Our local climate coupled with expansive clay soil is the cause of most foundation problems. You can view our page on Common Signs of Foundation Problems to help you identify any signs in your home. Hot, dry summers cause the clay to contract 4 to 10 inches, while fierce thunderstorms that drop heavy rains cause the clay to rapidly expand again, putting stress on the foundation and leading to foundation problems.
Other factors that can contribute to foundation problems include plumbing and drainage problems and poor foundation design.
Foundations shift, crack and fail when they are unevenly lifted by expansive soil, or the soil fails to provide adequate support. We’ve found that steel piers and helical (spiral) steel piers provide excellent long-term support for house leveling.
Nine direct causes of foundation problems:
- Clay soil expansion and contraction
- Excessive watering
- Poor drainage -land sloping towards the house
- Intense sun and drying heat
- Inadequate watering – soil pulls away from the foundation
- Extensive landscaping with trees and shrubs
- Poor clay soil compaction
- Inadequate foundation building codes
- Retainer wall movement or failure
DFW’s soil is most often the root cause of all the foundation problems we see. Our soil contains varying levels of a clay material called Montmorillonite. Due to the presence of this clay, water may cause the soil to expand by as much as 30%, up to six or more inches in some areas of Dallas and Fort Worth.
Uneven and excessive levels of moisture around the perimeter and under the house or building can create upheaval and slab-breaking force. Occasionally, foundation problems can begin during the construction phase due to inadequate soil compaction, poor drainage or faulty design.
Because proper foundation repair is so critical, most of the local cities listed below require a foundation engineer’s report and permit which we will obtain before foundation repair can begin: