Why Many Foundation Repair Solutions FAIL
Not All Foundation Repair Methods Are Created Equal.
Here’s How To Spot The Low-Quality Pretenders…
Amarillo-area foundation repair is just like anything else—there are good solutions, average solutions, and just plain bad solutions.
On this page, we want to show you some of the different methods for repairing foundations that don’t work. Some are temporary remedies you’ll have to have redone a few years later. Others are methods that have proven to be ineffective at resolving the root cause of the problem. And a couple can actually make your foundation issues worse!
Let’s get started…
Foundation Fail #1: Remedies That Don’t Match The Problem
Here’s the truth: Most foundation problems show similar symptoms But the causes—and solutions—can vary wildly.
For example, a foundation-raising method like press piles probably won’t do much good if expansive clay soil is causing the problem. Expansive clay soil can actually heave your home upward, which is why a settlement-based repair will fail. To stop foundation upheaval, it’s necessary to invest in a solution that specifically addresses soil expansion—soil stabilization, for example.
The million-dollar question: Why do foundation contractors utilize improper repair methods?
It could be due to inexperience. Or it may be because the contractor offers only a one-size-fits-all solution. Most of the time, however, it’s because the contractor didn’t perform an in-depth inspection.
The average foundation contractor in the Amarillo area performs about a 10-minute inspection. They look at any cracks in your walls or floors and then place a spirit level on the ground to see if that little green bubble shifts from the center.
This is nowhere near enough to determine the root cause of the issue. A dozen different things can cause cracks and uneven floors. That’s why it’s so important to bring in a contractor who takes the time and effort to properly diagnose the issue. Otherwise, there’s a 90% chance your foundation repair will fail before it even gets started.
Foundation Fail #2: Second-Rate Solutions
Two common ways to repair foundations in the Amarillo area are concrete shoring pads and concrete press piles. And neither is very good.
Shoring pads involve digging a shallow hole under your home and filling it with concrete. It’s an inexpensive solution because it’s low-tech, temporary, and often ineffective. Concrete shoring pads can’t reach past the active zone in your soil, so your foundation can still shift.
Concrete press piles can go a little deeper, but still can’t get out of the active zone. Concrete press piles also rely on the weight of your home to push them down. This can cause added stress on your home, which can cause your home structural problems.
Ineffective solutions are also rampant in soil stabilization. Here is a look at some stabilization methods and why they pose problems:
- Lime Treatment: Lime treatment encapsulates soil, but it can wash away over time. Lime treatment can even lead to foundation upheaval due to sulfate-caused issues.
- Pre-Swelling: Pre-swelling is essentially preemptively pumping moisture into soil particles so they expand. The idea here to induce pre-construction upheaval and make the soil unable to heave a foundation later. But studies show pre-swelling is ineffective and can lead to settlement issues. It’s also a messy, time-consuming process.
- Cut-Off Walls And Aprons: These are essentially barriers to divert groundwater away from the soil around your home. The problem is that this method doesn’t address the soil itself—something that cannot be overlooked in an extreme expansive soil region like the Texas Panhandle. Cut-off walls and aprons also tend to be expensive and intrusive.
Unfortunately, second-rate solutions like these dominate the foundation repair industry. That’s why it’s so important to do due diligence on a foundation repair contractor’s reputation before hiring them.
Foundation Fail #3: Substandard Installation
Even if a contractor matches the ideal solution to your problem, your repair can still fail due to poor installation. The truth is that most permanent, high-quality repair methods involve skill, experience, and precision.
Helical piers are a great example of this. Helical piers are one of THE best ways to fix foundation settlement—hands down. We’ve installed thousands and thousands of them since 1972… and we’ve had to go back only ONCE to fix one.
Though helical piers are ultra-reliable, they require expert technicians who are extensively trained in helical pier installation and properly certified to handle the necessary equipment (a mini-excavator, for example). In the hands of an inexperienced contractor, helical-pier installation can be an unmitigated disaster—like taking a Harley-Davidson motorcycle to a bicycle shop for repairs. But when installed by a proven professional, helical piers are a tried-and-true method for foundation repair.
How To Ensure Foundation Repair Done RIGHT
To make certain you get your foundation PROPERLY fixed, you have to choose an Amarillo-area contractor who does three things:
- Performs a thorough inspection to pinpoint the root cause of the problem.
- Uses PROVEN repair methods and products.
- Has the skill, experience, and certification with proven repair methods to ensure elite installation.
At Childers Brothers, we meet all these criteria… and then some.
Our 27-Point Analysis uncovers the exact source of your foundation issue. Our products are PROVEN and designed to LAST. And we have crews of the area’s top foundation technicians — all fully trained, certified, and passionate about the craft.
Bottom line: If you don’t want to worry that you’re going to get the wrong solution or poor installation, we’re who to turn to. Get in touch today—we would be honored to hear from you.
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