Tree root and green grass

Can Trees Cause Uneven Floors in My House?

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

How Roots Can Damage the Flooring

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

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

Soil Type Plays a Role

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

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

What to Do if You Have an Intruding Tree

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

Should You Remove Your Tree?

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

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

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

Have Uneven Flooring? Give Us a Call

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

Should I Remodel My Home or Do Foundation Repairs First?

Whether you just bought a fixer-upper or have lived in your existing home for years and want to refresh the space, we recommend a foundation inspection before beginning any remodeling work. If foundation repair is required, it should always take precedence over home renovations. Find out why.

Can Renovations Come Before Foundation Repairs?

As a general rule, you should always address structural issues before partaking in any remodeling work.

Foundation problems usually include concrete settling or sloping. As the problem gets worse over time, it can cause serious damage to parts of the home, such as the exterior’s brick masonry or the interior’s tile flooring.

There is also the chance that the faulty foundation can cause plumbing damage, such as pipe ruptures. With a remodeling first approach, you risk serious damage to a newly refurbished home.

Can you imagine watching in horror as that new marble countertop or maple hardwood floor is cracked just weeks within installation? Some homeowners have indeed experienced this and it’s disheartening. On top of that, they also incur additional costs from having to repair those recent remodeling components.

How to Prevent Damage to a Newly Renovated Home

A foundation inspection should be a part of your renovation plan. A North Texas foundation repair may be necessary if you detect any of the following:

  • Cracks in the walls or floors either in the exterior or interior
  • Cracks in glass, such as the windows and sliding doors
  • Windows and doors won’t fully open or shut, or require extra force to do so
  • A noticeable tilt in the floor
  • A split in the area where the wall and ceiling meet

Some of these symptoms can simply be due to an aging home and are actually what prompts homeowners to begin renovation in the first place. However, a foundation inspection is an assurance and prevents needless hassle, heartache, and additional repairs when everything should be complete.

We Evaluate and Inspect Foundations

Remember foundation repair for remodeling is not a strict requirement. However, it’s highly recommended because the consequences are far more disheartening and financially costly if repairs are done post renovation. If you have a remodeling planned, call Align Foundation Repair for an evaluation. We provide a free estimate should repairs be needed.

Foundation Repair Inspection Free Estimate

Reasons to Be Proactive with Home Foundation Repair

Homeowners have a pivotal responsibility when it comes to taking preventative measures to combat foundation damage. Take a proactive role by keeping your eyes and ears open for signs of a compromised foundation. Reasons to stay proactive when it comes to foundation repair include:

  • Problems with your foundation will only get worse
  • Foundation issues can lead to more severe structural issues if left unattended
  • Some foundation types will experience irreversible damage if not addressed early
  • Cost of repair can sometimes be reduced with early detection
  • Technicians provide honest and free evaluations, so there is no downside. If there is no issue, we will tell you.

Why Being Proactive Is Important

The classic signs of a damaged foundation may include visible cracks in the walls and the door and/or windows not properly opening and shutting. Since this does not inhibit day-to-day living, most homeowners fail to take action and go about their business. However, if left unaddressed, the problem can spread and eventually lead to far more serious and costly repairs.

Consider the adage “the longer you wait the more you pay.” This is very true with respects to foundations. Once the foundation begins moving, the damage won’t reverse on its own. Plus, soil conditions in and around Plano, Garland, and the entire Dallas-Ft. Worth area, are prone to major shifts, causing an already compromised foundation to shift, crack, and split even more.

With early detection, you may only require a minor remediation. Prolonging for a few extra months or even years may mean more intrusive excavation and pier installation. This is a far more lengthy and expensive procedure.

How to Be Proactive

When we say proactive, we mean being cognizant of the signs that may indicate foundation damage. This may include the aforementioned doors and window that won’t shut properly. You should also be mindful of uneven or sloping floors and counters and cabinets that separate from the wall.

The next step is to arrange for an inspection. Most foundation restoration services actually provide free evaluations. Even if the report suggests repairs are required, it will likely be a lot more affordable now than if you were to hold it off for several more years.

Be a Proactive Homeowner

A proactive home repair from us begins with proactive homeowners. Take the initial step by calling Align Foundation Repair for a routine inspection. That first step can end up saving you thousands of dollars and headaches down the road. Foundation repairs require construction-grade equipment, but also knowledge and expertise from a professional repair service.

