Usually due to bad drainage, ground movement, subsidence or poor construction your foundation can shift or settle. Your foundation repair problem will usually be noticed when doors that used to open and close start sticking, diagonal cracks appear on walls, or a gap appears between the skirting board and the floor/carpet.
The only way to determine whether you have a problem or not is to define with the help of an experienced foundation repair specialist the cause and solution of the visual defects you see. Early detection, measurement, and analysis may help save you money. Waiting to determine questionable structural defects can cause loss of value to your investment as well as ever increasing damage in need of repair. As soon as you notice a problem, call us, we will set up an appointment to begin evaluating your needs.
Capital Foundations supports many different foundation repair methodologies. Our approach requires that our management and specialists remain involved throughout the life cycle of the project. Our clients benefit from a streamlined process that reduces the mitigation of risk through early detection and high quality service.
While every foundation issue is unique, we take the most effective approach possible. This could range from an affordable off-the-shelf solution, or a small modification to an existing foundation, to a full custom application.
A homes foundation is in direct contact with the ground and joins the buildings structure with the underlying zone of soil or rock. The foundations job is to transfer the structures load to the underlying soil or rock, without excessive settlement or movement.
Movement of the soil beneath a home can severely damage the foundation. That is why the soil beneath a structure is often referred to as a second foundation.
Slab-on-grade foundations are shallow foundations that are often constructed of reinforced concrete. These foundations can be built quickly and inexpensively. The function of a slab foundation is not to resist or limit the amount of heave that might occur beneath a slab, but to move up and down with shrink and heave. These structures do not have basements.
Shallow foundations are susceptible to seasonal movement from rainfall, drought, freeze and thaw cycles, and temperature changes and transpiration of moisture thru the roots of large plants and trees.
Pier and Beam
Pier and beam foundations, as the name suggests, is a concrete footing and pier which supports wood beams and floor joists. These foundations usually have crawl spaces underneath the home.
Basements are most often constructed in northern climates where freeze thaw conditions occur and the footing depth must extend beneath the frost line- often four or more feet below the surface. In many of these cases, builders will go ahead and excavate for a basement and build basement walls that provide the support for the house. The bottom of the basement is typically below the depth over which the majority of the soil's shrink or swell due to climate occurs. Basements can suffer basement floor heave and lateral wall movement, however.
Deep Drilled Concrete Piers
Capital Foundations believes in deep drilling of concrete piers. Concrete Piers are an excellent choice for foundation repairs. Most foundation repairs are caused by organic soils, shrinking and swelling clays, poor compaction, improper embedding a footer, and erosion. The function of deep drilled concrete piers is the support and stabilization of your structure's load bearing walls by transferring the weight of the structure from weaker soils onto the concrete piers and deep load bearing soils.
With over 25 years of experience in the Central Texas area, our experience has shown that no pier delivers the performance, flexibility of installation and wide acceptance from inspectors as do drilled concrete piers. With the ability to customize diameters, reinforcing and depths to suit each individual need, we feel that this is the best product for the job. Concrete piers have been used for decades and continue to provide the homeowner, contractor with the best, most versatile type of support for concrete slab foundations.
Since soils in central Texas change in volume with the addition or subtraction of moisture, proper site drainage is extremely important. Remember, foundation repair piers are designed to keep a structure from sinking or settling not from lifting. Excessive standing water can cause soils to heave and lift the structure off of the piers.
Capital Foundations can design and install the proper drain system to divert water from problem areas and avoid costly repairs associated with poor drainage. We can also divert gutter discharge piping away from your foundation using the same excavation housing the drain system. This repair alone can often reduce or eliminate standing water issues.
Capital Foundations specializes in the installation of poured concrete retainer walls for most any application. These walls can be supported on subsurface concrete footings (kind of like an upside down T) or on drilled piers that provide long term resistance to settling. When properly designed, retainer walls can also support structures above them eliminating the issues associated with below-surface wood framing. Concrete walls are much easier to seal and waterproof than their wooden counterparts. Over the years we have constructed approx. 7 miles (36,000 lin. ft.) of retainer walls ranging in height from 24” to over 21’. Concrete walls can also be “surfaced” with limestone, stucco or other products to blend into the surrounding landscaping.
Basements have been used in most northern states for years, but they are relatively new to central Texas. Waterproofing, cost and other factors have led designers to look elsewhere in the past for additional footage in their projects. Today there are products available to ensure that basements remain dry and functional for the life of the structure. Capital Foundations was one of the first companies in this area to begin installing basements beneath existing homes.
As we all know, Austin is a challenging area when it comes to changing the footprint or size of your house. Recent changes nicknamed “McMansion Ordinance” have prohibitive clauses dealing with impervious ground cover, water shed and height limitations.
The solution to this problem can often be addressed with a basement as they do not have to extend beyond the footprint of your existing home. Impervious coverage is not affected and height issues do not come in to play. We can install a basement beneath your existing home without even removing the furniture.