Common Signs of Foundation Problems

Chances are when something in your home needs repair, you address the immediate problem and think that’s the end of it. As a homeowner, you need to be aware of which problems could be signs of foundation trouble. Since everything in your home literally rests on the foundation, every homeowner needs to know the common signs of foundation problems.

Common Signs of Foundation Problems

Damp Basement or Crawlspace

Excess moisture in the basement is often due to water entering through foundation cracks. When the leaks aren’t repaired quickly, the foundation problem can worsen. If there’s not an obvious leak, how can you tell whether your basement or crawlspace has excess moisture? A musty smell, mold growth, high humidity, condensation on windows, or proliferation of insects are indicators of moisture issues.

Cracks

Not every crack means there’s a foundation problem. However, it can be challenging for homeowners to determine which cracks are problematic. When a new crack appears, it’s a smart move to have a professional evaluate it. The following types of cracks usually point to foundation trouble:

  • Wall cracks near doors and windows
  • Diagonal cracks
  • A floor to ceiling crack in a basement wall
  • Cracks where the wall touches the ceiling
  • A cracked chimney

Issues with Windows, Doors, Walls, and Floors

Other signs of foundation problems may begin to appear around the house. Windows that used to operate well may become difficult to open and close. In the past, you had no issue opening and closing interior doors, but now those doors stick. Also, foundation problems can cause floors to sag and walls to bow.

Foundation Repair for Dallas Are Property Owners

If you’ve noticed signs of foundation problems in your Dallas area home or commercial property, we can help. Contact us to answer your questions or to provide an estimate for foundation repairs.

When Should You Repair Your Foundation?

How often do you think about your foundation?  When was the last time you inspected it, or had it inspected? With some time, attention, and a little TLC, your home’s foundation can serve you well for many years, even decades. Neglect it, however, and the issues can compound until your house is falling down around your ears, costing you more time and money than you need to spend to fix it.  Doing regular inspections yourself can help catch problems early, but how do you know what’s an issue and what isn’t?  Here are a few major signs that you may need to repair your foundation.

Repair Your Foundation

Warning Signs To Look For

One of the most obvious signs it’s time to repair your foundation is the appearance of dynamic cracks. You can expect some cracks with the natural settling of any foundation. However, they should be relatively small and not change very much in size or shape. If you notice multiple cracks appearing suddenly, cracks growing in size rapidly, or noticeable gaps appearing where two surfaces meet, it’s time to get things taken care of.

Less obvious signs will appear in your house itself, and may take some time for you to notice. A door that sticks or is hard to use is a great example. For instance, it may just be a case of extreme weather causing the wood to swell and not work properly. This usually only happens sporadically, though. If you’ve got doors that are difficult to use all the time, this could be a sign that your house has settled too much and your foundation needs some work done. Other signs include floors that no longer level, and cabinets that no longer sit flush with the ceiling, if they were installed that way originally.

Last but not least, extreme soil fluctuations caused by your local weather can cause ongoing issues, if not properly maintained. When left unchecked, soil instability can lead to a loss of structural integrity, which could mean a total replacement and not just repairs.  The aftermath of flooding, and damage caused by invasive plant or tree roots can also cause major headaches, so regular inspections are vital to your foundation’s longevity.

See something worrying in your foundation? Contact us today and we’ll make sure your foundation will stand strong for years to come! Call us if you think you may need to repair your foundation.

4 Reasons Why You Should Avoid DIY Foundation Repair

The foundation of a structure is fundamental in making sure you have a firm building. If the foundation becomes weak, the integrity of your house becomes exposed to several threats. Most people, however, opt for a DIY foundation repair, thinking it is cost-effective. That is not the case, as repairing a foundation requires expert knowledge. Compiled below are four reasons why you should avoid repairing your foundation.

4 Reasons Why You Should Avoid DIY Foundation Repair

Saves You Time and money

Most people think that hiring a contractor is expensive. Thus, they opt for a DIY. A DIY might result in more damage if you do not have the necessary experience. On the other hand, you can end up saving a lot of money by hiring a qualified foundation contractor. If you want to repair your foundation, you should consider hiring the services of an expert.

Access to the Right Tools

Foundation repairs require specialized tools for you to complete it successfully. A DIY can be a difficult task since accessing the right tools to complete the repair is not easy. Plus, you also risk damaging your house more. An expert has the necessary tools required to handle the assigned tasks. If you want your repairs done professionally, you should consider working with qualified foundation contractors.

 Expert Knowledge

Foundation repairs require you to put several factors into consideration. One of the main advantages of hiring a specialist is that they have years of experience. A reputable foundation contractor has the proper training skill needed to assess and repair your foundation professionally. Lastly, they will ensure your structure remains firm for an extended period.

 Protect Your Home Value

The foundation is one of the most crucial parts of your home. Therefore, you need to protect your investment in case you experience some foundation issues. If you opt for a DIY foundation repair, you might extend the damage further. Protect the value of your home by hiring a specialist to conduct the repair correctly.