Hot Weather Foundation Repair

Why Hot Weather Damages Your Home Foundation

Texas temperatures in summer easily break 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Even when the temperature is in the high 90s, dry Texas weather wicks the moisture from the soil around your house and steals it from your foundation, which causes cracks. Dry weather day after day is a recipe for foundation disaster, and you may find yourself with lasting foundation damage that compromises the structural integrity of your home if you don’t address the problem.

Foundation repair experts believe that homeowners in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in and around Plano should understand the facts behind this phenomenon, and why it’s more important than ever to be proactive in assessing damage to your home’s foundation.

Shrinking Soil

When the weather gets too hot and dry, especially in states like Texas where the daily summer temperature easily reaches above 100, that dehydrates the soil. Since the soil around your foundation is usually moist, it shrinks when it’s dehydrated, moves around, and stops supporting your foundation. The loss in support causes your foundation to settle.

Sinking Foundations

When settling occur in the foundation because of dryness and hot weather, the foundation will settle until it finds support again. However far away from your foundation the dry soil has moved, that’s how far the foundation will move until it has soil to rest against again. This causes parts of your foundation and house to tilt in whatever direction the foundation started to fall and sink.

Just Add Water

One of the ways homeowners can combat dry soil and cracking foundation is to water the area around the house. Spend 15 to 20 minutes each day adding water to the soil around the foundation. If your area is in a drought, do as much as you’re allowed, but be consistent. As permitted, increase your watering time until you hit 15 or 20 minutes each day. Just remember to keep the soaker hoses 6-18″ away from the foundation.  For those who worry about water costs during the summer, your water bill might be a bit higher, but that’s preferable to a foundation repair that costs thousands of dollars. Use watering as a method to maintain your foundation. If you believe you have a settling issue, continue to water normally and call Align.

Foundation Cracks in Dallas-Fort Worth? Call a Professional

How do you know this damage hasn’t occurred already? Sometimes it’s obvious, but sometimes those cracks are sitting in places you can’t see. Call a professional and ask for a foundation evaluation. When no problems exist, our foundation repair service professionals will recommend more measures you can take to make sure your foundation stays intact. When settling is present, we will let you know how extensive the damage is and whether repairs need to happen right away.

The Texas heat is brutal on your foundation, so foundation damage isn’t something to ignore. Call Align Foundation Repair right away for an inspection. Our Texas foundation repair service areas include Plano, Garland, Arlington and the entire Dallas-Ft. Worth area. If your foundation is fine, start watering it every summer day to make sure it stays that way. If it isn’t, take care of it before the damage gets any worse.

 

Home inspection dallas garland foundation repair

Can You Trust a Home Inspection Report?

During the purchase of a home you will no doubt contract with a home inspector to look everything over at the house. There is a section for structural systems on the report. Rarely in north Texas does an inspection come back “clean” in this section. Do not panic! Inspectors are trained to point out any issue they can find. It does not necessarily mean you have a structural problem that requires repair. The bottom line is: the average inspector has limited training on foundation types and problems. If you get a report that is dinged in this section, simply call us for help! Our foundation repair experts can investigate the issues brought up by the home inspector and give you a true evaluation of the seriousness of the problem and whether or not it will adversely affect the home’s value.

An inspection report is an integral part of the home-buying process. After all, you want to be sure your future home sweet home is up to par with building codes. However, exactly how reliable are these home inspection reports?

What Does a Home Inspection Report Include?

When touring a prospective future home, it’s not enough to just admire the granite countertops or built-in redwood cabinetry. A report evaluates what isn’t visible to the untrained eye. A home inspection is thorough and detects defects that would entail costly repairs. This may include:

  • Pipe leaks and other plumbing issues, including furnaces and heaters
  • Faulty electrical wiring
  • Energy efficiency deficiencies
  • The condition of the roof
  • HVAC, heating and cooling systems
  • The condition of the foundation

Home sellers in Texas will usually need to acquire a home report for prospective buyers. Home buyers may also acquire their own report. Detected defects can be used as a bargaining chip for bringing down the cost. Aside from sellers and buyers, home builders may also need to acquire a report if they’re selling a new and recently constructed home. The same goes for extensively renovated homes that have yet to be occupied in their remodeled state.

