Dawson Foundation Repair
Dawson Foundation Repair
Dawson Foundation Repair

713-668-2110 (Houston)
214-234-8421 (Dallas)
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The Value of Your Foundation

Posted by on Nov 26, 2012 in General Interest | 0 comments

When you bought the home in you are in currently, you probably spent many hours with a realtor looking at properties and assessing their value. Yes, price is part of the total value of a house, but you looked and looked until you found the home with the best value for the money you mortgaged.  But did you think of the value of your foundation?

You may have placed value on whether it was a single level residence, the neighborhood it was in, the home’s exterior, the number of certain types of rooms, the “feel” of the house, and the possibilities it would provide for you or your family. The price of house was set, but these extra “values” were also very, very important for you and your investment. Thus, they have worth. And they are worth taking care of.

Why is it worth taking care of your home’s value? You see, your home is only as strong as your foundation. All the extra values that you used in making your home purchase really are dependant on the state of your foundation. If your foundation is failing, or even at risk of failing, all of these great values about your home do not matter. They will not have value.

We want you to have all the intrinsic and economic value you deserve with your home. Our costs are not based on our profit margin. Our costs are based on providing the best repair for your huge investment. Your investment in foundation repair maintains the value of your home. Your investment in foundation repair maintains the economic worth of your home. It is possible to find a contractor that can provide a quick or temporary “fix” for the visible foundation problem you might have, but a quick fix is never the best value over the extended life of your home. Our goal is to provide a proven, time-tested and permanent restoration of all the things of value that made your home the one you picked out of all those others when you bought it and assigned personal value to it.

Bell Bottom Piers have far more advantages over any other method of foundation repair and we feel the homeowner should receive the best option – the highest quality – available. We feel that the true costs of foundation repair and contractor’s profitability should not be the determining factor for which method you are offered. It is our firm belief that the best foundation repair method available for the customer is the Bell Bottom Pier option, regardless of its higher costs and lower profit margins for the contractor.

Is it more money? Yes. Is your home worth it? Is the value of your foundation important? We think it is. Your home is the largest investment you have ever made. You probably do, too.

Dawson Foundation Repair is different from other repair contractors.  We want you – the homeowner – to know the differences between low quality and high quality foundation repair methods.  And we don’t use Mandatory Arbitration clauses in contracts to strip homeowners of their legal rights.  Call us today.

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Landscaping Tips

Posted by on Nov 19, 2012 in General Interest | 0 comments

Seldom will someone compliment your home by noting how beautiful your foundation is, or how secure it looks. Most accolades result from you home’s exterior or the landscaping you have put in place. “I love your yard!” is probably much more common than “My! How firm your foundation is!” Well, let’s chat about landscaping tips.

Yet, this very same landscaping may be threatening to cause substantial damage to your home’s foundation. To keep this from happening, there are several things you need to check so that your trees and flowerbeds don’t wreak havoc on the stability of your foundation.

Let’s talk about your flowerbeds. The most common problem with beds is the management of the flow of water. Your beds should slope away from your foundation. If the highest point of your flowerbed is not right next to your foundation, then water is probably pooling near your foundation. This can eventually erode the soil away from your foundation. The highest point of the bed should be 3-4 inches below the slab, next to your foundation and sloping away from it.

Water management of your shrubbery and flowerbeds around your foundation also requires that you make sure you have enough water in the ground. You really don’t want all your water running away from your foundation all the time. Some water is good, especially if it keeps the soil under your foundation consistent. To ensure this, it is helpful to keep mulch on your beds. Dirt gets impacted and becomes hard. Mulch allows some water to run off but it also retains water that seeps into the ground underneath your foundation—without causing erosion. So, keeping your beds covered with mulch contributes to the care of your foundation.

Trees are another landscaping challenge to your foundation. Some varieties take up a lot of water. Trees less than 20-30 feet from your home should be removed in order to avoid damage. Those that are more than 20-30 feet out should be regularly and well-watered. This includes during the winter months. (Many homeowners forget the importance of watering year-round.) If water is scarce, the tree roots will seek out and drink up any available water, including the water in the soil under your foundation. This causes ground shrinkage over long periods, and ground shrinking and swelling due to inconsistent moisture levels is a primary cause of foundation damage.

Long, slow watering of trees encourages the roots to grow deep rather than out. Most trees have extensive root systems that could cause a foundation to buckle if the roots move concrete out of the way in search of water to drink. The general rule of thumb is that large and threatening roots reach to about half the radius of the canopy of the tree. (Smaller roots will extend to the full width of the canopy, but they are not likely to disturb your foundation.) In other words, if the branches of the tree reach out 20 feet from the trunk, then large roots that could cause damage are expanding underground to about 10 feet from the tree trunk. If you plant trees with large canopies 20-30 feet from your foundation, you might consider a root barricade. (A root barricade may prevent tree roots from removing moisture from the soil in the immediate vicinity of the home’s foundation.)

Landscaping is meant to enhance your home. So, make it beautiful and welcoming, but don’t let beauty be costly! Learn more about landscaping tips. Take care of your foundation, too!

Dawson Foundation Repair is different from other foundation repair companies.  We want you – the homeowner – to know the difference between low quality and high quality foundation repair methods.  And we don’t use Mandatory Arbitration clauses in contracts to strip homeowners of their legal rights. You get a good deal with us.  Call us today.

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At Risk for Foundation Damage?

