Unknown foundation problems can eventually lead to severe structural damage to your home. Whether you are a homeowner or just someone who is looking to purchase their first property, foundation problems are a scary concept, and you will undoubtedly have lots of questions. There are many approaches for foundation repair in Plano, but hiring a professional is crucial.
What are the common causes for foundation damage in Texas?
The hot climate and soil in the North Texas region are the main contributors to foundation problems. Due to the severe temperature fluctuations that can present themselves within a 24 hour period, the soil will expand and contract. When the soil is hot, it will shrink in size, and when it's cold, it will increase in size. This creates unwanted movement, which over time, can make your home unstable.
Lack of an adequate foundation drainage system can sometimes create issues too. Flooding can damage crawl spaces and the residual moisture can damage slab foundations. This also goes hand in hand with plumbing leaks, which can present similar problems.
For those that have a flora-heavy yard, tree roots can occasionally damage your foundations. As the roots push under your house, they will lift your foundation and crack your slabs.
Inadequate soil compaction is another widespread issue. If the soil under your foundation wasn't compacted and prepared sufficiently during the construction of your home, the foundation can sink, due to it not being able to hold the weight above it.
Are there any warning signs to spot foundation damage?
There are a lot of different factors to consider when looking for damage, and they can present themselves in many different ways. House quality, as well as the earth underneath, all play a role in when, where, and how foundation damage will show. Massive cracks in your walls are a relatively easy indicator, but you might be surprised to find out how many other symptoms are easily seen.
Stuck windows and doors (that weren't previously)
Unexplainable cracked floor tiles
Ceiling cracks and wall separation
Brick separation and cracking
Window frame separation
Any cracked exterior concrete
If you notice any of these visible indicators, it's imperative that you consult a professional repair company immediately. This type of damage will not go away by itself, and will only get worse with time. The sooner you get the problem fixed, the less damaged your home will become.
Homes in Texas are often have problems with their slab foundations. This is due to the ever shifting soil, as a result of the hot temperatures and rainfall. Plumbing leaks, which are common, can also lead to slab fractures.
There are four different methods available when repairing a slab foundation, and each one has their pros and cons. We recommend that you opt for slab or steel piers for homes that are in Plano, due to the clay soil that's prevalent here.
Foam jacking is a process of injecting a high-density polyurethane foam under your slab foundation. It will then expand, which will result in the slab foundation getting pushed back up. The speed at which it lifts is slow, even over a large area, which helps to reduce any unwanted damage. However, we do not recommend foam jacking for homes in the North Texas area as steel and concrete piling usually present a better option.
Mud jacking is similar to foam jacking, with the primary difference of it being sand-based grout that is being injected, rather than polyurethane foam. The force from the pump will push the foundation back up. This method can be a little messy, and is best used for completely unoccupied areas of your home.
Piering, or piling, is the best option for homes in the Plano area, due to the expansive soil.
To start with, a square hole will be dug to around four-five feet in depth. This hole will be under the grade beam of your home.
A concrete cylinder will then be placed directly beneath the grade beam, at the bottom of the hole. A hydraulic ram will then be placed in between the top of the cylinder, and the bottom of the grade beam. The ram will then push the cylinder into the ground. Each cylinder will then get connected with a rebar and epoxy. Cylinders will keep being added until the point of refusal. This is when it takes more force to push the piling than it does to raise your home.
Every piling installed will receive a concrete cap. With several bottle jacks, your house will then be lifted to as near as the original position as possible. This is done to the limit of the foundation and the structural integrity that remains, as additional damage is what we want to avoid.
All of the holes will then get backfilled.
Steel piling is almost identical to concrete piling and can be used anywhere where concrete can be used; although it is better suited for areas that have sandier soil.
Pier and beam foundation repair
There are two different options for houses with pier and beam foundations, and it depends on whether you have a perimeter concrete grade beam or not. If your home does have a concrete grade beam, it means pressed pilings can be used to help lift it.
Specific interior floor levels can be adjusted. The floors of pier and beam houses sit on beams, that are supported by piers. These piers are typically made from concrete. Raising the beam off of its support and adding, or removing, steel shims, will allow your floor to sit at a natural level. It's common for support piers to fail and to be replaced over time.
It's sometimes necessary for the wood in pier and beam foundation crawl spaces to be replaced too. The wood can get cracked or receive damage from insects and moisture. This is also a good time to install a better ventilation systems to reduce moisture build up and to help lower humidity levels later on. Adequate ventilation will minimize the wood rotting and stop mold and fungus growth.
Let us get started with the best foundation service that Plano has to offer!
To receive the best foundation service Plano Texas has to offer, please contact GL Hunt at the number above for a free evaluation.