Dawson Foundation Repair
Dawson Foundation Repair
Dawson Foundation Repair

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214-234-8421 (Dallas)
1-800-368-7662
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The Advantages of Bell Bottom Piers

Posted by on Jul 22, 2013 in General Interest | 0 comments

The Advantages of Bell Bottom Piers

There are major differences among the various methods of foundation repair. As a homeowner this data clearly delineates for you the strengths and weaknesses of the several methods commonly used in the residential foundation repair in the state of Texas. It shows that Dawson Foundation Repair’s method is the best.

Briefly, the bell bottom pier method can be described as support structures – drilled-into-the stable-soil, steel-reinforced, single-unit, concrete piers with a distinctive “foot” shaped like a bell that gives it a superior performance advantages over the other methods. Other methods use segmented concrete cylinders (or steel) hydraulically pushed into the ground and are sometimes connected with a cable running from the bottom segment to the top segment.

Bell Bottom Pier is the foundation repair method used on numerous structures in which the engineers and builders do not want to have foundation issues: very expensive homes, multiple story commercial buildings, bridges and overpasses and even facilities where no one wants to have a structural failure, like petrochemical facilities that are built on the same clay soil as your home.

Bell Bottom Piers are measured by strength (load capacity) and performance. In studies by structural engineers and reports from professional engineers, the data denotes the superior advantages bell bottom piers have over all other methods. Regarding strength, the chart below shows that drilled piers with bell bottoms (Belled Shafts) have a significant advantage over the other methods.

Engineering Evaluation

The performance of bell bottom piers offers other advantages that have been studied and reported. According to a report issued by Professional Engineer John B. Thornton bell bottom piers perform better because the large 22 inch bell bottom foot provides solid support in the soil, the bell bottom foot anchors the pier against uplift, they have increased lateral strength provided by steel reinforcing rods and the lack of stress on the existing home during installation of the piers.

This method is proven, tested and permanent. Foundation repair for your home should include all three qualities. You can find them at Dawson Foundation Repair where we’ve been using the bell bottom method since 1984.

Dawson Foundation Repair installs only Bell Bottom Piers for homeowners and commercial property owners. Read what this Sugar Land, TX customer said in her testimonial comments

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Insurance Companies Don’t Cover Foundation Repairs

Posted by on Jul 15, 2013 in General Interest | 2 comments

Insurance Companies Don’t Cover Foundation Repairs

Foundation Repair InsuranceIn most regions of Texas the soil supporting homes is clay. Clay soil swells when it absorbs water and settles, or collapses, when the water evaporates, as during the recent two-year drought. This up and down movement wreaks havoc on your home’s foundation. And, your homeowner’s insurance probably does not cover the eventual repair cost! This begs the question, “Why doesn’t your insurance cover foundation repair?”

There are numerous obvious reasons. First, the soil in Texas, especially in Houston, Dallas, Corpus Christi, San Antonio and Austin, undergoes a lot of up and down movement. Thus, there is a high probability that your foundation will be affected in the future. Insurance companies know that and will not insure such a high-risk event.

Second, insurance companies will not insure your home’s foundation as part of the homeowner’s policy because the industry knows that homebuilders are not designing homes that can withstand such soil movement. It is possible to build a foundation that can stand up to the pressure of upheaval and settlement. Commercial builders and structural engineers have figured out how to build in such a way that the foundation will resist the powerful forces of soil movement. Look at large buildings or bridges and overpasses. How is it that these structures don’t have foundation problems?

Structural engineers have developed a foundation support system that withstands the shifting soil under these structures. They use foundations with a drilled pier system that has a belled bottom, that is reinforced with steel and that has been placed in the ground with knowledge-based design provided from soil testing and experience. It’s the same design concept that Dawson Foundation Repair has used since 1984.

