When it comes to Houston homes, foundation repair problems can lead to major structural damage just like the foundation issues that are left unaddressed. Whether you’re a homeowner or a prospective homebuyer looking for a home in Houston, knowing what can go wrong during a foundation repair project could help you prevent major structural problems in your home.
The Importance of Foundation Repairs
Nowadays, many Houston homes have faulty foundations. Although some homeowners think that addressing foundation issues before they turn into serious problems is just a waste of time and money, a home can sustain major damage in a short period of time and even become uninhabitable if its foundation moves and shifts considerably.
Regardless of how insignificant a foundation problem may seem and irrespective of its underlying cause, making the needed repairs in a timely manner is the only way to prevent damage to other structural components and make your home structurally sound again. Once your home has a solid base again, you can start to make any other repairs required, such as filling gaps and cracks in your walls, ceilings, and floors, fixing doors and windows that no longer shut properly, and addressing any drainage issues that have contributed to the initial damage.
When Foundation Repairs Go Wrong
Some foundation issues may seem easy to fix, but most of them are serious business that requires an experienced professional. Hiring a contractor who doesn’t have the knowledge and experience necessary to ensure professional results or making the repairs yourself could be just as bad as ignoring the problem or putting off the repair indefinitely. Because there are many things that can go wrong when repairing a foundation, here is a list of the most common foundation repair mistakes you should be aware of.
Failure to Comply with Pier Spacing Requirements
Pier and beam foundations are prevalent in many locations across Texas, and Houston is no exception. One of the most important aspects that need to be considered when repairing a pier and beam foundation is the location of piers underneath the foundation. If the contractor ignores the spacing of piers and/or pier size specified on the design plan, a simple foundation repair task could turn into a very complex project that will take longer and cost more to complete.
As an example, placing piers at greater distances than the ones specified on the plan could worsen existing foundation problems, which may lead to extensive structural damage. While additional damage could occur during foundation repair work, under no circumstances should the repair aggravate the initial foundation problems.
The most common issues that may appear due to the repositioning of your foundation include hairline cracks in walls, ceilings, and/or floors; doors and windows that no longer budge properly; and plumbing leaks. Because plumbing isn’t very flexible, a foundation repair that involves a lot of lifting and/or shifting may dislodge pipes and fittings. To identify any leaks in the supply or drain lines, experienced foundation repair professionals always run a plumbing test after the completion of work.
Failure to Consider Weight Distribution
Most foundation repair projects involve lifting the house high enough in order to access the area under the foundation and make the repairs required. When lifting a home, the load should remain evenly distributed over the entire surface of the foundation or slab. This is achieved by using the unified jacking method, which allows contractors to lift any home slowly and uniformly to the desired level. Failure to use the unified hydraulic jacking system correctly or lifting a home too quickly could lead to improper weight distribution, which may cause more damage within the home.
Failure to Factor in Adverse Weather Conditions
Checking the weather report is one of the most important things a contractor should do before tackling any type of foundation repair. That’s because a heavy rain or flood could cause major damage to a home if the repair hasn’t been completed. For instance, a rainstorm could wash away the soil under a section of the foundation, spelling trouble for the entire home. Luckily, an experienced contractor will know how to plan everything down to the smallest detail and take the necessary precautions to prevent weather-related damage and delays.
The good news is that all the aforementioned foundation repair problems can be easily avoided by hiring a certified and trained professional. Because when you hire a foundation repair contractor you’re basically putting your home’s future in the hands of someone else, choosing a reputable contractor like Allied Foundation can make all the difference between a poor-quality and high-quality foundation repair. If you would like more information about foundation repairs, don’t hesitate to contact our company today for a free consultation!