Foundation repair is more common than most think. Structures (residential homes or commercial buildings) can settle for various reasons. One of the most common reasons in the Central Texas and Houston areas is due to the expansion soil beneath or around the structure. The soil swells in the rainy seasons, and then contracts and dries out during the warmer months, causing the foundation to move, shift and become unlevel. Even rocky soils can become unstable and shift over time causing foundation failure. Another issue that can cause your foundation to settle or shift is a plumbing leak beneath the foundation, also known as a foundation leak, leading to weakening of the soil.
Not all foundation repair projects are done the same way. There is more than one way to stabilize a foundation and bring it back to a sound, level condition. The foundation repair method used to repair your foundation will depend on the foundation type, the cause of the foundation issue, the severity of the issue, the age of your structure, and more. Some signs that you may experience from a foundation settling or shifting include but are not limited to cracking of the drywall, tile cracking on the floors, cracks in the brick resembling a set of stairs, sticking doors and windows, and gaps around your doors. If you are noticing any of these signs, there is a strong chance that your foundation is moving, and a foundation assessment is needed.
It is important to address foundation settlement before it causes further damage to your foundation or weakens the integrity of your structure. Some of the big things that are damaged due to foundation problems include but are not limited to plumbing breaks, gas or water line breaks, drywall damage, brick or stucco breaks, flooring being damaged beyond repair, breaks in the concrete foundation, and the structure losing its value. To avoid any more damage to your structure, give call us today! FiveStar Foundation & Construction is a reliable and trustworthy family-owned company that has been stabilizing foundations- residential and commercial- for many years. Whether your structure is a residential home or a commercial building, a slab foundation or pier and beam foundation, FiveStar Foundation & Construction is here to help you with your foundation repair needs. Plus, we proudly provide FiveStar Warranties such as a Lifetime Transferable Warranty for slab foundation repair.
Slab Foundations are the most popular foundations you see in the Central Texas and Houston areas. What is a slab foundation? A slab foundation is a concrete foundation, meaning the foundation is constructed of concrete with poured concrete beams. A slab foundation sits directly on the soil (slab on grade) meaning that there is no crawlspace. The plumbing for a slab foundation is placed underground beneath the slab. The most common reason that a slab foundation will shift is because of the expansion soil that it sits on here in the Central Texas region, as well as the Houston and surrounding areas as explained above. Plumbing leaks or foundation leaks are another cause that can lead to severe damage of a slab foundation especially when unnoticed and untreated for a long period of time. In this region, other reasons for slab foundation movement could be caused by tree roots impacting or pressing against the slab foundation, loadbearing walls not ailing with the concrete beams of the slab foundation, and cracks of the slab’s concrete beams. These can all result in weakening of the slab foundation. Once your concrete slab foundation is compromised, this means the support for the rest of your structure is now compromised because the slab foundation is what supports the entire building or home. Our team at FiveStar Foundation & Construction has seen it all when dealing with a compromised slab foundation. If the slab foundation is not properly stabilized, it can really jeopardize the integrity of the structure.
If you are noticing cracks on your brick resembling stairs, your expansion joints on your exterior brick are starting to separate, your doors are not shutting and locking properly, it sounds like it's time to call your trusted experts at FiveStar Foundation & Construction to find the most reliable solution to stabilize your slab foundation. Prior to determining the right foundation repair plan, FiveStar Foundation & Construction will thoroughly evaluate the slab foundation and properly measure and record the elevations. Upon examining the interior and exterior of the structure and recording the elevations, we will help you determine the possible cause of the slab foundation movement. Based on this information we can provide an honest opinion on how to best treat your slab foundation issues.
The foundation repair of a slab foundation consists of digging beneath the structure and installing pressed piling piers. There are two different pier systems that can be used for this method which are pressed concrete piers and pressed steel piers. Let us explain the two pier systems to give you a better understanding.
Conducting slab foundation repair by installing pressed concrete piers is often the best way to stabilize, support, and level a slab foundation. These piers are constructed using concrete cylinders, typically 6-inches in diameter with a ¾-inch hole through the middle. The hole allows for steel to be placed inside which is used to interlock each concrete cylinder that is installed. Holes will first be excavated where each pier system needs to be installed. The cylinders are then hydraulically driven into the ground until they reach a point of resistance. Once they have reached the depth needed, a top cap is installed on top of the last installed concrete cylinder. The structure will then be lifted, leveled, and shimmed into place. Any concrete breakouts that were required will be resurfaced and all excavated dirt will be replaced.
