Why A Foundation Repair Consultant?

If it appears your home or commercial building is starting to flex or distort, you want to find out the real cause and stop, and hopefully, reverse it. It could be soil settlement or more likely soil upheaval, but whichever it is, if the diagnosis is wrong your repairs will fail.

If the diagnosis is correct and a proper plan is augmented, this will allow your home to be returned to near as built, and remain there.

Be very careful before placing your home in the hands of someone who’s livelihood is based on the sale of piers, or uses foundation elevations to convince you that piers are the answer.

             Richard Rash 817-308-8186    Email: richardrashinc@tx.rr.com                                               Website: repairfoundations.com

Why Would You Contact a Foundation Repair/Drainage Control Consultant?

You may wish to find out:

1. How to prevent foundation movement?

2. If you have foundation movement severe enough to need Piers?

3. How to stop foundation movements?

4. How to reverse foundation movement?

5. What kind of foundation repairs will work best on your property?

6. What kind of piers will be the best value for your property?

7. Are piers the answer to your problem?

8. Is drainage the answer?

9. Do you need piers and drainage together fix it?

10. Do you have a leak that is causing the problem?

11. If you have a leak how do you find out if is it incoming, outgoing or both?

12. How do you determine if you have a leak and if it is causing the movement?

13. Do you need plumbing work and piers? And or drainage?

14. Why elevations of my slab are a scam and won’t tell me if I need piers?

15. Are all piers the same?

16. Why aren’t similar piers priced similarly?

17. Why do repairs fail?

             Richard Rash 817-308-8186    Email: richardrashinc@tx.rr.com                                               Website: repairfoundations.com

18. Why would a foundation company salesman sell me piers I don’t need?

19. Why would a foundation company salesman tell me I don’t need piers when I know something is wrong?

20. Why are my bids so different in number and price?

21. Why would a drainage contractor salesman sell me drains that don’t function correctly?

22. Why would my plumber not do an adequate test of my sewer line?

23. Why would my foundation repair warrantee be worthless?

24. What would keep me from being able to sue if I am unhappy with the work?

25. How could my insurance company wrongly reject my claim of a leak causing foundation damage?

26. How important is a sprinkler system in protecting my foundation?

27. Should I install an underground foundation watering system?

28. Does it make any difference what kind of piers a foundation company uses?

29. Are slabs, or pier and beam (crawlspace) foundations more likely to have foundation movement?

30. What are root barriers and are they a valid repair?

31. What constitutes foundation damage in a sales disclosure?

32. How do I know if a house I am buying has foundation problems?

             Richard Rash 817-308-8186    Email: richardrashinc@tx.rr.com                                               Website: repairfoundations.com

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Why Foundations Fail in Expansive Soils.

Why Foundations Fail in Expansive Soils
Published on October 7, 2016
Richard Rash
FOUNDATION REPAIR CONSULTANT

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Residential foundations in North Texas are not really designed for the soil they sit on and the homes they are supporting.

The soil is expansive, meaning it shrinks and swells with the addition and loss of moisture.

This movement of the soil causes the foundation, because of its design, to flex!

The house sitting on the flexible foundation is not designed to flex. Sheetrock flexes very little, bricks and mortar do not flex and hard floor covering and door frames do not flex.

This is, in a nutshell, what lets foundations fail in North Texas and other areas of expansive soils

Most damage in our area is relatively minor compared to areas of major earthquakes, sink holes, mud slides, subsidence and other acts of man and or nature.

Most North Texas foundations are poured during hot dry periods when the soil has shrunk. This would lead one to believe that most foundation movement is the result of areas of shrunken soil, expanding unevenly under and around the foundation.

And this is true in many instances.

As the soil expands it lifts parts of the foundation, causing the foundation to flex. As the foundation flexes, the home begins to be lifted, but, the home, being unable to fully flex, cracks begin to appear, door frames are pushed out of square and what we consider foundation damage is observed.

Here is where an authority is required. Where you need a check and balance. Where you do not rely on someone who makes a living selling piers.

Soils expand, but they also contract. Both expanding soils and contracting soils cause nearly the same problems. Without years of experience, you can not tell one from the other. You cannot use a levelling device to tell the difference without a benchmark. The benchmark would be elevations to sea level at the time of construction, which no one has.

The point is, shrinking soils have one cure and expanding soil has another cure. If you use piers on a foundation where the soil has expanded it will fail. If you try to cure shrinking soil problems with drainage correction, you will not be successful.

The answer is to get someone on your side who knows their stuff and will not profit from selling you a certain repair,

Richard Rash Fee-based Foundation Repair Consultant. 817-308-8186 email: richardrashinc@tx.rr.com www.repairfoundations.com

Foundation elevations: foundation repair scam

The number one scam in the foundation industry

FOUNDATION ELEVATIONS

 Foundation elevation scams 1

 Using Foundation Elevations:  (Reading this may well save you a bunch of money and help you avoid a lot of grief.)

Foundation companies sell piers. That’s how they make the vast amount of their profits.  Buildings need to “settle” or drop, to benefit by using piers.

Piers cannot stop or reverse “upheaval, “which is the lifting of a structure by expanding soils. It is to the foundation companies’ advantage to have potential customers believe that all foundation movement is really settlement. To accomplish this they take foundation elevations without an original elevation benchmark.

The truth is that in areas of expansive soils such as North Texas, the majority of foundation movement leading to damage and repairs is upheaval, but the primary source of income for commissioned foundation repair salesman is selling piers. Here lies the conflict. This causes the foundation repair salesman to create a reason to sell piers providing inconclusive foundation elevations.

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As stated, most foundation movement in areas of expansive soil is not caused by settlement. To give the illusion of settlement the foundation contractor salesmen generally use and instrument such as a “computerize level” to give the illusion of a slab settling. This is bad science!

Using leveling devices without being in possession of the original construction  foundation elevations from sea level, which no one has, and a current government benchmark marked from sea level, one CAN NOT determine if a foundation has settled on one side, or lifted on the other.

In other words, the level will not tell you, if the foundation has gone up or if it has gone down. If the operator wants to make the foundation appear to have settled they put the zero mark at one point. If they want it to appear the building has heaved, which none of them do, they put it somewhere else. Either way, the foundation elevation does not show if or how the foundation moved.

If they want to sell piers they make it appear that settlement is the problem. Foundation companies do this to customers every day, to convince homeowners to buy piers they don’t need.

These un-needed piers will usually cause additional problems later on.

The real reason that there are so many foundation repair failures is not usually because of inadequate piers, but because the piers should not have been installed in the first place. And guess what, your warranty will not usually cover that mistake.

Contact me and I will explain it all.

The manipulation of elevations results is perhaps the biggest frauds in the foundation industry. In areas of expansive soils, upheaval is more often the cause of foundation movement than settlement. In North Texas, as an example, concrete beams in both slab and pier and beam (crawl space) construction are designed to be supportive and protect against settlement from minor voids under beams.  Expanding soils, on the other hand, are able to push areas of the slab up, essentially causing the same damage signs as settlement, only in a somewhat different pattern.

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If “X” is original grade (when constructed) then “O” has settled and the slab needs to be lifted. ………. HOWEVER, if “O” is at original grade, then “X” has heaved. You cannot tell by taking elevations unless you have the original elevations, from sea level, of the structure, when built, AND a benchmark based to sea level that can be used for reference.  The foundation companies or “their” so called “professionals” do not have the sea-level elevations or benchmark, so do not buy piers based on their elevations.

All that any level can show is that the foundation is not level. It may not have  been poured level, it may have settled, or it may have heaved. Or it may have been poured unlevel, and settled or heaved. The least likely option is that it just settled and this machine cannot tell you if it has! Once again it is at best bad science!

See what my customers say  Testimonials.        My Fees.      

For additional information:

Contact me: Richard Rash at 817-308-8186f it did.

For more information go to www.foundationmanspeaks.com

Please sign up for my Newsletter: CLICK HERE

If you are buying, selling, managing, investing in or own multi-family properties.

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If you are involved with multi-family properties. in North Texas, these are things you need to know.

When reviewing apartments, condo’s or townhomes or other multi-family properties it is always wise to consider signs of foundation movement and analyze the cause.

These various property types have more in common than most investors realize.

First:

The property upon which they are built.  Due to the size requirements of apartment complexes and other multi-family properties, land costs are a major initial expense. Like it or not, many such complexes are built on soils that would be undesirable for single family construction. They are often constructed near creeks, on uneven terrain and on extremely expansive soils. The site plans themselves often consist of trash fill soil, drainage problems and excessive erosion, three of the major causes of foundation problems.

Second:

The footprint of the most common multi-family properties are usually rectangular or “L” shaped to maximize land configuration. These form factors are conducive to trapping water as well as to having individual buildings constructed over multiple types of soil, coupled with elevation changes, which lead to differential soil movement.

