Foundation Repair Inspection Free Estimate

4 Advantages of Hiring a Contractor for Foundation Repair

Plenty of home improvement tasks are within the reach of the average DIYer. But, when it comes to foundation repair, it’s best to leave the work to a professional. Otherwise, you endanger your home, your budget, and even your health. Here are four advantages of trusting the work to a skilled contractor.

Advantage Number One: A Foundation Repair Contractor Has the Proper Tools for the Job

To see why having the right equipment is important, let’s do a little math. Concrete weighs an average of 150 pounds per cubic foot. Assuming that you live in a single-story home with 1500 square feet, this means that your foundation can weigh as much as 225,000 pounds!

Lifting this kind of heavy-duty weight requires the professional equipment used by qualified foundation repair contractors. Trying to do the job with automotive jacks or other household tools is a recipe for disaster.

Advantage Number Two: Foundation Repair Services Have the Expertise

Repairing a foundation requires in-depth knowledge and expertise. A residential home is a complex structure designed by an architect to meet strict building codes. It has thousands of interdependent parts made of wood, glass, metal, and dozens of other materials. Altogether it can weigh over 400,000 pounds. Why safeguard such a complex structure to anything other than a fully qualified professional?

Advantage Number Three: Foundation Repair Companies Have the Coverage

Foundation repair experts are insured and crucial safeguards to have in place in case something goes wrong. This is another reason why tackling the job on your own is a risk that’s too great to take.

Advantage Number Four: A Foundation Repair Company Has the Muscle Power

Not only do you need the proper equipment and expertise to handle foundation repair properly, you also need the labor. Doing the job right includes:

  • Digging up and removing flowers, plants, shrubs, small trees, and other landscaping features.
  • Excavating the earth around the foundation.
  • Inserting the piers.
  • Putting all those flowers, plants, shrubs, small trees, and other landscaping features back in place once the job is over.

Once you consider the amount of time and effort it will take to complete these tasks, it’s easy to see why leaving the job to a professional makes a lot of sense.

Call Align Foundation Repair Today

Here at Align Foundation Repair, we specialize in providing quality foundation repair services to homeowners in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Our work is backed by industry-leading warranties. See the difference that working with a professional foundation repair company in Dallas makes. Get in touch with us today to schedule your free inspection and estimate.

3 Foundation Repair Facts Every Homeowner Should Know

Is your home’s foundation giving you problems? Knowing some basic facts about the repair process can help you to understand what went wrong and how to make it right. Here are three foundation repair facts you need to know.

Fact Number One: It Starts With the Soil

Every type of soil poses a particular set of risks to a home’s foundation. For example, soil that’s wet and sandy is prone to erosion, while soil that’s dry and tightly packed can shift and contract.

Even soil that’s lush and fertile can threaten your home, especially if it supports the growth of aggressive root systems that cause holes and cracks in your foundation.

That’s why here at Align Foundation Repair, we begin every job by carefully analyzing the soil around the home’s perimeter. Determining what caused the problem in the first place helps us to arrive at the best possible solution. This leads us to our second important fact.

Fact Number Two: There’s No “One Best Way” to Fix a Home’s Foundation

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to foundation repair. Depending on the specific factors contributing to your home’s foundation issues, our technicians may recommend any of the following repair techniques:

  • Concrete pressed piers – This approach uses a series of reinforced concrete cylinders buried underneath the home to level and support the foundation. It’s effective, affordable, and highly resistant to water damage.
  • Steel pilings – This method uses ultra-strong, corrosion-resistant steel inserts to bear the weight of the home. It’s a good option for situations in which the underlying soil is weak or prone to erosion.

Most of our foundation repair company services are backed by our exclusive warranty, so you can have peace of mind and full confidence in the results.

Fact Number Three: Proper Drainage Is Essential for a Strong Foundation

In many cases, a sinking foundation is caused not by structural failure but by poor drainage. That’s why we offer drainage system installation alongside our other services.

Depending on your needs, we may recommend one or more of the following solutions:

  • Installing gutter downspout extensions – to carry rainwater away from your foundation.
  • Grading and contouring your land – to ensure proper water flow towards a central collection point, such as a pond, stream, or city sewer system.
  • Installing surface drains – to eliminate swampy conditions and other problems caused by standing water.

Now that you know some basic facts about foundation repair services, we invite you to give us a call to schedule your free inspection and quote. Our Dallas foundation repair service area list is extensive, and we serve the entire DFW region.

Should I Buy a House with Foundation Repair?

