Avoid These 4 Common Home Foundation Mistakes

As a busy homeowner, keeping tabs on the state of your foundation may not always rank highest on your list of priorities. When it comes to the structural integrity of your home, however, knowing which common oversights to avoid can help protect you from big – and expensive – problems down the road. Based on our decades of experience as a top-rated contractor for foundation repair services in the Plano area, Align Foundation Repair presents four of the most common home foundation mistakes that can put your house at risk.

Mistake #1: Failing to properly water your landscaping

What does landscaping have to do with your foundation?

Quite a bit, actually, especially if you have trees or shrubs growing close to your home. That’s because plants get their water by drawing it out of the nearby soil, making it drier in the process.

Yet your foundation relies on a balance of moisture to remain stable and strong. Dirt that’s bone-dry provides less of this essential support.

Fortunately, there’s a solution to this problem. Simply water your outdoor plants and shrubs on a regular basis. This will help them to stay healthy and beautiful while protecting your foundation as well.

Mistake #2: Renovating your home without checking the foundation first

The average American household spends almost $8000 a year on home improvements of one kind or another. This is great for the economy, of course. But certain types of residential projects can damage your foundation. This is especially true with renovations that add more weight to your home.

That’s why it’s a good idea to have a local foundation repair services company check things out before you start a major home improvement project. Otherwise, the renovation may end up costing you a lot more than you bargained for.

Mistake #3: Leaving erosion problems uncorrected

Gutters and grading are two of the most essential, yet most overlooked, ways to protect your foundation here in North Texas.

This goes back to the point we mentioned earlier about the soil around your home. The less of it there is, the more stress is put on your foundation. And nothing erodes soil faster than swiftly flowing water.

Stagnant water left after a downpour can weaken your foundation as well. For these reasons, we urge all homeowners to keep their property graded and have their gutters cleaned at least twice a year. The money you invest will more than pay for itself in the years to come.

Mistake #4: Ignoring existing foundation problems

When home foundations are in trouble, there are usually many indicators. Some of the most common things to look for are cracks along your home’s perimeter, doors that are hard to open or close, and floors that sag or buckle. If you notice any of these problems, call a qualified DFW foundation repair contractor right away.

Get peace of mind about your home’s foundation

Here at Align Foundation Repair, we help homeowners all across the Dallas-Fort Worth area by providing quality service at a price they can afford. We offer references, and our work is guaranteed. Check our DFW foundation repair locations and call us today for your free, no-obligation quote.

foundation repair waterproofing

How Long Does Foundation Repair Last?

How long can you expect foundation repair to last? The answer to this question depends on many factors, including the type of foundation and the nature of the damage.

The most important factor is whether or not the repair is performed by a qualified foundation repair services company. DIY efforts can quickly fail, while work performed by a qualified professional contractor is designed to go the distance. For peace of mind regarding your investment, choose a repair company that offers a meaningful warranty. At Align Foundation Repair, we provide our customers with an industry-leading Lifetime Transferrable Warranty to back up our work. We give you a:

  • Lifetime Transferable Warranty on concrete and steel piling
  • Limited Lifetime Transferable Warranty on drilled pier construction
  • 5-Year Limited Warranty on spread footing

Our warranties provide repairs, adjustments, and/or replacements at no cost whatsoever to the homeowner and can be transferred to future property owners at little to no cost.

The Two Types of Home Foundations in North Texas

Most home foundations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area fall into one of two types:

  1. Pier + Beam: This design uses a series of horizontal braces, or piers, to support the residence. The home’s perimeter is surrounded by either poured concrete walls or mortared concrete blocks.
  2. Poured slab foundation: The key benefit of this design is its simplicity. The construction company digs a square or rectangular hole in the ground, fills it with concrete, and reinforces it with rebar or post-tension cables. The home sits directly on top.

Both types of foundations are good choices for the hot, dry climate here in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. On the other hand, each also has its share of weaknesses. Correcting these problems may require a service call from a foundation repair company.