So, would insurance companies cover home foundations if they were built to handle the soil movement occurring underneath? Most certainly, the return on that coverage would be tremendous and profitable. Unfortunately, home foundations in Texas are under-engineered and /or under-designed, resulting in a high probability that a home in Texas will likely experience some foundation issue in the future. Insurance companies simply will not insure homes for foundation damage because they know that a very high percentage of Texas homes will experience foundation damage in the tens of thousands of dollars.  The insurance companies are not in the business of losing money. So the burden and expense of foundation damage and repair is placed upon the homeowners of Texas.

When the soil’s upheaval and settlement eventually causes a crack or break in your foundation, Dawson Foundation Repair is ready to provide a repair method that is proven, time-tested and permanent. Bell bottom piers are the gold standard of the foundation repair industry. Don’t settle for a cheaper repair method for your home. Go for a proven, time-tested, and permanent repair method.

Dawson Foundation Repair installs only Bell Bottom Piers for homeowners and commercial property owners. Read what Priscilla said in her testimonial comments.

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You Can Inspect Your Home’s Foundation (Part 2)

Posted by on Jul 8, 2013 in General Interest | 0 comments

You Can Inspect Your Home’s Foundation (Part 2)

This is Part 2 of information you can use to self-inspect your home’s foundation. (You can read Part 1 HERE.) When a homeowner thinks of home maintenance, the predominant concerns are the superstructure (everything above the foundation) and the grounds (landscaping). But there is more to it.

You Can Inspect Your Home's FoundationHere are two important considerations Dawson Foundation Repair wants you to be aware of to provide quality care for your home’s slab. This information is influenced by a home inspection foundation guide prepared by a structural engineering committee of the Foundation Performance Association in Houston. It is intended for use by homeowners, builders, tenants, realtors, architects, engineers, inspectors and repair contractors for external inspection in Southeast Texas. (Information for internal inspection will be addressed later.)

The guide addresses four areas of inspection: cracks and separation, drainage, vegetation and water leaks. Here’s what you can do to find out if your home needs foundation repair by inspecting these areas—vegetation and water leaks:

Vegetation

There is no question that foliage, trees and flower beds greatly enhance the visual appeal of a home. But some of that plant life can be the culprit that causes problems. In your inspection, check that there are no broadleaf trees (for instance, hackberry, oak, pecan, ash or tallow, etc.) closer than 20 feet to your home. These trees have extensive root systems. They suck a lot of water out from the soil and if the roots extend under your foundation they could cause dramatic shrinkage of the soil possibly resulting in settlement or the collapse of a portion of the foundation. For conifers (such as pine trees) make sure they are no closer than their canopy. In other words if the conifer’s branches are scraping the home, they are too close. Additionally, make sure you check trees that are adjacent to your property. The adjacent property might have a tree that potentially threatens your foundation. Finally, check that there are no trees of any kind and no large shrubs growing next to your foundation.

Water Leaks

Foundation problems can result from too much water and too little water, especially in southeast Texas with the extensive expansive soil in the region. When inspecting your home’s foundation check all water connections to make sure there are no leaks. These types of leaks include dripping faucets or condensation drip pipes from an air conditioning unit. It would be wise to correct or repair these problems. In the case of air conditioning drip pipes the drain tube or pipe should drain the water at least three feet away from the foundation. Then, check your automatic sprinkler system if you have one. Make sure it is functioning properly. And make sure that your watering schedule provides for uniform coverage (no extremely wet areas while leaving some extremely dry, or vice versa). You also do not have to water until the ground is saturated and no longer soaks in water. Hydrate your lawn just enough to support the vegetation. And if you have other sources of water—a fountain, fish pond or even a swimming pool—make sure they are not leaking.

These tips are intended to help you inspect the exterior of your home’s foundation. Dawson Foundation repair will conduct a free inspection* if you think you might have problems that require professional and expert attention. We’ve been taking care of homes using the bell bottom pier method since 1984. We are also highly skilled to take care of foundation issues that require special plumbing issues. Your home is worth the call to our offices.

