Foundation Repair Sugar Land is a complex job. It requires specific skills, equipment, and training. A handyman may be able to fix some minor things around the house, but he can’t handle a structural foundation problem.
Homeowners can take preventative measures. They can ensure gutters and drains work properly, irrigate the soil around their foundation (to keep it moist), and mark cracks.
Foundation cracks can be a sign of serious structural damage or a simple problem that requires minor repairs. They can also be caused by soil heaving, water erosion, or subpar construction techniques. In any case, cracks in a foundation should be monitored to see if they are getting worse. Tracking cracks over time will help you to determine the source of the problem and the best solution for it.
When cracks appear in your home’s foundation, it can be scary. You might fear that they will get worse and cause more serious damage to your home or even collapse it. However, you should be relieved to learn that most cracks are harmless and can be repaired by homeowners or professionals.
First, you should make sure that the crack is not wet. If it is, you should wait for the crack to dry before attempting to repair it. Then, use a wire brush to scrub the crack clean and remove any dirt, loose concrete, or paint. Once the crack is clean, you can fill it with epoxy crack sealer to keep it from leaking and to restore its strength and loading capacity.
Hairline cracks are common in new homes and are a sign that the foundation is settling. They often disappear within a year or two, and they do not pose any serious threat to your house. In fact, they are often covered by the warranty on your home.
Structural cracks, which are wider than a quarter and indicate shifting or bowing of the foundation walls, are more serious and should be fixed as soon as you notice them. These cracks may require professional help to prevent further damage or collapse of the foundation.
Large vertical cracks are usually caused by soil settlement or shrinkage of the concrete when it was poured. These cracks can admit significant amounts of water, which should be corrected as quickly as possible. If the cracks are wet, a contractor can inject them with urethane to fill the cracks and seal them against water leakage. If the cracks are dry, they can be sealed with waterproof masonry sealer.
Uneven floors are one of the earliest signs of foundation problems. This is especially true for older homes that were built on pier and beam foundations. These types of foundations are prone to shifting and unevenness due to the soil underneath the home, so when the floor sags or slopes, it can indicate that there are issues with the structure of the house.
Even if you only notice an occasional slant in the floor, it’s important to have it repaired. It’s a sign that there are larger problems that will only get worse, so you want to make sure the issue is resolved right away. It’s also a safety hazard for anyone living in the home, especially seniors or those with disabilities who are unable to maneuver around uneven floors easily.
Foundation repair professionals are typically able to fix uneven floors by using floor jacks and unique foundation peering techniques. This will raise the floor back to its original level, and the damaged area of the foundation will be stabilized with piers and footing. This will ensure that the problem doesn’t recur.
Some floors may become uneven because of poor construction or inadequate attention to detail when the house was originally built. For example, if the floor joists were improperly installed or the ground wasn’t compacted properly, the floor can shift and become uneven over time.
Other times, uneven floors are caused by moisture damage. This can happen in crawl spaces that aren’t properly encapsulated, or where moisture is allowed to accumulate from rain or floodwaters. This can weaken the wood and cause it to rot, which in turn causes the floor to sag or become uneven.
Moisture problems can often be fixed by making changes to the drainage system in and around the home. Adding gutters or downspouts and regrading the soil in the vicinity of the foundation can help direct water away from the house, reducing the amount of moisture that comes into contact with the foundation. A foundation repair expert can evaluate the grading and drainage around the house to see what steps need to be taken to prevent moisture from damaging the foundation in the future.
Window and Door Gaps
While cracks in the walls and sloping floors are clear indicators of foundation problems, some issues aren’t as obvious. For instance, your windows and doors might begin to stick or seem to be pulling away from the frames. While it’s possible that a nail or some wood trim is nailed too tightly or that the gap is caused by humidity, these gaps are usually a sign of a larger issue that requires foundation repair.
This is because the soil around a foundation often expands and shrinks with changes in temperature. This creates movement within the foundation and can cause sections of the slab to sink or rise unevenly. The resulting unevenness can put extra pressure on the framing of the house and cause it to tilt or become crooked. This can also pull on the windows and doors, creating gaps between them and their frames that make it difficult to open or close them.
Gaps in the windows and door frames aren’t as common as horizontal or diagonal cracks, but they can still be a sign of a foundation problem that needs to be addressed right away. These gaps are more likely to appear around windows and doors that sit on the exterior of your home, since these areas take the brunt of most of the shifting in the foundation. When these gaps appear, it’s important to contact a foundation repair company to find a solution right away.
When the foundation of your DFW home settles, it may shift in certain areas of the home and cause the walls to heave or twist. This is a sign that the foundation has failed and can lead to other problems throughout the home. This can include the forming of cracks in the walls and other signs of structural damage.
Fortunately, the solution for most of these problems is to have helical piers installed. These piers can be placed in the ground beneath the foundation of your home and help stabilize it by pushing against the unstable soil underneath. This can prevent future settlement and prevent the need for costly foundation repairs down the line.
Sewer or Drainage Pipe Leaks
It’s not uncommon for the drain lines and sewer line to break, become misaligned or separate underneath a home. When this happens, the used water in the pipes leaks into the soil which can shift the foundation of a house. This may not happen all at once but over time as the soil erodes and moves around. This is why it is important to have foundation problems fixed as soon as you can.
If you notice dark or wet spots on your floor, a sudden increase in your water bill or mildew growing under carpeting, it could be a leaking drainage or sewer pipe. Usually a plumber can fix these types of leaks by using a commercial drain snake (aka roto-rooter) but in some cases the problem may be more serious. When the clog is cleared or a break discovered, it’s necessary to install new pipes and make sure they are correctly placed and sealed.
Plumbing and sewer line leaks are more serious than a supply line problem because the pipes are under the slab foundation and not in the walls. Leaks in the sewer line can actually lift your foundation if they aren’t repaired quickly enough and can also be the cause of cracks and sinking over time.
The longer the leak goes on, the worse it becomes. It can cause cracks in your foundation, surface and floor slabs, mold and mildew in the house and even structural issues.
A professional can determine if you have a broken plumbing or sewer line by doing a hydrostatic pressure test. This involves splitting the pipes and filling them with water, then watching for a change in water level. This test can also be performed from the outside of your home, however it’s a bit more messy and intrusive than breaking through the foundation from above. A professional will typically recommend a French drain system to redirect surface water and sewer lines away from your home. This can prevent extensive damage to your home’s foundation and save you the cost of a large foundation repair job.