Third:

Proper foundation maintenance is difficult to achieve. Activity near  the structures and the nature of the buildings not being owned by residents make for problems. I don’t know that I’ve ever visited multi-family properties, consisting of rental units, where all the plumbing cleanouts contained their caps. Missing cleanout caps are an invitation to mischief and incidental blockage of pipes which in turn can lead to flooding of apartments.

Notice that I have said that these buildings are subject to soil movement, that is not to say that necessarily mean structural foundation damage. 

By understanding the processes that cause soil movement, it is usually possible to pre-empt, stop and often reverse the building movement. This is how you avoid true structural foundation damage.

It is almost always possible to prevent the foundation movement. It is usually possible to stop the movement once foundation damage has begun, and it is also very often possible to reverse the foundation movement without the use of piers or other expensive lifting methods.

The key is understanding the real reason that foundations move, what constitutes foundation movement in multi-family properties, and what is truly foundation damage.

Ownership of one side of a duplex to the management of large apartment communities. Foundations of multi-family properties can be your largest liability.

So: BE SURE…before you pier!

What to know more? For information about my service, fees, my testimonials or, general foundation repair and drainage correction, please check out my WEBSITE or my BLOG, or sign up for my NEWSLETTER. Or you may call, including evenings and weekends, 817-308-8186. My email is richardrashinc@tx.rr.com.

Let me know what you think. And please share, like and comment

Foundation Repair Consultant

Foundation repair consultant
Foundation repair consultant

Richard Rash@Linkedin.

Foundation Repair Consultant

I am here to help to help protect you from foundation and drainage issues.  

I am a completely independent, fee-based Foundation repair consultant and drainage control consultant. I can be your advocate, your check, and balance.

 Near the bottom of this article is a link to the over sixty articles on foundation repair and drainage control that I have submitted to LinkedIn this year. Read what is helpful to you, learn and enjoy!

(As a foundation repair consultant I am not involved with any foundation, drainage, construction or other related companies.)

Understand the process and you won’t get taken advantage of by the foundation companies and their commissioned based pier salesmen.

My job as a foundation repair consultant  is to provide you a better understanding of your foundation and/or drainage problems, if I don’t, I don’t want  you to pay me.

Since 1980 I have helped thousands of people tread the murky waters of the foundation repair industry.

First as a foundation repair/drainage contractor and for the last eleven years as a fee-paid foundation repair consultant. If it involves foundation movement, damage or repair I can help.

I provide help with building, buying, or selling homes and small commercial buildings with possible foundation and drainage issues.

I can help with preventing, stopping and reversing foundation damage.

I can help you deal with failed foundation repairs.

I can educate you, and protect you from the many scams, myths, frauds and omissions that are part of the foundation repair industry.

I can help to determine the actual problem, the proper solution and the fair price range for any foundation or drainage work you may require.

I will help you understand:

Bids.

Contracts.

Warranties.

Types of Damage:

  • Upheaval
  • Settlement

Causes of damage:

  • Too little water
  • Too much water
  • Drainage
  • Plumbing leaks
  • Erosion
  • Subsidence
  • Earthquakes
  • Sinkholes
  • Mudslides
  • Other

Types of Repairs

  • Piers
  • Drainage
  • Plumbing
  • Other

Types of piers

  • Steel
  • Concrete
  • Pushed
  • Drilled
  • Poured in place
  • Helical

Type of drainage

  • Grading
  • Surface drains
  • French drains
  • Catch basins
  • Automatic pump
  • Berm
  • Swale
  • Gutters
  • Other

 Type of Help

  • Homeowners’ insurance.
  • Homeowners’ warranties.
  • Builders warranties.
  • and a lot more.

I will provide you with a written review of my findings.

After our original meeting and review of the property, I will answer phone questions from you or your contractor or potential buyers that will help you accomplish your goals.

My fee is very inexpensive for what you receive and, as I have said, if I don’t help you, don’t pay me.

I hope by reading my articles in LinkedIn you have, or will, come to understand that dealing with foundation repair is a slippery slope and that going into it is without experience and knowledge on your side can be a very expensive and stressful experience. That is why I am making this offer: If I don’t provide you or your client with information that is needed to deal with their foundation related problem, don’t pay me. All I ask is that they discuss their questions with me beforehand. If I don’t feel confident that I can help I won’t make an appointment. If I make the appointment the deal stands. Here is my contact information:

Richard Rash  Reverse RR_clipped_rev_1

Fee-based foundation and drainage contractor.

My Fees.

817-308-8186

Email: richardrashinc@tx.rr.com

Website: www.repairfoundations.com.

Sign up for  my Newsletter

Thanks for reading. Call me!

Upheaval and Settlement

upheaval and settlement
upheaval and settlement

Upheaval and settlement

Out of the hundreds of unsatisfactory foundation repair jobs I have been called upon to examine, the number one thing I have learned is that most foundation repair company salesman can’t tell the difference between upheaval and settlement.

The reason for customer dissatisfaction has usually been because piers were installed and lifts made when piers should not have been installed and lifts should not have been made. It is a fact that most foundation repair companies in North Texas, can’t tell the difference between upheaval and settlement and , use computerized, or other types of levels to determine cause and treatment of foundation movement.

 

Level

Computerized level.

It is also true that in most, if not all cases, this is junk science and in my opinion borders on fraud.  As far as I know, it is impossible to determine, by taking elevations, without a benchmark to sea-level, whether a foundation has:

  • heaved (raised) in one area
  • or settled (dropped) in another area
  • or was poured out of level.

bench mark
That means you must have a constant bench mark, from the time of construction, to compare with.  And in thirty-six years in the business, I have never seen one for residential property.

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What happens is commissioned pier salesmen, or others who will benefit from the sale of piers, will walk the slab, find a high point and calling it zero. Then, it would seem that any areas of the foundation that Is below that arbitrary elevation must need to be lifted. However, if the high point is heaved and the low point is at original grade, then when piered and lifted, that section of the foundation will be secured at an un-natural level, while the original heaved section of the foundation will either experience additional upheaval if left untreated, or settle back to near as built if drainage or plumbing is fixed, while the piered area will still be secured at the wrong elevation.

The machine cannot tell the difference between upheaval and settlement. It just knows if it is not level.

When these things happen most warranties do not cover these type of redo’s, so you are out all of that money and usually need to start over.

upheaval and settlement
upheaval and settlement

Another point to remember: Interior piers, piers that are placed other than on the exterior foundation are almost never needed on monolithic slabs. If the center shows to be down by elevations or just look or feel, it is almost always that the exterior perimeter beam has heaved and lifted above grade or has been lifted above original grade during previous piering. Be very careful and consult a professional that is not trying to sell you piers before considering lifting the interior slab.

upheaval and settlement
upheaval and settlement

Other reasons for failed repairs include using the wrong piers for the job, too many piers for the job and not maintaining the soil’s moisture after the job.

This is one of the main reasons that homeowners should invest in a consultant, and realtors should advise their clients of the benefit of expert advice from someone who in not selling repair methods.

Bottom line: Be sure, before you pier!

snakeoilsalesman

Due to the extreme proliferation of inexperienced, and untrained  foundation repair salesmen whose job it is to sell as many piers as possible, it is highly recommended that consumers, particularly homeowners, seek the advice of an independent expert before contracting foundation repair. I can save you time, money and prevent a lot of stress.     

I will be glad to provide more information.

Contact me Richard Rash at 817-308-8186.

My email  richardrashinc@tx.rr.com.

Website:www.repairfoundations.com.

Blogwww.foundationmanspeaks.com.

Best bet: See a consultant!     Sher

Foundation repair questions.

Foundation repair questions
Foundation repair, questions

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Foundation repair questions answered by Richard Rash.

These are foundation repair questions that I am often asked relating to such as foundation watering, foundation elevations, foundation repair scams, about me, contacting  me and my fees.

Click here for information on foundation watering.

Click here for information on foundation elevations.

Click here for information on foundation repair scams.

Click here for information about me.

Click for information about contacting me.

Click for information on my fees.

Dealing with Foundation Damage.

Dealing with foundation damage
Dealing with foundation damage

When dealing with foundation damage most people in the foundation repair business profit from the number of piers they sell. If they don’t sell piers they don’t eat. That, in and of its self, should make you give serious thought to the pier heavy repairs suggested by most foundation repair salespeople.

In areas of expansive soils such as North Texas, foundations are primarily affected by a combination of three things:

  • The expansive soils.
  • the extreme wet to dry periods.
  • and the rolling hills.

For our purposes:

  • Foundation Settlement is the product of a decrease of soil volume or support under areas of the foundation.
  • Foundation Upheaval is the product of an increase in soil volume  or support under areas of the foundation.

Expansive clay soils increase in volume with the addition of moisture and contract with a loss of moisture.

    Upheaval of center slab

  Settlement of external beam  

Two things that you must know to start dealing with foundation damage in areas of expansive soils:

  • If a foundation is poured in a damp or moist soil, resultant foundation problems will likely be that of settlement.
  • If a foundation is poured in dry compacted soil, resultant foundation problems will likely be upheaval.