4 Things That Can Go Wrong with a Pier + Beam Foundation

Common problems with pier foundations include:

  1. Settling: Hastily prepared foundation piers can sink into the ground, throwing the home off level or warping its frame.
  2. Moisture damage: Caused by poor ventilation, rainwater pooling in the crawlspace, or both.
  3. Shifting soil: Any foundation is only as strong as the ground that supports it. Here in Texas, we’re subject to prolonged droughts and torrential rainstorms, both of which can weaken the earth beneath the piers and cause them to collapse.
  4. Structural fatigue: A pier foundation takes a lot of pounding during its lifetime.

One way to repair a pier and beam foundation is to replace the original supports with new, properly installed piers set on modern, wide-profile footings. This method prevents further damage to the home and keeps it safe and level over the long term. Also, replacing damaged wood members can provide long lasting stability.

4 Things That Can Go Wrong with a Poured Slab Foundation

A poured slab foundation may sound like the perfect choice due to its simplicity and inherent strength. But there are four things that can go wrong with this design:

  1. Water damage: Slab foundations sit at ground level, making them vulnerable to flooding and stagnant water.
  2. Cracks and fractures: Sometimes slab foundations are completed in haste using either substandard concrete or inadequate curing times. This can cause stress fractures.
  3. Shifting soil: As with pier foundations, a poured concrete slab is vulnerable to moving earth.
  4. Age: Poured slab foundations have been in wide use across North Texas since the end of World War II more than 75 years ago. Time will eventually cause many of the older ones to fail.

We use a variety of methods to repair a poured slab foundation. One approach is to inject a polyurethane foam into the underlying soil, which raises the slab and levels it out. This solution is considered permanent, since the foam is extremely strong and impervious to rot or decay.

Why DIY Foundation Repair Usually Fails

Lots of home improvement projects are well within the reach of a skilled DIYer. When it comes to foundation repair, however, it’s best to call a Garland, Texas foundation repair company. One reason for this is the fact that modern homes can weigh as much as 160,000 pounds, not including the foundation. Adjusting a building of this size requires industrial-grade materials and a thorough knowledge of structural engineering. Otherwise, you may be faced with burst pipes, electrical fires, or irreparable frame damage.

If you live in Garland or anywhere else in our wide range of DFW foundation repair service locations, call us today for your free inspection and estimate.

4 Things to Remember When Fixing a Foundation

Whether you are attempting some minor DIY fixes for the foundation of your home or business (please make sure you have the proper tools and experience!) or are having foundation repair work professionally done, safety and preparation always come first. With that in mind, here are four important things to keep in mind when fixing a foundation. Remember, a foundation repair company serving the Garland area and other communities in Dallas-Fort Worth is always your best bet for fixing serious foundational problems.

Make sure the foundation actually needs repair

Homeowners may think their foundation is in trouble when, in reality, it’s still quite solid.

This usually occurs when someone notices hairline cracks around the home’s perimeter. In many cases, this is due to nothing more than normal foundation settling.

Use the right equipment for the job

Though there is lots of really useful home repair information on the internet, some of the ideas you’ll find online are dubious, if not downright dangerous.

This includes, for example, articles and videos that recommend using a standard automotive bottle jack for raising a building’s foundation. Not only can this put your home at risk, it may also put you in the hospital.

The only safe way to raise a home or large building off the ground is with industrial-capacity hydraulic jacks. If you don’t have access to this kind of equipment, or lots of experience using it, then it’s best to call a qualified foundation repair company in your area.

Don’t forget the landscaping

Trees, shrubs, and flowers add immeasurably to a home’s appeal. But they’re more fragile than you may think. That’s why a professional foundation repair service will typically take the time to remove landscaping features and replant them later.

While you’re going about this task, keep in mind that you may also need to disassemble man-made structures such as decks, porches, and patios.

If in doubt, call the professionals

When it comes to the stability and structural safety of your home or business, there is too much at stake for unnecessary risks. If you have any doubts at all about the safety of your home’s foundation, you have nothing whatsoever to lose by calling in a foundation repair professional to perform a no-cost inspection of your property.

