Soaker Hoses Feeling Neglected….For Now.

As I recall, soaker hoses are those porous rubber conduits one drapes around the perimeter of the foundation to supply an even measure of moisture to the slab. It’s smart to do this if your house sits on shrink-swell clay soils.

I haven’t had to use mine for six months. After two years of drought and local water use restrictions it has rained. a. lot. The area lakes are full and then some, my yard is squishy and the grass fat with water.

If I were to run the soaker hoses the water would immediately run off and head for the street moving quicker than a fat kid on cake. We are ten inches above normal in the rainfall column for this year. So far. But that could change.

All the rain could come to a screeching halt next week. In fact, we usually have hot dry summers. So my soaker hoses lie in wait, resting under a thick layer of mulch, until it’s time once again to deliver moisture to the foundation.

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Clay Soil – Living In The Swell Times of Shrink-Swell

This little blog is written from the Dallas, Texas part of the globe which happens to be in one of the busiest areas for foundation repair companies. Why?

Most of the residential neighborhoods are built on what used to be black prairie farmland.  Where once they grew cotton they now grow housing developments planted in the same heavy clay soils.

These soils swell when wet and shrink when it’s dry. The result is rising, falling and twisting of the average slab-on-ground concrete foundation. The use of soaker hoses to keep the soil around the foundation moist is a must. (more…)

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Foundation Repair Companies and Lifetime Warranties

Something a lot of foundation repair companies like to talk about in their advertising in Texas is a “transferable lifetime warranty” on their work. Meaning that the foundation repair job is guaranteed for as long as you live in the house and even after you sell it. The new owner would get the same promise.

What that means is if there further movement with your house foundation, they will come back out and uncover your piers and see if more shims need to be added to make the  foundation level again.

It sounds good, but the warranties need to be read carefully. (more…)

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Austin Foundation Repair

It’s weird, but I never thought that Austin foundation repair would really need much of a mention because of the way I think about the geography there. Hill Country, lots of bluffs and cliffs, rocky outcroppings everywhere.

When I think of Austin I picture lot’s of limestone and chalk, not foundation bending shrink-swell clay soils. But that’s what I get for thinkin’.

A few minutes with the Travis County soil survey map from the USDA website proves I have a lot to learn. There are more diverse soil types around Austin than you can shake a BBQ’d rib at.

A homeowner with an Austin foundation on clay soils has the same problems as a lot of other places in Texas.

The soil types that homes are built on in the Austin area change dramatically as you move west to east. It’s the shrink-swell clays in the mid and eastern areas of Travis County that provide Austin foundation repair companies their livelihood. Read more about it here.

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Slab Leaks and Foundation Repair

Some foundation repair companies also include an option of checking for slab leaks as part of the leveling process. It’s not hard to see that if your concrete foundation had to be lifted a number of inches in places to achieve level-hood there just might be some stress on the plumbing joints under the slab.

A check to make sure that the work to make a  foundation level has not caused a slab leak due to damaged plumbing is not a bad idea. If your local foundation repair contractor does not offer this service odds are good that a nearby plumbing company does. Just tell them you’ve had a foundation lift and need to check for slab leaks. (more…)

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