Expanding soil causes upheaval and contracting soils cause settlement and foundation repair company elevations will not tell them apart. (for more information on elevations scams go to: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-elevations-should-used-determine-foundation-damage-richard-rash?trk=pulse_spock-articles.

 

Since it is not recommended to pour concrete in moist soil, foundations are usually poured during our long dry periods, our frequent droughts. This means the soil is usually in a compacted, or reduced state of volume when the grades are established.

drysoil

When it does rain the water runs downhill and is often trapped on one side of the home and runs off on the downhill side. This can lead to “differential movement” where soil expands under some areas of the home and does not under other areas.

Rolling hills

elevation

The soil swells on the high/wet side and does not swell on the lower/runoff side.

This allows uneven soil expansion to twist the foundation, producing cracks in the rigid components of the structure.  The effects show up as what we refer to as foundation damage.

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It may also cause erosion of support soil on the downside.

Compacting or eroding

The results of early twisting of the foundation is usually nothing more than cosmetic damage, that may be repaired without applying force, such as piers to either lift, move or stabilize the home.

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The problem, that exist at this point, is that of not dealing with foundation damage incorrectly, which may cause more stress, which can undo the repairs or produce additional damage.

Slope  Sewer layout

 

In areas of expansive soils, what we refer to as foundation damage is also caused by soils eroding or compacting after the structure is constructed. This is usually the case where fill soil has been added.  In areas where the soil is sandy or rocky and lacks expansiveness foundations are more often affected by settlement.

Erosion erosion compaction

 

To the untrained eye, the cracks are the same.  To an experienced authority who is looking to cure the problem and not sell a specific tool, such as piers, the locations, and type of cracks can show the difference between settlement and upheaval.Recognizing and identifying those subtleties can mean the difference between correctly repairing a structure and setting it up for failed repairs and additional distress. 

end lift center lift

In North Texas and other areas of expansive soil, when dealing with foundation damage it usually does not need piers to stop and reverse the movement.  When piers are required, before the piers are installed, the cause of the movement should be defined and stopped. The piers then used to reposition and support walls as needed.

When piers are unnecessarily installed and used to lift an area or areas of a foundation that is not settling but sitting at or near original grade, attempting to lift one part of a foundation up to match another area of  the foundation that has heaved is a sure recipe for disaster.

Bottom line.

The cause of the foundation movement must be correctly identified and properly addressed, with the correct tools, to reach a satisfying solution.

The problems must be identified:

  • If upheaval is the cause of damage the water source must be addressed, corrected, and given time to dry before cosmetics are attempted.
  • If foundation settlement is the cause of damage, the reason for a loss of soil support must be identified and corrected.  Then the correct remedial support, such as type of pier, (concrete, steel, pushed, drilled, helical) or other support (foam or pressure grouting) may be chosen and applied. Depending on support chosen, time should be allowed for repaired structure to adjust before cosmetic repairs are addressed.

There is an  extreme proliferation of inexperienced foundation repair salesmen, whose job it is to sell as many piers as possible. It Is recommended that consumers, seek the advice of an independent expert. before contracting foundation repair. It can save you time, money and prevent a lot of stress.     

I will be glad to provide more information about dealing with foundation damage . Contact me at 817-308-8186.

My email is richardrashinc@tx.rr.com.

Website:www.repairfoundations.com.

Blogwww.foundationmanspeaks.com.

Best bet: See a consultant!

Remember: Be sure ….before you pier!

Click here to sign up for my Foundation/Drainage Tips Newsletter

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Richard Rash

FOUNDATION REPAIR CONSULTANT

Pier and beam construction!

Crawl space problems with pier and beam construction.

Pier and beam construction
Pier and beam construction

Major problems with pier and beam homes can be caused by bad drainage allowing water to get into the crawl space, causing the soils to swell, unevenly, lifting floor piers, which throw off doors, crack sheetrock and lead to humping or sagging in the floors.

Water, or moisture, in a crawl space, can also result from plumbing leaks.

Constant moisture in the crawl space will lead to wood rot, which will weaken the floor and cause mold  which can affect your health. Termites and other vermin also thrive in a moist crawl space.

Inadequate or non-functioning vents can encourage  moisture problems in the crawl space.

As far as floor piers go, it is recommended that they be vertical, of concrete or other non-wooden material and in proper contact with the materials that support your sub floor and flooring.

A few pier and beam crawl space supports use steel between the ground and sub-floor. I have seen these supports degraded from rust to a point of breaking.

Bottom line: keep your crawl space dry.

If you have questions contact me, Richard Rash, the foundation man, at 817-308-8186. Email at richardrashinc@tx.rr.com. Website: www.repairfoundations.com. Blog: www.foundationmanspeaks. If you would  like and share this,  subscribe to my NEWSLETTER. And please leave a comment.

Thanks and call anytime.

Richard

Solutions to Foundation Issues.

 

F R Solutions

You are reading this because you have a question or a problem relating to foundation repair or drainage control. I am here because I have answers to questions. I provide solutions to problems relating to foundation repair and drainage issues, in areas of expansive soils. That would include North Texas.

I assume you have been to websites that show you how they install piers. Unless you are looking for a job installing piers, that really doesn’t help you much. You need to know IF you need piers, if so how many and where, and what type of piers. if you do need piers, you need to know, what is the most you should pay for the piers and that they will be installed correctly.

However, and this is an extremely big, however, if you may not need piers you should be talking to someone who can explain if you do or do not need piers, and someone who can show you what you do need and why. You also need to know, that the person you are talking to will not have their compensation determined by the type and amount of repairs that they suggest.

It is important that you understand that many people who wind up with piers don’t need them.

if you have problems, you need solutions, and if you have questions or problems you need me. I will be your ADVOCATE, your CHECK, and BALANCE.  I will help you understand what is happening now, and what needs to happen to avoid, stop, and possibly reverse foundation movement. Oh, I also almost always save my clients money when they follow my advice.

What to know more? For information about my service, fee, or testimonials or general foundation repair and drainage correction, please check out myWEBSITE or my BLOG, or sign up for my NEWSLETTER. If you are in a hurry you may call, including evenings and weekends, 817-308-8186. My email isrichardrashinc@tx.rr.com.

Let me know what you think.

Foundation Watering.

Soaker hose

This is a soaker hose that can be used to water areas near the foundation.

Proper watering of your foundation is a good plan in areas of expansive soils, such as North Texas!  Without a watering program, the soils in North Texas are likely to shrink and swell unevenly with the change in moisture levels. Proper watering can, however, be somewhat complex. The amount and type of damage caused by drying soils can depend on several things.

Most important would be the condition of the soil when the foundation is poured.  If the foundation is poured when soils are wet, the soils may shrink when drying begins. This can cause the withdraw of support from under the soil. The soil may then “settle”.  Settlement can cause foundation problems that proper watering may help prevent, stop, and even reverse.

A more important reason for foundation watering is to prevent soils from pulling away from the structure, creating a void, which may allow large amounts of water to intrude up and under the slab. This can, and does, cause the reverse of settlement, which is upheaval.

With upheaval, soils swell, lifting portions of the foundation, and house, above other areas of the structure. While to the untrained eye the symptoms appear the same as with settling, the problem is completely different, and therefore, the solution is completely different.

The reason foundations move is the soil. If the expansion and contraction of the soil can be limited or contained, cracking should slow down, stop or maybe reverse itself. In certain circumstances, proper soaker hose  watering can help.

If you would like to know more details about the benefits of proper watering, as well as how to water properly, go this page on my website.

What does it take to start a foundation repair company?

 This could be a short post. I guess it could be one word: “Nothing!”

In Texas, and I would suspect a lot of other areas, all you have to do is say that you are a foundation repair contractor, and you are one.FR cheap

I imagine that most people in the business have at least worked for a piering contractor for a short time. In the state of Texas, and in most, if not all, municipalities, there is no licensing for foundation repair contractors. I know of people who borrowed enough money to get a pickup and have some flyers printed. Passed the flyers out, sold a job, got a down payment and they “were a foundation repair contractor.”

With the down payment, they bought some pier cylinders and some jacks, found some labors to dig and they were going strong.

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I have been in the industry for some thirty-five years, right here in North Texas, and just about every few days I see new foundation repair company names pop up. I’ve been told there are some four hundred alleged foundation contractors, in North Texas, all of whom claim to have been in the business for forty years. Unfortunately, just about as many go out of business, or change names, due to problems. 

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Others who have been in the roofing or other related construction business have said, hell we can do this, and just added foundation repair to their advertising and wham bam now they claim to have been in the business for forty years.

The truth is, that putting in piers and lifting a house is not really brain surgery. The trick is not so much installing the piers and lifting. It’s knowing where to install them, how many to install and most of all when not to install them. As far as lifting a building the test comes in knowing when to stop.

RR in pier hole 1980Richard In Pier hole early 1980’s.

Customers are usually told to expect a bunch of new cracks during a lift. This should not be the case unless there had already been a bunch of cracks repaired.A good lift with the right piers should normally not cause new damage.

