6 Signs Your House Needs Leveling

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House Needs Leveling Over time, all home foundations settle. The common causes of foundation settling are improperly backfilled soil, expansive soil, and tree roots. Movement in the foundation can affect the entire house and must be addressed right away. The structural issues will only become worse over time and can decrease your home’s value. Fortunately, there are some signs that indicate your house needs leveling.

6 Signs Your House Needs Leveling Due to Foundation Issues

1. Unlevel Mortar Joints

Expansion joints, or the vertical gaps between bricks or concrete blocks, are usually experts’ go-to way of spotting foundation settlement. If the mortar that fills these joints is showing gaps, cracks or expansion, that’s a sign of foundation settling that may require foundation leveling.

2. Cracks Along the Exterior and Interior of Your Home

Another major sign of foundation settling is visible cracking along the interior or exterior of your home. If your home has any brick work, check for cracks in the mortar between the bricks, along with vertical cracks that seem to be growing wider. Additionally, if you have any brick work or not, look for cracks on the inside of your home, paying special attention to drywall, plaster, fireplace veneer and wood paneling. Don’t forget to check ceilings and floors too. Bulging floor tiles and exposed concrete floors are also signs of issues that may quickly become cracks, especially for basement floors.

3. A History of Previous Repairs

If you bought your home from a previous owner, check the history of past repair work. If there is evidence of patching cracks, replacing latches, or moving framework, this likely means that settlement could be occurring.

4. Stuck Windows & Sticking/Swinging Doors

Has your home ever given you trouble when it comes to closing doors or windows? If your house has foundation issues on one side of the structure, your house may now be at a slight angle causing your doors and windows to become stuck. This suggests that your house is no longer level.

5. Uneven Floors

Check for slants in your floors using a tape measure or level in numerous areas of your home including your interior walls and exterior walls. Slanted floors could be caused by other issues in your home, but this is still worth checking.

6. An Unstable Chimney

Home foundation

Leaning or cracking chimneys in many instances could suggest foundational issues if your chimney shares its foundation with your house. If you’ve had to repair your chimney because of these issues, it’s a good idea to check for settlement issues in your home’s foundation.

Contact a Highly-Experienced Professional Today

When it comes to foundation repair, this is a job best left to the experts. House leveling is very technical, and improper techniques used on your own could further worsen the foundation damage. At MitchCo Foundation Repair, we have been helping homeowners in the San Antonio area for over 20 years. We provide timely completion of projects and free, no-obligation estimates. Contact MitchCo Foundation Repair today to address your foundation repair needs.

Current Trends in Home Foundation

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A proper home foundation does more than just hold a house above the ground. It helps to keep out the moisture, insulates against the cold, and resists the ever-shifting movements of the earth. A high-quality home foundation should last you a lifetime, so it’s well worth taking the time to ensure that you have the best type of foundation.

While every home is built on a foundation, not every property is based on the same foundation. There are a variety of different foundations available, each best suiting a different area, home, and structure. Variations are possible, but here are the most commonly used in house foundation construction, and what repairs often need to be made.

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Pier and Beam

Pier and beam foundations are constructed with wood posts or concrete piers set deep into the ground to bear the weight of the building. First, this reinforced concrete footing is buried underground, anchoring the entire foundation of the building in the ground to prevent shifting in volatile soils. Next, piers are constructed and attached to the footing. Piers are typically made from concrete or brick. The piers come out of the ground and support beams, which are directly connected to the floor joists beneath your flooring.

This foundation is typically elevated 18 inches above the ground, with utility units for plumbing and electricity installed in this crawlspace. Repairs can easily be made since workers can access the area quickly. However, not just anyone can go into the crawlspace and make repairs. A professional who understands the foundation structure and common safety concerns can help you when repairing your pier and beam foundation.

Pier and beam foundations mean that there is easy accessibility for workers to get underneath the house and repair problems, such as electrical and plumbing issues. This makes some types of foundation repairs easier to correct. Furthermore, there is a less chance of damage from the ground as it sits a few inches above it. However, this type of foundation is often susceptible to drainage issues and must be addressed regularly. Luckily, professionals can help to correct drainage concerns.