People often ask us, “Should I buy a house that has had foundation repair work?” The short answer is “yes.” However, the buyer should:

  • Know specifically what was done
  • Examine the warranty
  • Have the foundation inspected again before closing to make sure it is still in good shape

When buying a used car, it’s good to know about the vehicle’s history. Was it involved in a collision that required extensive frame repair? You should have the same attitude when buying a house. What repairs were done on it over the years? Remember, that just because recent repair work has been done on the foundation doesn’t mean that no problems currently exist.

What You Need to Know about the Repairs

If foundation repair was done, that means that there were significant foundation problems in the past. If the workmanship was less than stellar, or if the soil conditions around the house are extremely poor, the foundation may run into serious issues again in the future. As a buyer, you can make an informed decision by learning as much as you can about the history of the repair work. Here are some questions to ask:

Who Performed the Repairs?

Look at the home seller’s repair report; what company is listed? Is it even a company or a freelance contractor? If a company, look up the service online. What are some reviews from prior customers? Be wary if the company has zero online presence. Even if the company doesn’t have a website, it should at least have one or two social media pages and a small handful of Google reviews.

What Repairs Were Done?

What method was used? For a typical residence, this will include concrete or steel piling or drilled piers. How many piers or piling were used? Were they concrete or steel? This should all be listed in the report. Were piers/piling installed in just one section or all over the home? The latter indicates a more serious repair. You should proceed with caution.

Get a Second Opinion

Perhaps the repair company has no online presence, or the repair work indicates significant damage. Is this a deal-breaker? Not necessarily; however, you should get a second professional opinion to err on the side of caution. This doesn’t mean a general home inspector but an actual licensed Dallas home foundation repair company. An evaluator can assess the previous repair work and determine whether it meets industry standards.

Ask About the Warranty

If the repairs were done relatively recently, then the warranty should still be in effect. Find out what the warranty covers and how many more years it’s good for. Some last a lifetime, while others are good for several decades. Most warranties can be transferred to the new homeowner for a small one-time fee or even for free if transferred within a certain number of days of closing the property sale.

Foundation damage is commonplace in the North Texas region, so foundation repair shouldn’t be a disqualifying factor. However, it does warrant additional research if you’re the buyer. Align Foundation Repair can be a part of that research. Our Dallas foundation repair solutions include pre-home sale inspections. We frequently work with home buyers, sellers, and their respective real estate agents.

Should I Buy a House with Foundation Problems?

Unless you’re moving into a recently constructed home, buying a house is like buying a used car. You have to actively check for existing issues. Foundation problems in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area are especially commonplace, so getting a thorough inspection of the house foundation is a must for buyers before they commit to an offer. Generally, you shouldn’t buy a house if it has existing foundation issues. Nevertheless, various factors are at play, and buying a house with foundation problems isn’t completely out of the question.

Inspect the Home

First, if any foundation problems are present, the seller is obligated to list them in a disclosure form. You should also perform a visual inspection yourself. Walk around the home interior and exterior and look for cracks along the walls and ceilings. Also, open and shut the doors and windows. Foundation problems may lurk if you can’t do this without muscling it into place.

Get a Professional Assessment

Ask to see the report if the owner already had the foundation professionally inspected. If not, don’t proceed further until the owner agrees to a professional who specializes in foundation problems and not just a general home inspector. As part of our Dallas foundation repair services, Align Foundation Repair provides a free inspection and estimate.

What to Do Next

It’s not an instant deal breaker if the inspection turns up problems; it’s up to you. This is where negotiations really come into play. This is actually a good bargaining chip for getting the seller to lower the asking price. Homes with foundation problems can sell for up to 20% to 25% below the original price. On the other hand, foundation repair costs rarely exceed more than 10% of the property’s value. In other words, this can work out in your favor if you play your cards right. However, if you go this route, don’t just purchase the home and move right in as is. Arranging for repairs should be one of the first steps as the new homeowner.

Leaving Repairs to the Seller

Alternatively, you can agree to purchase the house at the asking price on the written stipulation that the owner has the foundation repaired out of their own pocket and have it done before the closing date. Get this agreement in writing or stipulated in the contract. If you proceed this way, make sure you and the seller agree on the repair company. The seller may choose the cheapest contractor. Unrealistically low prices often translate to shoddy workmanship.

Also, repair agreements should include damages incurred as a result of the foundation damage. This might include any ruptured pipes, cracks/separations along the wall and ceiling, etc. The costs of these also need to be factored in should you decide to buy the home as is.

Know the True Condition of the Property

As the buyer, you should fully understand the foundation’s condition. You can buy a home if foundation problems exist, but proceed with repairs right away. Contact us at Align Foundation Repair for a zero-cost inspection and estimate. The report will give you an idea of how to proceed and negotiate.

