Is Foundation Repair Invasive?

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One thing that puts all of us off to the thought of a construction project besides just the costs, is the hassle and headache of knowing that we are going to have our house in disarray during the construction process.  Whether it be from a kitchen remodel to having extensive repairs completed on your home, none of us like to have our house torn apart, especially if we are still planning on living in the home during the construction.

Well, we are here to let you know exactly what you can expect in regards to turmoil when it comes to foundation repair.  

First thing we want to do is let you know that this is not like changing out a faucet, we are digging holes in the dirt outside your home and I don’t think I have ever dug a hole without creating some sort of mess.  The good thing is that almost all of our work to repair a home’s foundation is performed outside and will have minimal disturbance to your daily home routines.

Just like other construction projects, unforeseen things have a way of rearing their ugly head.  Here is a list of the top unforeseen things that we run into while doing a foundation repair project:

  1. Sprinkler lines – This is almost an inevitable item that we run into once we start excavating.  Sprinkler lines are almost always ran in a cluster (more than one pipe) in a trench and they are typically ran right next to the home where we need to excavate to be able to install our foundation piers.  Don’t worry though, sprinkler lines are easy to cut and rerun if we are not able to work around them.  Most of the time we can.
  2. Gas Lines – This one is a little more rare than sprinkler lines and we typically only run into them when the work is being performed around or in the path of the gas meter.  Now we do call DIgAlert to mark out all of the utilities before we start, but typically they only mark the utilities where they enter onto the property from the street.  The rest is up to us to track the path of the line running to the meter.  
  3. Water Mains – These are also rare to run into, but again if the work is performed prior to the main entering the home than there is a chance we can find it.  We can typically work around these, but in the event that we can’t we have to turn off the water to the house and re-route the line to provide access to perform our work to the highest standard.  

All of these items don’t happen on every project, but they can lead to some inconveniences when they are encountered.  Usually the repairs or modifications can be made within an hour, but sometimes they take longer and require an expert plumber to come in and correct.  

The great thing is that all of the above mentioned unforeseen items occur on the exterior of the home.  That means it will have minimal to no effect on the interior of your home, except for a few hours for modifications that we can work around to your schedule.  

While excavating the holes for the foundation brackets you will have piles of dirt next to those holes.  We put down tarps to lay the dirt on so it allows for easier and a cleaner put back when we are completed.  Depending on the duration of your project, you may have some grass spots that will need some TLC for the next few weeks after we have completed.  We can spread grass seed out on these locations, but most of the time the grass just needs the sunlight and some water to make a full and healthy recovery.

Once all the dirt has been placed back into the holes and compacted we sweep and hose down the work area if needed.  We want to leave the work area looking as good as we can prior to our arrival.  Now we aren’t professional landscapers and will require a little help from you or your landscape company to help get your grass and surrounding vegetation back into a healthy state.  Again, most of the time it is a little bit of sunshine and water is all that is needed.

So to say foundation repair is invasive would be a farce, it is a dirty job, but with the right people it can be minimized and everything can be cleaned.  The good thing is that we won’t need you to have a lifestyle change like a kitchen or bath remodel can have.

Check out our post: Can I Remodel Before I Fix My Foundation?

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Brian Dalinghaus

Brian is one of the Co-Founders of Dalinghaus Construction. He has been in the foundation repair industry since 2005. During his career, he has been associated with helping over 4,000 homes and structures throughout California and Arizona.

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