Slab-on-Grade

The slab-on-grade foundation is what it sounds like: a concrete slab poured at ground level that serves as the subfloor for the home’s living area. These foundations tend to be useful in climates that don’t experience ground freezing, and they are often less expensive than the deep foundations. Unlike a pier and beam foundation, the slab-on-grade foundation is not elevated.

Current Trends in Home Foundation

While it means that there is little chance for pests and critters to rest underneath your home, the downfall to slab-on-grade foundations is that the concrete must be broken up before the repair can take place if there is an issue. Additionally, as the pipes are stationed underneath the foundation, a burst water pipe can cost a considerably large sum of money to repair and recover. A foundation expert can customize repair to your home and needs.

Foundations can be repaired but not completely replaced without destroying the home above. Your home cannot survive without a strong foundation, which is why it pays to have a true professional on your side to help.

MitchCo Foundation Repair has over 30 years of experience in foundation repair, as well as restoration and maintenance. Serving the San Antonio area, our repair experts can help to correct your foundation issue. Contact us at (210) 485-1995 to find out how we can help keep your foundation in the best shape possible.

Source

  1. http://www.safoundationrepaircompanies.com/foundation-services/concrete-slab-foundation-repair/

How Weather Affects Your Foundation

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One area of the home most homeowners tend to ignore when it comes to maintenance and repairs of the home is the foundation. Whether you have a basement or concrete slab, the foundation is an essential support structure for your home. From hot and cold temperatures to different weather conditions, these can pose problems for your foundation, which can lead to costly repairs.

Hot Weather

During the hot summer months and periods of drought, the dry air causes the water in the concrete to evaporate. This can lead to cracking and a weakening of the foundation. Hot weather also causes the soil to dry out, which can lead to foundation settling because there is less moisture in the soil. As a result, the foundation will “settle” or sink into the ground, resulting in an uneven foundation and cracks.

Weather Affects Your Foundation

Rainy Weather

Any problems created during hot, dry periods of weather can cause problems once rain returns. Cracks or gaps in the foundation can allow the water to get under the home or into your basement, which causes flooding and further weakens the foundation. The water will also cause the cracks and gaps in the foundation to become bigger.

Not to mention, the underlying soil is often so dried out, it cannot reasonably absorb large amounts of water after prolonged dry spells, so it will become soft and mushy and could result in further “settling” or sinking of the foundation.

Cold Weather

While not that common, it can turn cold in San Antonio during the winter months, and we do occasionally get some snow. The colder temperatures can cause problems for your foundation in situations where there are already small cracks and gaps. As temperatures drop, concrete will contract slightly, until temperatures warm back up, when it will expand again. As such, any existing cracks and gaps can become larger.

Rainy Weather

Any problems created during hot, dry periods of weather can cause problems once rain returns. Cracks or gaps in the foundation can allow the water to get under the home or into your basement, which causes flooding and further weakens the foundation. The water will also cause the cracks and gaps in the foundation to become bigger.

Not to mention, the underlying soil is often so dried out, it cannot reasonably absorb large amounts of water after prolonged dry spells, so it will become soft and mushy and could result in further “settling” or sinking of the foundation.

Cold Weather

While not that common, it can turn cold in San Antonio during the winter months, and we do occasionally get some snow. The colder temperatures can cause problems for your foundation in situations where there are already small cracks and gaps. As temperatures drop, concrete will contract slightly, until temperatures warm back up, when it will expand again. As such, any existing cracks and gaps can become larger.

Check Your Home for Foundation Damage

How to Check Your Home for Foundation Damage

It is a good idea to get into the habit of performing a foundation inspection after especially long periods of hot, dry weather. Your home will exhibit certain characteristics that could indicate potential foundation damage, including:

  • Cracks and gaps in the foundation or basement floor and side walls.
  • The appearance of cracks on walls, ceilings, and stairways, and other upper levels of the home.
  • Doors and windows become difficult to open or close and seem overly tight.
  • You notice gaps and cracks around windows and exterior doors.
  • The roof looks like it is sagging, which is common in homes with severe foundation damage.
  • Large cracks and gaps in the soil around the exterior perimeter of the home.

