Warranty-Backed Solutions & Superior Customer Support Available Through the Austin, TX Area
Established in 1933, Olshan Foundation Repair provides cost-effective foundation and drainage solutions to residential and commercial property owners in and around Austin, TX. Our repairs are backed by an Available Lifetime Warranty, friendly customer service and convenient financing options.
Free, no-obligation foundation inspections are performed by Certified Structural Technicians who carefully investigate the problems affecting your structure to develop a comprehensive repair plan that’s built to last. Each step of the repair process is explained in layman’s terms to ensure you understand exactly what you are getting and why.
We are the exclusive provider of the Cable Lock ST Plus repair system, U.S. Patent #8,500,368. Engineered to combine the durability of concrete with the strength of steel, this Hybrid Piling System offers significant improvements in quality of installation, cost efficiency, and long-term reliability. While most foundation repair companies still install concrete pilings or steel pilings, our innovative team has determined a combination of both technologies can provide a stronger, better, and more reliable repair. Schedule an inspection now.
What Causes Foundation Problems in Austin, TX?
The integrity of every structure depends on a sound foundation. Small cracks and shifts in your foundation can turn into big problems in a hurry, especially here in Texas where our dry climate and expansive clay soils leave homes susceptible to foundation movement. Expansive clay soils respond to moisture changes at an extreme rate compared to non-expansive soils. High or low moisture levels result in the expansion and contraction of molecules, causing upheaval or settlement to the soil directly underneath the home’s foundation.
According to a study performed by the University of Texas at Arlington, the damages to infrastructure resulting from structural movement caused by expansive clay soils is close to 9 billion dollars per year! The threat of structural problems is very serious and very real in Central Texas. If you examine the expansive clay soil map and drought conditions provided by the US Drought Monitor, you’ll see that Austin is located right in the middle of a high-risk zone for structural damage.
The geological and weather-related evidence is validated by the high level of demand for foundation-related services in Travis County. According to Google Trends, a database that tracks Google search activity in various regions, Austin is among the nation’s top 5 most active regions for “foundation repair” search volume.
Unfortunately for property owners, expansive clay soils aren’t the only factor working against your real estate investment. Here is a more comprehensive list of issues that includes the top 5 most common causes of foundation problems in Travis County. This list was determined using data collected from Olshan customers in the region over the past decade.
- Seasonal Weather Changes: Periods of wet and/or dry climate can have a volatile effect on the soil underneath your foundation. As the soil expands and contracts, over time, the structural integrity supporting your home can weaken, causing the foundation to settle and crack.
- Poor Drainage: Proper drainage management systems are an important component of a healthy home. Too much or too little water near the home can lead to stress. Standing water around your home, large amounts of water dumped by downspouts or a negative slope near the landscape around your home can all cause drainage problems to emerge.
- Expansive Clay Soils: There’s little that can be done to avoid the problems caused by expansive soils in Texas. It’s important to address any structural problems early, before the damage gets worse.
- Trees and Tree Roots: Believe it or not, a large tree can consume as much as 150 gallons of water per day. When roots are under or near your foundation, the drying process may cause a portion of the soil to shrink. The differential in moisture content below the home may cause one part of the foundation to move more than others. Root barriers, tree removal and foundation watering can often help.
- Under-Slab Plumbing Leaks: Leaking water underneath the slab can create excessive moisture levels deep under the structure, causing the affected area to heave upward and disturb the stability of your slab. Under-slab leaks often go unnoticed. Hydrostatic testing is recommended to check for plumbing issues hidden deep below the property.
Other problems we commonly encounter include:
- Lateral Movement: Soil movement caused by erosion, sliding or sloughing of soils. Mudslides can be caused by lateral movement.
- Soil Compaction: Support materials found underneath the property can fail due to compaction.
- Frost Heave: The water that accompanies the soil underneath the property can freeze, leading to expansion and upheaval.
- Building Defects: Faulty design or construction during the building process can lead to failure.
- Wood Rot: The wood used in crawl space homes can rot or warp, affecting the stability of the foundation.
