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Is a slab foundation a bad choice?

Image of a slab foundation being prepared.

Is a slab foundation good or bad?

Houses used to be built directly on the ground, right on the dirt, grass, or whatever else was there. Eventually, pier & beam came along that raised houses up using blocks, bricks, logs, and even car parts like transmissions. Then, the construction industry started building houses with slab foundations

Slab Foundation vs Pier & Beam

When considering slab foundations vs pier and beam today, you’re likely not going to find car parts and other odd things under a pier & beam house. That has graduated to cylinder blocks, cement piers, and some wood for leveling. 

A pier and beam house is typically found to be a stable foundation, and in some areas and situations, it is the preferred and recommended option. However, over time a pier and beam does tend to deteriorate as the ground shifts. Repairing a pier and beam is cheaper and easier compared to repairing a slab foundation. 

Real estate experts advise their clients to consider what they want for their preferred home – things such as: 

  • Basement
  • Crawlspace
  • Slab

Each provides a bonus, depending on what your plans are for your home. Things to be considered in making this decision would include: 

  • Lot grading or undisturbed soil
  • Drainage
  • Landscaping plans

Some advantages and disadvantages of having a slab foundation include:

  • A slab foundation or a basement will require excavation before building. This adds to the cost of the house. 
  • A slab foundation, in good condition, is less susceptible to insects, pests, and vermin entering the house. 
  • A slab foundation can make it difficult to repair plumbing that runs through the concrete slab.
  • A slab foundation helps with insulating the house. 
  • A slab foundation house is closer to ground level, minimizing the needs for steps. 

What are some slab foundation benefits?

In addition to the items we listed above, other advantages of a slab foundation house are the quick dry and cure, ready to build it offers, usually within a day. Also consider:

  • A slab foundation is strong and durable. 
  • A slab foundation is less likely to flood because it directs rainwater away from the house. 
  • A slab foundation is less likely to have mildew and mold issues because of this directed rainwater. 
  • When choosing between a slab foundation and a basement for your home, the slab foundation will typically max at $20,000, which is about half of what a basement will cost. 

Why is slab foundation bad?

Well, it isn’t. Not necessarily. What humans learned from building homes directly on the ground were that three things were needed: 

  1. The structure needed better support
  2. Groundwater needed to be redirected
  3. A barrier was needed against soil vapor and water

Once those three things have been addressed, you’re good to go with building the walls, roof, and other features. A concrete slab foundation is the most common and popular option used today in construction. Some preparation is required for a slab foundation, like a concrete footing 24 inches below the projected finish grade. 

After that, two layers of concrete block are placed on top of those footers. The internal plumbing piping is installed next. Next is the rock filler, and then four inches of concrete is poured. 

The main disadvantage of a slab foundation is that it can require expensive repairs. As the ground here in Texas shifts, slab foundations can crack or sink. As a slab foundation cracks or sinks, it can damage pipes, and getting those repaired can be expensive because of the jackhammering required to get to those pipes. However, today builders are using PEX plumbing, which has proven to be better in not breaking. 

Another disadvantage of a slab foundation is the lack of protection during inclement, severe weather events. With enough rainfall, the water can find its way into your home easier than it would with a pier and beam. 

How do you fix a crack in a slab foundation? And can a slab foundation be fixed?

Can a slab foundation be repaired? Yes – when a foundation issue is discovered early enough, it can be brought back to new with any of the following methods: 

  • Foam Jacking: This is a repair method that uses a polyurethane foam to bring a setting foundation back to grade level. It is installed in a checkerboard pattern, after which holes are drilled into the slab. Then this high-density foam is injected under the foundation, expanding and raising the slab up while filling empty spots. 
  • Masonry Patches and Sealants: If a foundation cracks because of shrinking soil, the cracks are usually around corners. Even though this isn’t considered a structural issue, it needs to be addressed so more damage isn’t done. This process is done with hydraulic cement, much like mortar, to create patches and seals. 
  • Epoxy Resin: This is like the use of a hydraulic cement sealant though a few more steps are required for strengthening. It can be injected or poured, depending on which method is best for the situation. 
  • Slab Jacking: If you notice a sinking foundation, you will typically discover the original dirt was not packed right during construction. This repair process is done by drilling holes into the slab foundation and adding a grout-type mixture that raises the concrete. 
  • Piling: There are different styles of piers and pilings used to repair foundations. This is an invasive method but it also lasts longer. 

Other methods for slab foundation repair include steel piers, helical piers, and spot piers. The contractor you choose to work with should advise you of the options best for your house along with the pros and cons of each. 

Close-up of metal framework being prepared for slab foundation.

In Closing

Just how long do slab foundations last? We’re going to estimate a lifespan of up to 100 years, and probably longer, if that slab foundation was prepped and installed correctly. So, is a crack in a slab foundation bad? Absolutely! With even a small crack, the foundation of your home is susceptible to more damage. This will not only allow insects, pests, and vermin inside your home but can also make the foundation meant to keep the walls and roof stable weaker.

Walls lean, roofs collapse – the possibilities of what can happen at this point are endless the longer the slab foundation isn’t repaired. If you suspect damage to your foundation, or you need help with a slab foundation in Dallas-Fort Worth Area, TX  or need repairs ASAP, contact the Solid Rock Foundation Repair team by calling 817-400-7625.

How to repair wall cracks

crack along door frame

Can you repair wall plaster?

Maybe you’ve had to do some electrical or plumbing around the house that required cutting into the drywall. Then here in Texas, the houses shift with the dirt, and with shifting foundations, the drywall cracks. Sometimes a drywall professional is needed, sometimes, you may be able to do your own wall repair

There are wall repair kits available at your local hardware store or the big box home repair centers so you can do it yourself. Wall repair isn’t as difficult as you may think, it is mostly patience and taking your time. We’re going to talk about wall repair in this piece today, what it takes and some tips on how to do wall repair or what you should expect from a professional drywall contractor. 