Tips to Prevent Soil Erosion Around Your Foundation

Even the sturdiest home foundation can be compromised by less-than-optimal soil conditions, which is why soil erosion prevention is so important for homes in North Texas, where rainstorms are very powerful and can erode soil easily. Learn the key steps to home foundation erosion control.

What Causes Soil Erosion?

First, it helps to understand the primary causes behind soil erosion specific to Dallas and surrounding areas. While multiple factors are at work, running water is the leading cause. Even minor flooding can transport the topsoil from one location to another. Similarly, the impact of falling rainwater can cause topsoil to disperse.

Soil erosion creates gaps in the soil, in turn causing the foundation to shift and eventually crack or even split apart completely. In the home, this can create warped or sloped floors and buckling walls.

Now, let’s examine the steps vital for offsetting soil erosion.

Maintain the Gutter System

Remember, water is the leading cause of soil erosion. Keeping puddling water away from the home is of utmost priority. To prevent water accumulation along the home perimeter, be sure to regularly inspect the gutters. Be sure the downspout is pointed at least five feet away from the house. Also, gutters that are sagging or pulling away from the walls require professional attention. Finally, climb up a ladder and remove physical debris from the gutters at least twice a year.

Install a Ground-Level Drainage System

French drains are one of the most common, though other types include channel and surface drains. A technician will recommend the optimal drainage solution based on the layout of your property. A ground-level drain collects water in a basin and transports it to a more removed location.

Strategic Landscaping

Be mindful of your landscaping, which needs to be about function just as much as visual curb appeal. Keep these pointers in mind:

  • Refrain from planting shrubs or deep-root plants too close to the home. The roots can intrude and disrupt the soil.
  • Consider turfgrass like annual rye, which quickly germinates and helps stabilize the soil. Regardless of the grass type, consider using straw and a seed germination blanket to protect the topsoil.

Examine the Slope

You won’t be able to determine the slope angle with a visual inspection alone. A technician will need to determine your property’s current sloping, if there is any. Ideally, the ground should slope away from the home at a 3% to 5% angle for the first 10 feet.

We Provide Anti-Soil Erosion Measures

If you notice water puddling around your home, then some degree of soil erosion is likely taking place. Contact Align Foundation Repair for home foundation repair services. A technician will evaluate the foundation’s condition and recommend prevention measures. Our Dallas home foundation service providers will recommend a tailored solution specific to your home type.

Do New Construction Homes Need Foundation Maintenance?

One of the perks of moving into a newly constructed home is that everything is, well, brand new. Often, this entails little to no maintenance on components like the windows, doors, cabinetry, built-in appliances, etc. Can the same be said of the foundation, which is also new? Despite the concrete slab being recently poured in and cured, it still requires maintenance. Find out why you shouldn’t ignore a foundation inspection even in a recently-built property.

Why New Foundations Still Require Maintenance

As the owner of a new home, you may think foundation maintenance is something you don’t have to worry about for another 20 years. Unfortunately, this mindset is only inviting trouble down the line. The North Texas region is especially notable for having heavy clay-based soil. Anyone in the agriculture industry can tell you that this soil type is notorious for absorbing moisture and subsequently drying out. This leads to an endless cycle of soil shrinkage and expansion. As the soil shifts, so does the foundation that rests above the soil. This can cause even relatively new foundations to begin cracking or coming apart. This is precisely why new construction home foundation maintenance is required even in the first year of residence.

How to Maintain a Foundation

Be proactive with these measures starting from the time you move into the home:

  • Periodically walk around the house (both inside and outside) and visually check for cracks along the walls, floors, and ceiling. When outside, look for signs of the soil pulling away from the home.
  • In the summer or when there is a drought, use a soaker hose to water the soil that borders the home.
  • Monitor the drainage system. Though likely also brand new, it can still become clogged after a heavy rain spell. The same goes for the gutter and downspout.
  • Refrain from planting shrubs or deep-root plants too close to the home. The roots can extend below the foundation and disrupt the soil. The same goes for trees. If planting a sapling, keep it a minimum 20-feet away from the house.

Keep in mind that some level of settling is going to occur; that’s natural and no cause for alarm. However, homeowners should take an active role to keep the settling to a minimum, especially given the region’s expansive soil.

Don’t Forget the Professional Inspection

The above measures are a great way to keep tabs on the state of your foundation, but they are no substitute for a visual assessment from a trained technician. Make sure that one of your new home foundation maintenance tasks is getting a yearly inspection from a professional. Our Dallas County foundation service area covers the city and surrounding regions. Give Align Foundation Repair a call today.

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.

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.

Commercial Foundation Repair Digging

Foundation Repair Industries Served

Whether residential or commercial, all buildings require periodic inspection to determine the condition of the foundation. We serve multiple industries across the Dallas, TX, area regardless of foundation type.