Pressed steel piers are also commonly used to stabilize and level a slab foundation. Like the concrete pier, these steel cylinders- 2¾ inches in diameter- are hydraulically driven into the ground until proper resistance is achieved. They are designed as sleeve locking sets, meaning they securely lock into place with one another. Once necessary depth is reached, a steel cap will be placed on top of the pier system. After lifting and leveling, they will be shimmed in place.
No matter the signs you may be experiencing within your concrete slab foundation, how big your structure may be, whether residential or commercial, call your local concrete slab experts at FiveStar Foundation & Construction to get an honest and reliable diagnoses.
CENTRAL TEXAS | (830)217-9969
HOUSTON | (713)399-4292
FiveStar Foundation & Construction is your trusted pier and beam foundation expert from Central Texas to Houston, TX. If you aren’t sure what a pier and beam foundation is, let us help explain. A Pier and Beam Foundation is constructed of wood beams that run the entire length or width of the structure and supports the floor joist. The beam sits on top of piers which are constructed of reinforced concrete columns. These piers tie into the footings which are constructed of concrete and rebar. The footings are poured and buried beneath the soil to reach a depth that exceeds the expansion soil. Pier and beam foundations have a crawl space underneath the floor of the structure, and some may have a concrete stem wall.
Pier and beam foundations are very common to have in Central Texas and Houston, TX. Just like slab foundations, pier and beam foundations are very likely to become unstable and shift in the very high levels of expansion soil in the Central Texas region as well as Houston, TX and surrounding areas. Aside from the normal movement we experience here in Texas due to the expansion soil, a pier and beam foundation may also shift and become compromised by other common causes like termite damage and too much moisture which also causes deterioration and rot to the beam and joist. If you're noticing signs of a failing pier and beam foundation such as sagging floors, bouncy floors, cracks in the drywall, separation of the walls and floors, counters or cabinets separating from the walls, or a damp crawlspace, you may be in need of pier and beam foundation repair.
Before determining the best foundation repair method for your pier and beam foundation, the FiveStar Foundation & Construction team will evaluate the pier and beam foundation by entering the crawlspace to inspect the current conditions of the wood beams, joists, and current piers. This will also allow us to determine if there is any excessive moisture beneath the pier and beam foundation, termite damage, or plumbing leaks that need to be addressed. If any rotten wood is discovered, it will need to be replaced upon repairing the foundation. There are multiple ways a pier and beam foundation can be repaired. Some of the most common solutions used to support and level a pier and beam foundation are replacing failed piers with sonotube piers, block and base replacement, beam or joist replacement, and subfloor replacement. Let us educate you on these common pier and beam foundation repair methods.
Pier and beam foundation repair can be conducted by installing sonotube piers. Sonotube Piers are piers that are installed beneath the pier and beam foundation by excavating a 2ft by 2ft hole into the ground and building a footing using 5,000PSI concrete and #4 rebar. The rebar is first placed in a grid like setting, followed by the concrete to form the footing. A hollow concrete form will then be placed on top of the footing and tied to the footing using the same 5,000PSI concrete and #4 rebar. A Simpson Strap is set inside of the form to attach the beam to the newly poured sonotube pier. Sonotube piers can range in diameter (8in, 10in, 12in, 18in, 24in.) The size of the sonotube pier to be used is determined by the size of the beam and how far off of the ground the structure sits.
Block and Base is a type of pier and beam foundation. These block and base foundations are typically seen most commonly in rural areas and not so much in city areas. Block and base foundations, or pad and block foundations, are constructed of a 16inX16inX4in concrete pad with 8inX8inX16in concrete cylinder blocks placed on top. Once placed, this is what supports the wood beams of the block and base foundation. To conduct block and base foundation repair, new block and base stations may need to be added, or repairs may need to be made to the current block and base stations. The structure will be leveled and shimmed off of the block and base stations, and any rotten beam or joist will be replaced as well.
When it comes to pier and beam foundations, FiveStar Foundation & Construction is your go-to local foundation pro. Give us a call today for your free pier and beam foundation inspection.
CENTRAL TEXAS | (830)217-9969
HOUSTON | (713)399-4292
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