Damage caused by structural problems should not be ignored, it’s important to fix the damage early, before it spreads. If you are seeing signs of trouble schedule an assessment with a Certified Structural Technician or reputable Structural Engineer.
How to Find Signs of Foundation Damage in Austin, TXRegularly inspecting your home and foundation for signs of damage can play an important role in preserving the long-term performance of the home. Here’s a checklist of the most common signs of foundation problems.
- Uneven, sagging or warped floors
- Bowed walls
- Cracks in walls and ceilings
- Separation of baseboards from walls, especially at corners
- Crooked doors and/or doors that won’t open/close properly
- Cabinet doors that hang askew
- Windows that stick (are hard to open and close)
- Cracked chimney — improper exterior drainage may be the cause of chimney cracks
- Cracks in exterior walls
- Building corners that appear separated
- Portions of the house that seem to be sagging into the ground
- Pooling water or swampy spots in the lawn, especially near the foundation
If you live in Texas, make a habit to check for these items every year. If you suspect you may have a problem, schedule an assessment. At Olshan, our staff not only fixes the damage, we also carefully investigate your property to discover what the underlying problem truly is. We don’t just mask the symptoms, we correct root of the problem to ensure a long-lasting solution.
What is the Cost of Foundation Repair in Austin?
There is a lot of information on repair costs available online, but you’ll find that a lot of it includes data on basement homes and waterproofing. Although the extra space might be nice, basement foundations are just not that common in Texas. That can be a good thing though, as basement homes are vulnerable to a unique set of problems all of their own. What we do have are crawl spaces, and they present their own set of problems.
Here is a very basic outline for estimating cost:
- To establish a rough estimate you will first want to determine if you have a pier and beam, slab-on-grade, or base and block foundation.
- Next, a contractor will determine the extent of the problem. A large problem like upheaval will be more costly.
- The type of solution used will also impact the price. First, the contractor will need to determine how accessible the area that needs repair is. Tunneling underneath will often be more costly than other alternatives, like injecting the area between the slab and soil with polyurethane grout. If piers are used, the build materials and the number of piers used will affect the cost.
- Special considerations will also be made since each home is different.
- A repair plan is configured that may include other, related components, such as root barriers, drainage management or tree removal.
On average, basic foundation repair services range from about $3,500 to $8,000, depending on the extent of the problem and the size of the property. Some homeowners receive a pleasant surprise after an assessment reveals that an extensive repair job is not necessary.
Some homes may simply need preventive maintenance, which could cost between $500 and $3,000. Any company inspecting your foundation should offer a free estimate as well as a warranty for any work performed.
Selecting the Right Foundation Contractor
To help ensure you find a qualified contractor, consider the following.
Search for contractors with at least 10 years of industry experience in Austin. Some companies determine “years in business” by adding up the number of years each of their employees has worked. Check with the Better Business Bureau or Yellow Pages to validate the company’s advertised years in business.
Make sure the contractor you select is fully insured and licensed. Check to see if the company is financially stable to ensure they will be able to stand by their warranty.
Since foundation repair is a complex procedure that affects your entire home, make sure the contractor you choose has the technical aptitude to adapt repairs to the unique build of your structure. A one-size-fits-all approach wont always cut it. You also want to determine if the contractor has access to all of the latest equipment used to repair foundations. Access to a comprehensive selection of tools, equipment and know-how means they will be able to find the best possible solution to your problem.
Schedule a Free, No-Obligation Structural Assessment Now
Call us today at 512-342-2141 or fill out the quick contact form to schedule a free estimate.
Our service area covers Austin, Round Rock, Cedar Park, Brushy Creek, Jollyville, Anderson Mill, West Lake Hills, Rollingwood, Barton Springs, Oak Hill, Montopolis, Del Valle, Shady Hollow, Buda, Manor, Pflugerville, Leander, Liberty Hill, Georgetown, Elgin, Dripping Springs, Lago Vista, Marble Falls, Kingsland, Burnet, Manchaca, Lockhart, Luling and surrounding areas. Call 512-342-2141 for more information about services available in your area.