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EP #5: What Types Of Homes Can We Repair?

Charlie (00:00):

Welcome to the Alpha Foundations podcast, protecting you since 2002. Here’s your host, Brent Pearson.

Brent (00:08):

Hey guys. Welcome to the Alpha Foundations podcast. We’re in the home studio, the Alpha Foundation studio in Monticello, Florida. We have a special guest with us today, Chris Deason. How are you, Chris?

Chris (00:18):

Great, thank you.

Brent (00:18):

Thanks for coming on the show. So today we’re going to talk about what types of homes we can repair before we get into that. Can you just kind of give us a little rundown of what you do here at Alpha Foundations?

Chris (00:27):

Yeah, I do the commercial design technician, just mainly work on commercial buildings and help other, residential technicians with their designs.

Brent (00:37):

Okay. So whatever kind of problems people have, you can handle it on both sides, commercial or residential. You’re not pigeonholed into one particular product.

Chris (00:43):

Yes, sir.

Brent (00:43):

Okay. Good deal. So let’s kick off. What types of homes can we repair? I know there’s a lot of people out there who want a little bit more in depth knowledge of what we can repair, what we can’t. We see some brand new homes, homes, a hundred years old or more, they want to know potential customers want to know, can we help? Or is their home too far gone, too old? Can you kind of walk us into that because it’s some people might not live in a typical slab home? So what are some things out there you’re seeing and how can we help the customers?

Chris (01:08):

Well, first there’s very few homes that we can’t fix. We have solutions for a multitude of different foundation types, and we can pretty much go through any, and all home design that exists.

Brent (01:22):

Okay. Well you talked about different kinds of homes. What are those looking like?

Chris (01:25):

We have slab homes, crawlspace homes and also basement homes.

Brent (01:30):

Okay. So most people ask me when I ran appointments is what do you prefer? Crawlspace or a slab? I know they both have your problems, right?

Chris (01:37):

Yes, sir.

Brent (01:38):

Okay. So basements, you talked about that. How often are you seeing basements?

Chris (01:41):

Very rarely in Florida and Georgia. We just don’t see a lot of basements. Usually what people call a basement is just a tall crawl space.

Brent (01:47):

Okay. I got you. That’s great to know. So homeowners that have these issues, they don’t really know where to start. I’m sure they Google stuff. Look on YouTube, trying to fix it themselves. Where do they need to start?

Chris (01:59):

Really call somebody and have us come out. We’ll come and look at it and tell you what you have. But most people have zero idea what they have, whether they’re from a crawlspace or a slab, we can easily come out and diagnose that for you very fast.

Brent (02:10):

Gotcha. Okay. So what I’m hearing is that any home may experience foundation problems? It doesn’t matter the age. What if it’s 150 years old?

Chris (02:19):

We see a hundred, 150 year old homes all the time. As well as we see brand new homes, it really the foundation issues don’t discriminate.

Brent (02:28):

Okay. So if I have a slab home, I could have problems.

Chris (02:31):


Brent (02:31):

Okay. And so I need to call you guys.

Chris (02:33):

Yes, we’ll come out and normally, what causes these, these issues is more soil. Okay. Very rarely do we run into bad construction. It’s just poor soil that caused a lot of these issues.

Brent (02:43):

Okay. So if I have a brand new home, let’s say it’s three years old, to me, I’m considering that a brand new home.

Chris (02:48):

Yes, sir.

Brent (02:49):

Is there, is it likely that I could have some cracks in my drywall exterior break or does it need to be 15 years old or more before things started to happen?

Chris (02:56):

There is no time limit on how quickly they can happen. I’d say a lot of times these homes were built on fill soil that they’ve brought in. They can be poorly compacted. So there is no, there is no time limit on how fast or how long it’ll take for them to, for it to expose.

Brent (03:10):

Okay. So walk me through this three years old house, I’m walking out of the kitchen, into the family room. I noticed there’s a crack above the dining room wall or something like that. I would imagine my first thought is, holy hell, I got to blame my builder because it’s brand new to me.

Chris (03:24):


Brent (03:24):

Three years old, I shouldn’t be having those problems. But is it the builder’s fault? Typically?

Chris (03:27):

Very unusual for it to be the builder’s fault. I don’t think that I’ve run across any of those, any of that situation? Usually it’s just poor soil, poor soil conditions. A lot of moisture. We get a lot of rain, a lot of drought, it’ll condense and expand the soil.

Brent (03:43):

Okay. Okay. So does it matter if, is there anywhere safe in Florida or safe in South Georgia or is it just all across the board? It’s probably gonna be a soil issue.

