A solid foundation determines the integrity of the structure. Small foundation issues such as cracks and shifts can quickly become unmanageable. In places with a dry climate and expansive clay soils like Austin TX, the home is prone to foundation movement. In this article, we address concrete foundation repair in Austin TX, and the things to expect.
If these foundation issues are not addressed as soon as they are noticed, they begin to spread and even become worse over time.
Common causes of concrete foundation problems
There are a few reasons why the concrete foundation of your Austin TX home may develop problems. The following are some of them:
- Weather changes: The stability of the soil below your foundation can be constantly altered by wet and dry seasons. Over time, the expansion and contraction of the soil weaken the structural integrity supporting the property. This causes the foundation to crack and settle.
- Poor drainage system: One of the important components of a healthy home is a good drainage management system. The foundation of your home can be affected by excess or too little water near the home. Some of the causes of drainage problems include a large quantity of water dumped by downspouts, standing water around the home, or a negative slope close to the landscape.
- Expansive clay soils: It is nearly impossible to do anything about soil expansion in Texas. So, you want to make sure that you deal with any structural problems as soon as they are discovered to prevent the damage from getting worse.
- Large trees: It may surprise you to know that as much as 150 gallons of water are consumed by a typical large tree every day. This rate of water consumption dries and shrinks the soil around the tree. When the roots are next to your foundation, it creates variations in the moisture content below the structure, making one section of the foundation move more than the other. To prevent this, root barriers can be created, the tree can be removed, and the foundation can be watered.
- Plumbing leaks: When there are water leaks underneath the slab, excess moisture levels are created deep under the structure. Areas affected by the excess moisture can heave upward, thereby altering the stability of the slab. Leaks under the slab can sometimes be difficult to notice. To trace plumbing issues that hide deep under the property, hydrostatic testing is advised.
Structural problems should never be ignored. Any damage as a result of structural issues has to be fixed as soon as they are noticed to prevent it from getting worse. Therefore, it is important that you schedule an inspection with a professional and reputable structural engineer.
Common signs of foundation damage
It is important that you schedule a regular inspection for your home and foundation because early detection of damage will go a long way to preserve your structure, minimizing the damage, preventing it from getting worse, and saving you a lot of money on repairs. Some of the signs you may see include:
- Bowing walls
- Doors and windows that won’t open or close properly
- Warped or uneven floors
- Wall and ceiling cracks
- Corners of the building looking separated
- Baseboard separating from the walls
- Chimney cracks – this is caused by improper exterior drainage.
- Cabinet doors hanging askew
- Exterior wall cracks
- Some areas of the home seem to be sagging into the ground
- Stagnant water or swampy spots near the foundation
Again, whether you live in Austin or any other place, regular inspection will save you from a lot of foundation troubles in the future.
How do you repair a crumbling concrete foundation?
There are many repair methods that can be used to fix your crumbling concrete foundation. The materials used to construct your foundation and the size of the affected area will determine the foundation repair method to be used for your property.
The best way to find out which method is most appropriate for you is to engage the service of a professional foundation repair to inspect your home and get a recommendation from them.
The disruption caused by foundation repair in the past was unimaginable. Sometimes, the family would have to find alternative accommodation during the execution of the project, and the house would have to be emptied of all appliances and furniture.
Things have changed and foundation repairs no longer come with many disruptions. The most common and least disruptive concrete foundation repair methods are underpinning and piering (which is also referred to as Hydraulic Jacking).
This method of foundation repair involves digging large holes underneath the home’s foundation, after which, a mixture of concrete, rock, and steel is used to restore the foundation’s stability.
After the foundation repair contractors dig and prepare the hole, they pour a supplemental foundation under the existing foundation.
For this method to be effective, expertise, special design considerations, and strong materials are required. It is important that you go for an expert because you don’t have the second chance to get the job done right.
In cases where the foundation of the building has shifted out of its original position, piering is an effective method to fix them.
During this procedure, the foundation is repositioned and stabilized to its proper place using hydraulic jacks. Once this is done, push piers can then be used to try to lift the foundation.
With pressure, the steel piers are hooked to the footing of the foundation to support it.
The Cost of Foundation Repair in Austin?
While the internet is full of information on the cost of foundation repair, many of them only include data on waterproofing and basement homes. The extra space may be a good thing, but in Texas, however, basement homes are not common. This can be a good thing because there are unique problems that come with basement homes, and you won’t have to worry about them. You’re very much likely to see more crawl spaces in Austin, TX and, of course, they have their own problems too.
The average cost of a basic foundation repair in Austin is between $3,500 and $8,000. This largely depends on the size of the property and the severity of the damage. If all your home requires is preventive maintenance, it may only cost you from $500 to $3,000.
A professional foundation repair contractor shouldn’t have a problem offering a free estimate and a warranty for any service provided.
It is common to face challenges with your foundation. However, early detection and immediate action will help to prevent the further spread of the damage.
It is best to have your home regularly inspected by a professional foundation repair company in Austin. A professional will be able to detect any issues with your foundation and recommend the most appropriate repair method for you.