Dawson Foundation Repair
Dawson Foundation Repair
Dawson Foundation Repair

713-668-2110 (Houston)
214-234-8421 (Dallas)
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Foundation Problems Before Remodeling

Posted by on Jun 30, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

Before remodeling a house make sure the foundation is stable and level.

This is an interesting email because the new homeowner only received one estimate of his foundation problems prior to the purchase. Since we are the only company in Houston that installs the high quality Bell Bottom Piers, we know that the homeowner received a lower priced, lower quality estimate.

The homeowner and contractor are absolutely right about stabilizing and leveling the foundation before starting the remodeling work. During the leveling process the homeowner will see walls and joints move. Often the homeowner is surprised by the amount of leveling required.

A house in this price range is usually over 3000 square feet in size. So this could be a large foundation repair job. We haven’t seen it yet so we don’t know, nor can we speculate on an estimate.

Our advice is to get multiple estimates before making a decision about your foundation problems. We only offer a high quality PERMANENT solution so give us a call today.

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Foundation Problems Richmond Texas

Posted by on Jun 25, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

Don't ignore warning signs of foundation problems because they will usually get worse.

This house in Richmond is 19 years old at the time of this email. Given the foundation issues that were stated in the email, our first guess is that this house has never had any foundation work done on it.

The homeowner has listed 6 different warning signs of foundation problems. The third item, “ceiling sheet rock separating”, is of concern to us.  That is an indication of significant amounts of cracking and movement by the slab foundation.

Our advice to homeowners is to address these foundation issues earlier rather than later.  These issues never get better and almost always get worse over the years.  In addition, if there is too much foundation movement it could damage the under slab plumbing pipes.  And any under slab plumbing repair is expensive.

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Plumbing Problem Under Slab 75069

Posted by on Jun 20, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

Any water leak or plumbing problem under the concrete slab foundation is a serious problem.

Fairview, Texas, is north of Dallas and part of the Dallas metro area. The homeowner states that plumbing work is being done on a home that is only 10 years old. This is probably a home on a slab foundation that is experiencing movement.

The plumbing system and pipes under a house built in 2005 should last 50 to 100 years. The pipes should be made of PVC which has some degree flexibility. Unfortunately the homeowner is having plumbing problems after only 10 years.

The most likely cause of the homeowner’s under slab plumbing problems is soil movement, which is moving and cracking the slab foundation. The movement has become so great that it has broken some of the plumbing pipes. Unless the homeowner stabilizes and levels his concrete foundation, this plumbing problem will probably return in a short amount of time.

Our advice is to stabilize and level the foundation FIRST. Then the plumbing issues can be resolved.

We see these issues every day because most residential home builders build “minimally functional foundations.” That is, they use a minimum of concrete and steel rebar. These weaker concrete foundations simply cannot withstand the forces of nature after a period of time. In this case, it took about 10 years of moving, flexing, and cracking to cause significant and serious damage to the plumbing system.

We install Bell Bottom Piers – the Highest Quality Foundation Repair method available in Texas. It requires more concrete, more steel rebar, more labor, and more time as a repair method. But the end result is a permanent solution that is stronger and better able to handle very heavy loads.

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Foundations and Sinkholes

Posted by on Jun 13, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

Ouch !!!

Sinkholes near a home foundation can cause severe problems.

A sinkhole is a serious problem.  If the sinkhole is large enough then it could destroy the value of the property.  Not only would it not sell, but it poses a risk to anyone living in the home.

Hopefully this is a “smaller” sinkhole.  The homeowner should contact a geophysical engineer or other experts that have knowledge of sinkholes.  If the homeowner is lucky then contractors can fill the sinkhole with dirt and gravel.

Unfortunately, we probably cannot help this homeowner. If the home is resting on a pier and beam foundation we may be able to place some additional concrete pads under the affected area.  But we would be very hesitant to drill holes in the vicinity of a sinkhole.

Sorry.  If you own a home near a fault or a sinkhole then you have a major, major problem and may not be able to sell your home under any circumstances.