How Reliable Is the Report?

Inspectors may not be trained in every single one of the above points. They may only have a baseline knowledge. As such, they may miss small details that may manifest as more severe problems a few years down the road. This is especially true with respect to the foundation. This component requires very specialized knowledge that an inspector trained to look at the whole home may not possess.

A home inspector’s report is not necessarily unreliable. It is indeed a very vital aspect of the home transaction process. However, it should not be the end of the story. Both home buyers and sellers should perform a crosscheck when evaluating qualified inspectors. They should also be willing to bring in another inspector for a second opinion if they have any reason to question the validity of the original inspector’s findings.

You Can Rely on Our Dallas-Fort Worth Foundation Repair Experts

Our Dallas-Fort Worth foundation repair service areas encompass Plano and surrounding regions. Whether you’re a home buyer or seller, call Align Foundation Repair if a home inspector report lists foundational damage in its initial findings.

 

Cracked Ceiling Repair

Ceiling Cracks Offer Important Clues about Your Foundation

Ceiling cracks plague many homes in Plano, Texas, and the surrounding Dallas area. At best, they look unsightly. But at worst, they could flag an issue with your home’s foundation. So what’s really causing those cracks in your ceiling? And perhaps most importantly, what should you do about them?

Types of Ceiling Cracks

It’s important to educate yourself about the different types of cracks and their causes to avoid costly repairs down the road.

Knowing the difference between the types of ceiling cracks can save your home. First, it’s important to realize that all homes will move over time. This movement results from several factors, which we discuss later in this blog. However, cracks usually occur as the byproduct of one of two things:  natural aging or structural damage. Here are some of the most common cracks and what they can reveal.

“Spider Web” Cracks

These cracks have a center point and then spread out in different directions. The good news: these cracks are a regular part of settling and can occur in ceilings, walls, even floors. However, when it comes to spider web cracks, size matters. If the cracks are small, there isn’t much to get anxious about. On the other hand, if they are more than 1/16 inch wide, there could be a more significant structural problem.

Matching Vertical Cracks

Those cracks which run across the length of a ceiling and then continue down a wall along the same line point to structural damage, likely connected to a weak wall stud or something that was knocked loose in the settling of the home over time. Once again, size is relevant here.

Cracks along the Edges

Cracks along the edges of walls are usually the result of normal settling. You don’t have to be hyper-vigilant about these, but as a precaution, it’s a smart idea to mark where they start and finish so that you can monitor any growth. It’s those cracks that run across the entire length of the ceiling that can signal trouble. In these extreme cases, one or more foundation adjustment services may be necessary to avoid further damage and dangerous instability.

Causes of Ceiling Cracks

What causes cracks in ceilings? Now that you’re informed about the primary kinds of ceiling cracks, let’s take a look at some of the causes and how they impact your ceilings.

Moisture

One of the most common reasons is massive moisture damage from above the ceiling. Depending on which floor of your home you’re talking about, this could mean moisture has seeped into the floor above the ceiling. If it’s the upper level of your home, this may point to damage to the roof. Other sources may include plumbing leaks from the floor above. Significant changes in temperature can lead to cracks. As the air warms, building materials in your home will expand because they are exposed to excess moisture. Conversely, as the temperature drops, they will contract. Switching between hot and cold can put stress on the ceiling materials and joints, and lead to cracking.

Too Much Weight

A cracked ceiling either has another floor or attic space directly above it. So it’s entirely possible that the area above the ceiling is carrying too much weight. Prime examples are upper-level bathrooms; they need specific ceiling supports to bear the heavy weight of fixtures. Shortcuts taken during construction could lead to sagging or cracking.

Inferior Foundation

What do cracks in the ceiling mean for the future of your home’s foundation? A substandard foundation can cause a variety of structural problems, including damage to the ceiling. Remember this: the integrity of the foundation affects every component of your house. The minutest movement or settling in the foundation can alter load-bearing beams and cause small or large cracks.

Contact Align Foundation Today

Cracks in the ceiling aren’t just ugly to look at. They might also mean your home’s foundation is at risk. When in doubt, call the foundation repair experts at Align Foundation Repair. We know when a crack is a minor aesthetic problem and when it could be something more serious! If you would like a free professional evaluation of your foundation in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, contact us today and ensure a solid foundation for the future of your home.