Staring Foundation Repair| Follow along

9 Replies

1,096 Built Sqft. property in Houston, Texas, ground moves here, house on pier and beams.
One side of house has moved enough to tell. I've had 2 people come look at the property.

Offer 1: $4,000 to level the property, lifetime warranty, with a small variance. (this guy explained his system, what they would put in place, provided a general blueprint)

Offer 2: $3,000 to level property, 1 year warranty. (this guy told me that it has been leveled before so it already has the beams it needs in place.  Explained how to remove hardwood flooring to release the pressure pushing them up. very informative guy)

Feel free to recommend any foundation people you know in Houston.

I've included a picture of the hardwood flooring and would appreciate feedback please.

Those aren't bad prices for leveling. That for looks like someone didn't allow for expansion at the edges and caused it to buckle like that. That  or it got wet and did that. Is this floor under one of those roof leaks by any chance?

@Mike Reynolds , yes it is under the house with the leaky roof. I was questioning if it got wet as well. I wonder if the tenants water cooler they have did it.  It is the only place in the whole house with that issue.

I agree with @Mike Reynolds that it may be expansion from water and not foundation at all. call a contractor to look at the floor without mentioning foundation and see what they think.

@Alfred Edmonds , what type of contractor could make that determination? And if it is only that 1 area and not the entire room, would it be reasonable to say that the water came from above the floor and not below?  I have a feeling the tenants will blame the 'flooding' we had, though an add-on room in the back of the house that is about 4 inches lower didn't get any water. Thanks

a general contractor. one with a good reputation. I guess what I'm saying is don't lead with the chin. in other words, let them determine what the problem is which will require someone who is seasoned and thorough. Some guys will do what you think you need if it will cost more than just a simple floor repair. You may well need foundation work but that floor buckled either due to water or bad installation or a combination of both. the remedy for the floor would likely be the same either way. If you trust the seconds guy who gave solutions to the floor then ask him more questions. I'm just always wary of homeowner diagnostics leading to unnecessary work, and I'm a contractor myself!

@Luke H. Since you have cupping instead of crowning the swelling is coming from excess water on the bottom of it. Crowning would be excess water on the top. That doesn't mean the water didn't come from the top and seep down to the bottom though and sit there. The problem lies in if the tenant dried the top after it happened but didnt inform you of the spill. The manual drying out plus the AC acting as a dehumidifier dried the top faster than the bottom. That is what causes cupping. Your wood floor is literally wider on the bottom than it is on top. Not much but enough to cause stress. If your house is out of level that's one thing but it isn't what cause the problem in your floor. 

Get a dehumidifier in there asap and see what develops. I have a feeling you will have to remove that floor and let it dry. Maybe even replace the subfloor if it is wet. If the flooring is 3/4" thick you may be able to plane it down and reuse it. 

Originally posted by @Alfred Edmonds :
a general contractor. one with a good reputation. I guess what I'm saying is don't lead with the chin. in other words, let them determine what the problem is which will require someone who is seasoned and thorough. Some guys will do what you think you need if it will cost more than just a simple floor repair. You may well need foundation work but that floor buckled either due to water or bad installation or a combination of both. the remedy for the floor would likely be the same either way. If you trust the seconds guy who gave solutions to the floor then ask him more questions. I'm just always wary of homeowner diagnostics leading to unnecessary work, and I'm a contractor myself!

I once had a client that called me about a porch floor that was buckled. He was a Judge in Houston and lived here on the weekend. He said every Friday night when he came home his porch was buckled. By Sunday it had gone down flat. I monitored this for three weeks straight. The last Friday I came by earlier in the day and saw his mother washing down the porch. I asked her what she was doing and she said she wanted the porch to look nice for her son. I told my client to tell his mom to quit that and it stopped. 

I am a hardwood flooring Master Craftsman and that is excessive water damage.  You'll have to remove the flooring from at least that section and replace it.  Look for a NWFA Certified Professional in your area for further assistance.  The flooring has moved too much and pulled loose of its fastening system and it will not settle back down.

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

Lock We hate spam just as much as you

Join the Largest Real Estate Investing Community

Basic membership is free, forever.