Most foundation salesmen, and that’s what most are, commissioned salesmen, don’t really know how to tell if a building need piers, and if they do need piers, they don’t know where or how many.  Most were taught to use either a water level, a laser level or more recently a computerized level. A few still use a four-foot carpenter’s level. The problem is none of those will tell you if the structure has settled (dropped), heaved (raised) or was poured that way. That is why a good fifty percent of the foundation jobs in our area are not satisfactory to the customer. They pier, when piers are not the answer. Over half of the foundation movement in North Texas is heave-related where piers are not the answer.

Snake oil

How do they get away with it? They write contracts so the consumers can’t sue them, and provide warranty’s that protect the  company better than it protects the customers.

How do homeowners protect themselves? How do realtors protect their customers?

Go to my website:www.repairfoundations.com and learn how, or call me at 817-308-8186 and I will be glad to discuss it with you.

(Please like, share and leave comments)

Richard Rash

Foundation Repair Consultant

Apartments,condos, Town-homes and other Multi-family dwellings

Foundation Issues: Apartments,condos, Townhomes,and other Multi-family dwellings

Foundation repair Plano
Foundation repair 

If you are buying, selling, managing, investing in or own Multi-Family Properties in North Texas these are things you need to know.

 When reviewing apartments, condo’s or townhomes or other multifamily properties it is always wise to consider signs of foundation movement and analyze the cause.

These various property types have more in common than most investors realize.

First: the property upon which they are built.  Due to the size requirements of apartment complexes and other multifamily developments, land costs are a major initial expense, and, like it or not, many such complexes are built on soils that would be undesirable for single family construction. They are often constructed near creeks, on uneven terrain and on extremely expansive and unsettled soils. The site plans themselves often consist of trash fill soil, drainage problems and excessive erosion, three of the major causes of foundation problems.

Second: The footprint of the most common multi-family structures are usually rectangular or “L” shaped to maximize land configuration. These form factors are conducive to trapping water as well as to having individual buildings constructed over multiple types of soil, coupled with elevation changes, which lead to differential soil movement.

Third: proper maintenance is difficult to achieve due to the activity near and around the structures and the nature of the buildings not being owned in their entirety, if at all, by their occupants. As an example, I don’t know that I’ve ever visited a multifamily complex, consisting of rental units, where all the plumbing cleanouts contained their caps. Missing cleanout caps are an invitation to mischief and incidental blockage of pipes which in turn can lead to flooding of apartments and additional plumbing and foundation issues.

Notice that I have said that these buildings are subject to soil movement, that is not to say that necessarily mean structural foundation damage. 

By understanding the processes that cause soil movement, it is usually possible to pre-empt, stop and often reverse the building movement. This is how you avoid true structural foundation damage.

It is almost always possible to prevent the foundation movement. It is usually possible to stop the movement once foundation damage has begun and it is also very often possible to reverse the foundation movement without the use of piers or other expensive lifting methods.

The key is understanding the real reason that foundations move, what constitutes foundation movement, and what is truly foundation damage.

From ownership of one side of a duplex to management of large apartment communities, foundations can be your largest liability.

So: BE SURE…before you pier!

What to know more? For information about my service, fees, my testimonials or, general foundation repair and drainage correction, please check out my WEBSITE or my BLOG, or sign up for my NEWSLETTER. Or you may call, including evenings and weekends, 817-308-8186. My email is richardrashinc@tx.rr.com.

Let me know what you think. And please share, like and comment!

Scams, Myths, Frauds and Omissions

The above is a short video I made a while back about some of the pitfalls of foundation repair in areas of expansive soils, primarily North Texas. Not an overly professional video but makes some good points. Every Real Estate professional should view it including agents, brokers, lenders, and inspectors.

Want more of the straight scoop that you are not likely to get elsewhere? Sign up here for my NEWSLETTER. Contact me, Richard Rash, the Foundation Man, 817-308-8186. Website: www.repairfoundations.com. Blog:www.foundationmanspeaks.

Remember: Be sure…. before you pier!

Rain and Foundations

Rains and Foundations 4-17-16

If you are concerned about the rain affecting your foundation think about these things.

  1. Most of our rains blow in from the southwest and west. A good deal of it blows in horizontally hitting your exterior walls below the gutters. This water will run down the wall and go to the lowest point which is often behind the shrubs and sits next to the house, in the low area.This can then be wicked up and under the foundation, causing signs that are often falsely attributed to settlement, but is, in reality, upheaval.
  2. Gutters are often put up beautifully, with the correct pitch, carries the needed volume and then dump the collected waters next to the home in a low areawhere is will stand and be wicked up and under the house causing upheaval.
  3. Those of you who live in a zero lot line home should be concerned about your neighbor’s yard. Water is often found to be collecting next to a home where it is not observed by the homeowner. Lots of opportunity for damage from upheaval and from drying out in the summer.
  4. Residents with big dogs, often find that their loveable mutts like to dig big holes next to the house, to lie in, when it is hot. These holes can catch a lot of water,which is allowed to be pulled up and under the foundation leading to upheaval.

These are but a few of the problems that can sneak up on you and lead to indoor and outdoor cracks, uneven floors, swinging and sticking doors. And, more often than you would think, un-needed piers!

Want more of the straight scoop that you are not likely to get elsewhere? Sign up here for my NEWSLETTER. Contact me, Richard Rash, the Foundation Man, 817-308-8186. Website: www.repairfoundations.com. Blog:www.foundationmanspeaks.

Remember: Be sure…. before you pier!

Rains and Foundations 4-17-16

Wanting to buy a previously owned home?

Buying a  Home!

R.E.Let me Educate

Here you can really get into trouble without the help of someone that is not trying to sell you piers. Although home sellers are required by law to disclose previous foundation damage they often do not recognize the signs of foundation movement or do not know of problems or repairs experienced by previous owners. And, sometimes they just don’t tell the whole truth!

I can, however, help you find the truth. When advised to get an authority to check out signs that may be foundation problems, most people just call a foundation repair company because they are free. The foundation repair companies send out commissioned salesmen with the mission of selling piers, whether the house needs them or not. Worse yet, and this is a big problem, they, or you, or your realtor, or your inspector may see something that you, or they, don’t understand, and it becomes confused with a foundation problem. Often, it is only cosmetic, causing you to pass on a home that you love, at a location you want and a price you can afford. This happens every day in North Texas. This is where I often am able to save the day by showing what is really going on. Go to my website and see what my customers say at Testimonials. Here are: My Fees. For additional information: Contact me! Richard Rash 817-308-8186

The Foundation Man Blog – The Foundation Man Speaks

Who needs a Foundation Repair Consultant and Why?

 

     Go to Website: http://www.repairfoundations.com/                                                                

Detective 1-13-16 Foundation repair companies sell piers, I provide solutions!

YOU COULD USE

A FOUNDATION REPAIR CONSULTANT:

If you live in expansive soils in Texas and are going to:

  • build a home,
  • or buy a new home,
  • or buy a used home,
  • or sell your home,
  • or are considering remodeling or adding on to your home,
  • or have seen cracks or other signs of foundation movement in your home,
  • or you have gotten several bids for foundation work and they don’t make sense,
  • or you have foundation repair that failed,
  • or you just want to be sure that you are doing whatever is needed to protect your home from foundation repair.

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Sign up for my occasional: Newsletter.

Read on:

If any of these situations are applicable to you then you will receive real benefits by reading on and considering using my services to help you handle any foundation or drainage problems now, or in the future. Please read on for details.

 

New Home Construction GOING TO BUILD A NEW HOME?

While most people are concerned with the construction of their new home, foundation movement and damage are usually the results of the soil composition, pad preparation, drainage control and very often the installation of planter areas around the foundation. If developers and builders would run soils test on every lot and paid more attention to what is under and surrounds the structures  they build, the amount of foundation damage in North Texas would diminish substantially. It is a good idea to have me check the soils and the drainage of your lot before the foundation is poured. It may seem minor now but foundation movement could be almost eradicated in North Texas with proper attention to the “lay of the land”. See what my customers say at Testimonials.    Here are: My Fees.   For additional information: Contact me! Richard Rash 817-308-8186 

 

 New home LOOKING TO BUY A NEW HOME?

A new home can experience foundation movement during construction; I have seen slabs with major cracks even before the brick is applied. In cases like this, flaws and problems are sometimes covered up by sub-contractors before the builder has a chance to see them. Also, builders have been known to ignore obvious drainage issues that can lead to foundation issues not covered by builder warranties. I can check the lot for drainage problems and the exterior and interior for previous cover up! See what my customers say at: Testimonials.    Here are: My Fees.      For additional information: Contact me! Richard Rash 817-308-8186

 

 

Realtor read this and pass on 1-21-16 WANTING TO BUY A PREVIOUSLY OWNED HOME?  Here you can really get into trouble without the help of someone not trying to sell piers. Although home sellers are required by law to disclose previous foundation damage they often do not recognize the signs of foundation movement or do not know of problems or repairs experienced by previous owners.  And, sometimes they just don’t tell the whole truth! I can, however, help you find the truth.  When advised to get an authority to check out  signs, that may be foundation problems, most people just call a foundation repair company because they are free. They are also going to send out commissioned salesmen with the mission of selling piers whether the house needs them or not. Worse yet, and this is a big problem, they, or you, or your realtor, or your inspector may see something that you, or they, don’t understand, and confuse it for a foundation problem, when it is really only cosmetic, causing you to pass on a home that you love, at a location you love and a price you can afford. This happens every day in North Texas. This is where I often am able to save the day by showing what is really going on. See what my customers say at Testimonials.    Here are: My Fees.      For additional information: Contact me! Richard Rash 817-308-8186

 

for-sale-sign[1]  LOOKING TO SELL YOUR HOME?