If you live in any of our DFW foundation repair service areas, please call Align Foundation Repair to schedule your free inspection and quote.

Five Things You Should Know About Foundation Repair

For homeowners in need of foundation repair advice from trusted experts in the field, Align Foundation Repair has prepared answers to five of the most common questions about this important topic. We hope this information helps you to make an informed decision about your own foundation repair needs.

How can I know when my home needs foundation repair?

Here are five warning signs to look for:

  1. Cracks or gaps in the foundation itself.
  2. Interior doors scraping the floor or being hard to close.
  3. A leaning chimney.
  4. Windows sticking or cracking.
  5. Floors that are no longer level.

Contact a local foundation repair company right away if you notice any of these problems. The sooner you act, the sooner your home will be back to its old self.

What does the foundation repair process involve?

The first step is to verify that a problem actually exists. This calls for a thorough inspection performed by a structural engineer or reputable contractor.

Assuming the foundation is in trouble, most repair techniques use either concrete piers or steel pilings to achieve a long term solution.

This process typically takes no more than a day or two. When it’s all over, you can go about your life as normal, knowing that the problem has been corrected.

How much does foundation repair cost?

Only after evaluating the state of your foundation can a qualified expert at Align Foundation Repair give you an estimate for repair costs. But here are three things to keep in mind:

  1. Our foundation repair services will cost much less than leaving the problem unaddressed: Over time, the damage to your home will grow steadily worse, eventually requiring extensive – and expensive – work throughout your residence.
  2. Financing is available: Through a variety of sources, including home equity loans and credit cards.
  3. Our quotes are always free: There’s absolutely no cost or obligation to find out what’s wrong with your foundation. At the very least, you’ll know exactly what’s going on and what needs to be done.

Should I make any special preparations prior to the repair work?

Before foundation repair work on the home begins, we recommend that our clients take a few simple, basic steps:

  • Remove books and other items from your shelves: You can replace these items as soon as the repair work is over.
  • Take down any pictures or artwork from your walls: Otherwise, they may fall to the floor and suffer damage.
  • Cover your furnishings with blankets or tarps: As a precautionary measure, since sometimes the foundation repair process may stir up a small amount of dust inside the home.

Repairing a bad foundation occasionally requires work inside the residence itself. In such cases we may ask you to temporarily move items such as throw rugs or other objects. This will allow our technicians to complete their tasks without damaging your belongings.

How do I find a foundation repair company I can trust?

How do you find the right foundation repair company serving the Plano area or other communities in the Dallas-Fort Worth region? Here are some key things to look for:

  • A strong track record: For example, our company has been providing quality foundation repair services for over 10 years, a fact that speaks for itself.
  • An ironclad commitment to customer satisfaction: We happily provide references from past and current clients. Their feedback will tell you right away if we’re worthy of your business.
  • A contractor that services your community: We have a wide range of DFW foundation repair service areas across North Texas.

Don’t let foundation problems rob you of your comfort and peace of mind. Call Align Foundation Repair today to schedule your free quote.

Will a Bank Finance a House With Foundation Problems?

So you’ve found the perfect fixer-upper house, one which will serve you well either for investment purposes or as a new residence.

There’s only one problem, though: it has home foundation problems.

Will a bank finance the repair work? Believe it or not, you have options that are worth considering. Federal-backed loans can help to turn your distressed home into a residential gem.

Three ways that Uncle Sam can help

The government knows that real estate is a vital part of the American economy. That’s why it’s happy to encourage and support home repair and investment.

The three primary options offered by Uncle Sam are:

  • A Freddie Mac CHOICE Renovation Mortgage: This program is especially aimed at real estate investors. It’s a good option if you’re interested in “flipping” the home. It does require reasonably good credit.
  • A Fannie Mae Home Style Renovation Mortgage: This program’s primary advantage is the flexibility it offers. You can use any qualified contractor you choose, including Align Foundation Repair. You can also use the funds to pay for other related expenses, such as inspection fees and title costs.
  • An FHA 203(k) Loan: This program is designed for homeowners with challenged credit who need help repairing or improving their residence. While it’s easier to qualify for these loans, they do come with higher interest rates than other programs. Still, they offer a far better option than letting your home’s foundation problems grow worse over time.