First, let’s clarify what drywall it though. Before drywall, the walls were plastered, in the early 1900s, the drywall invented by Augustine Sackett came to America. The construction of new homes changed forever. Drywall, sometimes called sheetrock, became the material to cover ceilings and interior walls at a low cost. Even better, it became a DIY-friendly project too! Even wall repairs are easy DIY projects. 

One repair method would be to rip out the old plaster and replace it with new, tape and bed the repair. Or you can opt to do your wall repair a cheaper, easier, and faster way by following these steps:

  1. Protect floors and walls where the repair is needed using plastic drop cloths held down with painter’s tape.
  2. Drill holes into the plaster with a 3/16-inch carbide-tipped drill bit for masonry use, being careful not to drill into the wooden lath. The holes should be spaced 3 inches apart around the area  needing wall repair. 
  3.  Using a shop vac clean dust from in and around the holes you drilled. The surface needs to be clear of dirt and dust. 
  4. Spray a liquid conditioner into each of the holes you drilled. Using a clean sponge, wipe off any extra conditioner that overflows down the wall. 
  5. With a utility knife, open the caulking product tube’s nozzle and place the tube in a caulking gun. 
  6. Squeeze some of the caulking product into each of the drilled holes with one full squeeze.
  7. As soon as you have squeezed the caulk into the holes, with a drill or screwdriver, insert a plaster ring to pull the plaster tight against the wooden lath.
  8. Once the adhesive is dry, remove all the screws and plastic rings with the drill. 
  9. Using the putty knife, scrape off any raised areas of  adhesive and apply a thin coating of joint compound with the putty knife.
  10. Let the compound sit overnight to dry then lightly sand the surface.
  11. Apply a thin second coat of compound.
  12. Once the compound has dried, prime, paint and your wall repair is done!

When do you do a wall repair with spackle? 

Half the battle of a wall repair is knowing which product you need to use, and because joint compound and spackle appear to do the same thing, they often get misused. 

Spackle is for small drywall or plaster wall repairs. Spackle has a goody consistency, similar to toothpaste, made with binders and gypsum powder. It is sold in small tubs of pre-mix solution is ideal for small wall repairs like dents, dings, and nail holes. Spackle dries faster and has less shrinkage. Within 30 minutes of completed your wall repair with spackle, you can sand and paint the wall. 

What to use instead of spackle? 

When you’re installing a wall or making a major size wall repair, joint compound the right choice. Joint compound, aka drywall mud, is made from gypsum dust, a wall repair fiber reinforced compound that you can buy the dust and mix it yourself or buy it in a tub pre-mixed and ready to use. 

When contracts are doing a drywall installation, they will affix sheets of gypsum board to the frame and then tape the seams. Next comes the joint compound  and some finish work, they have a smooth surface. Because spackle comes in smaller containers and dries fast, it doesn’t work well for wall installation or large wall repairs. 

crack in wall

Can you repair wall studs?

If your wall repair needs the wall studs repaired too, it is a doable job and not as difficult as you may think. The hard part is removing the drywall to get to the stud that needs repair. Then, you’ll need to replace the drywall you remove. The following 7 steps will walk you through the process: 

  • Step One: With a drywall saw, remove the drywall from the studs. Then remove the drywall screws or nails and trim the drywall edges with a utility knife to create smooth edges on all four sides. 
  • Step Two: If there are any electrical wire or plumbing on the or through the studs, remove them Use a reciprocating saw to remove the pipes if necessary. 
  • Step Three: Cut the nails that are holding the studs to the bottom and top plates by fitting the reciprocating saw blade in the gap between the plates and studs.
  • Step Four: Remove the damaged wall studs and fit the new ones in place, cutting notches in the new studs for the plumbing pipes. Cover those openings with metal plates so the drywall screws won’t pierce the pipes. Check the new studs with a level, making sure they are plumb. Now attach them to the bottom and top plates with two and half inch screws. No reattach the electrical wires and fasten with wire staples.
  • Step Five: Cut the new drywall to fit in the area where you removed the drywall  and fasten to the studs with drywall screws. The screw head should be sunk into the drywall paper.
  • Step Six: Spread the joint compound along the drywall seams then cover with drywall tape, scraping off any excess joint compound. Allow to sit overnight and dry. 
  • Step Seven: Apply three coats of joint compound allowing each coating to dry overnight and sand before applying the next coat. Now prime and paint your wall install or wall repair. 

As you can see, wall repair and painting isn’t as difficult as it may seem. If you’ve never done this type of DIY project, get a wall repair estimate from a professional drywall contractor. Once you have that quote review this piece and search the internet for how-to-do videos. Start with a small wall repair before you try to install whole dry wall! Call 817-400-7625 today for your wall crack repair in Dallas-Fort Worth Area, TX.

Is a pier and beam foundation good?

foundation

What is pier & beam foundation?

We hear about foundation repair a lot because most houses are built on a cement foundation today. This is where a slab of cement is poured, and the frame of the house is built on top of it.  What we don’t hear much about is pier & beam foundation repair

Pier and beam foundations are common among homes that at 50, 60, 75 years old and older. This is where piers, usually cement, are sunk into the ground and beams are placed in position, extending from one pier to the next.  Those beams support the joists that the subfloor is constructed on and then the actual flooring, leaving a crawl space under the house of about 18 inches between the joists and the ground. Pier & beam foundation repair is needed when the ground shifts and the house slides off one or more of those beams and beams slide off those piers. 

 How do you build a pier and beam?

In the 1960s and earlier, pier and beam was how houses were built. Then it was discovered that you could pour concrete into forms to create a slab foundation, and pier & beam became almost obsolete. Prior to slab foundation though, a pier & beam set up got the house off the ground and left a crawl space and in some instances, a basement. 