Here’s where it can get kind of tricky. Sellers are required to disclose any concealed defects including current or previous foundation damage or repair.  Most people including realtors, home inspectors and foundation repair salesmen don’t know what is actually structural foundation damage which must be addressed, usually with piers, in order for the buyer to get financing. Their attitude is if it moves, pier it! That attitude causes more problems than it fixes. It is also the opposite of the most common occurring distress, cosmetic damage, which is usually handled by minor corrections such as guttering or drainage. It is also very unlikely that they understand what is causing the foundation movement, whether it is settling soils, which would need piers, or expanding soils, which would not need piers, or drainage problems which also would not require piers or possibly caused by a plumbing leak, also which would also not need piers. When advised to get an authority to check out the signs that may be foundation problems, most people just call a foundation repair company, and why? Because they come out free! But, they are also going to send out commissioned salesmen with the mission of selling piers whether the house needs them or not. Worse yet, and this is a big problem, they, or you, or your realtor, or your inspector may see something that you, or they, don’t understand and confuse it for a foundation problem, which is really only cosmetic, causing the buyer to pass on a home that they love, at a location they love and a price they can afford. And you lose the sale. This is a big problem which causes many people to lose sales or lose out on getting top dollar for their home. These are things I am eminently qualified to assist you in understanding. I have dealt with these situations for years and am capable and willing to explain it to sellers and/or buyers.  Every day in North Texas, real estate sales are lost due to ignorance of the facts. See what my customers say at: Testimonials.    Here are: My Fees.      For additional information: Contact me! Richard Rash 817-308-8186

 

Remodeling 

ARE YOU CONSIDERING REMODELING OR ADDING ON TO YOUR HOME?     In the event that you are moving walls or adding windows, hard floor coverings, cabinets or an additional floor it is absolutely imperative that your existing house has not experienced foundation movement. Your contractors can usually install additional built-ins and usually square them up to the existing structure. However, if the existing structure is not straight, square and plumb when the remodeling is started, and the new section or even the old section moves, it will be almost impossible to ever straighten them both. If the old part moves it affects the new. If the new part moves it affects the old. You’ll never get them both straight.  It is wise to get an outside opinion about stabilizing original areas before dropping a lot of money in improvements.  Another problem to consider is the enclosing of a garage. As a rule, the area under the original garage door is not supported by an extension of the original, as-built, foundation and will not support bricks or other heavy sidings without adding a new foundation section. This is why garage walls are often the first to show distress. In modern homes, some builders are now completing the foundation. In older homes it is almost always a problem. Most remodeling contractors will sell you what you want. It is usually worth a small price to have someone on your side who understands what will, or might, or won’t work. I can be that person. See what my customers say at: Testimonials.    Here are:   My Fees.      For additional information: Contact me! Richard Rash 817-308-8186

 

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HAVE YOU RECENTLY SEEN CRACKS OR OTHER SIGNS OF FOUNDATION MOVEMENT?  Cracks or other signs generally thought to be foundation damage can mean foundation movement and, left unattended, will usually lead to extensive/expensive repairs. Rarely, however, when these signs first show up, does it mean expensive repairs are required. In the great majority of cases, proper maintenance can, and will, not only stop this movement but often allow for it to reverse itself, to a point, where piers are not required. A knowledgeable consumer advocate, with extensive foundation knowledge, such as myself, can go a long way in helping you avoid accelerating problems. Remember: foundation repair contractors sell piers, I provide solutions.  See what my customers say at Testimonials.    Here are :   My Fees.      For additional information: Contact me! Richard Rash 817-308-8186

 

 upheaval

HAVE YOU BEEN ASK TO LET FOUNDATION ELEVATIONS DETERMINE YOUR FOUNDATION REPAIRS?                                       

Foundation companies sell piers. That’s how they make the vast amount of their profits.  Buildings occasionally “settle” or drop and need to be repaired by using piers. Piers, however, cannot stop or reverse “upheaval “which is lifting or rising of the structure due to soil expansion caused by moisture. In spite of what you may have heard upheaval and not settling is the major cause of foundation movement.  It is to the foundation companies’ advantage to have potential customers believe that all foundation movement is really settlement. Remember, most foundation movement in areas of expansive soil is not settlement. It is upheaval!

Using leveling devices without being in possession of the original construction elevations from sea level, which is a calibrated benchmark, keyed from sea level, one CANNOT determine if a foundation has settled on one side or lifted on the other. In other words, has the home gone up or gone down or was it poured that way? Unfortunately, no one has that benchmark, so the elevations will not provide a legitimate basis for determining foundation repair needs.

If the operator wants it to show it settled, they put the zero mark at one point. If they want it to have heaved, they put it somewhere else.   If you want to sell piers, you make it appear that settlement is the problem.

Foundation companies do that every day to convince homeowners to buy piers they don’t need. These un-needed piers will usually cause additional problems later on. The real reason that there are so many foundation repair failures is not necessarily because of bad piers, but because piers were installed where they should not have been. And guess what, your warranty will not usually cover that mistake. Contact me and I will explain it all.

The use of elevations is the biggest fraud in the foundation industry. In Areas of expansive soils, upheaval is much more often the cause of foundation movement than settlement. In North Texas, as an example, concrete beams in both slab and pier and beam (crawl space) construction are designed to be supportive and protect against settlement from minor voids under beams.  Expanding soils, on the other hand, are able to push areas of the slab up essentially causing the same damage signs as settlement, only in a somewhat different pattern. These different patterns require different repair procedures.  Call me for more information.    See what my customers say at: Testimonials.    Here are    My Fees.      For additional information: Contact me! Richard Rash 817-308-8186

 

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HAVE YOU CALLED OUT SOME FOUNDATION REPAIR SALESMEN AND GOTTEN A WIDE VARIETY OF COST ESTIMATES AND CONFLICTING SUGGESTIONS ON REPAIRING YOUR HOME?  This is probably the thing I hear the most: “none of the contractors agree on what it will take to repair my home”. The reason for this is everybody is trying to sell piers, usually as many as they think you will buy. Most will have taken elevations of your floor and try to use the resulting numbers as a basis for placing piers. The reason they don’t agree on numbers is because their elevation readings are not accurate as to the amount and type of movement your home has experiencedElevation readings on residential construction in North Texas, for the placement of piers, is a scam, unless you have the original elevations based on sea-level…… which, no one has. It is a way for untrained, commissioned salesmen to sell un-needed piers. The bid may also suggest a different type of piers or suggest similar piers that are priced completely differently. The type of piers used is important and the ability of the installers are of utmost importance.  This is where you need an unbiased consultant, who will not profit whether you get repairs done or not, who has no stake in the type of repairs you use, and who can advise you on each company’s true long-term reputation. Someone who will only benefit by seeing you successfully conquer your foundation issues, and in turn, recommend their service to  your friends relatives and neighbors. That would be me.  I respectfully suggest that you consider contacting me for advice and reassurances for any problems, real or perceived, that relate to foundation repair or drainage. See what my customers say at: Testimonials.    Here are    My Fees.      For additional information: Contact me! Richard Rash 817-308-8186

 

Lifetime Warrantee

HAVE YOU HAD PREVIOUS FOUNDATION REPAIRS THAT FAILED OR ARE FAILING?  In many of these cases, the homeowners have become aware that foundation repairs have failed and the warranties are designed to protect the foundation repair contractor and not the customer. As a rule, I can’t do much to get your money back because the contractors are good at protecting themselves. If it’s too late to prevent the problem what I can do is guide you through steps to deal with the situation as it stands. I can help you recover and correctly stabilize and if needed re-repair your home at the least possible expense and with the least possible disruption.                                                       See what my customers say at Testimonials.    Here are: My Fees.      For additional information: Contact me! Richard Rash 817-308-8186

 

powerful-presentations

I also am available for talks to gatherings such as HOA meetings, realtor sales meetings, civic club’s meetings and any other legitimate group of homeowners in North Texas.

See what my customers say at Testimonials.    Here are My Fees.      For additional information: Contact me! Richard Rash 817-308-8186

 

No Hidden Fees

My fee is a flat $350.00 within forty miles of DFW Airport. A little farther a little more. A lot farther, what can I say, a lot more! If you are remodeling and spending $35,000 my fee is but 1% to assure that you don’t have to redo it because of the foundation. If you are buying a Home for $350,000 my cost is 1/10 of one percent to protect that investment. The cost is small and the value is great.

