In the center of South Texas, citizens of San Antonio reside in a unique place geologically speaking. The city and its surrounding areas are comprised of four different land resource regions. Those are Blackland Prairie, Post Oak/Claypan Area, Northern Rio Grande Plain, and Edwards Plateau – all of which contain varying soil types that can impact a property’s foundation in one way or another.
Rain in the area is also unpredictable at best. Some years San Antonio precipitation may fall well under the U.S. average, reaching maybe 20 inches total. Other years, rain may accumulate to well over 40 inches. This inconsistency in rainfall, mixed with the varying geology of San Antonio, places property owners in a complex position as it relates to their building’s foundation.
The best repair method for a San Antonio home will depend on several factors. But most influential to the repair approach are the foundation type and the current landscaping and drainage systems in place. Read on to learn more.
If your home was built in the second half of the 20th century or later, there’s a good chance your foundation type is a concrete slab foundation. Concrete can be a cheaper yet very reliable foundation option for homes, which is why this type is so popular. But when poorly facilitated water and expansive soils are involved, vulnerable concrete may succumb to cracking and level shifting.
An effective and oftentimes less invasive approach to concrete slab repair is concrete leveling, also known as “mudjacking.”
Mudjacking is the process of injecting grout or concrete (“mud”) into the top of a building foundation through a small hole, filling a void underneath the foundation. From there, it’s all a matter of physics. Hydraulic pressure lifts the foundation to the level determined by a repair professional.
When concrete slabs settle into an uneven, potentially hazardous position, another method of repair is installing piers into the soil to help stabilize the property. Two common pier types for this method are concrete and steel. While concrete piers are easy to install and cost-effective, steel piers have a near-perfect success rate and provide long-lasting reinforcement for a residential or commercial property.
The pier and beam foundation, sometimes called pier and post foundation, is a foundation type still used today – though, not as common as it used to be. This foundation setup involves long wooden beams and perpendicular joists supported by piers or blocks.
Common problems with pier and beam foundations include:
Wood decay on beams and joists
Mold and mildew issues
Repair methods for the pier and beam style include:
Beam or joist replacement
Resetting and reshimming
Note also that sometimes the sub-floor -- that is the surface over-top of your foundation that provides a flat ground for your floor installation -- will need repairs or replacement.
Additional measures may be required to ensure the longevity of your foundation. These measures often include reassessing the drainage and landscaping system on your property. Inconsistent rain patterns and water-greedy tree roots can cause expansive soils to shrink and swell, adding pressure to your foundation and harming the state of the topsoil that’s meant to provide support for the foundation.
When there isn’t an efficient drainage system in place, or when water pools up from a lack of intentional landscape design, these problems can worsen. When you reach out to a foundation repair professional for an evaluation of your foundation, be sure to ask about drainage solutions for the sake of your repair’s long-term success.
From San Antonio to Dallas-Fort Worth and beyond, our repair professionals bring informed analysis and foundation damage solutions to property owners across the state of Texas. Foundation damage is nothing to take lightly and our engineers have what it takes to help deliver an adaptable, innovative solution as necessary
We pride ourselves on our industry-leading service as a dependable foundation repair team. Learn more by giving us a call or scheduling a no-charge evaluation today.