The construction style of pier & beam was unique, and as the ones that still exist, regular inspections are needed, often followed up by pier & beam foundation repair. How do you build a pier & beam foundation?  Four simple steps: 

  • Step One: Sink piers in the ground until they are solid planted. This can be cement piers or wooden (cedar) piers. 
  • Step Two: Add a concrete base around each pier to prevent them from shifting. 
  • Step Three: Add beams (usually wood, some use steel) from pier to pier. These will be used to connect the subfloor joists. 
  • Step Four: Set the subfloor on the beams then the flooring base on that.

Is pier and beam foundation permanent?

There is a variety of components that are considered to create a permanent foundation, like concrete blocks when used with Earthquake Resistant Bracing System (ERBS). This  systemic system requires support piers to be spaced following the home manufacturers recommendations between the positive earthquake bracing support. A few examples of homes that are pier supported besides the pier and beam foundation are: 

  • Manufactured homes
  • Modular homes
  • Mobile homes 

Piers can be made from cement or wood as mentioned above in the steps to construct a pier & beam foundation. Concrete blocks stacked are used for piers as well, with any of these methods considered to be a permanent foundation.

Why pier & beam foundation instead of a foundation slab?

 With the knowledge that a pier & beam foundation  will need adjusting and pier & beam foundation repairs, as well as eventually can deteriorate over time, why is a pier & beam foundation installation still a popular choice?  One of the key pier & beam foundation benefits that make it first choice for many homeowners is less expensive for pier & beam foundation repairs that a cement slab foundation. 

Another benefit, any plumbing additions or repairs are easier to and less expensive because of the 18” crawl space. Pier & beam foundations are easier for home that are built with these factors to consider: 

  • Contraction and expansion of the soil is substantial.
  • Construction is planned on a hillside or on an uneven grade.
  • The home is in a flood prone area.

How deep are pier and beam foundations?

The piers themselves should be buried no less than 12” below the ground. In areas where winters bring freezing temperatures regularly, the piers must be 12” below the frost line. Regardless of where the home is built, the piers should have a foot that is eight inches thick and two times wider than the posts it is supporting. 

How far apart should house piers be?

The standard distance is eight to ten feet. However, if the structure is to be multistory or made of heavy material like steel, the engineer may recommend they be placed closer together like four to six feet.

house with pier and beam foundation

What are the two common footing problems with Piers?

Pier & beam foundations are typically a very stable way to build a home. However, like a slab foundation, they do have their own problems: 

  • Collapsing Piers: Piers have fully or partially collapsed, leaned, or sunk. These can be reset and stabilized by a professional contractor. 
  • Beams Shift: The beams can shift, typically happens when the piers have shifted or sunk. 
  • Failed Shims: A home that has previously been shimmed with poor quality shims like plywood will rot, requiring the house to be releveled using better grade shims. 
  • Beams Decay or Rot: This is a problem with wooden beams that are exposed to moisture.

Need help with your pier and beam foundation in Dallas-Fort Worth Area, TX? Solid Rock Foundation Repair is here to help. Call 817-400-7625 today.

What does it mean when a house is leveled?

house leveling

How do you know if your house needs leveling?

You were recently at a friend’s house and they said their house was leveled recently. Since you’re sitting inside it, you realize they didn’t mean it was leveled as in “gone”. Instead, what they meant was they have recently had house leveling done, getting their house on even level.  

Here in Texas, every homeowner should know two things about their house: One) If it doesn’t have termites, it will. Two) If you haven’t needed house leveling yet, you will.  Texas isn’t the only place that you can be almost certain that the foundation is going to settle unevenly. 

Foundation issues shouldn’t be ignored either. There is more than just the doors and windows that won’t close or open. An uneven house can cause structural damage and plumbing issues too. The sooner you have a house leveling service done, the better. If you aren’t having issues with the doors and windows, there are other issues that indicate your home needs house leveling: 

  • Visible wall cracks: A definite indication the foundation of your home needs house leveling are visible wall cracks. A home with brick exterior with cracks in the mortar are a definite indicator. 
  • Basement walls bowing: There aren’t many homes with basements in Texas, but those that have a basement and notice the walls are leaning inward is an indication the foundation is shifting. Have a house leveling inspection done as soon as possible before you find the ground level of your house is below the ground.  
  • Lopsided, sloped floors: A home with a pier and beam foundation that has lopsided, sloping, and uneven flooring or floors that sag are an indication that house leveling is needed.     
  • Ceiling and walls gap: When a foundation shifts, it can produce a gap between the ceiling or crown molding and the walls, doors, and windows.  When you notice these gaps, it is time to call for a house leveling quote. 
  • Doors and windows sticking: As we mentioned earlier, sticking doors and windows are an indicator of foundation issues. House leveling will make those doors and windows close and open easily and completely. 

How does house leveling work?

There are a few things that can cause foundation settling that only house leveling can help: 

  • A Water Leak – Common in Texas for underground water pipes to bust or crack and cause the foundation to settle and shift. 
  • The Soil Type – A good part of Texas has clay soil which expands and swells when wet then shrinks when it dries. This ground movement isn’t cohesive with foundations. 
  • Preparing a Lot – Many houses in developments are built in lots that have been filled with dirt to create a higher ground. That fill dirt starts to settle, the foundation settles with it.  

These all lead to the need for house leveling, which is when professional contractors will lift your home and place supporting beams, blocks, and other materials under it. House leveling restores a home to its original position and ensures the foundation is stable and sturdy. 

How do I level my house myself?

If your house is a wood frame pier and beam structure, it will have a crawl space that makes it convenient for water pipe repairs, termite treatment or other troubles that would be a bigger issue if on a cement slab.

The one downside to a pier and beam house in this part of the country, the footings that support the house may settle, the wooden beams sag, and that creates the need for house leveling.

