How do rumors reach mythical status in the world of foundation repair? Well, if you hear enough people say things and tell stories about, “That one time when my neighbor’s, best friend’s cousin had foundation problems . . .” That’s kinda how things get started.
At Anchor Foundation Repair, we have gotten all kinds of questions and wonderings from homeowners over the last 35+ years during foundation inspections at their homes. We have noticed some frequent misconceptions about foundation problems and repairs out there that we spend time explaining in person.
We thought it might be helpful to put these myths together and dispel them once and for all on the interwebs to help others who wonder the same things. Let’s check out these 5 “lesser” myths about foundation problems and foundation repairs and work to reveal the real truth about each one.
For the record, these are only lesser myths because we came up with 15 myths and these 5 ranked lower in our *highly scientific* foundation repair myth list calculations. In other words, there’s no real reason these are on the “more myths” list versus the other list of, “Top 10 Myths vs. Truths About Slab-on-Grade Foundation Repair.”
We just wanted to break up the myths into more than one list so it wouldn’t be too long for ya but these also do tend to be asked about a little less often than the others.
Lesser Myth 1: Will I Have to do Foundation Repair Again or on More of My Home Later?
Some people think that if you have foundation repair done once, then you will have to keep doing it over and over again. While others think that you might have to do more of your home later on if just a part if it is repaired the first time. Both of these thoughts are mostly misconceptions with a tad of truth sprinkled in.
TRUTH: No One Can Predict If You Will Need Foundation Repair Again
I think the misconception here is that foundation repairmen are “foundation fortune tellers” that can predict what will happen with your foundation in the future. Honestly, there’s a chance that adjustments will need to be made to the same sunken area in the future, but there’s also a chance that nothing more will be needed ever again.
So you might not have to have foundation repair over again. But if you do, that’s what warranties are for and why you would want to make sure that your foundation repair contractor has one.
You also increase your chances of NOT having to have foundation repair again in the same area in the future by choosing a method with more durability and longevity. That’s where drilled bell-bottom piers can really make a difference for you.
Also, think about your home as a body, and one day your ankle breaks and then gets repaired. Does that mean your knee, or femur, or other ankle will never break later? Not really. You could have foundation settlement or problems in a different area of the home later on and there is no way to predict or know if that could happen.
Lesser Myth 2: Will My Foundation Problems Go Away If I Wait or Heal Themselves Over Time?
Some people think that if they just wait a while that foundation problems will stop or somehow “heal” over time. This is not true. It will help to know a few terms to understand why this is a myth. Foundation settlement, expansive soils, and seasonal rebound will be explained in the next section.
TRUTH: Foundations Do Not Self-Heal But There is Seasonal Rebound
Foundation problems start out as foundation settlement or what could also be called foundation movement or sinking. A part of your home sinks into the ground. The only way to fix a foundation that has sunk is to repair it by raising it back to its original elevation. This does not happen naturally.
What does happen naturally is that expansive clay soils expand (hence the name) and contract due to rainfall/moisture levels in the area.
The tiny clay molecules can increase in size by 10% in prolonged wet periods and contract more than 10% in an extended drought. So something called “seasonal rebounding” can happen when the soil puffs back up during rainy seasons and might lessen your foundation issues for a short time until it gets dry again.
Seasonal rebounding can *feel like* your foundation problems are going away but they are not. Much like bending a paperclip back and forth over and over again, the structure of your foundation weakens with this seasonal rebounding and can eventually break the foundation, and you can’t rebound from that without a little help from foundation repair.
Lesser Myth 3: Does Foundation Repair Mend Cracks or Involve Pouring a New Foundation?
You picture in your head that foundation repair means that your slab will be put back together again, Humpty-Dumpty style. Maybe there’s gluing or spackling that takes place. That’s not what happens. You might also imagine that a part of your foundation will be removed and replaced with a newly poured section of slab. That also doesn’t happen.
