Foundation repairs are only as good as your approach to the root cause. Repairing a foundation without addressing the reason behind the damages could set your property up for long-term problems and another repair sooner than you’d like. Of course, it’s true that—at times—getting to the root problem can be costly and time-consuming. But this is where a forensic engineer comes in handy.
Here at Perma-Pier, we value education and knowledge, and we’re always striving to learn more and provide helpful information for our valued clients. We spoke with engineer Robert Nicholas about the benefits of forensic engineering in relation to foundation repair and why it’s vital in the process. Here’s what we learned.
Forensic Engineering in Foundation Repair
A forensic engineer has the training that will allow them to correctly determine the specifics behind the cause of the issues for both slab and pier and beam foundation types. They will often collaborate with a foundation repair company to provide solutions that will ensure the safety of your home and foundation are secured and do so while factoring in cost.
If you’re trying to get to the root cause of foundation issues, you might often be left with more confusion and questions, ending up with a bill much larger than anticipated. A forensic engineer comes in to bridge that gap. Objectively, they will analyze your foundation and its structure, giving you the best solution to adequately address the root problem.
Perks of an Engineer’s Analysis
Where a basic analysis will identify whether or not you have damage that constitutes repairs, a forensic engineer will be able to identify why you have those problems, what the root cause is, and determine whether fixing the root cause is absolutely necessary.
They will often complete an elevation survey, foundation inspection, and look for any correlations to the damage. Sometimes fixing the cause isn’t always necessary, however. So, the engineer will present you with a variety of solutions in order to help you make an educated decision.
Foundation Design Engineering and Finite Element Analysis
For major home renovations, but especially for new builds, one way that engineers like Robert Nicholas properly evaluate the design of a foundation in a Texas home is through finite element analysis. This analysis is done through a numeric method that engineers use to predict the behaviors of a structure under certain conditions: How will the foundation perform under factor X? What about factor Y?
Common Foundation Problems
While the cause of damage to your foundation can be one single issue or a combination of things, the most common one often comes from poor drainage and landscaping. Because Texas soils are highly sensitive to swelling and shrinking from rain or lack thereof, drainage and landscaping play a major role in the integrity of your foundation. One of the best things you can do if you suspect foundation issues is to contact an expert to complete a thorough evaluation of your property.
At the end of the day, while some foundation issues can be easy to spot, others are a bit more tricky. Consulting with experts in the industry is essential to ensure nothing is missed when it comes to providing you with the right repair method for your foundation.
The Perma-Pier Solution
When it comes to foundation, there’s never a one-size-fits-all solution. With such a diversity of soils and climates throughout Texas, the complexities of foundational damage can be vast. But our professional evaluation team has extensive training in the science behind Texas land and thanks to our collaboration with industry experts, we’re able to offer dynamic solutions for foundation repair.
There is nothing more important to us than the health and integrity of your foundation. If you’re in need of foundation repair, schedule a free evaluation today.