While it isn’t a complicated process, it isn’t easy and if not done right, can cause more problems than it helps. Even the adventurous DIY homeowner will step back and let a professional handle this task. 

The house leveling for pier and beam task requires using house jacks, cinderblocks, and wooden beams, along with a level and several helping hands. This is not a one-person task and may not be completed in one day either.  

How do you jack up a house to level it?

 Here, we provide the steps for leveling house with jacks. Again, you’ll need some help because it is not possible to level an entire house solo. The bigger the house, the more help you’ll need: 

  • Step One: It is recommended to have a structural engineer inspection to check the damage before you and your help begin crawling under the house for this task.
  • Step Two: Taking a level with you, crawl under the house then place the level on the beams running under the house. If the bubble isn’t in the center of the level, then that area needs house leveling. 
  • Step Three: Check the beams and floor condition, if they are warped, they need to be replaced. Then check the beam level again.  If you’re lucky, that fixed the house leveling need. 
  • Step Four: Using a chalk line, mark the low areas of the foundation and position a  floor jack under each one. Ideally, you have one person per jack. After positioning jacks all around the house, at the same time, every person needs to raise their house jack slowly at the same time. One person needs to be under the house checking the beams with the level until all beams are even. 
  • Step Five: Measure the new height beside each jack  between the beam and ground. Create new piers with the cinderblocks and position them next to the spots that are jacked-up. You should have various sizes of cinderblocks and use them as needed to create the right height needed. 
  • Step Six: Simultaneously, lower the jacks and pull them out. 

Is it safe to live in a house with foundation problems?

That depends on how bad the foundation is, but in most cases, yes, it safe.  The soil and weather conditions change in Texas, but houses are built to withstand the pressure and stress that come with those different conditions. Because most homes in Texas don’t have a basement, that fear of a collapsed basement wall isn’t an issue for us. 

However, it the foundation sinks more to one side than the others, it will affect how your furniture sits, the doors and windows open, and it can damage the plumbing and the structure itself.  The sooner you can have a professional house leveling service inspect your home and give you an estimate on house leveling, the better. 

a leveled home with garden

Who Pays For House Leveling? 

Of course, anything to do with your home, the first question is often, “Does homeowners insurance cover house leveling?”, and as it is with other things with you homeowners, it depends.  Every policy is different.  When it comes to natural disasters, the foundation is covered with the rest of your home. However, there are many foundation issues that may be excluded from your policy. It is recommended to become familiar with your policy and the different events that it will cover what and when. Need house leveling in Dallas-Fort Worth Area, TX? Call 817-400-7625 today.

What is a French Drain?

french drain

Is a French drain necessary?

Your landscape contractor has told you that your lawn needs a French drain. So, what is a French drain and why do I need a French drain? Well, the first thing you need to know French Drain is named after a person, not the country or food item. It was Henry Flagg French, an American, the president of Massachusetts Agricultural College, that invented the French drain. 

This landscaping tool sounds exotic, but it is common and in some landscaping situations, it is an important tool that removes water from an area that doesn’t have good drainage.  It is used a lot in fields and today, it is common around homes with landscaping issues from standing water. Essentially, a French drain is underground gutter system for your yard and moves water from where it won’t drain and causing problems.   

Water runs downhill naturally, so when humans build houses or retaining walls, it tends to get the way of that natural process. A French drain is an effective and simple to reroute water from a crawl space, driveway, foundation, or retaining wall.  When water isn’t running downhill or the bottom of the hill is your home and landscaping. 

When should you use a French drain?

How do you know if your landscaping and yard needs a French drain?  If you are experiencing any of the following issues, you should talk to a landscaper about installing a French drain: 

  • Crawl Space Floods: If the crawl space of your home is flooding, having a French drain installed will send that water away from your home.  Leave it as it is, you are leaving your home in danger of being damaged, mildew and mold building up under your house, and more. 
  • Soggy Yard or Driveway Washed-Out: If your yard takes days to dry out after a rain before you can mow, or you have to rake rock back into your driveway after a good rain, a French drain could be the answer to your problems. Keep your lawn healthy and driveway rock where it belongs.
  • A Retaining Wall: If you have a retaining wall or plan on building one a hillside or slope, the first thing you should do is have a French drain installed. With this installed behind the first course of the retaining wall, it will keep the water from building up at the bottom of the wall and draining toward your home.

Do French drains really work?

Like anything, A French drain can only work as good as it is installed. French drains require a perforated pipe, a trench, and geotextile fabric with gravel. If the slope isn’t adequate, a French drain won’t work as well as intended, a factor that is overlooked too often, giving French drains a bad name.   An adequate slope is no less than two feet lower for every 100 ft of pipe. A four inch drainpipe should be covered with two inches of soil once it is in place. This will allow water across the surface to drain and the French drain to work properly. 

How long do French drains last?

A professionally installed French drain can last up to forty years. However, there are two factors that can shorten that expected life cycle: 

  • The French drain becomes clogged with dust, mineral, and grain particles from the soil that surrounds the drain. This can be minimized when the French drain is installed by putting twelve inches of crushed stone over the drain. 
  • The French drain is incorrectly installed, common when installed by contractor that isn’t experienced installing French drains, usually not deep enough or the slope isn’t enough. 

French drains are affected by the environment and can wear out over time. Simply having it rebuilt and adjustments made will give you another 40 years of water moving service. 

How deep should a French drain be?

As shallow as eight inches and as deep as two feet. The depth will depend on the goal intended as to where the water is a problem and where you need it redirected.  The base of a retaining wall will likely require a French drain to be deeper than it would be around the foundation of your home.  An experienced landscaper will have the knowledge to determine the proper depth. In some rare cases where a basement or crawlspace keeps taking on water and the French drain isn’t being as efficient has hoped, a sump pump may need to be installed. 

drain

What’s the difference between a French drain and trench drain?

