When you’re building your home, it’s critical to know the geological stability of the area around you. Whether it’s soil or rock structure, both could drastically affect the integrity of your home in the long term (see California homes, for example).
However, you are probably more familiar with major fault lines running through major geological formations. Texas has several major fault lines running through it. There are more than 300 fault lines running through the Houston area alone.
The Balcones Fault Zone
A majority of these faults belong to the Balcones Fault Zone. The Balcones Fault Zone is a massive fault line that extends from the southwest portion of the state all the way to Dallas. If you live in Austin, you may be familiar with Mount Bonnell, which is directly attributed to Balcones Fault Zone activity.
In January 2016, a map was released revealing just how extensive the fault lines were under Dallas. Prior to the advanced technology geologists have, construction crews had to make educated guesses. Now, there are maps detailing the faults attributed to the Balcones Fault Zone. This includes faults that run underneath Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Dallas Love field, and the city’s medical district.
Small earthquakes have threatened the “Big D” fault, as residents of Dallas have taken to calling their portion of the Balcones Fault Zone. While there’s no guarantee of serious agitations of the Zone, there is still concern. Foundation companies in Texas must be extra vigilant so as to avoid even small faults related to the Balcones.
Long Point–Eureka Heights Fault System
The 300 fault lines belonging to Houston are attributed to the Long Point-Eureka Heights Fault system. This system is located from southwest to northeast underneath the downtown Houston area.
The Long-Point-Eureka Heights area is a bit less active than it’s much larger counterpart to the west. Slow movement has been observed by geologists, but nothing compared to the 3.0 earthquakes that have sometimes graced north Texas.
That being said, the Woodlands, a high-end neighborhood in Houston, was subject to shifting faults. Some homeowners claimed that there were as much as 6-7 inches of elevation difference, creating real damage in their home.
How do Texas Fault Lines Affect My Foundation?
While you can plan for fault line issues, foundation repair companies don’t want to build on top of fault lines. When a fault ruptures, it breaks the foundation, and the work to fix the home would be impossible.
Prior to building a home, investigate a fault line map in depth. If your foundation company wants to build on a line, don’t go with them. If the fault ruptures even slightly, your home investment is now void. No one in Texas wants to live in a home on a fault line. Concerned about possible fault line damage to your home? Contact the folks at Done Right Foundation Repair. We can survey your property and see if it’s worth it to reinvest back into your home.