What can you expect from your concrete slab foundation repair in Dallas?
Most homeowners have different concrete slab foundation repair expectations. They all expect that the foundation repair will last and solve their issue, but how that takes place is often different.
Slab on grade foundations in Dallas are typically repaired using underpinning or piers. This article describes how the foundation and house reacts to the underpinning. The article will address elevations and look at walls, doors, windows, fireplaces, interior and exterior cracks, plumbing, roofs and effect upon other parts of the house.
When a foundation fails, it affects many aspects of a house. We call this consequential damage to the house.
Underpinning typically only lifts for 8-10 feet, because the slab is flexible. So if the piers are further than that from existing damage, the slab will probably not move upward during a lift.
Elevation Gain/ Elevation Recovery
The wooden structural members above the foundation have warped, and limit the expected elevation recovery. Very seldom will the elevation recovery be 100%. The expected elevation gain from underpinning is typically in the range of ½ to 2/3 of the elevation loss. The simple moral here is, don’t postpone concrete slab foundation repair.
Walls Permanently Shift
The movement may not be noticeable, but an outside wall at the bottom of the foundation fall line will typically lean out, even after the foundation repair. The reason for the permanent shift is that the wall is bolted to the dropping slab at a 90-degree angle. As the slab drops, the top of the wall pulls outward and stretches the roof system. When the slab is underpinned and lifted, the roof system exerts a force upon the top of the wall, restricting vertical movement. A typical lean may be 1-3 degrees.
Windows and Doors May Stick
As the foundation fell, the slab curved, and with it the walls curved or warped. Doors and windows in a curved / warped wall may not stick until the foundation is underpinned and lifted. The fix for this is carpentry.
Interior and Exterior Cracks may not Close
Exterior brick wall cracks may be limited in closure by either mortar or brick chunks or the fact that the brick wall has walked, or slid across the foundation. The design practice in Dallas is to allow for some foundation movement independent of the brick wall. Brick walls are separated from the foundation by a layer of plastic, and are never mortared to the foundation. Curved/warped studs in the walls may limit interior crack closure. Misaligned brick walls as in the photo will require a master mason to re-build the wall.
Plumbing may Break
As the foundation dropped, the plumbing was slowly, perhaps over a decade, pushed down into the soil. When the foundation is lifted, the soil retains a grip on the pipes, and pipes may break. This is one of the more important reasons to have a concrete slab foundation repair made as soon as possible. If left alone, a foundation that is failing will cause other problems around the house. This may cause the need for a slab leak location by a professional plumber.
Underpinning does not prevent upheaval
Excessive water may cause the repaired or another part of the house to heave. Underpinning can only stop downward movement.
Roofs may Crinkle and Leak
Often times it is possible to see a failed foundation by looking at the roofline, which takes on the curvature of the foundation. When the foundation is lifted, roof rafters and shingles move. This may lead to roofing leaks. New roofing and plywood under decking may crinkle.
Effects Upon Other Parts of the House
Stopping movement in one part of the house may reverse much of the damage already done, but by movement or lack of movement may also create or cause new damage by movement or lack of movement. For instance, underpinning relieves the stress upon the post tension cables, which extend across large expanses of the house. Typically end to end. Relieving stress on the cables may allow another area of the foundation to move.
Concrete slab foundation repair should never be postponed. Left alone, foundation problems get worse. The problems that we have identified don’t occur in every house, but are always a possibility and cannot be adequately predicted. For a no cost evaluation for the homeowner, contact Granite Foundation Repair at 817-870-1381 or 972-412-2171.