A drainage system is more than just digging holes. There are French drains and Trenches, both are effective ways in moving water, but they are different. A French drain is below the surface whereas a trench drain is on the surface. 

  • A French drain is a gravel-filled trench that has a perforated pipe on the gravel with a permeable fabric along the bottom of the trench to keep any roots intruding. It then siphons the water down and away from where it isn’t wanted.  
  • A trench drain is an above-ground method of draining water by way of embedded materials. A long and narrow trench is dug and then a grate is installed over that trench. 

You’re likely asking, “Do you have to have a landscaper or other professional install a French drain, or Can I install a French drain myself?”, and the answer is yes. With all the online videos and the big box stores offering assistance, some even offer classes, any homeowner with DIY motivation and tools can install their own French drain. Call 817-400-7625 today!

Are Drywall Cracks Serious?

A Drywall Crack

Are drywall cracks serious?

If you see a crack running up the wall, your first reaction might be panic. Don’t panic. A drywall crack isn’t necessarily a serious problem. When should I be concerned about drywall cracks? Some cracking may occur after construction because of drying and shrinking. You should be concerned with cracks that are jagged, stair-stepped, or at a 45-degree angle because these cracks could indicate some sort of settling or other structural movement. Even then, the greatest concern should be with the width of the crack. If it’s more than 1/4-inch wide you probably want to have professionals like those at Solid Rock Foundation Repair check it out, especially if it runs horizontally near the connection of partition walls and ceilings upstairs. Call us today at 817-400-7625 for expert wall repair in Dallas-Fort Worth Area, TX

Why is my drywall cracking?

A drywall crack might appear for several reasons. Some are serious, others are often of little concern. Your drywall might be cracking because:

  • Seasonal temperature changes or humidity
  • Foundation settling
  • Frame deterioration from rot or insects like termites
  • Poorly sized framing or bad connections

Does drywall crack in cold weather?

Seasonal temperature fluctuations can cause most building materials to expand and contract, but most builders compensate for these issues if the material is installed properly. People, however, often notice that a drywall crack will appear in the winter. Usually, the problem isn’t with the cold weather itself. Below freezing temperatures won’t cause the drywall to crack.

But, because you are heating your home regularly, and in particular if you have problems with inadequate insulation, cracks can develop in time. Moisture often builds up when there is inadequate insulation and this leads to problems like your wood frame rotting. Moreover, if you are in a newer home with a single-piece truss supporting your roof that truss can expand and contract in cold weather when attics aren’t adequately insulated. The truss can then lift and create cracks between upper-level walls and the ceiling.

Drywall crack on ceiling

As with cracks in walls, cracks on your ceiling aren’t necessarily a cause for alarm. If insufficient drywall mud was used in the home construction, cracks can develop later, but these cracks tend to be superficial and can be ignored. What’s problematic are cracks that are wider than 1/8-inch. Cracks of this size often indicate a structural problem. Truss lift, which occurs because of temperature fluctuations, can also lead to ceiling cracks and can only be permanently fixed by reattaching the drywall blocks or clips on interior wall plates. If a crack is discolored, you have a moisture problem, and you’ll need to determine where the leak originated and repair the leak before you repair the ceiling crack.

How do I stop my drywall from cracking?

Most drywall cracks are caused by poor installation, usually at the seams, and are hard to prevent. The seams aren’t supported with enough drywall mud and tape. Another installation problem—nail popping—occurs when the nails holding the drywall in place pop away from the stud. The drywall surface dimples because of this. You can prevent nail popping by using high-quality lumber so the studs won’t warp.

Can you caulk a drywall crack?

When you are patching drywall cracks, you can make the repairs with paintable caulk instead of patching compound. A water-washable caulk can be applied directly to the crack with your finger. After any excess is wiped away, it will take about 30 minutes for the caulk to set.

Will paint fill hairline cracks?

When patching hairline cracks around doors and windows, you might be tempted to fill in the crack with paint. This won’t work. Several other materials can be used to repair drywall cracks. One common repair method is to cover the crack with paper, fiberglass, or mesh tape and a flexible joint compound. Also effective is using the spackling compound for really fine cracks, although some people use spackling paste, the paste is not as effective. Paintable caulk is the simplest to use and can be spread into the crack with your finger or a putty knife.

A Drywall Crack Over a Door

Drywall crack repair near me

Often cracks in your drywall are not harmful, and such cracks generally just require some cosmetic repairs you can do yourself. However, if you take the time to measure them, especially really jagged cracks, and discover they are more than 1/4-inch wide, it might be time to call in a professional to look at the crack. Such cracks may be the result of structural damage in your home, including foundation damage. If serious damage is discovered and you need drywall crack repair in Dallas-Fort Worth Area, TX, look to the experts at Solid Rock Foundation Repair. With years of experience behind them, our technicians are quickly able to diagnose the problem and provide you with the right solutions that will ensure the job is done right. You can find out more about how we can help by calling 817-400-7625.

Can Foundation issues be fixed?

crack in cinderblock foundation

How do you find a foundation leak?

The foundation of your home is important, it is what all other components of the structure rests upon. From the roof to the walls and flooring, the foundation is huge part of what keeps them stable and sturdy. So, when there is a foundation leak, repairs need to be made promptly and properly. 

In the past, when you had a foundation leak, repairs were expensive, invasive, and destructive to the yard and sometimes the flooring of the house. Today, how foundation repair is done isn’t as destructive and invasive. The job of foundation repair without digging is possible now, which saves the homeowner money by nothing having to redo their landscaping or replace flooring inside the home. 