 

Pass it on

Please read on to see how I might be able to help you and please pass on to anyone you know who owns a home is areas where foundation damage is a way of life.

Here is what I do:

I examine your home.

Using pictures, I explain: How your home is built. How the soil affects the house and how the moisture affects the soil. How the soil causes the house to move and I show you why, and how the home is moving. I tell you what can be done.

If you need piers: I will explain the different types of piers. I will explain how many you need. I will explain where you need them. I will explain the most you should pay for them.

If you need other work: such as drainage, plumbing, root barriers or soaker hose I will explain it all.

 

I will answer all of your questions including about: Bids. Warrantees. Scams. Homeowners’ insurance. Home buyer’s warrantees. Slabs. Pier and Beams. Remedial Piers. Drains.

I will send you an overview of our conversation (report).

I will encourage you to email me any bids you wish to discuss.

I will encourage you to continue to call me with any questions.

As mentioned, I have been dealing with foundation repair for over thirty-five years and to my knowledge, there are no bad reports about me on the BBB, Angie’s list or anywhere else so check me out on the web Richard Rash, AKA the Foundation Man, foundation consultant. I also do not advertise, I rely on social media and referrals, from people like your for my business.

Many of you may still think you can successfully travel these murky waters alone and maybe you can but I have had thousands of customers who have chosen to invest a few hundred dollars for my knowledge and assistance and who understand that the worst thing that can happen is they re-enforce their existing beliefs on what has happened and what needs to be done. The best thing that can happen is they save thousands of dollars and prevented their home from going through a very stressful and possibly damaging and very unnecessary experience.   As a bonus, they get piece of mind knowing that I have told them the truth and given them a plan of action. The last thing I ask my customers is “does it all make sense?” I don’t leave until it does, and even then I impress upon my customers to call me with any questions at any time. And they do, sometimes years later.

I hope you understand by now that I provide a unique experience that will put your mind at ease and provide you with a roadmap to a successful conclusion to the unpleasant task of dealing with a moving foundation.  See what my customers say atTestimonials.    Here are: My Fees.      For additional information: Contact me! Richard Rash 817-308-8186

Remember if you got it wrong before it is likely that the state won’t help you, the cities won’t help you, the courts won’t help you, and the warranty won’t help you. At this point, it is never easy but there are things you can do and not do to keep from throwing good money after bad and I can probably give you some guidance over the phone on steps to take. See what my customers say at Testimonials.    Here are:   My Fees.      For additional information: Contact me! Richard Rash 817-308-8186

As mentioned my fee is a flat $350.00 within forty miles of DFW Airport. A little farther a little more. A lot farther, what can I say, a lot more! If you are looking at remodeling and spending $35,000 my fee is but 1% to assure that you don’t have to redo it because of the foundation. If you are buying a Home for $350,000 my cost is 1/10 of one percent to protect that investment. The cost is small and the value is great. See what my customers say at Testimonials.    Here are:   My Fees.      For additional information: Contact me! Richard Rash 817-308-8186

 

Foundation Repair: a multi-million dollar business in North Texas!

Visit my website: http://www.repairfoundations.com/

Foundation repair is a multimillion dollar business in North Texas. And homeowners are being scammed, cheated, lied to and flat out robbed by many of the estimated four hundred foundation repair companies operating in the area.

Last week, of the homeowners I talked to, five were families scattered over the DFW area who had received bids for work they did not need.  All received bids from multiple foundation repair companies wanting to charge them thousands of dollars for piers that would not solve their problems.

One of the home owner in Richardson talked to four contractor salesmen, three tried to sell her piers with a cost of up to $10,000. One said she didn’t need any piers but gave no reason for, or solution to, the foundation movement that they were experiencing. It turned out that she had some severe drainage issues that needed to be fixed and the soil needed to dry out to allow it to return to near “as built”. These are the type of things I see every week.

The majority of people who have sheetrock cracks and outside cracks between bricks are not experiencing structural foundation damage. I also might point out that the five people I mentioned above all had elevations taken of their slab in which they were falsely told that settlement had occurred when in reality sections of the slab had risen. or heaved, rather than settled as suggested.

In my previous video SCAMS, MYTHS, FRAUDS and OMISSIONS I have outlined a few of the problems facing the consumer. What I didn’t cover in detail are the high percent of failed foundations repair jobs that are so prevalent in North Texas. I also did not cover the large number of foundation repair jobs where many  piers are sold. Unfortunately, it appears that the objective of many foundation repair companies in North Texas is the sale of piers and not the solving of foundation movement.

The facts are that there are just not many people on the consumer’s side when it comes to foundation repair. Most foundation repair companies sell piers not solutions. The cities use permits as a form of taxation. Most engineers dealing with foundation damage are tied to foundation companies. The state doesn’t regulate or control foundation repair companies and the foundation repair company’s salesmen are paid on commission for the volume of piers they sell. Oh, and your friends, neighbors and relatives, that give you advice, usually only know, at best, the half-truths that they or their friends have been told by, you guessed it, some foundation repair salesman.

I am Richard Rash also known as the Foundation Man. I have over twenty-four years as a hands on foundation repair contractor followed by the last 12 years as a foundation repair consultant. I help homeowners get it done correctly, educate them to the rights and wrongs of foundation repair.  I show you how to prevent, stop repair and often reverse foundation movement. I also show you, and this is big, the difference between foundation movement and foundation damage. Simple foundation movement, while showing signs often attributed to foundation damage, can usually be stopped and reversed without expensive piers or other lifting methods. If fact much of the local foundation movement does not constitute foundation damage and seldom requires piers.

What I do:

I examine your home.

Using pictures, I explain: How your home is built. How the soil affects the house. How the moisture affects the soil. How the soil causes the house to move. I show you why and how the home is moving. I tell you what can be done.

If you need piers: I will explain the different types of piers. I will explain how many you need. I will explain where you need them. I will explain the most you should pay for them.

If you need other work such as drainage, plumbing, root barriers or soaker hose I will explain it all.

I will answer all of your questions including about: Bids. Warrantees. Scams. Home owners insurance.

Home buyer’s warrantees. Slabs. Pier and Beams. Remedial Piers. Drains.

I will send you an overview of our conversation (report).

I will encourage you to email me any bids you wish to discuss.

I will encourage you to continue to call me with any questions.

As mentioned I have been dealing with foundation repair for close to thirty-five years and to my knowledge there are no bad reports about me on the BBB. Angies list or anywhere else on the internet so check me out on the web Richard Rash, AKA the Foundation Man, foundation consultant. I also do not advertise, I rely on referrals, like yours, for my business.

Many of you may still think you can successfully travel these murky waters alone and maybe you can but I have had thousands of customers who have chosen to invest a few hundred dollars for my knowledge and assistance and who understand that the worst thing that can happen is they re-enforce their existing beliefs on what has happened and what needs to be done. The best thing that can happen is they save thousands of dollars and prevented their home from going through a very stressful and possibly damaging and very un-necessary experience.   As a bonus they get piece of mind knowing that I have told them the truth and given them a plan of action. The last thing I ask my customers is “does it all make sense?” I don’t leave until it does and even then I impress upon my customers to call me with any questions at any time. And they do, sometimes years later.

I hope you understand by now that I provide a unique experience that will put your mind at ease and provide you with a road map to a successful conclusion to the unpleasant task of dealing with a moving foundation.  Please call me at 817-308-8186 or email me at richardrashinc@tx.rr.com

Remember if you get it wrong it is likely that the state won’t help you, the cities won’t help you, the courts won’t help you, and the warrantee won’t help you. At this point it is never easy but there are things you can do and not do to keep from throwing good money after bad and I can probably give you some guidance over the phone on steps to take.

You can roll the dice and you may never know that you over paid, or over piered, but it is very likely that your experience with foundation repair will not be as smooth without my help. Call me if only to talk and ask questions. If I can help you I will tell you If I can’t I will also tell you. Reading this and please check out my web site and please share with all your home owning friends.

Steps to foundation repair in North Texas

Three things that make North Texas the perfect storm for Foundation Damage:

  • The extreme wet to dry cycles.
  • The extremely expansive soils
  • The rolling hills that dominate the area.

Foundations poured on moist (swollen) soils will move as the soil dries out and slowly shrinks. This is called settlement and it happens in North Texas and other areas with the above conditions.

Foundations that are poured on dry (compacted) soils will move when the soil expands as it receives moisture This is what causes most foundation problems in North Texas and other areas with the above conditions.

When a home is built on a hill, even a very slight hill, moisture (rain water) will tend to flow to one side of the house and be captured and retained, next to the structure, causing the soil to expand as it accepts the moisture.  On the other side of the home, the moisture runs off and does not expand the soil. If the soil is moist it will remain moist on the side holding water while the side where the water runs off will not gain much additional moisture and will tend to dry faster sometimes allowing for what we call settlement.

