Posts Tagged: foundation repair

Pier Installation

In the below video you will see a complete single hole pier installation. The type of pier installed is an St2. This is a concrete pressed piling utilizing a steel starter cone and steel rod inserts. These piers are substantially better than a simple pressed piling system.

Pier Installation Video

Foundation Repair Estimate Dallas | Fort Worth | Plano | TX

This is video footage of a walk around in order to gauge damages caused by foundation settlement.  In the video you will see brick cracks, gapping at the windows, trim separation, sheetrock cracks, slab cracks, doors out of alignment, and doors that won’t shut.  All these are symptoms of an underlying foundation issue.  Stratum Foundation Repair specializes is solving the underlying foundation problem.  Stratum Foundation Repair is a leading repair company in Dallas, Fort Worth, and Plano, TX.

Foundation Repair Estimates Video

Soaker Hose Use in Dallas, Fort Woth, Plano, and Surrounding Areas

Another day in Dallas-Fort Worth…….another day of 100 degree heat……another day with no rain. As this Summer of 2011 turns into ground hog day I am often asked what a homeowner should be doing in regards to maintaining their homes foundation. The answer: Water the foundation. If you are from the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex then the idea of watering your foundation might not seem so strange. Want to see a dumbfounded look on someones face? Find someone new to the area and tell them they should “water their foundation”. They will definitely look at you like your crazy!

The #1 thing a homeowner can do to avoid foundation repairs is make use of soaker hoses. There are only a few set in stone rules regarding soaker hoses:

Notes

1- Do not connect multiple soaker hoses together(nothing over 50 ft). This will cause a loss of water pressure towards the end of the line thus leading to uneven watering.

2- Place the hose 12-18 inches from the foundation. DO NOT place the hose against the foundation – this will lead to the water collecting at the bottom of the foundation beam and destabilizing the foundation. It can also lead to deterioration of the concrete.. The idea is to swell the dirt back into the house. This can be accomplished by placing the hose the proper distance from the house.

The most obvious question at this point: How often should I run the soaker hose. This is trial and error and highly dependent on the weather. The goal is to keep the soil surrounding the foundation damp. Not muddy, damp. Also, make sure the water is not ponding. The soaker hose should be dispensing water at a slow enough rate that the soil can absorb the water in its entirety. If the water is ponding then reduce the frequency and or pressure with which you are watering. A quick test: Go outside and try to place your fingers between your foundation and the soil. Is there a space? If so then you aren’t watering enough. There should never be a space between the soil and the foundation.

The bottom line: Soaker hose use prevents foundation problems and may prevent you from needing foundation repairs. It may also correct existing foundation problems.

Soaker hoses are recommended for all of the Dallas – Fort Worth metroplex including Plano, Allen, McKinney, and Frisco.

Getting Your House Ready For Spring

Winter is over and flowers are blooming, with a new year and beautiful weather around the corner homeowners are in the initial stages of planning for their yearly spring cleaning. Before you start throwing your sweaters and jackets to the backs of closets, perhaps you should first consider preparing your house for the rainy and following dry seasons. For most people, spring chores include resurrecting their lawns and gardens. If done in addition to the aforementioned task you can cut down on the time and money invested towards your maintenance of your foundation.  With proper foundation maintenance you can stave off another brutal Texas summer and save yourself thousands of dollars in repairs.

Maintenance

Proper Drainage

During the rainiest season of the year for most of the country, it is especially important to focus your attention to your drainage. Poor drainage can leave a few minor and major problems with your property. For beginners you probably have noticed that poor drainage can be an eye sore for you and your neighbors. Not only that, but it can also become a safety concern. Standing water can become a breeding zone for mosquitos and mold. Taking care of a few things in relation to drainage will help protect you, your lawn, and help maintain the stabilization of your foundation.

First thing you will want to check is your home’s first defense against drainage, your gutters. Check to make sure all of your gutter’s pathways are free of debris. It might also be wise to consider gutter guards, a fairly easy DIY project that can dramatically cut down the frequency you will need to service your gutters. While inspecting your gutters, if you come across a section of your house that does not have gutters installed, check the soil near the slab. If it is dried and cracked away from slab, revealing below the skirt of the foundation, you should seriously consider installing gutters above this location. Check to make sure that all downspouts are connected and extend away from the building. Check that all concrete surfaces are not slanting towards the building so that no water can be directed under your foundation.

Proper Watering

Now after reading the drainage section you might be thinking to yourself, “I thought water was good for my foundation.” This is both true and false. In this situation I refer you to a classic childhood fairy tale “Goldilocks and The Three Bears.” What we are looking for is the perfect amount of consistent water saturation around the entirety of the building. In order to achieve this, we must subtract and limit any unaccounted for watering. Once we have a blank state, we can begin a watering regiment that is best suited for both your landscaping and foundation.

