Dawson Foundation Repair
Dawson Foundation Repair
Dawson Foundation Repair

713-668-2110 (Houston)
214-234-8421 (Dallas)
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13x Greater Support

Posted by on Aug 28, 2014 in Compare | 0 comments

13x Greater Support with Bell Bottom Piers

Support, support, support.  That’s what it is all about.  The clay soils under your home’s slab foundation have moved, shifted, swollen, shrunk, or some combination of these events.  In short, the dirt under your foundation is not providing the proper or necessary support and if that is the case then the soil has probably fractured your concrete slab in one or more places. Wouldn’t it be nice to have some stable, solid support under your home’s foundation?

The Bell Bottom Pier offers 380 square inches of support vs. only 28.3 sq inches of support from a concrete pile

Comparison of Area of Support – 6 inch diameter concrete pile vs. 22 inch diameter Bell Bottom Pier

What do you think of the photo above? We are comparing the area of support of a commonly used concrete pile versus the area of support of a Bell Bottom Pier.  The 6 inch diameter concrete pile only offers 28.3 square inches of area/support while the 22 inch diameter Bell Bottom Pier offers 380 square inches of area/support.  The difference is by a factor of 13 – that is, one is 13 times greater than the other.  Or to state it another way, a pushed pile offers less than 8% of the support area of a Bell Bottom Pier. Isn’t it obvious which one of the two will offer greater support for your home’s concrete foundation?

Let’s look at it a different way.  Let’s assume your home needs 10 support structures (piles or piers) to support an area of settlement around the front and side perimeter foundation beam. So how much support does each method offer?

10 pushed piles x 28.3 sq inches = 283 total square inches of support
10 Bell Bottom Piers x 380 sq inches = 3800 total square inches of support

Not. Even. Close.

The Bell Bottom Pier is the Highest Quality foundation repair method available in the state of Texas. We only offer this method of construction because we strongly feel that the homeowner should receive a proven and permanent repair solution.  Other low quality repair methods have inherent flaws that lead to frequent failure.

We frequently tell homeowners that they get what they pay for.  If they pay a low price for foundation repair they are going to receive a low quality repair effort. Here are the basic formulas:

Low Quality Foundation Repair = minimal support + segmented concrete piles + low price

Highest Quality Foundation Repair = 13x more support + monolithic construction (one unit) + higher price

So what do you want for your home, a low quality job or the highest quality available? View the image below.

Comparison of a skewed column of pushed piles compared to a Bell Bottom Pier

A skewed column of pushed piles compared to a Bell Bottom Pier

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Subsidence – Coming Soon!

Posted by on Aug 12, 2014 in Learn | 0 comments

Land Subsidence – a Gradual Enemy

The continuing drought in California has led to accelerated groundwater pumping from San Joaquin Valley aquifers. This is nothing new for this part of California, but the intensity of the pumping during the last few years is unique.

Pumping groundwater from the San Joaquin Valley began in 1926 and some areas have seen land subsidence in excess of 28 feet. Today the experts are sounding the alarm because subsidence is now one foot per year in many areas.  See a Photo from on U.S. Geological Survey site showing the extent of Land Subsidence

What is Subsidence?

Land subsidence (or subsidence) is the settlement (reduced elevation) of the ground’s surface. It is usually due to the movement or removal of soil, minerals, or water from under the surface. Most subsidence is “man-made,” however, some cases can occur naturally from sinkholes, thawing permafrost, or natural compaction.

How does Subsidence affect Texas?

The soil in the southeast portion of Texas is comprised of clay, sand, and water. When the water is removed the land sinks.  This is the nature of the geology of the area. When the land sinks, ground faults are created and/or expand.  Soil movement – sinking or settlement – damages foundations, buildings, water lines, and pipelines. 

Perhaps the most dramatic example of subsidence in Texas has occurred in the Brownwood subdivision of Baytown, Texas, twenty miles east of downtown Houston. It is a subdivision of 448 homes, most of which are sitting in 10 or 15 feet of seawater of Crystal Bay. It is the result of the aggressive groundwater extraction of the southeast Texas Evangeline and Chicot aquifers that began in 1943.

In a 1974 Texas Monthly article the author states that over 20,000 acres of land area around Galveston has or will soon sink into the Galveston Bay and it estuaries. He also pointed out that over $100 million in property has been lost and that in Texas City and Pasadena the storm sewers have water flowing in the wrong direction. 

This Texas Monthly article also states that more than 1000 miles of faults can be “activated” by the threat of subsidence – which in turn threatens residential, commercial, and industrial buildings. The Woodlands has recently seen problems with faults and some homes are being literally torn apart by fault lines that widen every year. We discussed these Texas faults in an earlier blog post.

Currently, the northwest corner of Houston is one of the areas experiencing the greatest subsidence. Home owners and home buyers should be aware of the long term risks associated with land subsidence.


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