foundation repair waterproofing

How Long Does Foundation Repair Last?

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

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

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

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

The Two Types of Home Foundations in North Texas

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

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

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

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

Common problems with pier foundations include:

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

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

4 Things That Can Go Wrong with a Poured Slab Foundation

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

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

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

Why DIY Foundation Repair Usually Fails

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

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

4 Things to Remember When Fixing a Foundation

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

Make sure the foundation actually needs repair

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

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

Use the right equipment for the job

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

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

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

Don’t forget the landscaping

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

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

If in doubt, call the professionals

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

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

Five Things You Should Know About Foundation Repair

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

How can I know when my home needs foundation repair?

Here are five warning signs to look for:

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

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

What does the foundation repair process involve?

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

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

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

How much does foundation repair cost?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tips for Preparing Your Household for Foundation Repair

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

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

Preparing your home for foundation repair

Steps to prepare your home for foundation repair include:

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

Circumstances that might merit special attention

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

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

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

Crossing other items off your to-do list

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

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

Call for Dallas-Fort Worth foundation repair

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

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

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

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

Why Does the Dallas-Fort Worth Area Have So Many Foundation Problems?

Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, differs from other parts of the country with its combination of clay soils and seasonal variations. Changes to the soil’s moisture content cause expansion and contraction, which can lead to road damage and foundation issues.

North Texas has some of the highest soil plasticity in the world. Within any given season, it’s not unusual to experience long stretches of drought followed by torrential rains and flooding.

Align Foundation Repair offers free inspections and estimates for property owners and real estate agents concerned about foundation issues. We are skilled at a full range of DFW foundation repair services, including drainage solutions, concrete lifting, and more.

Common Signs of DFW Foundation Problems

Signs of structural damage to a house can build over time or occur overnight. Warning signs to look for include:

  • Bowing walls
  • Cabinets that swing open by themselves
  • Divides widening between the floor and door
  • Drywall cracks
  • Exterior brick cracks and crumbles
  • Nails protruding from the walls
  • Plumbing leaks
  • Sidewalk and patio concrete cracks
  • Sticky doors and windows

Root Causes of Foundation Issues in Dallas Fort Worth 

The three primary underlying causes of foundation issues in Dallas/Fort Worth include:

Poor soil preparation

Disturbed, graded soil becomes loose and porous. Without compacting the soil before pouring the concrete, the foundation will slip and slide — or even sink — as the ground fluctuates between wet and dry.

Many newer areas that have been heavily filled could take seven years for the ground to fully settle, so it is not uncommon for a new neighborhood to have foundation trouble.

Pouring concrete over soggy wet trenches is yet another way a foundation can be poorly prepared.

Soil type and climate

To some degree, foundation problems are unavoidable in most of Texas. The entire DFW area is built upon deep clay. When subjected to swings of temperature and rainwater volume, clay soil expands and contracts. Our region is characterized by a wide annual temperature range, and precipitation can vary from less than 20 inches to more than 50 inches.

Poor drainage

Many parts of DFW also happen to sit in a flood plain region. Excessive moisture causes a negative effect on all DFW home foundation types, whether you have pier and beam or slab style construction.

Sometimes a “flood” can be caused by a plumbing leak if the ground has shifted enough to cause a broken pipe somewhere along the line. Large tree roots, bushes too close to the house, and garden runoff can cause moisture to accumulate too close to the foundation.

What to Look For When Buying a DFW Home

When you’re buying a home in the DFW region, look for:

  • The aforementioned signs of DFW foundation problems, particularly cracks and sticky doors/windows.
  • Crispy, fried landscaping and shrubs that have not been properly maintained.
  • Trees too close to the house and untamed shrubs like Red Tips grown up to the eaves of the house.
  • Homes in more established neighborhoods that have been around at least 7-10 years.
  • A property that comes with a lifetime transferable warranty on foundation repair.

You can also call a foundation contractor at Align Foundation Repair for a free estimate to get a professional opinion on the stability of your property. We can provide you with a better understanding of the soil underneath the property, how likely it is to sustain damage, and what the cost of repairs might be.

Preventative Maintenance Steps for Homes in Dallas-Fort Worth

Ideally, a structural engineer will be involved in a building construction project from the ground up. The architect should oversee and verify that all instructions were followed before the concrete was poured.

After purchasing a home, property owners can mitigate future foundation settling by installing:

  • A proper drainage system like a French or surface drain.
  • Gutter downspouts (and keeping them cleaned!)
  • Soaker hoses and sprinklers around the foundation to keep moisture levels stable in dry spells.

Maintaining vegetation – like trimming trees and keeping shrubbery away from the house – is also important.

