Dawson Foundation Repair
Dawson Foundation Repair
Dawson Foundation Repair

713-668-2110 (Houston)
214-234-8421 (Dallas)
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Foundation Issue

Posted by on Oct 16, 2016 in New Construction | 0 comments

Cracks around windows are a foundation issue and indicate potential problems with the home's foundation.

Well, here we go again. Another “Minimally Functional Foundation.” This is an expensive house and it is displaying signs of foundation damage at one year of age. Perhaps these cracks are purely cosmetic but we are not optimistic because they have appeared shortly after construction and this homeowner clearly has a foundation issue.

Why would a new house have brick cracks around windows? The answer is fairly simple. The most common cause would be soil movement and a slab foundation unable to resist the forces of nature. The clay soils in this part of Texas will expand in volume when wet and will shrink in volume when they lose moisture. This expansion and contraction process places great stresses upon the concrete slab foundation. So the question is, “Is this home’s concrete foundation strong enough to resist these forces of nature?” The answer is “probably not.” Home foundations are built as cheaply as possible to increase home builders’ profits. So the concrete is thinner than it should be and concrete slabs likely have the absolute minimum of steel rebar installed during construction. That is why we call them “Minimally Functional Foundations.” If home builders included more steel rebar and made the slab a couple of inches thicker then a majority of home foundation problems in Texas would be avoided.

So here is our advice – Call an attorney and then call the home builder. DOCUMENT EVERY CONVERSATION AND CONTACT WITH THE HOME BUILDER. You will want one or two foundation inspections from independent structural engineers. Once you have those engineering reports your attorney can guide you through the process.

The home builder must honor his warranty for the house for a period of 10 years. However, these warranties have their exceptions and “requirements” that can limit the options of the homeowner. In addition, if you can not reach an agreement with the home builder on the repair of the foundation then the homeowner will be forced by contract to submit to Mandatory Arbitration. This is BAD for the homeowner because this form of arbitration is heavily weighted in favor of the home builder and the homeowner has very limited rights and recourse. We are very critical of Mandatory Arbitration and the statistics reveal that 10% or fewer consumers (homeowners) win their case with this resolution method.

Our last piece of advice concerning this foundation issue is to NOT accept any recommendation for a cheap, low quality foundation repair (Pushed Piles). This is an expensive house, and probably a large, heavy house and we recommend a Permanent, High Quality foundation repair method – Bell Bottom Piers.

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Dawson Was Recommended

Posted by on Oct 15, 2016 in General Interest | 0 comments

Dawson Foundation Repair obtains 50% of its new customers from referrals from past customers.

This Houston homeowner is requesting a foundation inspection after seeing a few cracks in the floor.  He is contacting us because two of his neighbors are foundation repair referrals. The good news is that it appears from the email that these cracks are not large.  The bad news is that his neighbors have had foundation problems in the past and his house is resting on the same clay soils and was probably built by the same home builder.  So it is likely that this homeowner will have similar foundation issues as his neighbors.

Of course we will need to inspect the house and its slab foundation. The elevation readings we collect from different parts of the house will greatly influence our recommendation. The best outcome for the home owner is that the foundation movement was minor and that he only needs to replace a few kitchen tiles. Another outcome, which is common, is that the foundation movement has been significant and that there has been uplift and / or settlement in one or more parts of the slab foundation. In these cases, our recommendation would be to install permanent Bell Bottom piers under those areas of the slab foundation that have settled and need support. We would also analyze the cause for any uplift, which is a less frequent problem. Uplift often occurs when there is an excess of water or moisture in one area of the soil that supports the foundation. This can occur with under slab plumbing leaks and poor drainage after rains.

Whatever the problem or problems, we will offer a comprehensive solution that will attempt to level the house as close as possible to the original elevation. The installed Bell Bottom piers will provide permanent stability and they have the ability to support 5 or 10 times the weight requirements. Therefore the home owner need not worry about placing heavy furniture or a home gym in the house. And garage areas with Bell Bottom Pier support will handle any weight of vehicle without difficulty.

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