If you notice any of the above symptoms, it is highly recommended you contact a professional foundation repair company, like us, here at MitchCo Foundation Repair, to get a second opinion. Discovering foundation damage sooner, rather than later, is less costly to repair and fix. For further questions about foundation damage or to arrange an in-home inspection, please call us at 210.485.1995 today!

Symptoms of Settling That Mean You Need Drainage Correction

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Drainage correction serving San Antonio aims to help direct water away from the house so that it doesn’t settle around the foundation of your home. If you have interior or exterior basement waterproofing and an adequate drainage system as it is, chances are you don’t need drainage correction. Many homeowners don’t have adequate drainage, however, and this leads to a certain set of symptoms. Recognizing these elements is the first step in seeking drainage correction and avoiding a slew of problems. Keep reading for a look at some of the symptoms of settling that mean you need drainage correction.

When rainwater or water from your sprinkler rests around your house without being displaced, it can eventually seep into the soil and affect your foundation. This can bring about symptoms of settling, which happen when your foundation is no longer balanced. If you take a look around your house and notice cracks near your windows and doors, this may be a sign of settling. You could also find cracks in the walls of your basement or in your foundation itself, as well as water pooling around the home. If you notice these signs, be sure to call for drainage correction.

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Home Remodels That May Require Concrete Flatwork

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Besides foundation repair and waterproofing services, companies that specialize in drainage correction in San Antonio sometimes offer concrete installation services as well. For this reason, you should contact your local foundation repair contractor when you’re in the process of home remodeling. There is a range of projects that may benefit from professional concrete flatwork installation .

If you’re renovating your landscaping, then you may be planning to update your driveway. In this case, contacting a professional about installing the new driveway can help ensure that the project goes as planned and that you’ll have a driveway that provides years of function. Are you thinking about adding on a garage or remodeling your current one? If so, then you may need to contact a contractor about installing the concrete flatwork for the structure. The installation of new flooring, pool decks, ramps, sidewalks, and patios are a few more examples of when you should consider working with a professional for the concrete flatwork.

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Questions to Ask Your Foundation Repair Specialist

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Foundation repair serving San Antonio might sound like an extensive process, but it helps to understand the process so you can plan around it. You can start by doing research on your own, and then you can talk to your concrete repair professional to find out what the process will look like within the context of your circumstances. It’s also helpful to ask how to tell if your house has foundation problems in case future repairs are needed, as well as what types of factors impact the structural integrity of your foundation. Keep reading for the answers to questions to ask your foundation repair specialist. foundation - repair

How does foundation repair work?

You would never want to sign off on a service that you don’t understand, which is why it’s helpful to understand how foundation repair works. Foundation repair always starts with an initial consultation. This will give your contractor an opportunity to survey the damage and get to the bottom of what caused the problem. At this point your specialist can also decide whether or not foundation repair work is necessary. If it is necessary, your team of professionals will use different techniques to ensure that your home is level. They might then treat your soil and add a drainage correction system to prevent further problems.

Does my house need it?

If you have ever noticed cracks above your doors or sloping floors in your home or office building, you might have a problem with your foundation. Foundation issues can significantly impact the structural integrity of the building; if you do notice this type of issue, call for foundation repair as soon as possible. Other symptoms of foundation problems include trouble opening and closing windows and doors as well as mold in your basement.

What factors should I consider?

There are a few factors that might contribute to foundation problems, and one of them is your drainage system. If you do not have a drainage system that adequately displaces moisture from your foundation, it’s important to have one installed. Removing this water will keep it from changing the composition of the soil compacting your foundation.

