quick answer, foundation repair usually takes about two to three days. However, due to a number of factors and variables, it may be shorter or longer in duration. After an initial evaluation, an inspector can give you an accurate timeline.

Degree of Damage

How badly is the foundation damaged, sinking, or sloping? If the damage is limited to a small crack or settlement of a few inches, then the repair process can be completed in as little as a day.

We recommend that homeowners be pro-active and schedule an inspection if you notice signs of movement. An evaluation can spot early signs of troubles before they evolve and require costlier and more time-consuming repairs.

When Do Projects Take Longer?

Multiple factors can prolong a project. Another scenario is a home with heavy foliage. The dense landscape may present obstacles and require a special workaround to ensure disturbance to the area is minimal. The scope (amount of piers needed) is the main determining factor to length of repair.

Additional Factors

Other unexpected complications can arise. If it suddenly rains, for instance, that can delay repairs until the weather clears. There have also been instances where we detect signs of a plumbing leak, which was a major contributor to the damage. In this scenario, the plumbing may have to be addressed before we can proceed further.

The same goes if a tree is present. The roots can grow beneath the foundation and may even be a cause of the damage. The roots may force technicians to work around it. If that’s not possible, then root removal may be required, which is a separate process and can add to the timeframe.

These factors can come into play and prolong the foundation repair timeline. However, more often than not, repairs go according to schedule and within the evaluator’s initial estimated duration. We do advise homeowners, though, to prepare for an additional day or two just in case an unexpected scenario comes up.

We Repair Foundations in North Texas

We will make every effort to complete the job in as short a time possible and keep home disruption to a minimum. However, we will absolutely be sure we do the job right. If you reside in the Dallas Fort Worth area, call Align Foundation Repair to schedule an evaluation. Remember, the sooner a problem is detected the better the chance of restoring your foundation quickly and with few if any complications. We can advise you as to the expected foundation repair length when we provide a free evaluation of your home. Call today to schedule an appoint with one of our qualified foundation experts.