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2014 Weather Recap

Posted by on Jan 25, 2015 in Drought | 0 comments

2014 Weather – Hottest Year in Recorded History

The world has been keeping temperature records for 135 years and it was announced recently that 2014 was the hottest year of all. Multiple organizations, including NASA, the official weather agency of Japan, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), have confirmed or agreed on this basic fact. Scientists have stated that the world is warmer now than anytime in the past 100 years and it is likely warmer than anytime in the last 5000 years.

This announcement follows similar “hottest year in history” announcements in 2010 and 2005. According to NOAA, additional records were set including the “hottest December” in recorded history and the “hottest six month period” in 2014. Scientists said that these new records were more than incremental increases. The word “shattered” was used by some and other scientists have stated that every continent on earth set some type of new high temperature record.

38 Years of Higher Temperatures

NASA’s Gavin Schmidt has stated that the increase continues in the buildup of greenhouse gases and it would be no surprise to him if 2015 is another record year. Data from NOAA has shown that 2014 was the latest in a 38 year continuous string of temperatures warmer than the 20th century average.

So Why are We so Focused on the Weather?

Because we know that hot, dry weather is the single greatest factor causing concrete slab foundation damage. Hot, dry weather will create evaporation and significant moisture loss in the clay soils that are common in Texas. When clay soils lose moisture they shrink in volume and “pull away” from the foundation. When that happens a portion of the concrete foundation has lost contact with the soil – it has lost its support. When this area of the soil becomes large enough the slab foundation will crack and fall until it reaches something to support it – which is the shrunken soil.

The 2014 weather and drought in Texas was more severe in the Dallas and Plano areas than in Houston. We saw significant numbers of homeowners in these areas call us after observing one of the warning signs of foundation damage.


The most common solution for these homeowner is to install support columns under the perimeter foundation beam. Usually the hot, dry weather will affect the perimeter of the home first. Unfortunately, foundation damage is not limited to the perimeter. It can also be present in the interior of the home.

The Highest Quality Foundation Repair method available in Texas is the Bell Bottom Pier method. It is far better than the cheaper stacked, concrete cylinders method. Bell Bottom Piers will support 5.8 times more weight and has a “footprint” 13 times greater than these cheaper concrete cylinder methods.

Call Dawson should you have any questions, or want a FREE foundation inspection and estimate.

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Do You Know the Weight of Your Home?

Posted by on Dec 7, 2014 in General Interest | 0 comments

Knowing the weight of your home will give you, the homeowner, a better appreciation of the weight being borne by the soil directed beneath the foundation. It should also give you a better appreciation of the tremendous forces of nature – that being soil movement, which is the primary cause of damage to concrete slab foundations in Texas.

Remember, the clay soils of Texas will shrink and swell in volume with changes in moisture content. During period of hot, dry weather the clay soils will lose water and shrink in volume. During periods of wet, rainy weather the clay soils will aborb water and swell in volume. This seasonal soil movement places huge stresses on rigid concrete foundations. And keep in mind that the foundation is supporting its own weight plus the weight of the house plus the weight of the contents inside the house.

The House + Foundation

For our analysis we are going to assume we are working with a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house with 2000 square feet. After checking with various sources we collected some guidelines that we can use to calculate the weight of an average house. However, there can be significant variations of weight based on the method of house construction and the materials used. For example, homes with tile or concrete tile roofs will weigh significantly more than similar homes with a composition shingle roof.

For our purposes, we are going to use the following figures from our construction and structural engineering friends.

one story home – 200 pounds per square foot (house + concrete slab foundation)

two story home – 275 pounds per square foot (house + concrete slab foundation)

three story home – 350 pounds per square foot (house + concrete slab foundation)

The Contents

There is also a significant amount of weight in the home from personal possessions, furniture, and appliances. Again the weight can vary from household to household. And some items, like a fully loaded fireproof filing cabinet can weigh 1400 pounds. However, we are going to use a round number of 10,000 pounds for the contents of our hypothetical house. Keep in mind that if the homeowner owns a lot of books or a home gym this number could be much greater.