A foundation leak is bad news and identifying the source of the leak is step number because if the leak source isn’t fixed, then the leak will continue. A few top by professionals that a homeowner can do in identifying the leak source so you can get the foundation leak repair completed:

  • Water Test: If there aren’t any visible cracks, a water test can help identify the point and only takes a garden house and a few minutes. Spray water on the outside of the foundation where you estimate the entry point is and see if any moisture appears inside your home. Let the water run and get the foundation saturated, patience is a must for this test to be successful. Is the floor wet? Are there dripping sounds? If so, you now know where the foundation leak repairs are needed and can advise the contractor you choose to work with for your foundation repairs. 
  • Tack Strip: If your home has carpeting, check the tack strips by pulling the carpeting back and see if the tack strips are discolored or rusted. 
  • Efflorescence: In an unfinished space or with an exposed foundation wall, a foundation leak is visible by any efflorescence left behind. A powdery white substance that evaporated water creates from the minerals and salt in the water. Any efflorescence around foundation cracks in an indicator of where you need foundation leak repair. 
  • The Perimeter: Where the floor and wall meet is a common area where water will enter through the foundation leak. Repairs are going to be more challenging, but needed because it isn’t only compromising the foundation, but the walls too. Your home’s entire structure is in danger of collapsing if foundation leak repair isn’t done soon. 

Can you fix a foundation leak from the inside?

The majority of any foundation leak repair work is performed on the exterior of a house, creating little to no disruption to the family’s routine. If the leak is a plumbing issue, there may be a need to do some repairs to the plumbing from the inside. However, there are minimal invasive technology that plumbers can repair those issues from the outside as well. 

How long does a foundation repair last?

Your home’s structural integrity depends on the foundation, and when the foundation is compromised, the entire structure is at risk. Here in Texas, the ground movement is always there, so foundations are moving too. The longevity of a foundation leak repair really is dependent on the job the contractor fulfills.

Choose a reliable contractor that offer a long-term solution to your foundation repair and waterproofing service along with these three factors:

  1. Lifetime warranty
  2. Good, solid track record with recent referrals
  3. Length of time in business

What happens if you don’t fix foundation problems?

As a homeowner, there are ongoing expenses and when you discover a foundation leak, repairing it is something you may be tempted to delay. Remember this is your most important investment that you’ll ever have, so taking care of it is necessary to maintain its value. Here is what can happen if you delay a foundation leak repair: 

  • Foundation Settles and Sinks: This is the first thing that will happen. Every foundation will move over time and begin to sink and become uneven. The floors will have humps, the doors and windows won’t close and open, meaning cool and heat are leaking in and out.
  • Insect and Rodent Infestations: A foundation leak repair delayed will allow the house to fall into disrepair. The cracks allow insects and rodents into your home and infest your home, bringing diseases and viruses with them, causing more damage to the structure.
  • Problem Plumbing: With the foundation leak repair ignored, the plumbing becomes vulnerable, creating more plumbing issues that can make the current foundation leak worse or cause a new foundation leak, repairs will become more extensive and expensive.
  • Mildew and Mold: When a foundation leak repair is ignored, mildew and mold begin to grow and eat the structure of your house. Additionally, your house becomes unhealthy for your family as they are breathing in the mildew and mold airborne spores. 
wall crack created by foundation

Does homeowners cover foundation repair?

Yes, if you’re going to have a huge expense like foundation leak repair, it would be nice to know your homeowner’s policy includes foundation repair insurance.  The determining factor will the cause of the foundation leak issues. If there has been destruction caused by a tornado, the reconstruction will likely be covered by your homeowner’s insurance. Coverage may be allowed for the explosion, fire, and plumbing backups. 

The first thing to remember is that not all homeowner’s insurance companies offer the same coverage and every policy within those companies aren’t the same either. Your best source of information is your own policy and talking with your agent. Call 817-400-7625 today for your foundation leak repair in Dallas-Fort Worth Area, TX.

How Do Inspectors Check Foundation?

foundation inspection

How Do Inspectors Check Foundation?

Are you wondering how inspectors check a foundation? For an exterior foundation inspection, the inspector of your foundation will review water drainage, landscaping, and irrigation. If there are any cracks and fissures on the exterior walls, those will be noted. If there is crumbling concrete or degraded building materials, those will also be recorded. Any problems with the foundation need to be reviewed meticulously in order to file a good report. The report will help deduce what repairs are needed for the foundation and how those repairs will be achieved.

Who Can Check House Foundations?

If you need to have your foundation checked, it is important for you to be able to contact the right people. The Certified Foundation Repair Specialist, also known by the acronym, C.F.R.S., is certified by the National Foundation Repair Association, which is also known by the acronym, NFRA. The NFRA created a program many decades ago to identify people within the foundation repair community who have displayed a persistent awareness and a dedication to the high standards of the NFRA. This association provides credentials that go beyond the normal level of fieldwork competency.

Should I Have a Structural Engineer Inspection?

All foundations shift a little over time. Fine, small cracks are to be expected. However, if the cracks are a quarter of an inch or larger in size, and if you observe bowing foundation walls or movement of any kind, a structural engineering inspection could greatly benefit you.

How Do You Inspect a Concrete Slab Foundation?

Are you looking to have an inspection of your concrete slab foundation? It’s important for you to have a broad view of what that entails.

  • The exterior of your home will be surveyed. You can check the foundation walls by sighing down from one end. 
  • Be sure to look for areas that lean or bulge. This can indicate an uneven load on the foundation. 
  • It’s important to note during this process that the foundation walls and the home walls should be flush and level.

If you have noticed that your foundation may be exhibiting some issues, it is important for you to have your foundation inspected sooner rather than later.

Can You Live in a House With Foundation Problems?

If you are currently living in a home with foundation problems, it is important for you to have it inspected as soon as possible. This is because while it is true that you can live in a house with foundation problems, it does not help the resale value whatsoever. Before you sell the home, it is important for you to get the foundation issues resolved beforehand.