The best method for watering your foundation is to install a soaker hose around the perimeter of your building. This is another fairly easy DIY project that your home and yard can benefit from greatly. Along with the hoses, you can also pick up some timers and splits for your outdoor water spigots. These will allow you to create a set and forget watering routine. Also keep in mind the part about consistency. For instance, your front might require more watering than the back and sides of your building, due to more landscaping. Also you sides might require less watering than your back, due to your neighbors sprinkler system reaching the side of your house. Try to notate any such factors when setting your timer and be ready to tweak it the first week or so. You don’t want to water so much that you have standing water and you don’t want to water so little that it’s being evaporated before it saturates the soil.

Proper Landscaping

Trees and large bushes are one of the leading factors that cause the structural integrity of your foundation to weaken. When it comes to landscaping, the most important factors are location and volume. We typically recommend keeping any bushes or trees that are higher than 4 feet tall more than 10 to 15 feet away from the foundation. Use bushes close to the house that require little water and maintenance. Trees are typically the biggest offenders when it comes to foundation problems. Trees, more specifically the roots of trees, can reach out towards and under the building and leach large amounts of water from the surrounding soil. It is important to keep the tree and bushes properly trimmed. If you suspect that a tree’s roots are close to the foundation of your building, you might consider having a root barrier installed in between the tree in question and your building.

Adding these hints, tips and tricks to your honey-do list will definitely increase the lifetime of your foundation throughout the spring and the upcoming summer.

Stratum Foundation Repair provides residential and commercial foundation repair & root barriers to the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex. We have an “A+” rating on the Better Business Bureau with zero complaints. We strive ourselves on our customer service and would never let it get to point that you would even think of complaining. With over 13 years of experience we are committed to providing the absolute best service all the way around. For additional information about our company, products and services check out our website at www.StratumFoundationRepair.com or call us today for a FREE estimate at (214) 683-2956.

A Visual Guide to Understanding Foundation Problems

5 Common Causes of Foundation Problems

We had this amazing infographic designed as a handy reference for property owners in Plano and the Dallas-Fort Worth area highlighting potential areas of concern that can lead to foundation failure.

 

 

Key Takeaways

  1. Most Foundation Problems Begin with Water and Moisture Issues
  2. Property Owners can reduce the chance of foundation problems by ensuring the abutting ground has the proper slope and grade to direct water away from the foundation

About Company

Stratum Foundation Repair, the highly regarded company for Foundation Repair in Plano TX, is owned by Ryan Hise. With several DFW locations, they can be reached at their Plano location.

Stratum Foundation Repair

 

Stratum is a family owned foundation repair company serving Plano, TX and the surrounding area. We can help you diagnose house settling issues, drainage problems, and fix your foundation problems right the first time.
101 E Park Blvd STE 600
Plano
TX
75074
USA

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Ask The Expert Series 1: Foundation Basics & Problem Causes (1/4)

It’s common for homeowners to notice things they believe to be signs of foundation problems. This series encompasses everything you need to know about your home’s foundation: starting with a basic understanding of what a foundation is below. This is Part 1 of 4 in an ongoing blog series that was developed from an interview with one of our foundation consultants. To listen to the full interview, please find the audio here.

Let’s start with the basics and give you a foundation of knowledge on, well, foundations!

Unfortunately, most homeowners don’t even think about their home’s foundation until a problem arises that needs repair. And, while many of these issues can be repaired, there are also things you can do to prevent them from happening in the first place.

First, let’s look into foundation repair and what causes foundation problems to begin with. Thanks to the help of a foundation repair expert from Stratum Foundation Repair based in Dallas, Texas, here’s all the information you need to understand the basics. This will help you understand the issues that arise and how to best avoid them from happening at all.

Concrete Slab Foundation Basics

The key to understanding your home’s foundation is right underneath it. The earth under your home is what it sits upon, and it’s also what usually impacts the changes – and sometimes, issues – that occur.

Most people don’t give the ground underneath their homes a second thought. But, it’s that very ground, and its contained moisture, that can give you a run for your money in foundation repair.

Understanding the Root of the Problem

For example, consider a home within the Dallas area – one of the highest areas in need of foundation repair. Why? Clay. The earth in this area is most commonly comprised of clay. This especially impacts the movement of a foundation because clay expands. Think of it as a sponge – it contracts when dry, expands when wet. Couple that with dry weather patterns; like a drought, or over-watering and you can easily imagine why this area is ripe with foundation inconsistencies.

You may be thinking, if all of the land is clay, and there’s a drought, wouldn’t logic follow that the clay underneath the foundation simply contracts? This assumption is incorrect, because foundations are impacted by any inconsistencies within the earth and, unfortunately, can happen both naturally and unnaturally (as in, we’re doing things to the soil, like watering in certain areas, that can make it worse).

