Dawson Foundation Repair
Dawson Foundation Repair
Dawson Foundation Repair

713-668-2110 (Houston)
214-234-8421 (Dallas)
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Drought Map of Texas

Posted by on Nov 17, 2013 in Drought | 0 comments

A map of Texas drought conditions in September 2011.The Next Texas Drought

It is said that death and taxes are the only two things in life you can be certain will occur.  Well, we think that you can add a Texas Drought or two or three to that list. In the last three years we have had two very damaging droughts – 2011 and 2013. The drought of 2011 was the worst in recorded history (records began in 1895) and a glance at the image of the Drought Map of Texas will confirm this fact. To give you an idea of its severity, thousands of trees were killed in Memorial Park and throughout Houston during the summer of 2011. In addition, Houston’s water department could not keep pace with all of the broken water lines. At one time there was a backlog of over 1033 broken water lines throughout Houston that the water department could not repair because of limited manpower and crews.  Wow!

Why 1033 Unrepaired / Broken Water Lines?

In the summer of 2011 Houston had a backlog of 1033 broken water lines. At that time 15 new broken water lines were being added to this backlog every day. The reason? Dramatic soil movement. The clay soils in the eastern half of Texas have the unique and unfortunate ability to absorb water like a sponge. These clay soils can also lose water and moisture like a sponge. The result is that the volume of the soil will swell when wet and shrink when dry.  When an area experiences very hot and very dry weather then the clay soils will dramatically shrink in volume. However, iron or concrete water lines buried in the clay soils do not shrink. So when these tremendous pressures of volume shrinkage are placed on water lines – which are not shrinking – failure can occur.  And that is how Houston had a backlog of 1033 broken water lines with new breaks every day – soil movement.

Soil Movement and your Home Foundation

The Texas droughts of 2011 and 2013 produced thousands of damaged home foundations. The clay soils shrank dramatically in volume while the concrete slab foundation did not.  This produces some of the same physical stresses on home foundations as city water lines. So if you see any warning signs of foundation damage then it would be wise to ask for an inspection.

Drought Map of Texas

Want to see a map of the current drought situation in your city or county?  Just click on the following link and you will see an updated version of the Texas Drought Map.

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Rain and your Concrete Foundation

Posted by on Nov 6, 2013 in Compare | 0 comments

Rain and your Concrete Foundation

Now that Texas has experienced two very hot any dry summer seasons in the last three years (2011 and 2013), What happens when the region begins to receive rain? Answer: Movement. The concrete slab foundation under your home is going to move – maybe a little, maybe more than a little, maybe a whole lot.

Let’s take a step back and look at the cause, which is clay soil.  Most of eastern Texas and the southern United States have clay soils and concrete slab foundation rest upon these soils and rely on them for support. Clay soil is like a giant sponge – when the climate is hot and dry they will lose a great deal of water and when the climate is wet these soils will absorb a great deal of water. So the soil volume is repeatedly shrinking and expanding in volume throughout the years.  Since concrete slabs rest upon the clay soils, and the deeper perimeter and internal beams are “submerged” into the soils, the shrinking and expanding movement of the clay soils put tremendous stresses on the concrete foundation.

So what happens when it Rains?

Well, What happened before the rain?  Did the area experience hot, dry weather for an extended period of time?  If so, then the clay soils have shrunk in volume and pulled away from the foundation.  Usually this is most pronounced around the perimeter of the home.  If the area of soil shrinkage is large enough then the weight of the home will cause a portion of the concrete slab to crack and collapse (settlement) until it reaches support – which is the shrunken soil.  Now when it rains the soil will absorb the water and expand in volume. This will cause the soil and the foundation to move upward (uplift). The annual result is that a portion of the home slab foundation has cracked and collapsed (downward movement) and then risen (upward movement). This is when the homeowner will see the distinct warning signs of foundation damage such as cracked bricks, cracks in interior walls, and doors and windows that jam and stick.

Are all Home Foundations Vulnerable?

Foundation Repair in Houston, Texas (713) 668-2110

Bell Bottom Pier – Front View

Unfortunately most home foundations in Texas are built with too little concrete and too little steel rebar to resist these forces of soil movement. State laws in Texas protect home builders from building under-engineered and under-designed concrete slab foundations.  The homeowner is stuck with the financial burden of a damaged home foundation and collateral damage to the home.  On the other hand, commercial builders are not protected by state law for building under-engineered foundations for commercial buildings. Commercial builders are well aware that commercial building owners can sue them for building shoddy foundations – something that homeowners cannot do because of Texas law.

At Dawson Foundation Repair we understand that your home may be the most valuable asset that you own.  We utilize a superior method of foundation repair known as the Bell Bottom Pier method. This is a far better method than the “fast and cheap” methods offered by almost every company in the industry. The Bell Bottom Pier method is PERMANENT and its advantages over other methods are “eye-popping.”  Please read more about these advantages on our Compare Foundation Repair Methods page.

And please read what some of the testimonial letters have to say about our work and company.

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