How is a Foundation Inspection Done

If you haven’t had a home inspection done, it will be important for you to understand how the process occurs. It usually involves meeting with a contractor. The contractor will check your foundation elevations and also perform a visual evaluation of your home. The visual evaluation of your home will include observing and recording foundation cracks, damaged walls and floors, and any other signs of trouble.

How Long Does Foundation Inspection Take 

Your time is important, which is why it is critical for you to understand how much time to allocate for your foundation repair. According to a leading foundation repair resource, it can take up to two hours. That is because foundation repair specialists want to be methodical in their processes. Homeowners ultimately benefit when their foundation is repaired correctly.

How to Read a Foundation Inspection Report

If you haven’t heard what a foundation inspection report is, it will be important for you to discover more about what a foundation inspection report entails. An engineer’s report will outline any recommendations regarding foundation repair and all the things that are aligned with it. Topics on the foundation inspection report may include plumbing tests, installing roof barriers to protect the foundation from trees, sloping the soil around your foundation, and installing piers to reduce slab deflection.

foundation inspection

How to Dig a Foundation Inspection Pit

Foundation inspection pits are important to the process of a foundation repair. But how exactly are they done? An inspection pit is done by an experienced foundation inspection crew. In order to understand more about the process, it is important to discuss the specifics of your foundation inspection pit with an experienced foundation repair company. There will be small variations from project to project. A good foundation repair company will have the experience, expertise, tools, and materials for the project beforehand, and they will be insured as well. This last stipulation is especially important just in case anything goes wrong.

If you would like to discuss a new foundation inspection in Dallas-Fort Worth Area, TX, we are here to help. Please reach out to us today. Give us a call at 817-400-7625.

Can You Fix a Foundation Leak From the Inside?

A Waterproof Barrier Installed on a Foundation to Prevent Leaks.

Can you fix a foundation leak from the inside?

When you’ve discovered a foundation leak, you’ll want to get it repaired as quickly as possible. One of the questions you’ll have is whether or not the repair can be made from inside the home. The simple answer is, “Yes.” In fact, sometimes it is preferable to repair a leak from the inside, and often this type of repair is less expensive than an exterior repair. Things to consider include: 

  • Whether the costs to move furniture, to remove interior walls or interior features like a fireplace are prohibitive.
  • Whether any excavation is required anyway for repairs to bowed walls or to external drainage systems or similar issues.

When you need foundation leak repair in Dallas-Fort Worth Area, TX, turn to the experts at Solid Rock Foundation Repair. We offer a full range of foundation repair solutions for any situation. Find out how we can help by calling 817-400-7625.

What is a foundation leak?

A foundation leak, also known as a slab leak, are leaks under the foundation your home rests on. Leaks might appear in basements or even as wet spots on your flooring. Why is my foundation leaking? Leaks are often caused by over-saturated soil around the foundation walls that swells and as pressure builds up pushes into the foundation, cracking it as well as the mortar joints in masonry walls. Water gets forced up through these cracks. Hydrostatic pressure also can force water into basements up through the cove joint, an opening in the foundation walls created when it’s built or poured. Plumbing leaks under the house, clogged gutters, and tree roots growing under the house are some main sources that allow water to penetrate the foundation.  

How to find a foundation leak

Because a foundation leak can start as just a minor seepage, it isn’t always easy to determine whether or not you have a leak. Some typical ways in which leaks are discovered include:

  • High utility bills caused by broken appliances or plumbing that has leaked and pooled under the construction.
  • Plumbing leaks might leave damp spots on carpets and floors. As water pools in these areas, it can seep into the walls.
  • When you have a leak, it won’t take long for mold to grow. You may smell musty, moldy odors or see mold, especially along baseboards and floors.
  • Low water pressure from a faucet may indicate a plumbing leak which could lead to foundation leak.
  • Check your water heater for leaks.
  • If you feel warm spots on the floor while walking around, this could indicate a hot water pipe leak.
  • Look for cracks in your flooring.
  • If a white powdery substance appears on the floors or walls, this efflorescence is dried minerals from water leaks. The area where you find the powder is where the leak is located.
  • Look for water around the perimeter of your home where walls meet flooring.

How do I stop my foundation from leaking water?

One of the best ways to stop a foundation leak is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Ruling out plumbing leaks, another major reason water seeps into and cracks the foundation is poor drainage from your gutter. The gutters need to be cleaned regularly to prevent clogs, and you can improve the drainage even further by having the downspouts extended. Additionally, over time, as your foundation settles, the crown of soil around your home that aids with drainage erode. You can rebuild the crown with new layers of soil. You can also have a landscaper build berms and swales around your home that will redirect water away from it. More expensive options include installing a french drain system and adding waterproofing to walls. If you have a basement, plumbing may be dripping through gaps in the basement wall. Check first for any plumbing leaks and repair them before sealing any gaps. 

How do you keep water from coming through concrete floor?

Water can get into your basement from all sorts of sources, especially when flooding occurs. Getting the water out of the basement afterward can be a task. One way to do so is by installing drainage mats, or dimple mats, which serve as a moisture barrier and help air circulate under flooring. Another route is to install a sump pump in the basement. A drainage system with a sump pump gets water out if it floods in and will also help prevent a foundation leak.

How do you fix a foundation leak?

Several methods can be used to make repairs on a foundation leak. You can repair the leak from inside the home or outside it. Interior repairs might involve removing interior walls to get to leaks. Once leaks are found, foundation cracks are often repaired by injecting polymer sealant materials into the crack. Interior repairs are preferred largely because they are much more cost-effective. 

Sometimes, however, exterior repairs are necessary. Excavation is normally required with this type of repair and sometimes includes tunneling underneath the foundation to make the repairs. This is often the case if a wall is bowed or if a leaking pipe needs to be repaired underneath the slab. 

