La Porte is located in the eastern half of the state of Texas. Unfortunately the eastern half of Texas has a high percentage of clay soils and these soils have frequently compromised the integrity of residential and commercial concrete slab foundations.
Soil Characteristics As They Affect Foundation Repair
La Porte is built upon the Gulf Coastal Plain. This large plain was created over thousands of years by the deposit of sediments from higher elevations. Unfortunately for homeowners and commercial property owners, these sediments contain a high percentage of clay soils that can severely damage concrete slab foundations through their movement. Clay soils will expand dramatically when wet and they will shrink dramatically when dry. Some clay soils can exhibit an 8 inch vertical differential between very wet and very dry conditions. This constant swelling and shrinking puts tremendous stresses on rigid concrete foundations. Many times these foundations are not strong enough to resist these movements and the results will be uplifted, collapsed, and/or cracked foundations.
Residential and commerical developments built on the rocky hill country soils of the western half of Texas have far less clay content and therefore far less movement. Generally, these areas have few foundation problems.
Like many areas in the eastern portion of Texas, the clay soils in La Porte are problematic for building construction and concrete slab foundations. When it rains the clay soils absorb large amounts of water and swell dramatically in volume. This swelling creates “uplift” for any structure built upon the soil and can be extremely damaging to rigid concrete foundations. Similarly, when weather conditions are very hot and dry the clay soils will lose significant amounts of water and shrink dramatically. When the soils shrink and lose contact with a concrete slab foundation, the foundation has literally lost its support. If the area of shrinkage is large enough then the foundation will crack and collapse until it reaches its support – which is the shrunken clay soil.
Dawson Foundation Repair utilizes only one method of foundation repair, the Bell Bottom Pier method. There is a simple reason for using this method exclusively – it works and it is permanent. Other repair methods are cheaper for the contractor and the customer but they suffer from significant disadvantages. Drilling and excavating holes for Bell Bottom Piers requires pouring concrete into the excavated holes and reinforcing the concrete with steel rebar. This is the same conceptual method used to build support columns for highway overpasses and bridges. It is called the “Drilled Pier” or “Drilled Pier with Bell Bottom” method – a time-tested and proven method that is permanent. Please click on the following link to Compare Methods of Foundation Repair.
Dawson Foundation Repair will provide FREE home foundation repair inspections and estimates for La Porte residents (for homes not involved in real estate transactions).