If you have a slab foundation and notice signs of damage, it might be time to call a professional to assess the damage. Check out this post to learn about signs of damage, causes, and the repair process.Read More....
Many homes are built with pier and beam foundations. These require special attention but the repair process can still be relatively quick and painless. This post discusses some of the facts around pier and beam foundation repair.Read More....
Sometimes the best option for foundation or structural repair is mudjacking. Not many people have heard about this option. In this post we break down what it is as well as some of the pros and cons.Read More....
Even though close to 100% of your foundation is going to be buried underground and the last thing in the world that you are thinking about as a homeowner on a day to day basis, the condition and quality of your foundation means everything to your home.
A cracked, damaged, or otherwise compromised foundation is always a difficult project to navigate. We are, after all, talking about the structure that supports the entirety of the rest of your house – quite literally the support that the entire structure of your home depends on.
This is part of why it is so important that you only ever work with legitimate foundation repair professionals when you discover a crack, when you discover damage, or when you discover that your foundation has started tilting, shifting, or sinking.
For more than 30 years now, we here at GL Hunt have been helping our friends and neighbors and provide services throughout the Austin region for all foundation repair needs.
We understand just how stressful this kind of project can be and just how complex these kinds of repairs can be. Our experts will make sure that your foundation is stabilized and “future proof” as much as possible without enacting any over corrections that could cause structural stress or damage all on their own.
Our professional foundation repair teams always include on-site supervision every step of the way, guaranteeing that no work is undertaken without fully considering all implications in ensuring that your home is going to be better off at the end of the project than it was when work began.
We also offer full free plumbing tests after the completion of the project so that you have peace of mind in knowing that your plumbing is good to go after the foundation has been patched up and repaired, include free home inspections for all homeowners from top to bottom before and after the work has finished.
We’re even able to provide friendly financing options to those that would rather not have to worry about this project breaking their bank account or blowing up their budget along the way.
Below you’ll find a bit of extra insight into some of the more common foundation issues that can occur, some of the more dangerous foundation problems that need to be addressed ASAP, as well as some of the more common repairs that can be performed by our GL Hunt professionals to get your home back to better than brand-new condition just as soon as is possible.
There are only three basic types of foundations that most homes are built on in the United States and throughout our region here in Austin, including:
The full basement – The most common type of basement when soil and surrounding environmental elements make digging deeper into the ground possible. This is also the most stable and the most supportive of all the foundation types.
The crawlspace/pier and beam foundation – Essentially a “half basement”, most commonly chosen when the soil and environmental elements won’t allow for a deep foundation (a full foundation) but can still support a crawlspace. This kind of foundation comes into play when full or half second stories are planned for a home and a slab situation just wouldn’t provide the stability necessary for the project.
The slab – slab foundations are essentially poured concrete placed directly on top of the ground or (more commonly) dug just a bit below grade. These foundations are chosen when the soil and environmental elements just won’t support anything other than a “floating foundation”, particularly in sandy or unstable soil conditions.
One of the biggest problems that wreaks havoc on foundations throughout our part of Texas is the fact that improperly constructed foundations were a lot more common in the “wild west” days of booming development throughout Texas (and throughout America, for that matter) – especially right after World War II.
Many of these foundations were under built and overdeveloped upon, placing a tremendous amount of extra stress on top of these foundations. Obviously, that extra stress and the weight of the structure on top of the foundation over decades and decades of time inevitably causes cracks and damage to occur.
Other problems can develop in your foundation as well from Mother Nature herself. Various weather events (high winds, droughts, flooding, and other geological changes happening beneath the surface of our soil) will inevitably break down and destroy the foundation that has been built in conditions that no longer exist.Soil and its natural tendency to settle into the earth when compacted can result in sinking foundations, and while Texas doesn’t deal with quite as many sinkhole situations as say Florida, we still deal with our fair share. Any sinkhole (even a partial sinkhole) is going to do a tremendous amount of damage to your foundation and your property in general.
As you can see, there are plenty of factors working against you to break down and destroy your foundation. This is why you need to be ultra-vigilant about the common signs and symptoms of foundation damage so that you can jump out ahead of these issues before they become catastrophes.
The most obvious signs of damage to your foundation are any obvious cracks, any obvious crumbling, or any other elements of your foundation that are obviously compromised.
Hairline cracks in foundation elements are almost always preludes to more significant cracks along the same line and can be a signal that trouble is right around the corner, but also give you an opportunity to jump ahead of that major issue and resolve it before it gets out of control.
Cracks in poured concrete foundations are usually caused by stress and pressure placed upon the foundation, it’s important that the professionals figuring out how to fix a cracked foundation that you have hired understand exactly how to alleviate that pressure so that it doesn’t get worse later down the line or shift to another area of the foundation after the “fix” has been implemented.
This is the trouble with DIY foundation crack repair and why so many homeowners are advised not to try and tackle this project on their own. There are a lot of things you can do as a homeowner to cut costs and save money, fixing up your home with just a little bit of elbow grease and maybe a couple of power tools – but fixing your foundation isn’t one of them!
