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Crumbling brick foundation on bottom corner

A Basic Guide to the Process of Home Foundation Repair

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Have you been noticing cracks in the foundation of your home? How long has that chunk of concrete near your front doorstep been missing? One of the most stressful home repair processes homeowners experience is foundation repair. Foundation repair is a necessary process to prevent your home from settling unevenly and causing significant structural damage.

Most of the time, small vertical cracks in your foundation are normal. But, large horizontal or vertical cracks are signs of significant foundation damage.

If you think your foundation might need repair, it can be helpful and stress-relieving to understand exactly what the process entails.

Signs Your Foundation Needs Repair

All foundations settle over the course of time. Structural issues arise when a home settles unevenly. Uneven settling often occurs in homes built on expansive soil. When the soil experiences a change in moisture, the soil expands and contracts in different places. When the soil expands, it softens, causing part of the foundation to settle but not always the entire foundation. This uneven settling can cause cracks in the foundation and other damage.

In addition to being built on expansive soil, homes experience foundation issues from being built on improperly compacted fill soil or on an area with insufficient drainage. If you live in an area that experiences extreme seasonal changes or natural disasters like earthquakes, flooding, and drought, it is likely you will have issues with your foundation over time.

Finally, plumbing leaks and tree roots growing near your home can cause foundation problems as well.

stair step cracks are an exterior sign your foundation is in need of repair

Exterior Signs Your Foundation is in Need of Repair

  • Cracks in the foundation
  • Displaced moldings
  • Cracked bricks
  • Wall rotation
  • Separation around the garage door

Interior Signs Your Foundation is in Need of Repair

misaligned doors and windows are an interior sign your foundation is in need of repair

What to Expect During the Repair Process

Foundation repair can be an intense process, it’s true. But failing to address foundation issues can lead to devastating consequences such as sunken floors, basement flooding, and ill-fitting windows and doors.

Knowing what to expect during each step of the foundation repair process can help to reduce stress and ensure realistic expectations.

Two of the most common foundation repair processes are pier and beam foundation repair and concrete slab foundation repair. Here is a detailed explanation of what you can expect from each process.

Pier and Beam Repair

Several homes opt for pier and beam foundations over concrete slabs for added stability on soft soil. A pier and beam foundation consists of:

  1. Piers embedded in the soil underneath the home.
  2. Beams laid across the piers for support.

Often, a crawl space containing footings for additional support is found under a pier and beam foundation.

Types of repairs for pier and beam foundations:

  • Shimming: A preventive measure involving tightening any loose areas by inserting wooden shims between the piers and beams.
  • Pier Stacks Addition: If interior piers are damaged, it may be necessary to rebuild or add pier stacks. This usually takes a few days.
  • Replacing Wood Beams: If the issue lies in rotting wood beams, these may need replacement. The process’s length depends on the extent of damage.
  • Adding Underpinnings: In cases where interior support areas are affected, adding underpinnings may be required.

Concrete Slab Repair

Concrete slab issues are corrected by inserting piers into the ground underneath the foundation, using hot-dip galvanized steel piers and a gas-powered hydraulic pump. The preferred piers are helical and push piers:

  • Helical Piers: Steel-made and screw-shaped, they help distribute your home’s weight evenly over the foundation.
  • Push Piers: Hollow steel pipes pushed into the earth under the foundation until they hit bedrock.

Foundation Stabilization

Rather than lifting and leveling the foundation, foundation stabilization reinforces the support structures to keep the home in its current position. It is often done after a recent remodel to avoid damage to the new work.

Ideally, foundation repairs should be completed before remodeling. Experts suggest starting renovations two to three months post foundation repairs to allow the house to adjust and settle.

How Much Does Foundation Repair Cost?

Estimating the cost of foundation repair isn’t a cut-and-dried process, owing to several contributing factors. These can range from the extent of the foundation damage, accessibility of the repair site, the chosen repair method, to potential additional services and fees. This makes every repair project unique, with costs fluctuating accordingly.

For this reason, we provide complimentary estimates based on free inspections and proposals. This ensures you get a clear, detailed breakdown of costs specific to your situation, helping you make informed decisions. Contact us today to schedule your free inspection.

Will Insurance Cover Foundation Repair?

It is impossible to make a blanket statement about whether insurance will cover the cost of foundation repair.

In Texas, the majority of homeowners insurance policies cover the cost of foundation repair. But only under certain circumstances. Most policies cover foundation repair in the event of fire, explosion, or water damage.

Take Action for Your Home’s Safety

Have you identified any signs of significant damage in your home’s foundation or feel unsure about its structural integrity? We’re here to help. Understanding the foundation repair process can be a stress-relieving first step, and our team of experts can guide you through it.

We offer comprehensive assessments and tailored solutions to address issues and protect your home. Reach out to us today to schedule a free inspection and a detailed repair proposal, specifically designed for your unique situation. Don’t wait – safeguard your home now.”

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