Chris (03:51):

It’s all across the board. I’ve seen a hundred year old homes that were actually had wooden foundations that we’ve had to come in and look at.

Brent (03:57):

Well, do you have any stories that could help the customers know, Hey, if you have an old home, a hundred years old, that you’re not alone, number one, and we can help with those. Is there anything that kind of sticks out to you? I know you’ve seen thousands of homes.

Chris (04:08):

Yeah. Oddly enough, the one that sticks out the most is one that was on an old Cypress wood foundation that we had to come in. We were able to use smart jacks to lift and level the floor. The main cause for the call to us was she was in a wheelchair and she could feel everything. I mean, a matter of fact, it was out so bad. You could drop a ball and it would roll to one side of the house. We were able to basically stabilize the perimeter of the home with SmartJacks. And throughout the home, all across floor joists to even everything out, I think it actually turned out better than the home originally was built you know, a hundred years ago.

Brent (04:39):

Okay. So you’re taking the weight of the home off the failing soil and putting it on a stable foundation. So what was her alternative? You know, if she wasn’t gonna do SmartJacks, if she didn’t call you, what was her alternative there?

Chris (04:51):

Tear the home down. And there were, there was no alternative other than tear the home now.

Brent (04:55):

Cause you said it was out and I don’t walk me through what it looks like. What does that mean to me?

Chris (04:59):

This one was almost four inches out of, out of level. So it was, it was a pretty big slope in the floor and it had dips in the floor. So it was like going up and down when you went across the floor, right? You’re going downhill uphill, probably three different times with that.

Brent (05:13):

So that probably gave her a lot of anxiety, especially your family members who couldn’t be there to check on her. And no one wants to tear that house down of a hundred plus years old. I’m sure there was some family issues. There were sentimental and just wanted to hand it down to the next person.

Chris (05:26):

Well the biggest sentimental issue was the, the grandfather clock she had been given, it been passed down through the family, was tilted so much it would not even work.

Brent (05:34):


Chris (05:34):

Yes, sir.

New Speaker (05:35):

Okay. So she called you, how long did it take for you to go in and help her out?

Chris (05:39):

I was typically, well, I was there within three days of the call and then we were doing the repair within two weeks. So it was a two day job and we were in and out and everything was leveled, she was completely satisfied.

Brent (05:51):

Gotcha. I’m sure she was ecstatic.

Chris (05:53):

Absolutely. I still keep in contact with her.

Brent (05:55):

That’s awesome. Good to hear. So it doesn’t matter if it’s commercial, it doesn’t matter if it’s residential, it’s always going to be a soil issue, we don’t beat the builders up. Cause there’s some things that he can’t control poor compaction wash out and dry out. That’s what got us into this mess. And it really doesn’t matter if I’m hearing you, correct, doesn’t matter how old the structure is.

Chris (06:10):


Brent (06:10):

It could have some settlement issues.

Chris (06:11):

Correct. And one of the, one of the biggest questions I get a lot is do we work on mobile homes? Okay. And, same solution. We can use SmartJacks to stabilize and adjust mobile homes as well.

Brent (06:21):

Okay. I would imagine most people think if there’s a mobile home and they need to have a, a mobile home mover or something like that, come in and do their work, but we can actually do the work.

Chris (06:29):

Correct. A lot of homeowners have the mindset that if they do not have a slab home, that we can’t do the repair on it, which we work on a multitude of different foundations. We’re working a lot of mobile homes every year.

Brent (06:39):

And I know you said, and that’s great to know. I know you said we don’t see very many basements. How many a year would you probably see?

Chris (06:44):

Or maybe two, maybe two a year.

Brent (06:46):

So not much, but if you do have one, does that mean you need to call someone else or that we can help.

Chris (06:50):

We can help as well.

Brent (06:50):

Okay. Good deal. So you don’t see a lot of them, but you know exactly what to do. You’re an expert in every area you can take care of them.

Chris (06:55):


Brent (06:56):

Good deal. Okay. So this is recap. Anything you have any kind of problem. You have foundation repair, give us a call. We can take care of you. So, mobile homes, two-story antebellum homes, we got you, there slab on grade three years old, 200 years old. We got you. Got you covered in all of those areas. So Chris, I really appreciate you coming out next time.

Chris (07:15):

Appreciate you. Thanks.

Brent (07:17):


Charlie (07:18):

For listening to the Alpha Foundations podcast. To learn more about Alpha Foundations, go to or call 8 6 6 3 7 8 7 2 1 1.

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