"The almost daily rain during the summer of 2021 has, and will continue to have, dramatic consequences for home foundations and foundation repair in the Sugar Land area," stated Martin Dawson, owner of Dawson Foundation Repair. "This summer is the opposite of the summer of 2011. That was the year we experienced the worst drought in 50 years. The clay soils lost massive amounts of moisture due to evaporation. The loss of moisture in these soils caused the clay soils to shrink in volume, resulting in significant foundation settlement issues. Now, ten years later, the clay soils are near or at a point of maximum saturation. The clay soils have expanded dramatically in volume which results in foundation upheaval. Homeowners are 'beside themselves' with worry because they can see and hear the cracking of their walls daily. And it is going to get worse. When the soils heave up they always fall down when drier weather arrives. This up and down movement of as much as several inches does a lot of damage to home foundations, walls, roofs, and plumbing."
Mr. Dawson believes home builders pour thinner foundations because it improves their profits. "The problems of cracked interior walls and cracks in exterior brick brick walls begin five or ten years after construction, but sometimes sooner as in two or three years," according to Mr. Dawson. "Most home foundation repair issues would be avoided if another few inches of concrete were poured to increase the slab's thickness along with some additional steel rebar. It would add two or three thousand dollars to the cost of a new home but that is far cheaper than a homeowner having to pay $10,000 to $70,000 to stabilize and level a minimally-functional foundation ten or fifteen years down the road."
What Is The Best Foundation Repair Method?
The best foundation repair method for homes and residences is known as the Bell Bottom Pier method. It is overwhelming favored by structural engineers because it offers greater strength (monolithic - built as a single unit), greater stability (bell bottom footprint), and much greater load bearing capacity. Bell Bottom Piers are Time-Tested, Proven, and Permanent.
There is a reason people have rarely heard of a 5 story or 50 story commercial building having a major problem with its foundation. The reason is the owner of the commercial building would sue the beegeebers out of the designers and builders of his building. The result is that commercial buildings have stronger foundations and rarely have major foundation repair issues - something that a majority of Sugar Land and Houston area homeowners experience.
To make it worse for homeowners in the state of Texas, they do NOT have the right to sue home builders for building shoddy home foundations. Thanks to Texas politicians and a former governor, home builders are largely protected from lawsuits by homeowners' contractual obligations made when they purchased their new home. In a dispute homeowners are forced to use mandatory arbitration - which is widely thought to be fair and inexpensive. Actually the opposite is true with mandatory arbitration - it is a racket, heavily slanted in favor of the defendant (home builders). When the homeowner looks closely at mandatory arbitration he/she realizes that the home builder is allowed to select the for-profit arbitration company (conflict of interest), there is no requirement to follow the law, the arbitrator is not required to be a lawyer, there is no requirement for an arbitrator to explain his decision, and there is no appeal. Oh, one more thing, consumers lose 90% to 97% of all arbitration cases.
How Much Does It Cost To Repair A Home Foundation?
Every home foundation situation is different. We offer FREE home foundation inspections along with a floorplan diagram with elevation readings and a proposed plan of action. The cost is not cheap. There is plenty of low-quality and lower-cost repair methods on the market. If you want High-Quality foundation repair work then you have to pay for it. You get what you pay for.
"Building thicker and stronger concrete home foundations would be better for homeowners in the long run. At this time home builders in Sugar Land have no incentive to do that. But if they did that I suppose it would put 90% of the foundation repair companies in Texas out of business," stated Mr. Dawson.