What Are the Common Foundation Repair Tasks?

Residential foundations are designed to last for decades. But any number of threats can cause them to suffer early failure, endangering not only the home but also its occupants. When that happens, it’s important to complete the necessary foundation repair tasks as soon as possible.

The exact type of repair will depend on the condition of the foundation and the cause of the problem. Here at Align Foundation Repair, we specialize in a variety of solutions. Align Foundation Repair tasks include:

  • Installing concrete/steel pilings.
  • Installing drilled piers.
  • Installing spread footings.
  • Installing state-of-the-art drainage systems.

Let’s take a closer look at these options and see how they can help you to solve your foundation problems.

Installing Concrete/Steel Pilings

In North Texas, when a foundation goes bad, it’s usually caused by expansion and contraction of the soil supporting the home.

One way to correct this type of damage is by installing piers into the bedrock beneath the residence and joining it to the home’s foundation using concrete or steel pilings. This lends the strength of the earth itself to the residence, making it literally “rock-solid.”

Installing Drilled Piers

Sometimes steel or concrete pilings are not the best way to correct a particular foundation problem. In those cases, we may recommend drilled piers instead.

Drilled piers are heavy-duty steel supports encased in concrete and sunk into the ground beneath the residence. When attached to the foundation, they provide much the same strength as pilings. This is a good option for small or lightweight homes.

Installing spread footings

Here in North Texas, many homes are supported by concrete block piers. This type of foundation is highly affordable and provides a crawl space for storage. But it’s also vulnerable to erosion caused by wind and rain.

One way to fix a damaged pier foundation is by installing spread footings. These are reinforced concrete piers that “spread out” in all directions, giving the home added strength while maintaining the advantages of a crawlspace.

Installing drainage solutions

Poor drainage is the leading cause of most foundation damage here in Texas. That’s why our foundation repair services include the following options:

  • Grading and contouring the property – to direct rainwater away from the home and its foundation.
  • Installing surface or sub-surface drains – to siphon rainwater into a stream, sewer system, or other collection point.
  • Cleaning or replacing gutters – to prevent rainwater from pooling around the home’s perimeter and damaging the foundation.
  • French Drains

A Company You Can Trust

At Align Foundation Repair, we invest in continuous training for our technicians so they’re always up-to-date on the latest advances in foundation repair. We’re known and respected across Texas and we’re happy to provide references from past clients. You can trust us to do the job right the first time.

Our Garland foundation repair service area covers all of the communities in the Dallas-Fort Worth region. Our work is backed by an industry-leading warranty and we provide free estimates. Get in touch with us today to learn more.

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.

Can You Live in a House During Foundation Repair?

Many homeowners want to know if they can remain inside their homes throughout the duration of their foundation repair. The answer is “yes.” You can stay inside your home; no need to check your family into a hotel or stay with relatives. When you learn what the foundation repair process entails, you’ll see why vacating your home is unnecessary.

The Repair Process

Typically, most home foundations can be corrected and leveled back into position by installing piers. This also stabilizes the concrete slab and prevents future movement caused by shifting soil.

Contrary to belief, the process does not tear up your entire yard and leave piles of dirt all over the landscape. The process typically can be completed in a single day, though it could take longer depending on the severity of the damage. Disruption to your routine during repairs is minimal.

Once pier installation is complete, the holes are back-filled, and we use any excess soil left over to correct any drainage issues that may arise. If that’s not necessary, then we just haul away the debris. We leave none of the mess behind, so no need to hire a separate disposal crew.

Choosing to Leave

While it’s perfectly acceptable to remain inside your home, some homeowners nevertheless choose to vacate while repairs are in progress. Regardless of whether you choose to stay or leave, we recommend giving your neighbors a courtesy notice that there may be some noise and vibrations from industrial machinery.

If for whatever reason, we feel it is unadvisable for you to stay in your home, we will let you know before beginning repairs.

We Repair Your Foundation Without Disruption

Call Align Foundation Repair if you suspect foundation damage. A technician will need to assess the concrete slab and soil conditions to determine the appropriate action to take. In most scenarios, it’s perfectly acceptable to stay in your home while repair is underway. Our Garland foundation service area covers the city and surrounding regions.

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/drainage 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 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.

Austin Flooding road goes underwater and house completely flooded

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 water damage on foundation. We provide comprehensive flooded foundation repair services in North Texas. We can inspect the foundation and determine whether immediate foundation fixes are necessary. The first and most important step is to make the call; never assume that your foundation is fine after a flood!

Crack in a cinder block building foundation

Why Waiting on Fixing Your Foundation Can Cause More Problems

Who isn’t guilty of procrastination? People by nature have an out of sight out of mind mentality. Unfortunately, this can be detrimental when it comes to the health of your home and especially the foundation. Holding off seemingly minor repairs can lead to much more severe issues down the line.

• Some foundation problems progress slowly and others progress rapidly.
• There is no way to know simply by eyeballing the damage whether it is progressing slowly or rapidly
• Foundation changes can mean added damage when lifting is required, or a need to work on the interior of the house
• Waiting until the damage progresses can add to the cost of the repair
• Sometimes waiting until the problem is bad leads to reduction in repairability

Do Foundation Problems Always Get Worse?

Foundations tend to sink over time due to the contraction of the soil, caused by back-and-forth moisture retention and dry spells. Early indicators of a compromised foundation include visible cracks in the walls or jammed windows and doors. If you ignore these signs, the symptoms can exacerbate to larger cracks or even complete separation in the walls. Does it always get worse? Not always, but it does more often than not due to the soil conditions in the North Texas area.