Is foundation leak covered by home insurance?

While foundations are components of your home often covered by insurance, a foundation leak may or may not be covered. This all depends on what’s caused the leak. Most homeowner’s insurance policies will cover a foundation leak, for instance, if it’s caused by a burst pipe but a flood or poor construction might not be covered. If you are concerned about a leak, check with your insurer to find out exactly what’s covered before submitting a claim.

Foundation Repair

Foundation leak repair near me

When you’re looking for expert foundation leak repair in Dallas-Fort Worth Area, TX, turn to the experienced professionals at Solid Rock Foundation Repair. We provide a full range of solutions for any foundation repair. Call us today at 817-400-7625 to find out how we can help.

What does leveling a house mean?

foundation leveling service

Reliable Options for Your Home

In Texas, and other states, the ground moves. It rises, and it sinks, and when it does, it moves structural objects with it, like houses. That leads to homes needing leveling,raising it back to its original position. When a homeowner hears the words like “house leveling,” just like hearing the phrase foundation repair or a new roof, money flashes before their eyes. 

Luckily, house leveling doesn’t always cost a small fortune as people think. However, it does require the services of experienced house leveling contractors to do have it done. Just like repairing or replacing your roof, leveling a house isn’t a weekend DIY project. It does pay for a homeowner to have a basic understanding of house leveling and why it is important. So, keep reading as we answer some typical questions with what we feel are explanations that make you an informed homeowner. 

How do you know if your house needs leveling?

There are some houses you can tell simply by looking at it and tell it needs leveling, usually older homes. The following signs will tell you house leveling is necessary: 

  • Floors are Uneven
    • For an older home, having uneven floors is typical, but is it just a characteristic of the house, or is it a structural problem? A slight sagging in the center of the floor is a charming characteristic. However, if a floor that slopes to one side is most likely a structural issue that needs to be addressed by a professional contractor that specializes in house leveling and moving. 
  • House with a Lean
    • Very few, if any, houses are perfectly level, and we either don’t notice it or simply adapt to it. However, one area that you shouldn’t change to is a house that has a significant visible lean to one side or the other.  Stand across the street from your home, in all directions, and look at it. If there is a distinct lean in any direction, your house has structural issues that needs expert house leveling. If you can’t make a parallel line between a front corner and the opposite back corner of the house, you need house leveling.  
  • Horizontal Foundation Cracks 
    • House foundations crack, it’s common no matter the age of the house, but when the cracks are horizontal, that’s not a good thing. Especially if there are several, and they are deep into the foundation.
  • Vertical Foundation Cracks
    • Most new foundations are going to develop small cracks vertically from the concrete curing. They will crack as wide one-eighth of an inch and not affect the structure. These cracks aren’t worthy of a house leveling job; however, they do allow leakage. This is a flaw that can be remedied by a foundation repair or house leveling expert by pre-cracking the foundation then perform house leveling with foam. This material is a flexible foam that will allow the foundation and house to move with the ground.
  • Cracking Plaster: 
    • Not all plaster cracks indicate house leveling is needed, like a crack that measures less than one-fourth of an inch where two walls meet. Or the small cracks above a door. The cracking plaster that is indicating house leveling is necessary are cracks that are bigger than one-fourth of inch wide or a crack that is running diagonally across a wall. Or when interior cracks are in the same area as an exterior crack, there are likely to be structural issues, and house leveling would be recommended. 

Can you live in a house with foundation problems?

An uneven foundation can have serious, but that doesn’t mean it does or will. Yes, the foundation of your home is what the entire house sits. That is a lot of value and a lot of weight. So, it makes sense if the foundation is weak, the whole house is vulnerable. 

The naked eye doesn’t always see foundation problems, but when it does see a crack, it doesn’t necessarily mean catastrophe. A small, insignificant crack can be covered up cosmetically with patching. Any major cracks could be there are significant problems that may need to be addressed, like house leveling.

If you have a little sag on the living room floor, you can live with that, and it isn’t like the floor is going to cave in. Therefore it isn’t a safety issue. However, larger cracks could mean there is a water leak under the slab, and that can become a health issue with mildew and mold. 

Can a sinking foundation be fixed?

A house built on a cement slab isn’t likely to sink, but it will become unlevel. House leveling would be possible with load-bearing piers buried into the ground under the house. They will lift and stabilize the sinking foundation. In some cases, house leveling experts will use helical piers to level a sinking house. 

How do you level a house foundation?

The type of foundation a house has will determine the process of house leveling. There are several methods for house leveling, and for a concrete slab foundation, house leveling will begin with excavation under the house, meaning digging out the dirt to a certain depth. Then either concrete piers or steel pilings will put in place to level the house. 

Can you level your own house?

Maybe. If you have the means, equipment, and physically, to raise a foundation and place concrete or steel pilings in the areas need, then yes. If your house has a pier and beam foundation, yes, this is relatively easier than a slab foundation.

It is essential to realize that house leveling is a tedious job, and those experienced at house leveling have the equipment, tools, and, most of all, experience. With a house leveling service, the work should have a guarantee or warranty with the job, so if there are any issues, a crew will return to fix the problem.

House leveling for pier and beam structure isn’t difficult, but it is hard work. It requires crawling under the house and jacking it up in the low places. The process can take several jacks, typically bottle jacks or scissor jacks are used in this case, and once the house is deemed level on the jacks, you placed cement blocks and wood in the areas until it is even with the jacks. In the decades before formal house leveling was discovered, homeowners would use a variety of materials to level a house, like old car wheels and other heavy, sturdy items. 

house leveling equipment

Leveling Out This Piece

Every house has a foundation, and over time, that foundation will crack, settle, sink, and rise with the ground movement. House leveling and foundation repair are unarguably an essential part of a home’s stability. With the weight of a house, it is crucial to make sure your home is secure and stable on its foundation.