Frequently Asked Questions

A Crack in a Cinder Block Building Foundation.

We Want To Help!

We know that foundation repair can be unfamiliar and intimidating. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions we have come across. This list of questions, however, is not extensive. If you read through this and we have not answered your question, feel free to reach out at 210-267-8828. We would love to answer any questions you may have, and we can even offer you a free estimate for the foundation repair you are considering!

Why should I repair my foundation?

Properties represent significant investments from their owners. Any time you suspect something’s wrong, it’s a good idea to call for a professional opinion. Don’t make the mistake of neglecting small issues that could turn into larger ones down the road. The same goes for foundation repair.

Tips for a healthier foundation

A healthier foundation requires diligent attention and the ability to call on professional assistance. Keeping an eye on drainage systems, hairline cracks, crack concrete, and other issues can help you stay on top of foundation repair. Use the best products available so repairs last longer and your foundation is more durable.

How can I tell if I need my foundation repaired?

If you spot cracks in basement walls, on warehouse floors, or concrete works around the property, it’s an indication of foundation damage. Likewise, if any water leaks or pooling are going on inside, call us to see if we can help. Taking action sooner rather than later can save you a lot of money and worry.

What causes foundation issues?

Foundation issues arise from several issues. The age of the foundation is always a factor. Older houses and commercial buildings will need more repair than newer buildings. Soil shifting, frequent exposure to water and direct sunlight, erosion, and shoddy construction can also lead to foundation issues.

Can I wait to do foundation repair?

It’s recommended that property owners get cosmetic repairs done within 60 to 90 days of when they first noticed it. This helps prevent things like hairline cracks, mold, discoloration in cement and other problems from turning into a big deal. More serious damage requires even more urgent attention.

How much does it cost for a push pier?

The price of push piers varies depending on quality and material. If push piers need to be drilled deeper to reach the stable ground, then that can raise the cost as well. Local labor rates also play a part in determining the cost. Steel push piers cost around $1,000-$1,500 each. So, depending on the area that needs to be stabilized, push piers can cost property owners several thousand dollars.

Aging tree roots damaging foundation

One issue a lot of property owners face is root growth. When trees age and grow, they develop extensive root systems that are hard to predict. In some cases, roots grow into foundations and eventually cause cracks and shifts. Removing roots to stabilize buildings requires professional help.

Pros & Cons to Pier & Beam?

Pier and beam foundations provide properties with protection from flooding because they elevate the home higher than traditional foundations. Water flows rarely touch the foundation because the beams lift them. They also offer easy access to plumbing and electrical systems that are housed underneath them.

On the other hand, pier and beam foundations often attract rodents and other vermin in crawl spaces. Additionally, crawl spaces gather moisture that’s hard to get rid of. They also make more noise because wood beams creak under shifting weight.

Concrete piers and why we don’t do them.

The bottom line is that concrete piers don’t last. Steel piers offer a more durable solution for property owners. With concrete piers, it’s only a matter of time before your foundation will need to be repaired again. Concrete pier systems are also unable to go as deep as other piers, so they offer comparatively less stability than steel.

What are the different foundation repair methods?

There are several different foundation repair methods. In addition to the push piers, helical piers and concrete piers we’ve touched a bit on, companies also use polyurethane foam to lift concrete slabs. We also offer concrete patching and sealing and mudjacking. Different foundation repair methods are used depending on the condition of the foundation, size of the property and many other factors.

Poly vs Mudjacking?

The use of polyurethane to fill cracked and uneven concrete slabs are gaining popularity over mudjacking. Mudjacking refers to the process in which gaps are filled with cement. Polyurethane is fast-acting and cost-efficient, so more companies are recommending it to clients.

One issue with poly is that errant polyurethane can clog and seal pipes and vents in the area, requiring plumbing and HVAC repairs on top of foundation work.

What causes a leaning chimney?

Leaning chimneys are often the result of shifting masonry work that’s resulted from foundation damage. When the bottom of a home moves slightly it has large repercussions on upper levels of the home. This is especially evident in brick homes that are held together tightly with mortar. Chimneys lean when the foundation isn’t fully stable and the walls take on load-bearing responsibility instead. Eventually, walls and the chimney start to lean under the weight of the house.

Do plants and shrubs near the foundation hurt the foundation?

Plants and shrubs near the foundation cause some damage. It’s easy for vermin to hide in bushes and gain access to crawl spaces. Water collects around plants and can flow into foundations and eventually cause cracks and mold growth. Finally, root growth, though not likely as serious as with large trees, can affect foundations.

An easy solution for landscaping is to build raised beds or install plastic sheets around the base of the property to protect the foundation from soil and water.

Are uneven floors a sign of foundation problems?

Uneven floors are a common sign of foundation damage. When homes or commercial buildings are built, they’re level. Shifts in flooring indicate that the foundation underneath the property has shifted. If your home or commercial building has warped floors, contact a foundation repair company to come to perform an inspection.

What is concrete lifting?

Foundation repair companies use technology and tools available to lift sunken concrete slabs back to their original position. Lifting is usually done with a polyurethane material that’s injected into gaps in the concrete. The material expands and hardens, pushing the concrete upwards. It’s a more cost-effective solution than a total concrete replacement. Lifting is relatively fast as well.

What is a push pier?

Push piers are one of the most popular, long-lasting foundation repair solutions on the market. Push piers are driven deep into the ground to take on load-bearing duties of the foundation. They’re great for residential, commercial, and other property types. They usually come in steel to increase their lifespan.

What to expect during your foundation inspection?

Foundation, crawl spaces, and other service inspections usually take between one and two hours. Of course, time will fluctuate based on the size of the property, condition of the foundation, and how easy it is to access the foundation. Our team is happy to work with property owners to find a time that works for you.

What to look for in a settling foundation?

Cracks in your foundation walls are the surest sign your foundation is dealing with settling the soil. You can also look at doors and windows that won’t close flush like they used to. Uneven floors also indicate movements in your foundation that need attention.

If you want answers to more frequently asked questions in San Antonio and Austin, TX, give us a call at 210-267-8828!

Richard Reed
Another great day at FSS! Thanks to my guys taking the time to smile for the camera.
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