Austin Foundation Repair Experts
Does Your Foundation Need Repair?
Know the Signs of Foundation Movement
Whether it is your existing home or a home you may purchase in Austin, it is important to recognize evidence of foundation issues. Only a foundation inspection can truly determine whether there has been foundation movement or not. The following may indicate foundation movement, but not always.
- Floors that aren’t level
- Bulges in the floor
- Cracks across several tiles
- Concrete spalling
- Concrete foundation cracks
- Exterior brick cracking
- Drywall cracks or separation
- Doors that swing open on their own
- Doors that stick when closing
- Gaps in flooring
- Cabinets out of plumb
Even if it is determined that any of the above signs were caused by foundation movement, foundation repair is not always needed. In some cases, our foundation inspection experts will recommend monitoring the slab for a period of time, instead of immediate repair. With a thorough, Level B foundation inspection, a professional opinion can be offered on which route to go – monitoring or repairs. All the foundation inspections provided through Crosstown Engineering are Level B inspections. Don’t settle for anything less.
A Foundation Inspection is the First Step
Who Should Perform Your Foundation Inspection?
When choosing a foundation inspector, give consideration to their amount of professional training and whether they present an unbiased opinion. A local Austin foundation repair company is not likely to provide an objective opinion on whether your foundation needs repair or not. By hiring one firm to do the inspection and another to do the repairs, you protect yourself from paying for repairs that may not be needed.
When it comes to training, a structural engineer should always be your choice for a foundation inspection. They have the training in forensic engineering that is needed to truly determine the cause of foundation movement and the severity of the damage. Knowing how to complete foundation repairs and knowing how to investigate the cause of the problem are two different skill sets. The foundation inspection experts at Crosstown Engineering are all structural engineers, highly trained in foundation inspection methods. There are a number of reasons to hire our structural engineers to perform your foundation inspection.
- You get an unbiased opinion from an engineering firm. They will not profit from a recommendation to perform foundation repairs.
- Our structural engineers will provide you with a range of remediation options if more than one solution is available.
- You can rest assured that the foundation repair plan we provide is properly engineered for your foundation structure.
- We can perform a final inspection to confirm that the repairs were completed as designed.
- If you sell your home in the future, the opinion of a structural engineer will offer confidence to potential buyers.
- We use the best in technology, such as a manometer, for the highest level of accuracy.
- We know how to properly determine if a Leak Detection Test should be performed.
- Crosstown Engineering is an expert in pier and beam foundations.
- Our inspection will include a complete crawl-through of your crawlspace.
- We can provide a list of the best foundation repair companies in the area.
- The signature of a structural engineer on foundation inspection reports is often a requirement of mortgage companies.
By hiring a structural engineering firm, you have the confidence that your foundation inspector has the property owner’s best interest in mind.
Choosing Your Foundation Repair Contractor in Austin
What to Look for in Your Contractor
Since foundation repair contractors are not required to be licensed in Austin or Texas, choosing a contractor can be challenging. Although we are not a foundation repair contractor, we have had oversight over several of the local contractors on our projects. As a result, we do maintain a list of foundation repair companies that we have found trustworthy and skilled in their craft and are happy to make recommendations.
If you choose to seek out a repair contractor on your own, we recommend that you interview the contractor and ask them some of the following questions:
- Will you work with our structural engineer as an overseer of the project?
- Do you offer a foundation repair warranty?
- How long have you been in business under your current business name?
- Do you have local structural engineers who can recommend your work?
- How much experience do you have with the type of repairs required for this project?
- Do you have a structural engineer do a final inspection of your work?
Be especially wary of contractors who provide estimates significantly lower than the competition. This can be an indication of financial instability or a company that doesn’t follow standard construction procedures. Call us if you would like some help choosing a reliable foundation repair contractor.
What Type of Foundation Repair Do You Need?
Comparison of Foundation Repair Methods
If your foundation has shifted or moved, it is critical to make sure that it is stabilized to prevent further movement. You may also need to utilize repair methods to restore the foundation to its original position. Your foundation inspection report should provide recommendations on remediation solutions. These recommendations will vary depending on the type of foundation your structure has, the amount of movement, and the underlying causes of the foundation movement. Let’s look at some of the foundation repair techniques commonly used.
Pressed piles repair is one of the most affordable foundation repair options in Austin, Texas. They are adjustable and allow for soil movement. They lack the depth and stability of steel piles but are still a perfectly suitable solution in many situations.
Steel Pipe Piles
Steel pipe piles are a considerably more expensive solution than pressed piles. They also don’t provide the downward movement available with pressed piles. This can cause future issues and significant expense if the soil under the building shrinks and the piles require adjustment.
For weak slabs, drilled piers can offer a perimeter solution but usually can’t be applied under the interior portion of the slab. They work well in almost any soil type but can be a more expensive repair option. Drilled piers cannot be repaired if they fail. Having to replace failed drilled piers can be very costly.
Spread Footings/Block and Base
If you have a pier and beam foundation, spread footings/block and base repairs may be an option. Just like the original pier and beam foundation, moisture can be detrimental to this type of foundation repair. Proper structural design and installation are critical to the performance of this foundation repair solution.
Homes built in Austin, TX in the ‘60s were often built on concrete slabs with little if any reinforcement. Foam injection can be used as a temporary solution to lift the interior portion of the slab. Creating just the right amount of lift in the right places isn’t easy to do. It takes an experienced, skilled operator to complete it correctly without creating additional issues with the slab foundation.
Mud jacking is usually used to fill a void under concrete. It can work fine for some smaller applications, but we don’t recommend mud jacking for lifting a slab foundation. The mud jacking process doesn’t offer the accuracy needed for foundation repairs.
Four Reasons Foundation Repairs Fail
Foundations Require Maintenance
Occasionally, foundations fail again after they have been repaired. Here are the four most common reasons why those failures occur.
- The fault may lie in the foundation repair plan. It may not have been engineered properly.
- The engineered repair plan was not followed by the repair contractor.
- An engineer didn’t inspect and approve repairs after completion.
- The property owner didn’t complete the testing and maintenance required following the repairs.
Most of these issues can be avoided by hiring a structural engineer like Crosstown Engineering to oversee the foundation repair process.
Foundation Repair Experts in Austin
Foundation Repair Oversight
To rest assured that your foundation repairs were completed correctly, contact us at Crosstown Engineering. We will be happy to perform an unbiased foundation investigation and offer professional oversight over the repair process.