The Total Weight

OK, we are ready to add it all up for our 2000 square foot house – the house + foundation + contents + air.

400,000 pounds – (200 pounds/sq ft x 2000 sq ft) – weight of house + concrete slab foundation
10,000 pounds – weight of household contents
410,000 pounds – Total

Bell Bottom Piers have greater load capacity or the ability to bear weight than cheaper stacked concrete cylinder methods

Bell Bottom Pier – 5-10 times greater Load Capacity; 13x larger Footprint in stable soil

Factor of Safety

This total, 410,000 pounds, is more than 200 tons for our hypothetical house. So why have we gone through this exercise to know the weight of your home? Because we want you, the homeowner, to know that any foundation repair method will have to support tons of weight. “Factor of Safety” is an engineering term that indicates how much weight a support structure can bear. The cheaper and more common stacked concrete cylinder (pushed piles) methods have a factor of safety = 1 or  incipient failure. “Incipient failure is a condition where any increase in load or condition will cause failure.” (from the page Comparison of Factor of Safety Between Bell-Bottom Piers and Pressed Piles.)

On the other hand, Bell Bottom Piers have a factor of safety = 5 to 10. They can bear significantly more weight, now and in the future.

Read some of the engineering reports and studies on our website to learn more about the pros and cons of various foundation repair methods.

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Price vs. Quality

Posted by on Nov 24, 2014 in General Interest | 0 comments

Price vs. Quality

Quality is remembered long after price is forgotten. Have you ever heard that phrase before? It is very true because when a product or service delivers quality the end result is a satisfied customer. On the other hand, a product or service that fails or is deficient in some way will never satisfy the customer regardless of how much or how little was paid. It is wise to review the price vs. quality before making a large commitment of money.

Everybody has had the experience of buying a product that seemed “economical” (cheap) at the time of purchase and then it broke a short time later. The price indicated it was probably “low quality” but the expectation was for greater use or utility. In these cases the cheap price is directly related to the low quality. The price or cost was low but the quick failure resulted in the complete loss of the money for the purchase.

Cars can be used as an example. Although the overall quality of all automobiles has improved in the last decade, who can remember the Yugo, the Pinto, and the AMC Gremlin? They had low purchase prices but higher than average repair incidents and very low resale value. So what is the conclusion? In general, a higher priced automobile will have fewer than the average number of repairs and a higher resale value. When all of the factors are taken into consideration – initial purchase price + cost of repairs + resale value – the higher priced automobiles may actually cost less in the long run. That is quality.

Here is the key when trying to compare initial purchase prices – “Will the higher priced product or service deliver superior functionality, efficiency, and long term results?” Usually the higher quality products and services will deliver these higher standards of functional use, lower cost use, and long term durability. Actually, with all important factors considered, the higher priced product may be a lower cost in the long run.

Do Your Research

Don’t accept the word of any or every foundation repair contractor. They all say they have the “best” product. None of them will tell a prospective customer that they offer a mediocre product at a mid-level price. That is why it is important to do your research. Find companies that have credibility because credibility counts. Ask the experts. Read the reviews and testimonials.

Does Dawson Offer the Highest Quality Foundation Repair Available in Texas?

  • Yes
  • Credibility
  • 30+ Years Experience
  • 600+ Online Testimonials
  • Favored by Structural Engineers
  • Bell Bottom Pier repair method with 5.8 times the Load Capacity and 13 times the “Footprint” when compared to cheaper, stacked concrete cylinder methods

Actually, we are probably the lowest cost method of foundation repair. Why? Two reasons. One, because there is rarely any need for a “re-level” and if so there is no charge. Two, and most important, Bell Bottom Piers do not fail – they are permanent.

When the cheaper, stacked concrete cylinders fail it is a complete failure of the repair job and a complete loss of the homeowner’s money. Read more about the engineering questions and concerns of the cheaper repair methods.

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