Conversely, a home that is built on soil that is already dry, when most of our foundations are poured, the water that is captured on one side of the house will cause the soil to expand, actually lifting a portion of the home, while on the other side, the water runs off, and that part of the foundation is usually not affected. The results in this scenario are what we call upheaval, or heave.

Both settlement and upheaval can, and do, cause what the public has been taught to think of as foundation damage. The damage is very similar, but the repairs are very different.    This is a situation where uneducated consumers spend a bunch of money on both un-needed piers and repairs that fail.

Note: when a portion of a structure is temporarily lifted above original grade it is seldom cost effective, or a permanent solution, to lift the remainder of the building up to match that which has heaved. In the majority of these cases, when piers are installed they are not the answer. And, unfortunately, most foundation repair companies do not warranty against any heaving of the foundation.

When you know and understand the pitfalls of dealing with “foundation” you are able to make the correct decisions about what to do to, which is:

  • Successfully stop existing foundation movement.
  • Prevent additional foundation movement.
  • Reverse existing foundation movement.

Remember: the soil is the problem. The soil moving unevenly around the home must be stopped and prevented from moving to the point that it causes the foundation to bend. When the soil causes the foundation to bend, the rigid box of a house is affected. The Sheetrock won’t flex much before it cracks, the brick facade will not flex much before cracks appear, the hard floor covering will not flex much before cracks appear and the door frames will often be pushed out of square by the arching slab, causing doors to not open, shut or latch correctly.

When these things happen, the homeowner will often be tempted to call a conventional foundation repair company, one they have seen advertised or one recommended by an acquaintance. This is where additional problems often begin. Foundation repair companies sell piers, and most hire salesmen to sell their piers, and they give the salesmen incentives to sell as many piers as possible.

Here is what typical transpires:

  • You call several foundation repair companies.
  • They send out commissioned salesmen.
  • The commission salesmen take elevations of your home, and from that, tell you that you need as many piers they think they can sell you. They also assure you  that their pier, usually a patented pier, is the best on the market and the only one that will really fix your foundation. The problem with their elevations is that they cannot tell if the slab has settled or heaved without “as built” elevations, which would be a benchmark based on sea level, which they can’t have and you don’t have because builders seldom take them.
  • Because you are looking for help one of these guys is  likely going to convince you that they are the one. The one who has the correct pier, the correct number of piers and the right price, and he is going to ask you to sign a contract. If he is right then you should live happily ever after. The trouble, however, is that most pier companies have found that by putting a clause in their contract that says “in the case of a dispute, you must go to arbitration” in lieu of going to court. Now if they are wrong they can still live happily ever after. Now they have you because they have experience with arbitration and know the arbitrators and most homeowners don’t don’t.
  • There are any number reasons that these companies prefer arbitration to settle disputes. Among them are their ability to reuse the same arbitrator time after time which accounts for much revenue for the arbitrator and a favorable relationship for the contractor.  The contractor is going to prefer someone who often rules in their favor.  To add to their advantage in disputes is the fact that most of them have a lifetime warranty that protects them, the contractor, better than it protects you as the customer! The way they protect their self is by warranting only the piers and not the success of the job.   They warranty only against settlement within a few feet of the pier.  They do this because piers do not stop, prevent or reverse upheaval, however, the profits in selling piers are much higher than reversing upheaval.
  • So in summation: most foundation companies sell piers. Their salesmen are paid for the number of piers they sell. The salesmen use phony elevations to justify piers. Most foundation movement is caused by upheaval. Piers do not protect against upheaval. If they get it wrong and your problem is upheaval and is not stopped by their piering you can’t sue, you can only go to arbitration. You lose at arbitration because the contractor shows that the reason the foundation failed is it heaved. And they did not warranty against heaving.
  • Finally, in situations where settlement is the problem, piers are expensive so you don’t want more than you need. Piers also have different designs for different soil conditions so you want to be sure that you are getting the right pier for your problem and are not being oversold.

If you think you have foundation problems and don’t want to go through the above routine, call me I don’t sell a product of any kind, I am not affiliated with any foundation repair company, I act as your advocate.  Contact me, read more of my blog or click on my website at www.repairfoundations.com  to find out who I am, more about what I do and what my customers say about me. My fee is $350.00 within 40 miles of DFW airport. A little farther, a little more. I will go where ever I am needed.

Richard Rash

Foundation Repair Consultant

817-308-8186

www.repairfoundations.com

Foundations poured on dry soils

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In areas of expansive soils:

TFMSpeaks 6-18-15

As I have been preaching for some years now the rains do much more damage than the droughts.

This is because most of the lightweight structures such as houses and small commercial buildings have their foundations poured during the droughts when the soils are contracted.

drysoil

It is a fact that foundations poured when the ground is moist and the soils expanded are likely to settle and need piers. It is also a fact that due to our weather patterns in North Texas the great majority of our construction is done in dry weather rather than wet or moist weather.

This being said one must assume that in the majority of cases where foundations movement is observed, upheaval is the problem and removal and reassignment of moisture is the short term and long term answer.

Please visit my website. and do a friend a favor by forwarding this blog.

Homeowner vs. Insurance Company

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I received a call from a man in East Texas last week who had a somewhat unusual situation.

TFMSpeaks 6-18-15

It seems he built this lovely home about twenty years ago and everything was fine for a few years until one day they found water on the floor. After looking around they determined that the water had not been spilt, it hadn’t rained recently so it wasn’t rain water. This left the possibility of a leak. They called their homeowners insurance company who sent out a plumber, the leak was found to be in a copper line that was bringing water into the house. They got it fixed and all was well……….until about a month ago and the water seemed to return.

Their first thought was oops, it’s happened again. They called the insurance company who once again sent out plumbers who could not find a leak this time.

The homeowner became perplexed when the insurance company said “sorry, no leak, you must have foundation damage. Call a foundation company and let them handle it.” The insurance company had not found a leak and was ready to close the claim.

Fortunately the homeowner had the presents of mind to think “if I call a foundation company they are probably going to come out, tell me I need piers, which will cost me a fortune and still not fix my water on the floor  issue”. Which is likely true!

Instead the homeowner got on the computer and found me. We talked on the phone for about twenty minutes and I told him what I thought but also that without seeing the problem I couldn’t be sure of what would solve the problem. So he hired me to drive 150 miles to his home to look thing over.

What I found out was the insurance company had just had the plumbers check the incoming and not the outgoing (sewer) lines. When no leak was found the insurance company was trying to close the claim and leave my customer hanging.

I found out that he had purchased a rider on his policy that covered any leaks under the slab. I explained how the sewer leak test that the state require, and that most plumbers do, is often ineffective at finding small leaks. I explained how to do the test for maximum results, recommended that he hire his own plumber to document the leak, and then go back to the insurance company.

This means if a sewer leak is found, which is obvious that it will be, the insurance company will wind up paying the cost of the repairs which may be considerable.

While I was there I also recommended some drainage control to protect against any future drainage issues.

Conclusion: The customer was happy to know what was going on!

P.S. That is just one of many situations where I was able to help a home owner deal effectively with an Insurance company when foundation damage, drainage control or plumbing leaks were involved.

Thanks for your time,

Richard Rash

817-308-8186

Please visit my website. and do a friend a favor by forwarding this blog.

WHAT MY CUSTOMERS SAY.        MY FEES.        ABOUT ME.        CONTACT ME.

 www.repairfoundations.com

Why an Advocate?

Visit My Website: http://www.repairfoundations.com/

 TFMSpeaks 6-18-15

 

WHY CHECKS AND BALANCE?

snakeoilsalesman

So you have accepted the fact that you need foundation repair and you have either chosen a foundation repair contractor or have at least narrowed it down.

Here’s where it gets interesting. This is your last chance to make sure everything is right. A chance to make sure you understand the contract and the true scope of the work. Make sure the number of piers are correct. Make sure the price is not out of reason for what you need. It is also time for you to understand the warrantee!

These are a few of the reasons you might consider having an advocate on your side to provide a check and balance. Someone who will not profit by overpiering you, overcharging you, under serving you and providing contracts that prevent you from going to court if work is unsatisfactory (arbitration clause). There is also the warrantee, which may protect the whole job, or more likely just the piers from vertical settlement. (call me and I will explain why that is bad).

Other questions would be, are these the right kind of piers for my structure and my problem?  Will the holes be filled in and compacted adequately to prevent water from getting under the slab or is some cases under the piers and causing heave which can cause a lot of problems and is usually not covered in typical warrantees.

What about water problems? If negative drainage exist and is not addressed by a foundation specialist who is not selling piers, the chance of a long term fix is radically reduced.

upheaval

Then there is the plumbing. Is there a leak? With a crawl space (pier and beam) it’s easy to tell. With a slab, not so easy to tell.

425389-tb-1117-ivy-027---copy

Here it gets tricky. Many foundation problems start with a leak. When that happens the signs of upheaval are similar to signs of settlement and identical to signs of bad drainage.

