time for foundation repairs

When Is the Best Time of Year for Foundation Repairs? Does It Matter?

We’ve just gotten through the *most wonderful time of the year* and it’s back to normal non-festive mode. You’re getting back to all the pesky tasks and worries you put off during the holiday season – like your dreaded foundation concerns

You know you need foundation repair but you’re wondering if there’s a better time of year to get it done. Does the weather impact effectiveness? Is there a time that is best to have this kind of work done on your home??

Anchor Foundation Repair Bryan College Station

After 35+ years in business at Anchor Foundation Repair, we know homeowners worry when they have foundation problems. Not only are you concerned about your home’s safety and stability, but you’re also worried about the right timing to optimize your repairs. You want to take the best care of your largest investment and we can help clear up this question for you.

This article discusses when it matters what time of year you get your foundation repairs and why. *Spoiler Alert* – It has to do with what foundation repair method you choose. We will focus on the two methods most readily available in our Brazos Valley area: drilled piers and concrete pressed pilings. Let’s check it out . . . 

Does It Matter When I Get Foundation Repairs?

Can you get foundation repairs anytime or does it matter when you have it done? Well, the answer is: yes, no, and it depends. 

  • You can get your foundation repairs any time of the year when you are using drilled bell-bottom piers for your foundation repair. So no, it doesn’t matter with drilled piers.
  • You can certainly get a foundation repair contractor who uses concrete pressed pilings to install them at any time.
  • BUT, there are some downsides and risks to installing concrete pressed pilings at certain times. It does matter when pressed piles are installed if you want optimum performance.
does it matter what time of year you get foundation repairs?

Please note: We install drilled piers and do not install pressed pilings, so our viewpoint can admittedly be somewhat biased. When you understand the concepts and principles behind these methods, the downsides and risks sort of reveal themselves through logic.

We try to present this info as impartially as possible, but sometimes it’s hard . . . 

How Does the Foundation Repair Method Affect Installation?

Foundation repair contractors can pretty much work all year round here in Central Texas. The different foundation repair methods work on different principles and have different installation processes.

Expansive clay soil is quite reactive to water, expanding and contracting as much as 10% depending on the weather. The soil is hard, brittle, and non-pliable when it hasn’t rained or it can be very squishy and soft when there has been rain. 

wet and dry seasons what is best for foundation repair

The moisture levels can impact the installation process for some methods more than others. As the weather changes throughout the year after installation, the moisture levels can continue to influence the consistency of support your home has.

Let’s take a look at each method more closely.

General Pressed Piling Concept and Installation

concrete pressed piling foundation repairs

Pressed pilings are installed by driving concrete cylinders into the ground to support your home. The foundation repair company will continue pressing in more cylinders until no more will go in. There is no drilled-out hole for the cylinder sections to go in, they are pushed or rammed into the soil using hydraulic pressure. 

The ground moisture levels at the time of installation vary at throughout the year. When our clay soil is very dry, fewer cylinder sections can be pressed into the earth. When the soil is wetter, more cylinders can be pressed into the soil under your home.

  • The moisture levels make a difference during the pressed piling installation process as well as afterward from season to season.
  • Your home can have deeper or shallower pilings depending on the installation timing. Pilings are more easily subject to shifts in rainfall after installation as well. You can end up with more or less lifting force to hold your home in place as the moisture levels change. 
  • In general, the individual cylinders are also at risk of uncontrolled movement or can become more easily misaligned since they are not a one-piece formation.

Basic Drilled Pier Concept and Installation

Drilled bell-bottom piers are created onsite by drilling out a shaft that reaches a depth of 10 to 12 feet below ground level. The depth is consistent whether the weather is wet or dry – the path is bored out for the pier and is not influenced by soil moisture content. 

drilled pier concept of foundation repair

The bottom of the shaft is *belled out* to give it a wider base than the rest of the pier. The bell-shaped base anchors the pier both vertically and horizontally, locking it in place. 

  • This anchoring concept works whether the soil is saturated or dry and creates a stable unmoving surface to lift the home from.
  • Despite moisture changes throughout the year, the bell-bottom base can resist soil uplift during wetter weather as well as sinking during dry times.
  • The monolithic pier is less susceptible to soil movement and cannot become misaligned due to the one-piece construction (as opposed to cylinder segments used in pressed pilings).

What Happens If I Get Foundation Repairs at the Wrong Time?

We have seen firsthand the consequences of installing pressed piles during the wrong time of year. We have seen the regret and frustration of homeowners confused about why their foundation repair has not stood the test of time.

pile of failed pilings

We have been called out to many a home to do foundation repairs again using our drilled pier method when pressed pilings were chosen initially and failed. Here’s a pile of pressed piles (picture nearby) that we had to take out from under a home so that we could do our repairs the second time around.

Pressed pilings can work short-term and may be your best choice in some cases, but as time goes by the longevity of the repair method comes into question. So what can happen if you get pressed piling foundation repairs at an inopportune time?

  • Your home could continue to experience more signs of settlement sooner.
  • The support under your home could become ineffective.
  • Your home could see an upheaval after heavy rains if it was dry at install time.
  • You might have to get foundation repairs . . . AGAIN.

If you choose drilled piers the first time, there is no wrong time of year to get them installed. So your chances of more issues are lessened all around when you opt for drilled pier foundation repairs.

When Is the Best Time of Year to Get Your Foundation Repaired?

Whatever method you choose for your foundation repairs is up to you and your situation. If you’re choosing drilled piers you can get them installed whenever is convenient for you. If you’re going with pressed pilings, then spring or fall (in Texas) are better times for installation because the soil is typically at more optimal moisture levels.

If you’re in another area of the country with different weather patterns, aim for whatever season has the most moderate moisture conditions i.e. not too dry, not too wet.

time for foundation repairs

We understand the stress and anxiety that comes with overwhelming repair projects. At Anchor Foundation Repair, we offer fair and impartial assessments, empowering education, and a fully transparent repair process. After 35+ years in business, we want you to know as much about foundation repair as we do and that includes knowing the optimal time for a successful repair.

Want to know more about the differences between piers and piles, including what situations make more sense for which method? Check out this article next: Foundation Repair Methods Comparison: Drilled Piers vs Pressed Pilings.