Is Your Foundation Cracking, Settling, Sagging or Sinking?
The need for home leveling and foundation repair in Dallas and surrounding communities is on the rise as the persistent drought conditions persist. These extreme periods of little rainfall and high temperatures in the summer months cause our clay soils to shrink weakening the carrying capacity of the soil to support a home’s foundation. When the rains finally come, the soil is then hydrated, soaking up the moisture and swelling to maximum size.
Note that “too much water” can, and frequently is caused by internal plumbing leaks, HVAC condensation leaks, and poor external drainage management.
These shrinking and swelling actions cause settling, sagging or sinking vertically and horizontally. The result is cracked bricks, interior walls, chimneys, uneven or cracked floors and windows and doors that don’t open and close properly.
In fact, we have seen reports that indicate Texas is “ground zero” for foundation problems, accounting for more repair work than the other 49 states combined.
Our company, Foundation Repair Pros, has been in the business 20+ years and deals with these problems on a daily basis. Our top-tier repair specialists are the best in the business, using several different patented technologies and a strong dose of common sense to solve foundation problems in the most economically feasible manner.
Solutions for Slab Foundation Repair
Home built on concrete slab foundations, also known as slab-on-grade, is the type most often used by residential builders in today’s subdivision developments. Although there are three slab design choices, the monolithic pour is used primarily in our area.
Keep in mind that new homes built in our fast growing communities are not exempt from foundation issues. Consumer Reports studied subdivision developments across the country and found that 15-20% of new homes experience foundation related problems within a year of two after construction.
There are distinct advantages for this construction technique, not the least of which is a lower cost for the builder and homeowner. These are great foundations if installed correctly by the builder and maintained properly by the homeowner.
When problems develop, our job is to carefully diagnose the cause and then develop a repair plan that solves the problem within the budget constraints of the homeowner. The basic idea is to get the foundation and home back to level and attach the foundation to solid bedrock or equivalent to eliminate future movements. This can be accomplished using one of several different techniques:
|* Drilled Bell Piers|
|* Concrete Piers and Pilings|
|* Helical Piers|
|* Resistance Steel Push Piers|
|* Pressed Pilings or Piers|
These are proven and patented technologies that offer a permanent solution to your slab foundation problem.
Solutions for Pier and Beam Foundation Repair
If you have a crawl space, you have a pier and beam style foundation. These were the standard residential construction technique for homes built prior to the late 1950’s. These are an excellent choice and in fact, are the preferred foundation for many custom home builders. This is because of design flexibility, easy access to plumbing and maintenance items and affords the homeowner a comfortable walking surface with wooden flooring.
The downside is that a dark, dirt crawl space is oftentimes the perfect environment for termites, fungus and mold which attacks the wooden joists, beams and structural piers. Excess moisture from humidity, particularly during summer months stimulates and exacerbates this problem. HVAC or plumbing leaks add to the problem by weakening the ground under the vertical piers.
Another issue we see frequently is poor design with the original construction. Specifically, columns/piers were placed too far apart which causes the beams to become overloaded. This results in sagging or cracking beams and sloping, bouncy floors.
Foundation Repair Pros is well known as the leading expert at repairing pier and beam foundations. Many local firms don’t even offer this service, but it is one of our specialties. Our solution options can include the following, depending on site-specific conditions and budget considerations:
|* Encapsulation of crawl space|
|* Sistering new wood to damaged joists or girders|
|* Replace broken or damaged joists or girders|
|* New piers to reinforce the original poor design|
|* Use of high quality, heavy duty jacks to level structural components|
|* Use of steel shims|
|* Fix water drainage or water leaks|
We will work with you to develop the best solution, consistent with good engineering and your budget constraints.
Examining Foundation Repair Cost in Dallas
Let’s be honest right up front…foundation repair cost in Dallas and throughout the DFW area is not “cheap” in the traditional sense. It is a serious problem that requires a high level of technical expertise and specialized equipment in order to execute a solid solution.
Nevertheless, there have been many instances over the years where we have advised homeowners that NO corrective action is required, other than some maintenance items easily performed by the homeowner.
That being said, most repair projects are in the range of $2,500 to about $6,000 with $10,000 on the high end. The average cost of foundation repair in Dallas is about $5,000. It’s interesting to compare that with the average cost of $13,000 in San Francisco and $6,000 in Houston.
Note that additional items may be recommended i.e. plumbing repairs, wooden beam replacement and correction of external drainage problems.
Here’s an idea of how that compares to nationwide statistics from across the country:
There are many variables that are considered with each repair job and all are unique to the specific property:
|* Visible cracks in sheetrock, bricks, floors or chimney|
|* Square footage of the structure|
|* Pier and beam or slab foundation|
|* Two story or single story home|
|* Soil type and moisture levels|
|* Level measurements taken throughout the residence|
|* Presence of fungi, mold or wood rot|
|* Presence of water leaks, ponding, drainage problems|
Our goal is to identify all factors that are contributing to your foundation’s failure and develop a cost effective plan to correct those items.
|San Francisco, CA||5,000||12,828||21,000|
|New Orleans, LA||3,400||6,615||11,200|
|Los Angeles, CA||1,500||5,811||10,000|
With this view of the data, it is clear that the Dallas market is quite competitive in terms of repair pricing. In discussions with repair professionals in various other markets, it appears that two factors favor our market: the lower cost of labor and the lower overall cost of living in the DFW area. Just by happy you don’t live in the San Francisco area!
Two other factors that are included but not readily evident in the repair cost information is the type of foundation and the repair technique used on the job.
In general, the costs of pier and beam repairs tend to be lower when compared to slab foundation repair costs. This is primarily because of easier access to the damaged area and the type of materials used. This is not always the case depending on the extent of damage.
Slabjacking or mudjacking is a very effective technique and is usually the least expensive. However, it is important to note that it can only be used effectively in situations where the underlying soil is stable and the load per square foot is light. This means that it is a good choice for driveways, sidewalks and porches but generally not for the main structure. Here’s a nice video showing this foundation repair technique:
Piering is the best technique for most slab foundation repair jobs. As discussed previously, Foundation Repair Pros offer several types of piers each with its unique advantages. The main reason piering is the best choice is that they are hydraulically driven to bedrock or equivalent and provide a permanent solution, regardless of further structural movement or soil movement.
One of the most important concepts to consider is this…the cost of NOT repairing your foundation. Real estate experts tell us that a home with foundation problems must be discounted about 15-20% in order to sell. That means on a $200,000 home, it will cost you as much as $40,000 if you decide not to get the foundation fixed!
Foundation Repair Pros
Let’s tackle this problem head-on, together. We offer a free top-to-bottom inspection of your home to identify the issues and develop a cost effective corrective action plan. And we will work with you on financing options if needed.
Our company is fully insured and our work is backed by a transferable lifetime warranty with StrucSure, one of the largest home warranty companies in the United States.
Give us a call today to schedule an appointment and we will work hard to demonstrate the trust and confidence that thousands of homeowners in the DFW have experienced.
Foundation Repair Pros
19111 N. Dallas Pkwy, Dallas, TX 75287