If you are worried about a foundation in Dallas / Fort Worth, call the family-owned and operated Align Foundation Repair. Since 2010, our A+ rated, BBB-accredited, fully insured business has provided expertise to local residents.

Call for a free inspection if you live in one of our DFW foundation repair service areas. All work comes with a fully transferrable warranty that gives you peace of mind and increased property value.

How Foundation Problems Can Impact Buying or Selling a Home

Are you putting your property in the Dallas-Ft Worth area up for sale? Perhaps you’re a homebuyer and searching for property in the region. In Texas, there is usually a quick closing period of 30 days. A lot has to be squeezed into that short window of time to ensure a smooth closing. This includes inspections of the house’s plumbing, electrical system, and foundation. Foundation problems in DFW are quite commonplace, and existing issues need to be resolved before the closing period.

Foundation Problems for the Seller

Begin with a DIY inspection for signs of damage. Examine your home for the following:

  • Cracks in the walls, ceilings, and house exterior
  • Opening and shutting problems with any of the doors or windows
  • Uneven flooring
  • Soil pulling away from the foundation

If any of the above is present, then you will need to schedule a professional foundation evaluation. If problems are present and require remediation, you can arrange for repairs before selling the home or put the property on the market as is. If you opt for the latter, you will need to make note of the foundation problems in a disclosure form. Keep in mind, you will likely also have to sell at a lower price. If foundation problems are only discovered during the closing process, the buyer may back out, or you will have to enter into last-minute fixing negotiations to decide you will pay to restore the foundation.

Your real estate agent can consult you on this manner and advise whether it’s more cost-effective to repair the foundation on your own dime or sell the property as is.

Foundation Problems for the Buyer

As the buyer, insist on seeing documents verifying the foundation was inspected by a qualified technician. If no inspection has been done, see if you can agree to an inspection with the seller, perhaps agreeing to split the cost. Align Foundation Repair provides a free and zero-obligation foundation repair estimate.

There is a prevailing belief that buyers should avoid homes with existing foundation issues. However, this is not necessarily the case. Due to an existing problem, you might be able to negotiate a lower price and use some of the saved money to cover the cost of the foundation repair.

Even if existing issues are present, you can still consider the property if it otherwise ticks all the boxes. You may also agree to buy the home at the seller’s asking price on the stipulation that the latter agrees to pay for the foundation repair before the closing date.

Additionally, some buyers will agree to fix the foundation because they already plan to do significant reconstruction or remodeling on the house.

We Work with Sellers, Buyers, and Realtors

Whether you’re a buyer, seller, or real estate agent, call Align Foundation Repair for a no-cost home foundation inspection or for DFW foundation repair services.

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.

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.

Why Soil Pulls Away From a Foundation During Summer

The foundation is built on top of the soil. If the soil shifts, the foundation is going to move around. The movement, while subtle and gradual, is enough to cause eventual fractures and splits in the concrete slab. During the summer months, soil pulling away from the foundation is commonplace, especially in the Dallas and Ft Worth region. Why does this happen, and what can homeowners do about it?

What Causes Soil to Pull Away?

Soil pulls away for different reasons. The Dallas region is known for its hot summers. The heat plays a major role. The heat rays cause moisture in the soil to quickly evaporate. When the soil is dry and warm, it contracts and shifts, often moving away from the foundation. This leaves significant gaps between the foundation’s slab and the dirt that borders the home. This leads the foundation to shift, sink, or slope at an uneven angle and eventually crack apart.

Soil pulling away is especially common in Plano and surrounding cities that have heavy clay-based soil that is prone to drying out. Plano home foundation service providers keep these points in mind during residential inspections where soil conditions must also be examined.

Is Soil Pulling Away in Your Home?

Make a habit of performing a visual inspection around the border of your home. Do you see physical gaps and spaces in the dirt? Does the soil appear cracked along these areas? These are signs of soil contracting and pulling away.

What Do You Do?

Since soil pulls away when it dries, prevent it from drying out by watering it. Run a soaker hose around the home for about 20-minutes. Position the hose about 12 to 18-inches from the perimeter of the house. Be sure not to oversaturate the soil; the soil should be moderately moist. If a puddle is beginning to form, then you overdid it.

Run the soaker hose during summer when the weather forecast suggests a hot and dry week ahead.

Call Align Foundation Repair for a Foundation Inspection

While you can see signs of soil pulling away, you may not be able to tell whether foundation damage has occurred as a result. Soil separating from the house over many summers can cause significant damage that warrants a professional inspection. Contact Align Foundation Repair for foundation repair service solutions. We will provide a free estimate and quote.

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.