A favorite trick of foundation repair salesmen is to assume that the movement is settlement and needs piers. They often attempt to support this by taking abstract elevations and falsely convincing the homeowner that the house has settled instead of heaved.  Problem being, when upheaval is the real culprit piers are not a good fix, at least until the soil dries out under the foundation, which usually takes a very long time and normally removes the need for piers. So to be able to sell the piers now, they tell you that the lifting process may pull plumbing loose. That means you should get the plumbing checked after the piers are installed and the lift is done. Then the plumbing does get fixed but after you have already bought piers you may never need. Your loss, their gain.

So to sum it up: if you have a leak now and it is found now, the answer would be to get the leak fixed and wait for the soil to dry out and the house to move back close to “as built”. After it dries you may not need piers at all. If you do it will surely be far fewer piers. Meanwhile the foundation contractor will have to wait to sell his piers until you know what you really need if anything. Their loss your gain.

There you have a few reason to invest in a consultant to check over your commitment and prevent you from buying too many for too much without getting proper protection in the contract or the warrantee.

Figure out what you want to accomplish. Then let me help you reach your goal as inexpensively as possible. If this is confusing please contact me for more details.

Thanks,

Richard Rash

817-308-8186

Please visit my website. and do a friend a favor by forwarding this blog.

WHAT MY CUSTOMERS SAY.        MY FEES.        ABOUT ME.        CONTACT ME.

 www.repairfoundations.com

 

 

 

Undisclosed Defects: What You Need To Know When Buying or Selling!

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Undisclosed defects can cause a multitude of problems for both buyers and sellers!

TFMSpeaks 6-18-15

You decide to put your home on the market and you realize there are signs of foundation movement in the house: The cracks don’t seem bad and you don’t want it to be foundation problems. The question becomes: “is it is, or is it ain’t?”

for-sale-sign[1]

When you are experiencing signs of foundation movement, as the seller you are required by law to disclose foundation damage when offering the house.

The penalty as I understand it (and I am not a lawyer) is, if you are sued for concealing a defect and the jury awards the plaintive xxx amount of dollars, the judge triples the award and you are held libel for 3 times the amount of the jury  award. But is it really foundation damage that needs piers or is it minor foundation movement that just need proper maintenance? I can help you determine the extent of the problem.

Do you patch and paint and hope for the best or do you just assume that it is foundation damage and disclose it? At that point you take a big loss on the sale in both money and the time it takes the home to sell. I can help you determine what to do and give you the documentation you need to back it up. This should speed up the sale and keep you from having to lower your price to over compensate for probably un-needed yet extensive repairs.

If  you are the buyer of a pre-owned home that you and your family are in love with it, and boom, six months after you move in the cracks start to appear what do you do?

You may have had a home inspection which can easily miss concealed signs of foundation movement. Realistically the inspectors job is to find obvious wear and tear and point out things that don’t look quite right. They cannot be expected to know everything there is to know about roofs, electrical systems, appliances, plumbing air conditioning swimming pools and particularly foundations. If something is obvious they should point it out, however if somebody is trying to hide the movement is really not something the home inspector  should be expected to find.

When it is a pre-owned home that you fall in love with and the movement shows up after you are settled in, what are your choices? Sue, if you can prove it, and hope if you win that the seller has the money to pay. An alternative would be that before you close, call me and let my trained eye assure that the home is safe.

If things look out of sorts the inspector may recommend you call an expert. I suggest you don’t call a foundation repair company who’s job it is to sell you as many piers as possible, at the highest price they can! Consider calling me!

Please visit my website. and do a friend a favor by forwarding this blog.

WHAT MY CUSTOMERS SAY.        MY FEES.        ABOUT ME.        CONTACT ME.

Thanks,

Richard Rash

817-308-8186

www.repairfoundations.com

The Real Reasons Foundation Fail and What You Don’t Think about.

TFMSpeaks  6-18-15

The three big reasons that many of our home experience what we generally refer to as foundation damage as are follows:

  1. Our soils which are highly expansive and shrink and swell as they move from wet to dry.
  2. Our extreme seasonal moisture changes from wet to dry and back and forth. And our often unsung villain:
  3. Rolling hills.

HOUSE MOVING

If you live in North Texas, on a home built on expansive soils, when the soil is moist and expanded, or more likely built on expansive soils that are dry and compacted, you are going to experience some foundation movement when the moisture reverses itself.

When the dry gets wet it expands and when the moist dries out it contracts. Either way there is uneven stress applied to the home.

Now, about the homes built on rolling hills. They are likely to have the soil getting wetter on the high side where the moisture may stand, or be trapped, while the soil on the low side tends to stay dry or become drier because the falling moisture runs away from the home before having the chance to soak in.

When these things happen, either settlement from drying soil or the more likely upheaval from expanding soils, the change develop slowly, usually with a few sheetrock cracks showing up and then maybe a door becoming a bit sticky, then a possible crack in the floor tile and occasionally a crack in the outer brick or brick grout. And then they progress.

As these things gradually appear it becomes easy to brush them off as “natural settlement”, “seasonal movement” or some other normal phase that we want to think all homes go through.

That is seldom the case. When you get that in your mind, in a home you have lived in for years, and you paint and patch and go on living in the house it may seem to be no big thing. The cracks return and when they return  you either re-paint or patch or you live with them as they increase in size and number. Then you eventually have to get  the foundation stabilized.

When getting the foundation repaired  the number one  objective should not be getting it level but getting it to stop moving! Stabilized! The foundation must stop moving before it is considered fixed and in many cases,  piers do not stop foundations from moving.

After it stops moving you can become concerned about it being level. After it stops moving you can be concerned about whether it has gone back to near as built or if piers will be required for it to do so. Then and only then should you consider piers. In the majority of cases I have found that piers are not needed.

What does it take to get a home in North Texas to stop moving? It depends on the situation. It can be any or a combination of the following:

Drainage correction.

Watering programs.

Plumbing Leak Repair 

 Retaining wall installed.

Landscaping changes.

  • My point is that people who sell piers do it on commission, their job is to sell piers. My job is to determine what it will take to satisfy your particular needs.

My customers needs varies from home to home and person to person such as:

  • What you plan to do to the house, such as remodel.
  • If you plan to sell the house.
  • Live in the house until you die.
  • Do what you can afford.

Figure out what you want to accomplish. Then let me help you reach your goal as inexpensively as possible.

WHAT MY CUSTOMERS SAY.        MY FEES.        ABOUT ME.        CONTACT ME.

Thanks,

Richard Rash

817-308-8186

 www.repairfoundations.com

 

 

 

A Case Study

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At Stake: $37,000.00 in foundation piers.

TFMSpeaks 6-18-15

The home was in North Dallas. A zero lot line, two story with a pool in the front yard which was semi enclosed.

Built in the early eighties. Slab. Lot sloped front to back and south to north with rear view of golf course.

Present owners have been in home for two years. Had home inspection and professional engineering report. Both observed interior and exterior cracks. Neither felt that the movement was indicative of ongoing foundation movement.

Owners had extensive interior patching and painting shortly after purchase. Within one year, old cracks had return and new cracks had appeared.

Called one of North Texas’ biggest and best known foundation contractors.

Bid received, based on elevations taken using an arbitrary point for zero and assuming that the zero point was near the original elevation. The conclusion: the rest of the home had settled. Their bid was for in excess or $37,000 which included exterior as well as interior piers.

This did not include the removal or replacement of the expensive tile floor covering. It also did not include drainage correction or a plumbing test prior to piering.

At the suggestion of a friend who had used my services on two of his properties the homeowner called me and was quite concerned that these forty plus piers were not the right solution to his problems. He was correct!

The foundation showed no sign of structural damage and little to no sign of settlement. There was however signs of upheaval.

Negative drainage was apparent in several areas and it was obvious to the trained eye, of someone not trying to sell piers or other “solutions”, that the crack pattern was consistent with upheaval.

Upheaval is a situation that occurs when soil under the foundation swells lifting parts of the structure above original grade.

With upheaval, piers are not the answer. Usually, as in this case, a drainage program designed for the particular situation will allow future intrusive moisture to be routed from the structure which then will allow the building to return to near as built position.

Conclusion: Homeowner saved thirty some thousand dollars, avoided placing home under extreme stress and now understands how to maintain soils to avoid foundation movement in the future. He also has a resource, who knows his home and, that he can call on at any time to get foundation questions answered.

My fee: $350.00 for which I showed him what he needed and more importantly what he did not needHis savings? At least $30,000. His parting remark: Thank you Richard! My parting remarks: Thank you and remember, call me if you have any questions.

While this is obliviously an extreme case, most of my customers save from hundreds to thousands of dollars over what the pier salesmen want them to spend. If you need piers I will tell you where, how many, what happened to cause the need and what is the most you should pay for them.

If you don’t need piers, and most folks don’t, I will tell you what you do need to do, to stop the movement, why and what is the most you should pay for it.

Please forward to your friends neighbors and relatives and call me with any questions.

WHAT MY CUSTOMERS SAY.        MY FEES.        ABOUT ME.        CONTACT ME.

Thanks,

Richard Rash

817-308-8186

www.repairfoundations.com