How to access these programs

Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and FHA loans are provided in partnership with private lenders.

Before applying, you should gather as much information as you can about your personal finances and the home that needs financing for foundation repair. The better organized you are, the quicker and easier the approval process will go.

Align Foundation Repair’s financing option

Another option worth considering is our financing program. It’s specially designed to help residents in the Dallas-Fort Worth area as well as North Texas in general. It offers payments as low as $125 a month and no prepayment penalties. Our customer service experts can give you all the details.

The first step in repairing a bad foundation is to know how much the job will cost. That’s why we invite you to contact us for your free, no-obligation quote.

Having this information on hand will help you to make a fully informed decision. So reach out to us today. We look forward to hearing from you.

What to Do When You Can’t Afford Foundation Repair

Repairing a damaged foundation is essential for living safely and comfortably in your home. Despite this fact, homeowners sometimes delay this important work due to worries about excessive costs.

If that sounds like you, then we have good news. Align Foundation Repair offers financing terms with no prepayment penalty and payments as low as $125 a month. You can get all the details by calling us today.

There are also a number of other ways to access foundation repair financing services. These include home equity loans, cash out refinancing, credit cards, personal cash loans, and government-sponsored loans and grants. Each is worth considering as you explore your options.

Home equity loans

Home ownership is an excellent financial investment. That’s because most homes acquire equity over time, allowing the owner to tap into that value to obtain cash.

Home equity loans vary widely in terms of available amounts, interest rates, and requirements for approval. We encourage you to explore all of these opportunities, even if your credit is less than perfect. You never know what’s available until you look around.

Cash out refinancing

Refinancing offers many potential benefits, such as a lower interest rate and smaller monthly payments. It may also give you cash you need to pay for foundation repair.

Like home equity loans, cash out refinancing programs vary widely. This is another situation in which exploring all of your options can pay off in a big way. Just make sure that you only deal with reputable and established lenders. You may find the perfect opportunity for your needs.

Credit cards

Credit cards are great things to have on hand when the unexpected knocks at your door. If your available credit isn’t enough to cover your foundation repairs, then you may want to ask the company for an increase. In many cases, the bank is happy to grant the request.

Personal cash loans

These are available from banks and finance companies across the country. Usually, all you need is reasonably good credit and a small amount of collateral.

You may also want to reach out to friends or family members for help with foundation repair financing options. A damaged foundation is a serious problem that requires immediate attention for your safety and well-being. The sooner you have the work done, the sooner you can put the problem behind you.

Government-sponsored loans and grants

Uncle Sam offers several programs designed to help homeowners keep their residences in good repair. We recommend contacting the responsible government agency directly rather than working through a third party. That way, you avoid unnecessary service fees and waiting periods.

One more thing: you may find that foundation repair is more affordable than you think. For that reason, we invite you to get in touch with us here at Align Foundation Repair today for your free, no-obligation quote. At the very least, you’ll have the facts you need to make an informed decision.

Tips for Preparing Your Household for Foundation Repair

Repairing a damaged home foundation in the Dallas-Fort Worth area requires a little prep work ahead of time. But the benefits you’ll enjoy will make the effort more than worthwhile.

Read on for time-tested foundation repair preparations that will effectively prevent any damage to your home or possessions while work is carried out.

Preparing your home for foundation repair

Steps to prepare your home for foundation repair include:

  • Moving objects away from the perimeter of your home: Such as trash cans, ladders, lawn equipment, outdoor ornaments, potted plants, etc.
  • Removing fragile items from indoor shelves, walls, and tables: Including picture frames, statuettes, and vases.
  • Covering furniture with blankets, drop cloths, or tarps: Otherwise, the repair process may cause a small amount of airborne dust to settle on your furnishings.
  • Securing book or knickknack shelves to the surrounding wall: To prevent them from possibly falling over.

