Homeowners often ask why foundation settlement occurs. This is quite an issue in the DFW, TX area. Whether you own a house that has a concrete slab foundation, or is constructed with beams and piers, problems such as settling are common. That’s because all types of structures, including elevated pier and beam foundations, are prone to foundation failure. Crawl space damage is also a concern. By taking proper precautions, foundation repair issues can often be avoided.
About Slab Foundation Settling
Foundations sink in the DFW metroplex because of:
1. poor foundation design
2. shoddy construction
3. soil under the house that was not properly packed
4. foundation movement
5. flooding and other water-related issues such as under slab plumbing leaks.
All of these things can lead to foundation failure in concrete slabs as well as pier and beam structures. In fact, there are many more things that can cause a structure to start sinking, settling, leaning and cracking. Settlement is a common problem with foundations.
As many of the property owners in the North Texas area observed this year, foundations can collapse due to the excessive amount of rain that the area receives. While flooding is indeed a problem, so are droughts. During extremely dry spells (such as the kind we’ve experienced in the last 4-5 years), the earth shrinks and that can damage all types of foundation. It’s very common for property owners to notice that their house has dropped down on one side or the other. This is a clear sign that foundation settling has occurred, and it and needs immediate attention. Foundation failure could be severe. If you have observed that your concrete slab is doing this, or have noticed that the foundation on your pier and beam house is sinking, it’s always best to contact a contractor. They can stop by, evaluate your property, and find out what’s involved with terminating slab foundation repair issues or any other kinds of problems you may have. Remember: Foundations that appear to be settling and have dropped 1-2” will eventually sink further. Some can be out of level by 5-6” or more. In some cases, buildings in the Dallas, Fort Worth area may even fall below 8”. Foundation settlement and major structural failure such as this can be extremely costly to repair, and also be exceedingly dangerous. Deterioration is typically visible on one side of a house (or commercial property) before it becomes apparent on the other side.
How To Stop Sinking And Foundation Failure:
The best thing to do is to contact a reputable contractor that knows a great deal about repairing slabs as well as pier and beam foundations. Texas contractors know how to deal with foundation settlement issues. They can thoroughly inspect your DFW property for structural issues and then offer a solution by determining what type of foundation piers will be most appropriate given your particular situation. Pressed concrete piers are the type most often used in this area, although some homeowners do opt to install steel reinforcements. They halt issues such as settling by elevating your foundation as well as evening it out. If you have a pier and beam property, a qualified professional can also inspect the crawl space under it to see if it is wet, or if any of wooden members need to be removed and replaced. In some instances, a foundation drainage system may be needed to prevent settlement in your foundation. If you have any concerns about your house or want to put an end to any crawl space foundation problems, contact us about performing an evaluation.
Updated February 20th, 2023