Dawson Foundation Repair
Dawson Foundation Repair
Dawson Foundation Repair

713-668-2110 (Houston)
214-234-8421 (Dallas)
1-800-368-7662
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Foundation Cracks in Sugar Land

Posted by on Jul 10, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

Foundation cracks will usually get worse over time because clay soils move during weather changes.

This email is from a potential customer that owns a home in Sugar Land, Texas.  The home was built in 2009, making it only 7 years of age when the homeowner emailed us.  Interestingly, the homeowner stated that the foundation cracks have increased in size over the last 5 years.  So with simple arithmetic we can conclude that the house BEGAN to have foundation cracks only two years after construction.  This home is currently valued over $300,000 by the Ft. Bend County Appraisal District.

We feel a great deal of sympathy for homeowners in this situation because we feel they have been “shortchanged” by both the home builder and by Texas politicians.  We feel that have purchased a house with a “minimally functional foundation” that was designed to “survive” for 10 years – the liability period for new home builders.  Unfortunately, this new foundation was subjected to the punishing droughts of 2011 and 2013 which put tremendous stresses upon all area concrete slab foundations. The results were foundation cracks and all of the associated damage in the interior and exterior of the house.

We also feel sympathy for the homeowners because the home builders have been protected from lawsuits by the Texas politicians. All buyers of new homes sign a contract at the time of purchase to resolve all disputes with the home builder with Mandatory Arbitration.  Unfortunately the general public does not understand Mandatory Arbitration.  It is a “stacked deck” in which the business (home builder) defeat the consumer (home buyer) between 90% to 97% of the time. It is not a fair process and there are few legal protections for the consumer.

What will happen?

Then home owner can and should contact the home builder about the problems.  The home owner may want to contact an attorney also. However, the most likely result is the home builder will offer to “repair” the weakened slab foundation with an inferior and low quality foundation repair method – pushed piles.  The home builder’s goal is to “push” the problem beyond the 10 year mark and therefore avoid any future liability.

These low quality foundation repair methods will fail at some point in the future. We have seen it many times and a large percentage of our business is from homeowners with failed foundation repair jobs from other contractors.

The homeowner does have another option.  He / she can install permanent Bell Bottom Piers to stabilize and level the home. This will void the home builder’s warranty but it appears to us that the home builder’s warranty has little value.

We wish the situation were different.  It certainly would be if home builders built concrete slab foundations with more concrete and steel rebar.  We know contractors build better slab foundations for commercial clients because they don’t have any legal protection from lawsuits.  If the contractor builds an inferior concrete foundation for a commercial client then he is at great risk of being sued by the commercial client.  There is NO Mandatory Arbitration in these situations. Not so with homeowners.

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Mud Pumping Under Foundations

Posted by on Jul 5, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

Voids under concrete slab foundations can be filled with a concrete / mud slurry.

This is an interesting email from a home owner. He wants to know if Dawson Foundation Repair will fill a void that was left by another foundation contractor. The answer is no.

Why?

First, we do think it is important to fill the voids that are under a home concrete foundation. This will provide the slab foundation with additional support when it is carrying heavy loads.

Second, we do not want to be liable for the failure of a foundation repair job of another contractor. This foundation contractor used an inferior and cheap method of foundation repair, pushed pilings. We simply don’t understand why owners of $500,000 homes want the lowest cost (lowest quality) foundation repair estimate they can find. We suspect this foundation contractor did not fill the void with a concrete / mud slurry because he hasn’t invested in the necessary equipment.

The conclusion is that you get what you pay for. If you want low cost then you will receive low quality. If you want high quality, and a permanent solution, then it will cost more. We install Bell Bottom Piers because they are stronger, more stable, have a large footprint, and can support loads 5 to 10 times greater than cheap repair methods.

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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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