Circumstances that might merit special attention

In some cases, the foundation repair process may require a bit more prep work. Examples include:

  • When interior underpinnings are needed: In such cases, it might be a good idea to remove rugs or carpeting from the affected rooms.
  • When the property contains a hot tub or large deck: It may be necessary to cover or reinforce these items prior to beginning foundation work.
  • When plumbing or electric lines run through a concrete slab foundation: We may need to temporarily disconnect or reconfigure these connections.

We’ll perform a thorough inspection of your home to determine if any of these added steps are needed.

Crossing other items off your to-do list

A visit from our foundation repair services technicians is a perfect opportunity to accomplish some of your other home improvement goals, including:

  • Redoing your landscaping: Been wanting to give your outdoor flowers or shrubs a dazzling new look? This might be the chance you’ve been waiting for.
  • Grading your property: Ensuring a gentle grade away from your home will protect your newly repaired foundation from future damage.
  • Renovating a shed or other outbuilding: Thinking of transforming your storage shed into a home office or studio? A visit from our foundation repair company may be the ideal time to turn this dream into a reality.

Call for Dallas-Fort Worth foundation repair

A home foundation is only as good as the ground that supports it. Shifting soil or changes in weather can damage the concrete slab or set of piers that your house rests upon.

When your residence is at risk from a settling foundation, it’s good to know that the North Texas technicians at Align Foundation Repair are here to help. As a top-rated foundation repair company serving Plano and the entire DFW region, we’ll diagnose the cause of the problem and apply the correct solutions.

Homeowners in our Dallas-Fort Worth foundation repair service areas are invited to get in touch with us today to schedule your free consultation and quote.

Some, all or none of these preparations may be needed. Contact Align for specific details for your home.

What Causes Concrete Pool Decks to Sink?

Surrounding your inground pool with a concrete deck is a great way to enhance its beauty and functionality. But even a well-made pool deck can sink into the ground over time, causing it to crack, crumble, or break apart entirely.

As local concrete pool deck repair contractors, we see this problem occur on a regular basis here in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Usually, it can be traced back to one or more of the following causes:

Causes of a sinking concrete pool deck

  1. Loosely compacted soil: A concrete deck can weigh up to 100,000 pounds, a tremendous load for the ground beneath to bear. Swimming pool installers try to compensate for this fact by compacting the soil beneath the deck. But sometimes they get in a hurry and fail to do a thorough job.
  2. Changing weather patterns: We all know that it gets really hot in North Texas during the summertime. But cold winters are also fairly common in our region of the country. This yearly shift in temperatures can cause your deck to swell and contract, creating stress fractures that contribute to sinking.
  3. Erosion: Rainwater can also cause a sinking concrete pool deck, especially if it finds its way into the underlying soil. The risk is especially high after a heavy downpour, but even occasional rainfall can have an erosive effect on your deck.
  4. Sinkholes: Not all sinkholes are large or easy to see. Smaller ones can form beneath your pool deck, causing it to slope or crack.

A problem you cannot ignore

A sunken pool deck is more than a cosmetic issue. It also poses serious risks to your family’s safety by creating trip or fall hazards. That’s not to mention the impact it can have on your home’s resale value.

The longer you wait to address this hazard, the more you put yourself and your loved ones at risk. The time to act is now.

Concrete pool deck raising

As concrete raising professionals, we’ve restored sunken decks all across the Dallas-Fort Worth area. We begin by injecting an expandable compound into the soil beneath the deck that raises and levels it.

After that, we correct any remaining aesthetic problems such as cracks or fractures. When the job is done, we’ll leave you with a restored pool deck that looks and functions as good as new.

Here at Align Foundation Repair, we’re known and respected throughout North Texas as a leading pool deck repair contractor. Call us today to schedule your free, no-obligation quote. When your deck has you feeling down, we can give it a lift!

What Are the Types of Surface Drainage Systems?

Flat, even terrain is ideal for both residential and commercial construction. Unfortunately, tracts of level land are also vulnerable to heavy rainfall, which can saturate the soil or create stagnant pools of water that take months to evaporate.