For example, something as simple as a tree can lead to inconsistencies. If one side of the home with a tree is being watered daily, the clay expands on that side of the home. If the tree isn’t being watered daily, it pulls a great deal of moisture out from the soil (trees can drink up to 100 gallons of water daily), causing it to contract. Meanwhile, the other side of the home, without a tree, gets less water and contracts if the tree is being watered. Or, perhaps, contains more moisture than the side the tree is pulling moisture from.

Common Causes of Foundation Issues

While there are many different causes and cases that cause foundation issues, the most important take away is that when these factors become inconsistent, it can lead to an uneven foundation.

The mere expansion & contraction isn’t necessarily the problem, it’s the inconsistent swelling and contraction under the house.

For example, serious foundation issues often occur when the perimeter of the foundation dries out and the interior doesn’t – most commonly in summer months. This is most likely an issue that leads to the foundation moves first and the structure second. Think: the right side may be swelling while the other is contracting, leading to uneven foundation differences. Since clay moves so much, you want to implement a foundation that moves with it.

While the foundation itself is meant to move and flex, the structure on top of it and plumbing within it is not meant to move – especially inconsistently. Within areas that have clay, most homes are built on a concrete slab, so due to weather, settling, tree roots depleting moisture/droughts, and other variables, people need foundation repair. 

These inconsistencies can cause different types of issues, some of which are more common than others.

4 Warning Signs of Foundation Issues:

  1. Noticeable cracks
  2. Roof/Trim issues
  3. Plumbing damage (often signified by odor)
  4. Structural damage

If at any point there’s a concern that you may have foundation issue in your home, you should never hesitate to call an expert. Many companies offer free foundation inspections allow experts to get to the bottom of it, whether there’s a problem or not. They want to ensure you correct the current problem and create a plan for the avoidance of future issues. This is the case with Stratum, and you can call us to give you a thorough and FREE inspection by calling us today.  214-683-2956

At the end of the day, if you have a foundation issue, it’s nothing to be lax about. Your entire house is shifting, and it won’t correct itself. Experts need to assess the damage and create a plan for both repair and a longer-term plan to avoid further damage; they will also navigate issues, like gas lines, etc.

You also want to ensure that it’s a long-term solution and that it’s done correctly from the beginning, so work with your foundation expert at Stratum to create a plan to both correct the current problem and avoid future issues from arising.

Now that you have the basic knowledge, you’ll be able to better understand how to determine if there’s a potential foundation issue with your home. Read on to discover the warning signs of foundation problems in our second post in the series, along with ways you can start to determine whether or not you may have a foundation issue. Call us today: 214-683-2956

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5 reasons why Foundation Repair should be at the top of your list!

5 Reasons why you should repair your Foundation issues ASAP!

You are noticing signs of foundation issues in your home. Doors don’t close, you have unsightly cracks in your sheetrock, and you are beginning to notice cracks in your bricks. These are all signs that you have a foundation issue, here are 5 reasons why you should repair ASAP!

Separation caused by a shifting foundation

1 Homes move seasonally. They move down during the hotter, drier summer months, and upward during the cooler, wetter months. It is this constant upward and downward movement that eventually leads to broken plumbing pipes. Plumbing repairs can run thousands of dollars. Broken pipes under your foundation often lead to a substantially more expensive foundation repair plan and make the repairs much more difficult to carry out. If it is winter time let Stratum repair your home now to keep it at its elevated state and avoid another sinking this summer. If it is summer it is important to get the house up as soon as possible to release the pressure on the pipes, and of course prevent any future downward movement.

Movement in your foundation eventually leads to broken plumbing pipes

2 Time=More Work. The further you allow your foundation to settle the more secondary repairs you will have to pay for. This includes sheetrock repairs, window and door adjustments, flooring repairs, roof leaks, brick and mortar repair, plumbing repairs, as you can see the list goes on and on. The sooner you repair your home the less expensive these additional problems will be to repair — or they may not even occur at all!

Sheetrock cracks due to foundation movement

3 Time=Money. Foundation repairs will absolutely cost you more in the future than they will today. Ever increasing material and labor costs will always lead to higher repair costs for the consumer.

Concrete cylinders used to secure your foundation

4 Moving Soon? In the event you plan on selling your home in the relatively near future it is ALWAYS better to have these repairs completed prior to listing the home. This way YOU control the choice of contractor, and of course the price you are willing to pay. Once a buyer is in the picture they tend to have leverage in this regard.

Sell your home for more!

5 — You should hold off on all other home improvements until AFTER your foundation has been repaired. Most Families have a list of things they would like to do to their home. Foundation repair needs to be FIRST, as any other repairs done ahead of foundation repair can be compromised when your home is mechanically lifted.

 

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