slab foundation repair
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…)
Foundation contractors sometimes offer up to three methods of underpinning a house foundation. These three main methods of repair include pushed concrete piers, steel piers and the drilled or bell bottom pier.
I’ve run across one company that says the bell bottom pier is the best way to go. It is the oldest method, most tested and most reliable form of underpinning a house with foundation problems. It is the type of pier used in highway and major commercial construction and has been for years. The company is Dawson Foundation Repair and has locations across Texas.
A Slab Foundation on Heavy Clay Soil is Subject to Movement
During the rainy season, clay soils expand with the added moisture. When the soils dry out the clay soils shrink. This can cause not only up and down movement of your foundation but also lateral movement. And this can cause the classic signs of foundation problems…diagonal cracks in the walls, inside and out, doors and windows that don’t work right and uneven floors. (more…)
If you have your concrete slab foundation inspected by either a repair contractor, or better yet, an independent professional structural engineer, you are likely to get an elevation report produced by one of two tools:
A Compu Level or a manometer. When I had my inspection done, the engineer used a Compu Level. I received a report that detailed variances in elevation from one end of my slab to the other. For example, there was a 3-4 inch drop in one corner of the house when compared to the center of the slab.
Nice to know. I suppose. But in practical terms, what does that really tell you? Unless you have a benchmark of some kind to compare the readings against, not a whole lot. Do I have elevation readings from when the slab was newly poured? No. (more…)
How does the home owner get a fair price on the cost of foundation repair? To begin with,
remember the following rule of thumb.
Foundation repair companies sell piers. The more they sell and the more they can charge you per pier, the bigger the salesman’s commission and the more the company makes.
Be aware that in large metropolitan areas with foundation problems, several companies that do foundation leveling may also own other foundation repair entities.
This means you have a real possibility, without you realizing it, of getting multiple bids from the same company. They just use different names. And the different phone numbers could be going into the same office.
Beware that most every foundation repair contractor has a preferred type of pier.
We are experiencing a pretty long hot dry spell in my part of the world. That means making sure the clay soil around my concrete slab-on-ground foundation doesn’t dry up and pull away. I’ve been running the soaker hoses pretty regularly and they do a nice job keeping the ground around the perimeter of my foundation moist or at least not too dry. We call it “watering the foundation.”
I did notice that one of the soaker hoses in the front was sending a 2 foot spray in the air. The problem with that is a reduction in the water pressure down stream from the spray and a less even distribution of water around that part of the foundation.
The fix is simple since soaker hoses are such low tech creatures. Mark the hose where the spray comes out, let the hose dry out a bit, then wrap the area with hose repair tape. Electrical tape works too. You are just trying to knock down a spray, not stop a leak.
If you are using soaker hoses to keep even moisture around your slab foundation it is a good idea to walk the perimeter once a week or so and look for breaks or big leaks that need fixing.