Identifying Upheaval Before It Becomes a Foundation Problem
When we are called upon to fix a problem with the foundation of a structure, we must first work with the owner of said structure to properly identify what is causing the problem. While foundation repair is not an overly complicated process, it is also not a simple fix. Since its inception, Perma-Pier Foundation Repair of Texas has been serving the residents of the Dallas-Fort Worth area, no two single repairs have been exactly the same.
Because our line of work does not include a one-size-fits-all solution, it is crucial that our engineers and technicians are properly trained to identify the issue or issues within a foundation, before any actual work begins.
When it comes to foundation repair, there are two distinctive characteristics which we look for, that may look similar to the untrained eye: upheaval, and settling.
Upheaval is the upward movement of anything that is lying beneath the foundation of a structure, thus pushing your structure up. If the soil beneath a structure is composed mainly of clay, upheaval can occur. That clay can act like a sponge; as it absorbs water, it may expand to the point of doing damage to the foundation of a home or commercial building.
Upheaval may also occur when the soil upon which a foundation is built, becomes overly saturated with moisture, then freezes. When that moisture freezes, the expansion of the moist soil may cause enough upheaval to do some serious damage to a building’s foundation. Although frost is relatively uncommon in the southern parts of Texas, it is not unheard of. In fact, those rare occasions when the ground in our area does freeze may be more damaging to a structure than in areas where freezing temperatures are a common occurrence.
Large trees with roots extending beneath a foundation may be another cause of upheaval. Although a tree’s roots may have begun growing beneath a home innocently enough, any moisture that happens to seep out of a foundation may attract tiny root hairs. Once established, a tree root with adequate moisture may grow large enough to cause the foundation of a home to shift in an upward direction. In such case, it would be advantageous to deal with both the tree’s invasive root system and the foundation repair, at the same time. Fixing the foundation without dealing with the tree’s roots would only cause problems to reoccur.
Settling occurs when a structure, or any part of a structure, moves in a downward motion. Some settling occurs naturally over time as both the soil beneath a home’s foundation and gravity work together. As soil erodes away from beneath a building, or as that soil becomes more and more settled over time, any structure built on top of that soil may settle as well.
A structure may be experiencing settling if you notice that some parts of your home become disconnected or unattached from more stable areas.
A structure may be experiencing upheaval from beneath if you notice compression fractures, which often show up in a building’s interior walls that consist of plaster or drywall.
Knowing the difference between upheaval and the normal settling of a structure that occurs over time is crucial to creating a plan for fixing foundation problems because in many instances the two issues are addressed differently.
If you believe you are experiencing signs of upheaval or settling in your home or commercial building, contact us today! Our experts are well-trained in identifying the sources of foundation problems, and would be happy to speak with you about your concerns.