You might need foundation repair if..

Symptoms of foundation failure.

Repairing the Slab Leak

When my foundation repair consultant, Richard Nash, suggested I have a plumber out to check for a slab leak, he made one criteria clear.

“Have them wait at least two hours to see if the water level drops.”

Here is what he meant. A lot of the slab leaks in houses built in the 1970s as mine was occur in the out-going or sewer lines. And that is because the cast iron pipes used under the concrete slab foundations are starting to fail.

The plumbers come in and pull up one of the toilets and set it aside. Then they basically plug up the sewer lines and run water from faucets until they can see water backing up into the line where the toilet was. They let the water come up to just below the floor tile then shut it off.

Then the waiting begins to see if the water level drops. If it does, (more…)

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Foundation Repair Maintanence with Soaker Hoses-7 Ways Homeowners Do it Wrong

It’s been a long hot dry summer over much of the U.S. and particularly so in Texas and it’s been hard on the home foundation built in those areas with expansive clay soils. We’ve  seen a stretch of 100 plus degree days that flirted with the record books and hardly any rain.

That’s good for the foundation repair companies. But not so good for home owners who have not only had to endure sweltering heat but are now seeing signs of foundation movement.

Things you can do to avoid the cost of foundation repair

In fact here are 7 common mistakes homeowners make in regard to their concrete slab foundations that sit on heavy clay soils. I’m as guilty as the next guy as far as some of these missteps go, so don’t think I’m getting all high and mighty on you.

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Foundation Repair In The News

You know a drought is taking its toll on the slab foundation in your area when the local television news is running stories on how busy foundation repair companies are.

While some parts of the U.S. are finally drying out after record flooding this spring, other parts of the country including Texas are experiencing record dry conditions.

As I write this, my soaker hoses are running. You know the drill, when in drought, water foundation.

A TV outlet in Austin, Texas has a news article where they are talking to both homeowners and foundation contractors and things are not good. Well, not for the homeowners.

One of the homeowners has a problem with his doors sticking, not latching properly, and now cracks are appearing in the walls. Those are classic signs of foundation issues. (more…)

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House Foundation May Need Some Underpinning

foundation_repair_email_iconHere is an email exchange I had recently with a guy who relocated, is new to heavy clay soils and thinks he may be in for a foundation fix.

Subject: Old house, slab foundation, clay soil, big trees, and the drought!

Dear Digger,

My family moved from Columbia, MO to a 21-yr old house in Sugar Land, TX in December 2010. Over the past few months, I have observed and learned big lessons about the house and its foundation, the swell/shrink clay soil in this region, one monstrous oak tree and another two big trees nearby, and the exceptional dry weather condition facing the entire state of Texas. I have a family of seven.

On top of my daily duties, I am feeling overwhelmed by the acuteness of the situation, signified by brick wall crack, pulled away soil, cracked door/window frames, wood siding separation, etc. (more…)

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Need Foundation Repair? Blame it On “Climate Change”

If you need a foundation fix, it might be because of climate change (formally known as “global warming”) At least that is the gist of an article written last year that I ran across in the New York times.

We know that homes built on expansive clay soils that swell during rainy periods, then shrink during dry spells cause a lot of problems for concrete slab foundations.

What I didn’t know was that these periods of dry weather followed by heavy rains have become more frequent and possibly triggered by climate change according to this NY Times article. Really? Here is a quote:

“Data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association indicates that since the 1990s there has been an accelerating trend nationwide toward more extended dry periods followed by downpours. Whether due to random climate patterns or global warming, the swings between hot and dry weather and severe rain or snow have profoundly affected soil underneath buildings.” (more…)

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