Drainage solutions can be a practical method of foundation repair in certain instances. Often times, inexperienced foundation repair evaluators miss this relatively easy solution, and instead recommend dozens of steel piers or concrete piers.
Poor drainage often leads to the need for foundation repair and house leveling, which is why drainage solutions and proper drainage are so important. Let’s explain how this effects the foundation.
Most soil in the Dallas Fort Worth area is clay. Clay soil is inherently bad for most foundations because of our hot summers and uneven watering. When clay soil dries, it shrinks. When clay soil gets wet, it expands. The movement from dry to wet can be as much as 6-10 inches. Areas with sandy loam typically do not experience drainage problems.
Clay soil moisture content around a foundation is effected by uneven watering, neighbors watering, hillside run-off, and the sun. Typically, the southwest corner receives the hottest, afternoon sun, baking water out of the clay soil. If drainage is inadequate, water may accumulate, causing the soil to swell.
When moisture collects under a Dallas Forth Worth concrete slab, or pier and beam house, the clay soil swells. This swelling of the clay soil leads to upheaval of the foundation. Due to improper drainage, the clay soil under the foundation does not maintain a constant moisture level, which leads to uneven stress on the concrete slab, causing concrete slab bending and cracking. As the slab bends, even before breaking, damage will occur to masonry, sheetrock and tile floors.
Cracks in these materials are signs of foundation problems that should be acted upon to minimize foundation repairs.
Our comprehensive on-site evaluation may include recommendations for drainage correction that you can implement at little or no cost. Granite can provide drainage correction as a part of a total foundation repair.
Practical solutions to fix drainage problems:
- Proper slope of soil away from house
- Gutter and A/C run-off control
- Surface Drains
- French Drains
Repairs include grading to provide proper soil slope away from the house, adding surface drains, or adding French drains. French drains collect and drain away sub surface water. Sub surface water is often the culprit as it causes soil in the first 3-5 feet of depth to expand, exerting inordinate pressure upon a foundation.
A French drain may include surface drains, as well as the buried perforated pipe that collects sub-surface water. Excess water either flows off through a drain-pipe, or is accumulated in a reservoir and removed by a sump pump. Granite Foundation Repair is an experienced installer of drainage solutions.
Drainage solutions for foundation repair typically take 6 to 12 months to have a noticeable impact upon a heaved foundation. The alternative to giving time for a drainage solution to work is to lift the whole house to the heaved level, which is costly and impractical.
You can not imagine how often we encounter houses where a simple drainage solution will provide the perfect repair, while other foundation repair companies have recommended dozens of piers. It is not unusual for a homeowner to get 3-5 quotes recommending piers, before Granite Foundation Repair recommends the proper solution…a drainage solution that provides a permanent foundation repair.