*Free Inspections are only available to homeowners that are NOT involved in a real estate transaction.

Dawson Foundation Repair installs only Bell Bottom Piers for homeowners and commercial property owners. Bell Bottom Piers have far more advantages over any other method of foundation repair and we feel the homeowner should receive the best option available. Dawson Foundation Repair services homes and commercial businesses all over Texas including Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and other smaller cities. Call us for an assessment of your home’s foundation.

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You Can Inspect Your Home’s Foundation

Posted by on Jul 1, 2013 in General Interest | 0 comments

You Can Inspect Your Home’s Foundation

Taking care of your house means more than merely painting and cleaning. Your home is perhaps the most expensive personal purchase you have made. It is truly an investment, an investment you can directly impact by taking care of it as best you can. And here’s the good news – You can inspect your home’s foundation.

Dawson Foundation Repair wants you to have the tools of knowledge to be able to tend to and maintain the value of your home. The following information is influenced by a home inspection foundation guide prepared by a structural engineering committee of the Foundation Performance Association in Houston. It is intended for use by homeowners, builders, tenants, realtors, architects, engineers, inspectors and repair contractors for external inspection in Southeast Texas. (Information for internal inspection will be addressed later.)

Inspect Your FoundationThe guide addresses four areas of inspection: cracks and separation, drainage, vegetation and water leaks. In this Part One of the blog, we want to share the information on cracks/separation and drainage. Here’s what you can do to find out if your home needs foundation repair:

Cracks and Separation

The concrete of your home’s foundation will crack with age. So, if you have an older home, don’t be alarm to see small, narrow cracks. But here’s how the guide recommends you determine whether to act. If your home is new, there should not be any cracks, certainly no separation in the walls. That’s for new homes. For homes up to 10 years of age, cracks and/or separations in the walls you might see should be no more than a hairline in width. If your home is more than 10 years old, the cracks/separations should be no more than 1/8” wide. Finally, all vertical expansion joints should be uniform in width.

Drainage

This inspection is slightly more difficult to make because large amounts of water might be needed for some of the steps. But, generally speaking, you can visually determine whether drainage patterns around your home help or support maintenance of your foundation. So, let’s talk about the easy visual ones, first. Make sure you have gutters and drain spouts in place and that they are cleaned out. Remove all the debris that slows water flow. The drain spouts need to direct water away from your foundation. If the water is “ponding” at the bottom of the drain spout that is a condition for potential foundation damage. If that happens either put in underground drain systems or attach flexible plastic pipe or concrete splash blocks that will divert the draining water.

The slope of your lawn is also a factor in foundation maintenance. For the best drainage the ground around your foundation should slope downward (away). Dawson Foundation Repair recommends the ground slope at the rate of at least six (6) inches for 10 feet of slope around the slab. If you have paving, like a patio or a driveway connecting to your house then you probably do not need to worry about the slope, unless you have consistent pooling of water on that pavement. Again, it might be necessary to install a drain into the ground away from the foundation, or to repave. If you want to change the grade use sandy clay to revise.

Many homes have drainage systems that provide good foundation maintenance conditions. Dawson Foundation Repair does offer free inspection of your foundation if any of the above guides present issues. A phone call could help you increase the long-term maintenance and upkeep of your beautiful home. The soils in southeast Texas are known to move up (upheaval) and down (settlement). This shifting soil can cause serious damage to a home’s foundation. So do what you can to provide your primary support structure, the foundation under your house, the best care you can.

Dawson Foundation Repair installs only Bell Bottom Piers for homeowners and commercial property owners. Bell Bottom Piers have far more advantages over any other method of foundation repair and we feel the homeowner should receive the best option available. Dawson Foundation Repair services homes and commercial businesses all over Texas including Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and other smaller cities. Call us for a free inspection and assessment of your home’s foundation security.

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