Drought conditions in Texas have caused many homeowners to notice signs of foundation damage including:
* Doors and windows that don’t close properly
* Cracks in walls and ceilings
* Sloping floors
* Gaps between the trim, floor and celing
* Cracks in exterior walls
If you have foundation problems, the repair is likely to be a major investment. So you will want to research the best foundation repair companies to do the work. Before you begin talking to prospective contractors, it’s helpful to understand a few basics about foundations and foundation repair.
What causes foundation problems?
Many homes in Texas are built on expansive clay soils which expand and contract seasonally. While the traditional foundation may have worked well for many years, the foundation can become damaged from various conditions including
* Poor home construction
* Plumbing leaks under the house
* Poor drainage in the yard
* Tree roots spreading into the foundation
* Subsidence of land under your home
Once you suspect your home has foundation damage, the repair process begins with an inspection by a Certified Professional Engineer.
The Engineering Assessment
A Certified Professional Engineer will conduct an assessment of your foundation that will include:
* Visual examination of the interior and exterior of the home to document evidence of foundation damage.
* Assessment of the soil and drainage conditions around the house, trees close to the house, and any other possible factors contributing to your foundation problems.
* Measuring the elevation of the home from several different points to see how level the house is.
After completing the assessment, the Engineer will prepare a written report of his findings, and then he will make recommendations for the best type of repairs to fit your specific foundation problems.
Interviewing prospective contractors to do the work
Your next step will be to get estimates for the repairs from several foundation repair companies. Here are some strategies for finding the best company.
1. Ask the Certified Professional Engineer to recommend a reputable company.
2. Check the company’s reputation with the local Better Business Bureau.
3. Ask several different companies to provide estimates. While they are at your home, ask questions about the business, how the technicians are trained, and ask for customer references. Use the time to thoroughly interview your prospective contractor.
No one likes having to go through any major home repair such as a foundation repair. But if you spread out the costs over the life of the home, quality foundation repair is a pretty good investment that will prevent future repairs, and will enhance the resale value of your house.