Signs That Your Home Needs Foundation Repair

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A strong foundation supports your house and keeps it in safe, efficient, and cosmetically appealing shape, but there are a few different types of problem signs that could warrant a call to your contractor for foundation repair serving San Antonio . You might notice visible cracks and slopes, floors and walls have become uneven, and doors and windows that don’t open and close like they normally would. Feel free to keep reading for a closer look at a few signs that your home needs foundation repair. foundation - repair

Cracks, Gaps, and Sloping

When your foundation starts to break down or sink, it is time to call your foundation repair specialist. If you think you might have a problem with your foundation, take a walk around and look for cracks in your drywall. You might also notice cracks on the outside of your home; you should pay special attention to cracks that resemble a staircase pattern. You might also notice spaces between your ceiling and the molding that should be flush against it. A small amount of sloping in your floors might be normal, but more significant sloping can indicate a foundation problem.

Sunken Floors and Bowed Walls

If a particular part of your flooring feels sunken in or you notice that the ground around your house feels like it is lower than normal, you might need foundation repair. You should also take a look at your basement walls and see if they appear to be buckling inwards; this could be due to soil expansion, and it might warrant a call to your foundation repair professional.

Difficulty Operating Doors and Windows

You might find it more difficult to open and close your doors and windows as the weather changes, but this is not the only factor that can make an impact on their operation. The condition of your foundation can actually play a substantial role when it comes to these features. Your house or building was level when the doors and windows were installed, so the sinking of your foundation can put them off balance. Once you seek foundation repair, your doors and windows should operate normally once again.

The Signs of a Slab Leak

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A slab leak is a serious situation for any homeowner. Slab leaks are defined as any plumbing leaks that occur underneath the foundation slab of your property. When your plumbing develops a slab leak, you may need to set up foundation repair and waterproofing services for your home. To determine when it is time to call in the experts, it is important to be on the lookout for the signs and symptoms of a slab leak. For example, when your home has a slab leak, you may notice the sound of running water in your home, even when all of your water is turned off. Additionally, you may also find unusual cracks or hot spots along your floors. Fortunately, a contractor in San Antonio can help you diagnose and repair a slab leak on your property. From drainage correction to waterproofing and more, a foundation repair technician will be able to offer you the services that you need to completely restore the foundation of your home.

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The Importance of Proper Drainage

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Your foundation, while strong and stable, is vulnerable to damage caused by excess water. Over time, water can wear away the material of your foundation and affect the ground around it, leading to serious cracking, shifting, and settling that requires professional foundation repair to address. If you are suffering from a water problem affecting your foundation or basement, the success of your waterproofing solution will depend on a combination of barrier and drainage solutions; your professional contractor in San Antonio will examine your home and its existing drainage to determine how improved drainage will protect your foundation from future damage.

waterproofing-solution

Protect Your Foundation

Proper drainage is essential for a healthy foundation. When water is allowed to pool around your home, it will affect the ground and the materials that make up your foundation. This excess water is the cause of cracking and deterioration of the foundation itself, while also destabilizing the earth that supports your foundation and your home. Proper drainage will prevent water accumulation in the area immediately around your home, instead funneling it away from your house so it cannot cause wear and tear on your foundation.

Waterproof Your Basement

Basement flooding is a common problem in homes across the country. A wet basement can increase your risk for developing a mold problem at home, while flooding can also damage any items you have stored in your basement, including HVAC and water heating equipment. Proper home drainage will eliminate the risk of basement flooding and is a frequent component of the basement waterproofing process. Investing in drainage correction is a cost-effective and long-term solution that will protect the value and condition of your basement, as well as the belongings it contains.

If you’re suffering from basement flooding and foundation damage, drainage correction can put an end to these problems. The general contractors you hire to complete your foundation repair will consider all the causes of your foundation damage to take the proper steps to address this issue.

Don’t Ignore a Foundation Problem

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When you ignore your home’s need for foundation repair and waterproofing near San Antonio, you will only develop bigger and more costly problems. Without swift foundation repair by a qualified, experienced general contractor, your walls and flooring will become cracked and uneven. This may make your home unstable and unsafe for you and your family to live in, and as the problems become worse, they will necessitate more and more repairs.

Watch this video for an explanation for why you shouldn’t ignore a foundation problem. Foundation problems are usually symptoms of a deeper, more serious problem that should be identified by a contractor as soon as possible. In addition to foundation repair, you may need to waterproof your basement, and investigate drainage correction options like a French drain installation.