Industries we service:

Single Family Rental and Rehab 

  • We work with investors who own anywhere from one house to 1000
  • Special pricing available
  • We understand how investment properties work and have ongoing relationships with well over 200 investors in the DFW area

Multifamily Investing 

  • We have experience working with owners of one complex, as well as owners that have large portfolios
  • We provide a very in-depth inspection, so the ownership can feel comfortable they are covering their concerns properly
  • Concrete raising at apartments – save thousands as opposed to concrete grinding and replacement

Realtors 

  • We have built strong, long-lasting relationships with many realtors in DFW
  • Fast inspections times
  • Members of North Texas Association of Realtors (have Supra Access)

Homeowners 

  • Very in-depth inspection
  • Professional on time inspectors
  • Clean crews in company trucks

Homeowners

Our primary clients make up of residential homeowners in the Dallas and greater area. This includes owners of single to multi-floor homes, condos, town houses, properties part of a homeowner’s association, etc. We conduct a comprehensive inspection and report our findings to the homeowner without using complex industry jargon. Inspections are noninvasive with minimal disruption to the homeowner and adjacent neighbors. Proactive home repair ensures dwellings are on par with local ordinance.

Government-Owned Property

This includes state-level buildings, such as schools, hospitals, city halls, etc. Foundation inspections are vital to ensure these facilities are safe to occupy for the public and employees. We regularly inspect facilities owned and operated by state government. As they are the entity that establishes building code protocol, they have to ensure their own facilities are up to standards.

Realtors

We regularly work with real estate agents. Some are regular clients of ours, and they have come to trust us for our timely and trustworthy inspections. Several of the agents we serve include members of the North Texas Association of Realtors. Inspections ensure homes are in sellable condition and that homeowners sell their property at the maximum possible value. We perform DFW foundation repairs at the behest of realtors, brokers, and valuators to ensure the property is ready for the market.

Investors

We serve numerous investors, house flippers, etc. We cover multiple foundation repair service areas. We have established relationships with Dallas-based investors that invest in upwards of 1,000+ homes. This category also includes landlords who operate multiple apartment complexes and multi-housing communities. We perform concrete raising on apartments and provide a safe living environment for the hundreds of tenants that reside in renting accommodations. At present, we have established working relationships with over 200 property investors and their staff.

Our Client Profile Is Diverse

As you can see, the DFW foundation repair industries we serve are far-reaching and go well beyond homeowners and business owners. Regardless of which industry or category you fall under, call Align Foundation Repair if you require a foundation inspection. Periodic surveying ensures the foundation is up to building code.

Pro Tips to Take Care of Your Home Foundation in the Summer

Though out of sight, the foundation is what maintains your home’s structural integrity. However, it is not immune to the passage of time. Over the years, many hot summers contribute to the gradual wear and tear. This makes foundation protection all the more critical for ensuring longevity.

The Implications of Summer Heat on Residential Foundations

The North Texas regions are known for blistering hot and dry summers. This is often accompanied by extended periods of drought. This dries the soil, causing the foundation to settle and ultimately develop cracks and splits. Once the summer ends and rainfall begin in the ensuing seasons, the water makes its way inside the cracks and finds its way in your home.
We suggest Texas homeowners follow these summer foundation maintenance tips outlined below to offset preventable damage.

Water the Foundation

The first care tip is to water the soil around the foundation during periods of dry weather. This sounds unusual, especially since puddling water around the foundation can cause long-term damage. However, during hot summers, watering the soil helps it maintain moisture. Use an automatic sprinkler or soaker hose. Begin doing this at the onset of dry conditions without regular rain. This prevents the soil from drying and cracking but doesn’t cause it to become too damp or muddy.

Drainage

Balance is the key; the soil should be neither too wet or too dry. Prevent water from pooling around the home’s perimeter. Be sure gutter spouts point at least five feet away from the perimeter. The property grounds should also be slightly sloped, so water drips away from the home. Consult with Align Foundation Repair for the installation of a French drain.

Mulch the soil

Provide ample mulch over the soil. Mulch shields the soil from heat and helps it retain its moisture. We suggest using natural mulch, such as pine and wood or bark chips. The mulch should be two to four inches thick and not touch the home directly.

Landscaping

Trees and shrubs have extensive roots that suck water from the soil. If you plan on planting additional trees or shrubs, plant them several feet from the home. Also, consider drought-resistant shrubs.

We Care for Your Home Foundation Year-Round

Beyond basic care on your end, be sure to contact Align Foundation Repair for a more robust inspection and home foundation repair services if need be. Knowing how to care for your home foundation is essential for the long-term stability and resale value of your house. Call us today for a free evaluation of your foundation’s integrity and repair estimate.