Posted by on Nov 12, 2012 in General Interest | 0 comments

Often, foundation damage is the last thing on a homeowner’s mind until they find out they have damage. Many homeowners in Texas assume that the inspection done on their home when they purchased it covered the security of their foundation. Once they move into the home, their foundation is rarely, if ever, thought about again – until it’s too late. So what is a homeowner to do? How do you know if you’re at risk for foundation damage?

Your Soil

The quick answer is that if you live in Texas, you are at risk. In fact, Texas leads the nation with 20% of the nation’s total number of foundation failures. In part, this is due to the expansive nature of the clay soil in Texas. By expansive, we mean that Texas soil has the ability to retain water and swell in volume during periods of high rainfall and shrink dramatically in volume as it dries out during periods of drought. This puts pressure on our foundations that in many cases, they are not built to withstand. Thus, over time, the foundation can suffer damage.

Another factor that can put your home at risk for foundation damage is poorly compacted soil when your home was built. If the original builder did not properly prepare the soil, your foundation will rest on an unstable base. Add to that the nature of expansive Texas soil, and you have a formula for guaranteed foundation damage. Of course to the homeowner, it is almost impossible to determine if the soil was properly compacted before your home was built, so this risk factor is harder to determine. Nevertheless, this situation will likely cause foundation damage to your home to show up in the first several years after the home’s construction.

Your Water

Water-related issues are another primary risk factor. Drainage problems around your foundation are a major threat. As a homeowner, this risk factor is easier to monitor than the original condition of your soil. For instance, do you notice water forming ponds near your home’s foundation? This “ponding” creates expansion problems as described above, as the abundance of water strains your foundation, swelling to absorb the additional water. Instead, excess water should be channeled away from your foundation.

On the other hand, it is worth noting that excess water near your foundation is as much of a risk factor as overly dry, erosive conditions near your foundation. When the foundation rests on dry, arid soil, your soil can shrink, reducing the support under your foundation.

Both overly dry and overly wet conditions near your home’s foundation will put you at risk. The expansion and contraction of soil under your foundation, due to Texas’ expansive clay soil and moisture variations, creates the biggest risk factors for foundation damage. Therefore, maintaining consistent moisture levels under normal weather conditions can greatly reduce your risk of foundation damage. (In the case of uncharacteristically severe droughts, such as in the summer of 2011, it may be impossible to maintain consistent moisture levels!)

The Solution

The first step to determining your level of risk is to have an inspection done on your home’s foundation. You may not have suffered foundation damage yet, but an expert can make specific recommendations for your home that factor in your precise soil and water flow conditions. Once you have a plan, tailored to protect your home, monitoring moisture levels will be significantly easier to do and you may be able to reduce the risk to your home’s foundation.

If you have seen warning signs of foundation damage, feel you are at risk for foundation damage, or are concerned about the soil and water flow conditions unique to your home, we are happy to assist you. At Dawson Foundation Repair, we offer free inspections for home owners whose homes are not involved in real estate transactions.   Dawson Foundation Repair services homes and commercial businesses all over Texas.

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Drainage Problems and Your Foundation

Posted by on Nov 5, 2012 in General Interest | 0 comments

Texas weather is the reason that many of us live here. We like warmer winters and mild climates. However, as many Texas homeowners know, rainfall can be unpredictable for us. We can have periods of drought followed by periods of frequent rain. During these rainy stretches, drainage problems can become apparent and when they do, it may indicate a potential foundation risk that needs your attention. Drainage problems and your foundation are important topics.

If your home was built properly, things such as drainage and the slope of your landscape were taken into account. Water should be carried away from your home so that it doesn’t collect near your home’s foundation. However, all too often home builders fail to take into account the full range of drainage issues when they build the home. That can result in water that puddles or “ponds” near your foundation. Too much water near the foundation can lead to an expansion of the soil underneath your home as the excess water is soaked up. When this happens repeatedly, it can cause Upheaval – a problem where a portion of the foundation is pushed up above the original elevation. Upheaval can cause significant problems for your home such as cracks on interior or exterior walls, or doors and windows that do not open and close properly.

Drainage problems can also cause issues if too much water sits near your foundation and obstructs the weep holes built into your exterior walls. Exterior bricks absorb rain and moisture. Temperature differences between the interior sheet rock of your home and moisture in your exterior bricks creates condensation. Weep holes are designed to prevent or remove this condensation. However, if your weep holes are obstructed, mold and mildew can develop, and this moist environment might encourage pests to take up residence.

Any time there is a period of extended rainfall, it’s a good idea to survey your landscape. Are there any areas near your home’s foundation that are ponding? How long is it taking water near the exterior walls of your home to run off or evaporate? You should also take note of your landscaping. If the rainfall has caused your garden beds or soil to cover weep holes or rise above the level of your foundation, then your soil may not be draining efficiently.

Drainage problems need to be corrected or you can put your foundation at risk. Expansion and shrinkage of the soil under our home’s foundation is the single biggest cause of foundation damage. If the exterior of your home is not draining properly, this process of expansion and shrinkage will most likely occur, putting a strain on your foundation.

Many homes do have adequate drainage, but if you have concerns, it is always better to have a professional examine your foundation. Solutions may be as simple as roof gutters or diversion channels, but having a foundation inspection is the best starting point.

At Dawson Foundation Repair, we offer free inspections for home owners whose homes are not involved in real estate transactions. If you are seeking an inspection for that reason, we suggest you seek the opinion of a Structural Engineer with experience in residential slab foundations. However, if you have concerns about the proper drainage of your home, we are here to help you. We can handle drainage problems and your foundation. Call us for a free inspection and assessment of your home’s foundation.

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