If you experience any signs of foundation damage, do not hesitate to contact us before the damage becomes a serious matter.

Are Your Foundation Cracks a Problem?

When you notice a crack in your foundation, you think the worst. Your mind immediately goes to the thousands of dollars that serious foundation repair can cost you. However, if you see a crack in your foundation, while that is a traditional warning sign, not all cracks mean something bad is happening.

Are Your Foundation Cracks a Problem?

Every foundation will settle. It is to be expected as the foundation ages. Ideally, you want to prevent severe and unexpected settling by preventing the soil from expanding, shrinking, or eroding around it. When your foundation settles naturally over time, cracks will appear. They are harmless, but you need to know what cracks aren’t harmless.

  • Vertical Cracks — It is very uncommon to have concrete foundation and not see a few vertical cracks. These should be hairline and within 30 degrees of vertical. They are caused by natural settling.
  • Diagonal Cracks — These cracks are also normal, caused by different ends of the foundation settling differently. You may also see diagonal cracks, called step cracks, creeping their way up exterior brick walls above the foundation. So long as they are hairline, they are not a serious problem.
  • Horizontal Cracks — Now if you spot horizontal cracks, these are the most serious kind. These cracks can be a sign that a foundation is starting to bow and addressing them quickly can help stop a serious problem.

Minor Cracks — Do You Leave Them Alone?

If you have hairline vertical or diagonal cracks, they don’t mean there is a bigger problem, but they still need to be addressed. The issue is that these cracks, when exposed to moisture and the elements, can widen. Over time, this widening will cause a problem. You want these small cracks to be filled in with epoxy by a professional to prevent them from growing worse.

Do you have a foundation with cracks? Don’t let minor problems grow into major and expensive ones. Contact us today to see what Hargrave Custom Foundation can do to help.

Is There a Good Season for Foundation Repair?

Foundation problems are, unfortunately, a problem that can get worse over time. They can often become more expensive repairs very quickly as well if you ignore them. However, if you are hoping to get the foundation repaired quickly and for the best price, you may be looking to choose the best season for foundation repair, but is there a best season?

Is There a Good Season for Foundation Repair?

When it comes to foundation issues, many choose the summer season. It isn’t too wet and the ground is fairly stable. Unfortunately, because of this, summer can be a busy season for foundation repair companies. They may struggle to schedule you in for a timely repair.

What you might not expect to be a good season for foundation repair is winter. Certainly winter presents some problems. Sometimes the weather can get too cold or wet, which can push back a repair. However, as the ground is very cold, it makes for a stable surface. This also means that your foundation repair may not get worse during this season. It is also worth noting that foundation repair companies often have more open schedules as well.

Spring and fall are generally not advised to schedule foundation repair unless it is very serious. These seasons are typically very wet and often they are when foundation damage occurs. There are times when repair cannot wait, but for more mild repairs, it is often better to not disturb the foundation until the soil is more stable. You may wish to talk to your foundation repair company first, however. If you are having a mild and dry spring and fall season, repairs can be done.

So when is the best season for foundation repair? Any season is a good season if you have a foundation problem. In many cases, you may just need to monitor cracking, but if more serious foundation symptoms are manifesting, then your repairs can’t wait.

If you are having foundation problems that need addressing, we can help. Contact us today to see what Hargrave Custom Foundation Repair can do to help you get your home back on a solid foundation.

Do Garage Floor Foundation Cracks Mean Foundation Problems?

Due to the expense of foundation repair and the general seriousness of problems with the foundation your whole home sits on, any crack or defect in your foundation is a worry. So when you go into your garage one day and find a crack snaking its way along the floor, then it is only natural to be a little concerned. However, cracks in a garage floor aren’t necessarily something you need to worry about depending on how your home was built.

Do Garage Floor Foundation Cracks Mean Foundation Problems?

Hairline cracks, no matter where they appear, aren’t usually something to panic about. These very small cracks will happen as a home settles, and it is something that you should expect. You will want to have them sealed so that they don’t expand due to water or dirt exposure, and otherwise just monitor them. If hairline cracks do get larger, then it should be something to be concerned about.

Aside from the size of the crack, garage floor cracking is often treated much less seriously than other foundation cracking. In many cases, the cracking in your garage floor was deliberate. When it was poured, contractors likely put in control joints. These are essentially areas where, if the foundation of your garage settles, it will crack in a controlled way. The cracks from control joints are generally pretty straight and usually in an out of the way area so as to not disrupt the garage too much.

If the cracking the isn’t in a very straight line, this is unlikely from a control joint. In these cases, you will want to monitor the crack very closely to see if it expands so action can be taken quickly.

Are you having worrying foundation problems in your garage or anywhere around your home? We can help. Contact us today to see what our professionals at Hargrave Custom Foundation Repair can do to help you get your home back on a solid foundation.