The Consequences of Neglecting Repairs

Ignoring repairs can cause spreading structural damage. A weakened foundation has a domino effect where the damage can spread to areas like the floors, walls, ceiling, and window frames. Other damages include:

  • Plumbing – As the cracks begin to form, the damage can spread to the pipes. Leaky water leeches into the soil, creating the aforementioned contraction.
  • Lost Property Value – Continued foundation damage leads to a decline in the home’s value. A real estate agent will not agree to put the property up for sale until costly repairs are made.
  • Further Brick and Sheetrock Issues – Sinking foundations can cause horizontal or “stair-step” cracks in brick exteriors that in extreme cases can grow to 1″ wide. These cracks may allow water to seep into the basement, exacerbating damage to the foundation. Similarly, foundation damage can cause serious cracking in sheetrock, which may have to be replaced at a steep cost adding on to the expense of repairing the foundation issues that caused the cracking in the first place.
  • Framing Issues – Sinking foundations can cause serious framing damage that can be very costly to repair. Cracked foundations can sink into the ground (especially at the corners of the building) causing damage to wall studs, roof rafters, door frames, ceiling joists, and more. If pressure from deformed framing is strong enough, doors and windows may not open. Framing lumber may need to be entirely replaced after the foundation is repaired.
  • Roof Damage – Shifts in the foundation can also cause roof damage, telltale signs of which include sagging or bowing in the roofline, or sections with bulges or dips. If the damage is severe enough, sections of the roof may need to be replaced.

 

Don’t Let Foundation Damage Linger

The faster you act the more foundation repair options you have at your disposal, and the more affordable they are likely to be. Contact Align Foundation Repair at the first signs of a damaged foundation. Swift remediation from our Garland foundation repair service ensures you don’t end up with more serious and costly issues months or years down the road.

 

Why You Have to Take Care of Your Foundation When the Soil Is Drying Up

A home’s foundation rests on the soil. In this regard, the soil can be thought of as the foundation for the foundation. This is why soil condition is so important. This is especially so in the North Texas region where frequent drought and hot weather can contribute to dry soil. In turn, this causes all sorts of structural issues.

The Problem with Dry Soil

Dry soil foundation problems are commonplace throughout most of the southern portion of North America. When the soil dries up, it shrinks. As the soil shrinks, the foundation settles. Eventually, as the rain increases, the soil expands. This yearlong cycle of shrinking and expansion causes the soil to “heave.” The foundation will move along with the soil; the movement causes movement in the foundation. This issue is especially common in the North Texas region, where the heavy clay and loam-based soil are prone to moisture loss, particularly during the peak summer months.

Keep in mind that changes in soil conditions are natural and to be expected with changes in the season. However, the soil should always maintain some level of moisture content. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen naturally, which is why some care on the homeowner’s end may be necessary.

How to Care for Your Foundation

Doing foundation care for dry soil is not complicated but does require diligent attention.

Another form of prevention is drip irrigation. Drip irrigation can be installed by a licensed irrigator. Alternatively, you can deploy soaker hoses. Contact Align for instructions to set up soaker hoses.

Don’t Eschew Professional Care

Even with stringent care on the homeowner’s part, regular professional inspection is still a must. Call Align Foundation Repair for a thorough evaluation of your foundation. We can detect early signs of foundation damage and take preventive action before the problem exacerbates. We can recommend foundation repair services if the issue is serious enough to warrant remediation. Call today for a free inspection and estimate!

When Is the Best Time of Year to Fix Your Foundation?

Is there an ideal season for scheduling a foundation repair? It comes down to the type and degree of damage. If severe, then the house may require repairs ASAP regardless of the time of year. However, if the repairs can wait, then it may be to your advantage to hold it off until a certain season or month arrives.

Why Time of Year Matters

Foundational damage is often the cause of shifting and expanding soil. Soil shifting is heavily influenced by weather and humidity. This means foundation damage is more likely to occur during certain times of the year, though homeowners may not notice signs of foundation damage until months or years down the line. The accumulative effects of the damage may also occur over a span of multiple seasons.

Winter

Winter encompasses the months of December through February. In many cases, winter is the best time for repairs due to the colder temperatures and minimal rainfall. The relatively dry weather creates stable soil conditions. However, this is also when homeowners are less likely to schedule a repair. The reason is twofold.

First, stable soil conditions mean less foundation settling. Signs of damage are less apparent, meaning homeowners are less likely to sense urgency. Second, homeowners prefer not to have work done on their home during the hectic holiday season, especially in December.

Spring

Spring is when repair work is often done. This is because homeowners recognize signs of damage as they are scheduling renovations. Cracks may also manifest in spring as clay soils begin to expand.

Summer

This is when soil contraction reaches its peak due to the humidity and summer rainfall. Foundation settling becomes highly apparent. Like winter, however, homeowners may hesitate to schedule summer repairs due to vacation plans.

Fall

Summers in the Garland, TX, area tend to bleed into fall, so you get a lot of the same hot weather, especially in early autumn. This means much of the same noticeable foundation settling. Some homeowners also prefer fall for repairs since they have no immediate vacation plans.

When Is the Best Time for Foundation Repair in Garland, TX?

Ultimately, regardless of season, the best time for foundation structural repairs is whatever timeframe is dictated by the damage to your foundation. That may be ASAP, when weather permits, or until next season. In any case, it comes down to the extent of the repair work necessary and whether it can wait or requires immediate attention. Contact Align Foundation Repair to learn more about our foundation repair services in Garland, Texas.