Cracks in the foundation of your home can also lead to crumbling. Crumbling can be caused by low-quality concrete used to pour the foundation in the first place, water damage that has slipped inside of the cracks and begun to wreak havoc from the inside out, as well as stress and pressure being placed on the foundation but not being addressed quickly enough.
Water may not necessarily compromise the foundation directly (though it can do, as highlighted above), but it can shift and change the soil surrounding your home – the soil that your foundation rests upon or is supported by – and that can cause a considerable amount of damage, too.
This almost always happens when the soil surrounding your home rapidly expands during wet weather or when it contracts during dry weather. These kinds of conditions lead to unnatural soil shifting and extreme pressure is placed upon the foundation itself. This pressure is almost always enough to cause a considerable amount of damage, damage that needs to be mitigated ASAP before the pressure becomes too great on the structure built atop the foundation.
Plumbing leaks (especially those behind closed walls) can also lead to water damage destroying your foundation. This is a big part of why we offer free plumbing tests as part of the foundation repair services we provide, helping to guarantee that our fix is a permanent fix and that our clients don’t have anything to worry about moving forward!
Other signs and symptoms you want to stay on the lookout for include:
As soon as obvious warning signs of foundation damage have been discovered it’s important that homeowners reach out to qualified professionals for a more in-depth inspection.
These are the kinds of problems you want a value weighted by legitimate experts that know what to look for, that can determine just how serious a problem you really have on your hands, and can recommend the best course of action moving forward.
Some of the problems that you might have discovered (particularly hairline crack issues) may be more cosmetic than anything else, the kinds of issues that can successfully be tackled with a DIY approach. If any of the loadbearing capabilities of your foundation have become compromised, however, a more drastic fix is necessary – the kind of fix that only professional foundation repair services like our own are qualified to knock out of the park for you!
The repairs that will be implemented on a foundation are going to depend entirely on the type of foundation itself and the issues that are causing the damage and degradation in the first place.
You might be looking at a project that requires the perimeter of the foundation to be dug up and the foundation itself to be shored up from the outside (with new drainage solutions implemented to stabilize the new foundation), but you might also be looking at something involving. Beam repair solutions for crawlspaces, the implementation of cement filled pylon tubes to add additional structural support to the crawlspace or foundation, or even the process of “mudjacking”.
Mudjacking (sometimes referred to as slab jacking or pressure grounding) is a tactic used to level out uneven slabs of concrete or slabs that have begun to sink.
A number of holes are drilled at strategic locations throughout the slab to gain access to the void beneath the concrete, and rapidly expanding and hardening solutions are pumped into the whole to fill the void and raise the foundation back to level. The holes are filled up with cement, ceiling in the pressurized mixture and allowing for a much faster fix than more traditional solutions when it comes to slab foundations.
There are a variety of other foundation repair solutions that can be undertaken by top-tier professionals like our own, but again those solutions depend entirely upon the condition of the foundation and the factors that are causing the damage in the first place.
We would love to tell you exactly how much your foundation repair projects is going to cost right now, but it’s impossible without understanding exactly what your specific problem is and what the perfect solution will be until our professionals arrive for our free inspection.
Labor costs, materials costs, and engineering costs are all factored into the final figure, but our trained estimators will be able to answer all questions and fashion you with an accurate estimate after arriving on site and inspecting the situation with their expert eyes.
When it comes time to hire professionals to provide you with foundation repair services you know you can trust, there are a number of things you want to look into before you pull the trigger and choose the right company to help you out.
For starters, you want to make sure that the technicians coming out to inspect your property aren’t being paid a commission as an outside agent. Believe it or not, that’s a pretty common practice in the world of foundation repair and it almost always guarantees that these “experts” are going to recommend you move forward with much more expensive repairs to pad their own pockets.
All of our technicians are in-house, have rock solid fundamentals in foundation engineering, and aren’t ever going to recommend a repair that isn’t absolutely necessary.
Secondly, you’ll want to make sure that your repair professionals have a number of different training certifications from a variety of sources. There’s no such thing as too much education or too much training when you’re talking about foundation repair work, and that’s something that we take very seriously here at GL Hunt.
Inspections should be reviewed by engineers to make sure that the recommendations are “future proof”, and while that may delay the time it takes to get a quote for the fixes by just a little bit you can rest a lot easier knowing that these fixes are approved by legitimate engineers and are designed to stabilize your home, protect your property, and guarantee that your loved ones are safe in a structure that can be trusted.
Finally, you’ll want to make sure that you are moving forward with repair experts that have a sterling silver reputation in the local community.
As we highlighted above, we have more than 30 years of experience fixing the foundations of our friends and neighbors and now provide service to Austin TX and the surrounding area. You just can’t thrive – let alone survive – in as competitive a business as this one for three decades without building up real trust with these communities.
If you’d like to learn a little bit more about how we can help, or if you’d like to schedule a 100% free (if the homeowner or decision maker is present) and zero obligation estimate with our trained inspectors at your earliest convenience, simply contact us directly and we will help as best we are able to.
You can also reach us outside of normal business hours (at all locations) by calling 1-512-968-0383, or you can shoot us an email using the contact form on our website. Someone from our office will contact you just as soon as humanly possible to follow-up and schedule your free estimate appointment!
Call now for a free estimate!