What to Expect During a Foundation Repair

You’re a planner. You like to know what you are doing, when, and how it is going to be done. Unfortunately, foundation repair wasn’t exactly part of the plan, but repair still needs to be made a priority. If you are lucky, foundation repair is something you only need to have done once in a lifetime. As such, you might not know what to expect when it is time to have it done, but the process is pretty is easy to walk you through.

What to Expect During a Foundation Repair

Before a Repair

Once you have a professional out to confirm a problem and have chosen a contractor to fix it, foundation repair often starts with prepping the area. Depending on where the problem is located and how serious it is, the landscaping around the foundation may need to be removed for access. You will want to clear the area as much as possible so the contractor can get to work quickly.

During Foundation Repair

There is no one universal foundation fix. Depending on the type of foundation your house has and the problem it is manifesting, the method of repair may differ. In some cases, small tunnels may be dug to reach the foundation underneath or the repair can even be done with small drilled holes to inject a polymer in order to lift the foundation to the correct level. Sometimes even drastic measures are needed like lifting up your home.

When it comes to what to expect during a repair, your contractor will walk you through it fully. They will tell you what they will need to do when repairing the foundation, how long it will take, and if it is something that you can stay in your home for during.

After Foundation Repair

Once the repair is done, your home will go through another round of settling. During this time, you should avoid any repair like patching drywall cracks for at least six months. During this period of settling, new drywall cracks may appear. The foundation will need to come to rest in its new position, so some traditional signs of foundation settling should be expected.

Do you have a foundation problem that needs fixed? Contact us today to see what Hargrave Custom Foundation Repair can do to fix it and let us walk you through every step of the process.

What the Summer Heat Does to Your Foundation

When we think of foundation damage, we think of the damage that is done by too much rain. It makes the soil too saturated with water and unsteady, allowing your foundation to shift. However, it is not just rainy periods where you should be concerned for the foundation of your home. The hot and dry periods of the year, especially summer heat, can be just as damaging.

What the Summer Heat Does to Your Foundation

The Dallas area is unfortunately flush with expansive soil. This means that there is a lot of motion that can happen to it. In wet periods, it swells and becomes slick. However, in dry periods in the summer, the soil can actually shrink. The soil shrinking away from your foundation is still very much motion that can cause your foundation to shift and settle.

One of the ways homeowners often combat this, often unknowingly, is with landscaping. Shrubbery and other landscaping by the home helps the soil hold moisture, provides shade to prevent the soil from quickly drying out, and is something that homeowners will water. Essentially, the way to combat foundation damage on hot, dry days is to get your hose and water the area around the foundation. Especially if you see the soil pulling away. Having landscaping gives you a reason to water the foundation, but areas without landscaping perhaps need the watering even more, especially if exposed to direct sun.

If you are looking to prevent foundation damage in the summer, a good rule of thumb is if you haven’t had any rain in a week and the temperatures have been upwards of 90 degrees, you will want to give the soil around your foundation some saturation.

Do you have a foundation in the Dallas Fort Worth area that is manifesting signs of damage? We can help. Foundation problems are not something that will get better, they will only grow worse. Let our professionals at Hargrave Custom Foundation Repair help you solve the problem before it gets any worse. Contact us today to see what we can do for you.

Do Tree Roots Damage Your Foundation?

A tree can be a great addition to a yard. It not only provides you with a nice dose of oxygen, but it gives your yard some much needed shade. However, a tree planted too close to your home can be a hazard. Certainly you need to be concerned about branches falling on your roof, but roots growing under your foundation is also a problem.

Do Tree Roots Damage Your Foundation?

The truth is that not all trees are a problem for your foundation. A pine tree, for example, has roots that grow straight down, meaning they will have virtually no impact on a foundation. However, fast growing hardwoods like oak or elm have very shallow roots that spread over the surface. This can not only sap the soil of moisture near the surface, but the roots have the potential to breach the surface, thus moving the foundation.

Signs Tree Roots are Affecting Your Foundation

If you aren’t sure if your nearby tree is causing foundation problems, you can look for a few common signs. These include:

  • Cracking Foundation Near a Tree — Foundation damage due to a tree won’t be found on the other side of your house, you will notice cracking almost adjacent to the tree.
  • Your Home Slants Towards a Tree — If you notice your foundation almost slants towards a nearby tree, this can be a sign that it is sapping the nearby soil of moisture. While it may not have cause any damage yet, it will very soon as the soil continues to collapse.
  • Raise Roots Towards Your Home — If you can see the roots, this is a problem for your yard. It’s not good for the tree and it becomes a trip hazard. However, if those raised roots are heading towards your home, then it is also a problem for your foundation.

While we can’t help you with nearby trees, if the trees in your yard have already caused foundation damage, we can help prevent that from getting any worse. Contact us today to see what Hargrave Custom Foundation Repair can do to get your home back on a steady foundation.