TRUTH: Foundation Repair Means Neither of Those Things
True slab-on-grade foundation repair is the act of adding supports under the home, called stabilizing, and then raising it back up to its original elevation. When that process is done, cracks in walls or brick will close up. But cracks in your foundation do not get spackled back together or mended.
Some foundation repair contractors might offer caulking or waterproofing services to cover over slab cracks. But technically we do not consider that to be what the term *foundation repair* officially means.
We’ve got an article with a lot more detail on this process: “What Is Foundation Repair? (Definition, Type, Process, Prevention).”
Removing and pouring a new portion of slab is impossible without tearing down a part of your house. Everything is built in layers and the foundation is near the bottom so you can’t just replace one bad section of a foundation and connect it to what’s there. Your only option is to lift the existing foundation back where it’s supposed to be with foundation repair.
Lesser Myth 4: Is Foundation Repair Easy to DIY?
Some people think that because foundation repair sounds like a simple process that means it’s easy to do and you can do it yourself. Now, you *might* be able to get away with doing *some* pier and beam foundation repair yourself, so folks with this myth in their minds could be getting their lines crossed on foundation types. But for slab foundations, DIY is a D-O-N-T.
TRUTH: Slab-on-Grade Foundation Repair Is Not Easy
The concept of what is done in slab-on-grade foundation repair is relatively simple. Here it is in one glorious sentence: Ya put something under your house to support it in the right spots, then you jack it up and hold it in place by stuffing some extra stuff under there.
I mean, this is kinda what you do when you prop pillows under yourself while laying down watching TV on the couch!
It’s a simple idea to understand, but not so simple to execute in the real world. For one, it’s really hard work. Do you think you can convince 5 or 6 of your friends to help you dig under your house for a week? And then you’re still not done. Digging is just the first step in the foundation repair process.
Foundation repair is not hard to understand in theory. But in order for it to be durable and long-lasting, you also have to take the time to do it right. It’s not something you can just fake your way through. You need certain equipment and materials and the know-how to use them.
So, if you have a pier and beam home you could do a few basic repairs if you’re handy and don’t mind crawling under your house. But for slab-on-grade foundation repairs, it’s best left to professional contractors with the right training, experience, and equipment.
Lesser Myth 5: Is It Impossible to Find a Good Foundation Repair Contractor?
Sometimes it feels hard to find good contractors of all types. The good ones are too busy and you have to wait forever or the available ones are not as good. These are myths because it is easier than ever to find good foundation repair contractors with the tools we have at our disposal today.
TRUTH: Reliable Foundation Repair Contractors Can Be Found All Over
Living in whatever century this is right now has its advantages. We’ve got the interwebs! We’ve got complete strangers who are willing to share their opinions and experiences on the interwebs too. It’s great information if you pay attention to a few details.
Using search engines like Google and apps like Yelp and Angi (aka Angie’s List) can really help homeowners with first impressions before you even pick up the phone. A company’s website, web presence on other social media or reviews, and reputation on public information sites like the Better Business Bureau all contribute to forming the picture of a company.
I’d say it’s easier than ever in the history of the world to find reliable foundation repair contractors. We’ve got a good article that covers potential problems in your foundation repair contractor search and how to avoid them. You also should never be afraid to ask for second opinions.
What Makes Anchor Foundation Repair Reliable?
Now that you know some more myths and corresponding truths in the foundation repair world, do you feel a little more informed? We sure hope so. Maybe now you are wondering what makes Anchor Foundation Repair reliable? Aw shucks, we thought you’d never ask . . .
Anchor Foundation Repair has been serving the Bryan, College Station, and other Brazos Valley communities like Brenham and Navasota since 1985. We are a locally owned company that works hard to inform all homeowners of foundation repair truths and don’t like to sugarcoat things either.
We take pride in 100% transparency and honesty about your foundation problems and will be the first to tell you if we think you should wait to get started on repairs. Not every foundation repair contractor out there will tell you to wait, we are completely sure of that.
In fact, we’ve got a whole article about some reasons you might want to wait to get started on foundation repairs for your home. Check it out if ya feel like it.