My Foundation Slab Leak-Part One

Image of leaking water pipe causing slab leak“I don’t think you need piers. Maybe a few. But I do think you have a slab leak.”

That’s what foundation consultant Richard Rash told me in November.  I had run across Mr. Rash’s website while researching foundation repair companies in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area.

After being in the foundation repair business for 30 years in the Dallas area Richard retired and formed a new business, that of a consultant who goes to bat for the homeowner. In the course of all those years of putting piers under house foundations then having to go back now and then to a job where the slab kept moving despite the underpinning, he figures he knows a lot about what actually goes on with the typical residential foundation in North Texas.

The cost of foundation repair DFW and most other places is based on the price of each pier times the number of piers needed. The average cost of a pier in the Dallas area (more…)

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Foundation Repair and the Drought-5 Tips for Homeowners

dried up clay soilsDroughts are hard on the home foundation, no question about it.

I was looking at a map from the US National Weather Service that showed almost a third of the country in drought conditions that range from “excessively dry” to “exceptional drought.” Not good.

And to make matters worse, many areas included in the drought also have homes built on shrink/swell heavy clay soils. That means when the soils dry out, house foundations start moving, usually dropping.

Things the homeowner will start to notice are cracks in the sheet rock inside and in brick veneers outside. Doors and windows that don’t work the way they used to and are supposed to, and in the worst cases, floors starting to slope.

It’s happening again at my house too.

Extended dry conditions like this provide plenty of work for foundation repair companies, but what about the homeowner?

Here are 5 Foundation Repair Issues To Be Aware Of

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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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Water Foundation – What’s Up With That?

soaker hose

The following is a recreation of a conversation between me and a neighbor when I first moved here. His name is Ed and he is wearing a ball cap and a Dallas Cowboys T-shirt.

 

Me: “What are those black hoses I see around your house?”

Ed: “Soaker hose. Water foundation.”

Me: “Excuse me, what?”

“Around here you have to water the foundation. I use the soaker hose for that. Part of foundation maintenance.” (Yes, he speaks in clipped sentences.)

“Well, why do you do that?”

“You’re not from around here, are you?”

“No, we just moved to this part of Texas. Moved here from St. Louis. Lived in New Mexico and El Paso before that. So, yeah, we’re new here.

“Well around here you have to water your slab, water foundation. Don’t let the dirt pull away from it. We have nasty clay soil around here and it’s hard on the house foundation. Be sure and get you some soaker hoses.”

“I’ll check into that, thanks. Soaker hose. Water foundation. Huh. See ya later, Ed.”

Ed’s wife later threw him out of the house.  (more…)

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