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/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 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!

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 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.

 

water drain

How to Maintain Your Catch Basin

Catch basins are often an afterthought for many homeowners. However, the catch basin plays a vital role during storms and heavy rainfalls, preventing flooding and capturing debris. Neglected catch basins can lead to flooding, which can negatively impact your home’s foundation. For this reason, we recommend that homeowners in the Dallas-Fort Worth area clean out their catch basins on a regular basis.

Catch Basin Cleaning

Area drains and catch basins are designed to accept a certain amount of debris along with the water. The debris drops to the bottom and the water level rises and enters the exit tube. If they are not cleaned regularly, they will eventually fill with debris and clog the line. It is a good idea to pop the lids and scoop out the debris as often as once a month.  After cleaning the debris, you can wash the basins out with water and fill them to test that they are flowing water properly.

Catch basins collect rain and storm water and release the debris buildup into the municipal sewer system. Basins are placed in areas prone to collecting standing water. This prevents flooding that may affect soil conditions. Water absorption causes the soil to expand and contract, in turn causing home foundations to shift. Flooding is one of the primary reasons foundation repairs are needed in the first place.

This is precisely why catch basin cleaning is crucial. If too many solids accumulate, the water draining tube becomes blocked.

Catch Basin Drainage Repair

Catch basins should be cleaned when the interior is filled one-third of the way with solid debris. For some areas, the maintenance may be as often as once a month. If you notice water overflow, nearby pest infestation, or an excessively damp yard, then the basin may require a professional drainage system repair. Depending on the foundation, soil type, and current condition of the basin, this may include additional solutions, such as:

  • Gravel-heavy trenches to redirect the water
  • A sump pump installation
  • Soil contouring for better water flow

Don’t wait until a backup occurs to call in a drainage repair expert. Taking preventative steps to improve your drainage system before a problem arises not only saves you money, but helps promote the long-term health of your home foundation, while also reducing environmental risks.

Catch Basin Maintenance for Property Owners

There are steps you can take on your end to keep the basin in good operating order. This doesn’t eliminate the need for professional cleaning, but it does keep the basin in acceptable condition in between servicing.

While basins can accommodate some level of debris, never actively dump trash inside. This includes all waste products, such as pet waste, cooking oil, or grease. Such garbage will not make its way to the treatment facility and may instead end up in nearby lakes and rivers.

You should also regularly check the grate to be sure there are no obstructions that may prevent the unit from accepting water. About once a month, you should check how full the basin is with debris. A simple visual check may not be possible due to the grate being in the way. A solution around this is to stick a broom into the opening and see how deep it’s able to go down.

Catch basin maintenance is part of being a responsible property owner. Foundational repairs in the Dallas-Fort Worth area may also include area drainage solutions to improve the basin’s efficiency. Contact Align Foundation Repair to determine if your property can benefit from drainage repairs or installations.

Signs Of Foundation Problems

Signs Your Foundation May Need Repairing

Whether you’re on the verge of purchasing a new house or are already a homeowner, it’s important to be able to spot the warning signs of foundation damage. The majority of Texas homes are built on slab foundations, which are subject to cracks and fissures as the underlying ground settles. The good news is you can save significant costs (and headaches) by detecting and addressing structural problems early on. Even minor foundation problems – when left unaddressed– can result in more serious and expensive repairs down the line.

How to know if my foundation is off?

Keep in mind that time isn’t always the culprit when it comes to foundation damage and failure. Foundation problems can creep up in newly constructed homes and older ones. Don’t let structural problems in a masonry or concrete foundation worsen over time. While you may not be able to identify the source of the problem without a professional inspection, foundation problems are relatively easy to recognize, once you know what to look out for.

10 signs your foundation may need repair

Foundation repair signs around your home may be subtle or obvious.  Here are some visible clues that may indicate your foundation is compromised.

  • Windows or doors that used to open easily are now misaligned and difficult to shut
  • Cracks in brick or masonry walls, particularly over windows and doorways
  • Warped or bowed ceilings
  • Sloped floors; joint separation in wood floors; popped floor tiles
  • Gaps or cracks in the seam between walls and the ceiling
  • Standing water around the perimeter of the house, in crawl spaces or the basement
  • A chimney that leans in one direction
  • Buckling, ruptures or hairline cracks in the foundation (may be horizontal, zig-zagging or vertical)
  • Stoops or front porches that appear to have sunken
  • Exterior walls that are crumbling or show signs of moisture intrusion

Note that it is completely normal for properties to settle over time, and construction materials are designed to accommodate moderate soil shifts. Hairline cracks in your masonry walls or concrete foundation are not always signs of imminent damage, whereas larger horizontal cracks are generally more serious concerns. Improper water drainage is another telltale indicator that a foundation crack has occurred, as this can redirect water to lower areas.

Foundation repair in Garland, Texas

If you notice signs of foundation problems, you’ll want professional foundation evaluation as soon as possible. For residents of Garland, foundation repair is cost-efficient and backed by an industry-leading warranty. Discover why homeowners throughout Texas have come to trust Align Foundation Repair when it comes to superior workmanship, proven foundation repair techniques and the highest quality products. Contact us today for a visit and we’ll be happy to provide a free foundation repair estimate.

Additional Resources on Foundation Repair Signs:

  1. HouseLogic, Identifying House Foundation Problems https://www.houselogic.com/organize-maintain/home-maintenance-tips/understanding-foundation-problems/
  2. Realtor.com, Signs of Foundation Problems: Should You Fix Them, or Run? https://www.realtor.com/advice/buy/signs-of-foundation-problems/
  3. Today’s Homeowner, Foundation Problems, https://todayshomeowner.com/foundation-problems/