When it comes to maintaining the structural integrity of your Houston home, nothing is as important as its foundation. That’s because only a solid foundation can keep your house safe and structurally sound over the years. Unfortunately, many houses in the Greater Houston area experience foundation issues that require professional attention.
When a home develops foundation problems, the homeowner needs to decide whether to repair the foundation or replace it. While replacing your home’s foundation may also help you get rid of the underlying issues that have caused the damage in the first place, that’s not always the case. If a contractor builds a new foundation without addressing the underlying causes first, the new structure will most probably experience the same issues as the old one. Additionally, replacing an entire foundation is often a lot more expensive than addressing a few specific problems.
Understanding When Repairing a Foundation Is Appropriate
By definition, foundation repair involves addressing any underlying issues that haven’t caused extensive damage throughout the structure. Foundation cracks, sinking, and differential settlement are the most common problems that can be fixed, as long as the foundation is still structurally sound.
If your home’s foundation is in need of repair, there are three main solutions you could opt for: piering, slabjacking, and geopolymer injection. Typically, slabjacking and geopolymer injection are recommended for smaller projects, such as garages, driveways, and patios. But when it comes to restoring the structural integrity of a Houston home, piering remains our method of choice for foundation repair in the Houston area. Unlike slabjacking and geopolymer injection, which deliver some short-term fixes that need to be repeated every few years, piering provides a permanent solution that can put an end to your foundation problems.
Understanding When You Should Replace Your Houston Home Foundation
Repairing a foundation can be less costly and less invasive than replacing it. However, fixing foundation damage isn’t always possible. When a foundation can no longer be repaired, it needs to be replaced. Here are two examples of foundations that are beyond repair.
- Foundations in which several sections are beginning to break apart – When a home’s foundation shows any displaced cracks that are wider than 1/8 of an inch, and there’s no way to bring foundation sections back to their original positions, the stability of the foundation may be compromised. In that case, even if the cracks are repaired and specific soil stabilization methods are employed, new cracks will develop later on. That’s because the concrete structure may be too damaged and weak to withstand the loads and stresses exerted by the home above.
- Concrete foundations that are actively decaying – When a concrete structure is exposed to water for a long time, layers of concrete can start to break off, exposing the structure inside. If the damage is allowed to progress, the concrete will continue to deteriorate and flake off to the point when it’s no longer structurally intact, meaning it may not be able to provide proper support for the home anymore.
Hopefully, your foundation isn’t in any of the dire conditions described above. But if it is, a builder or general contractor should be able to recommend the best course of action for your property. In the worst-case scenario, your foundation may need to be rebuilt. In the best case, a partial rebuild or a repair may be all that’s needed to make your foundation structurally sound again.
While there are instances where foundations can’t be fixed, we always recommend repairing a foundation whenever possible. When done right, fixing a foundation can be just as effective as building a new one from scratch. What’s more, when foundation issues are caught early, repair costs can be minimal.
Since it’s not uncommon for Houston homes to need occasional foundation repairs, our professionals are always ready to develop a comprehensive strategy that not only will fix foundation problems but also address problematic site conditions so that the original issues won’t reoccur.
If you’ve noticed any foundation problems in your home, employing our services can help prevent widespread damage. Our specialists at Allied Foundation will perform a foundation inspection to determine the best solutions for your foundation and also offer you a foundation repair estimate—both free of charge. To help you find out whether your home’s foundation can be saved, we also put together a Foundation Health Checklist, which is a useful resource for any homeowner in the Houston-Galveston area. The checklist will offer you all the details you need to assess the overall condition of your foundation, so you can better distinguish between small issues and major structural problems. For more information, feel free to contact our specialists today!