Saturated soil and standing water can promote mold growth in your home or commercial building or even cause catastrophic damage to your foundation.

One of the best ways to deal with groundwater problems is to install surface drainage systems on your property. These solutions can provide excellent results when used in conjunction with your existing gutters and downspouts.

Two of the most effective options for managing groundwater are surface drains and French drains. Let’s look at how they work.

Surface drains

A surface drain is a ground-level grate placed over an underground catch basin. It’s installed at locations on your property where rainwater tends to pool.

Typically the basin is connected to buried pipes that direct the water to a central collection point such as a lake, stream, city sewage system, or street.

Surface drains do require occasional cleaning to prevent clogs. The grates are visible to onlookers, which may present an aesthetic concern for some property owners. Still, they’re an efficient way to prevent standing water from damaging your home, commercial building, or landscaping.

French drains

A French drain is a channel cut into the soil and lined with landscaping fabric. Corrugated pipe is placed in the drain and covered over with gravel or loose stone. The drain is sloped so that it flows away from the building.

Properly installed French drains resemble naturally formed stone paths, making them a great way to complement shrubs, flowerbeds, and other landscaping features. They’re more effective than surface drains at managing saturated soil. However, they’re also more expensive.

Which solution is right for you?

Which surface water drainage system is right for you? The answer to this question depends on many factors, such as the types of structures you have on your land and the contours of your property.

Determining the best way to go takes a professional on-site evaluation, which is where Align Foundation Repair comes into the picture. Our track record of success gives you the confidence that we’ll do the job right the first time.

Already have a groundwater management system in place that needs servicing? We also provide comprehensive surface drainage system repair services.

Every moment you wait puts your home or commercial building at risk of groundwater damage. To learn more about our drainage solutions, call us today.

Home Foundation Repair Financing

How to Pay for Foundation Repair with No Home Equity

A damaged foundation is one of the worst problems a homeowner can face. Left uncorrected, it can ruin your home’s value while exposing you and your family to serious safety risks.

Despite this fact, many homeowners put off having their foundation repaired, often due to fears of high costs.

If this sounds like you, then we have good news. Not only is the work more affordable than you may think, but there are many possible ways to pay for it. This is true even if you have no equity in your home.

Align Foundation Repair offers financing arrangements with low monthly payments, no prepayment penalties, and interest rates as low as 8.9%.

We’ll look more at these financing opportunities in just a bit. For now, let’s consider the high cost of ignoring foundation repair.

What Happens When Good Foundations Go Bad

Here’s what happens when your home’s foundation starts to fail:

  • Creaking doors and cracked windows: One of the first signs of a damaged foundation is a door that no longer fits its frame. As the problem worsens, you may notice your windows cracking or falling out altogether.
  • Unlevel floors and out-of-square walls: In a properly built home, corners are an even 90° and floors run straight across with no sagging. A damaged or sinking foundation can destroy these important symmetries, damaging your home’s framework and ruining its aesthetics.
  • Cracked Drywall: Telltale signs of a settling foundation are cracks in the drywall. Cracks may appear horizontally, vertically, or in “stepped” formation. The larger the cracks, the more likely they are due to foundation issues.
  • Collapsing chimneys: A sagging foundation can cause a brick chimney to lean sideways until it falls down altogether, creating a potential fire hazard and exposing you to legal liabilities.

Foundation Repair Payment Options

As you can see, foundation problems are too serious to ignore. Now let’s look at ways to pay for the necessary repairs:

  • Savings: Putting aside a little money for a rainy day is a time-honored way of guarding against future calamities. What better way to use these funds than to fix a damaged foundation?
  • Personal loans/credit cards: If you’ve suffered financial problems in the past, then a friend or family member may be able to cosign on your behalf.
  • Financing arrangements through our affiliated lenders: These programs offer several advantages, including 12-month same-as-cash, long terms to keep the monthly payments low, no prepayment penalties, and interest rates as low as 8.9%.

Contact us here at Align Foundation Repair today to learn more. We’ll provide you with a no-obligation quote, explain your options for financing foundation repair, and leave you with the facts you need to make an informed decision.