Texas Homes and Foundation Problems
Home Foundation Issues in the Lone Star State
Over the past few years, the state of Texas, and especially Austin, has become one of the top real estate markets in the country, with many people are buying up homes at an alarming rate. Some are having new homes built, while others are buying existing ones. However, many homes in Central Texas (and other cities throughout the state) are known to experience a high rate of foundation problems.
A Groundworks survey released early this year, listed seven Texas cities (including Austin and San Antonio) where there were often foundation issues with homes. The acquired data was based on a Google Trends search, that identified the leading metropolitan areas where there were inquiries for foundation repairs.
According to the survey, many of the issues involved concrete slabs, basements, and crawl spaces; it should be noted that the most common foundations in Texas are concrete slabs. Common problems involved cracks, sagging floors, uneven floors, slab leaks, alignment issues with doors and windows, cabinet doors that stick, chimneys with leaning problems, water leaks in basements, mold, mildew, and rotting wood.
There isn’t a specific type of home that falls into this category, but there are numerous causes for foundation problems, including weather, soil, and tree roots, to name a few. Primarily any home that is built on soil that isn’t compacted is at greater risk for foundation issues. The type of foundation doesn’t really matter, whether it’s pier and beam or slab. The home is trusting itself to various soils, that, if not properly set and compacted, will more than likely shift based on seasonal changes. If the home has a deeper foundation, then there’s less of a chance of such shifting. For example, a home with a basement, may have a more stable foundation, but even these types of homes aren’t completely safe from potential foundation problems.
While many homes, regardless of their geographic location can have foundation problems, why is Texas more susceptible than others? Here are a few ideas:
Texas is known for its inconsistent seasons and clay soil that can fall victim to seasonal changes. While this isn’t all that unusual throughout the US, Texas tends to have more of a seasonal variety than other parts of the country. Most of Travis County is located in the Edwards Plateau, where a majority of the soil tends to be shallow, stony, or very gravelly, with dark alkaline clays and clay loams that are reinforced by limestone.
Temperatures can go from bitter cold (the winter storm of February 2021 brought temps down to the single digits only to see them rise into the 60s a few days later) to unbearably hot. In fact, summers can often be hot humid, and dry, with temps in the 90s and low 100s, and then the following year a bit cooler with more rain; so it remains inconsistent at best. What happens during these temperature changes is that the soil can expand and contract quite extensively. This can cause problems over time, such as cracks and shifting concrete, making your home foundation unstable.
Roots can often absorb most of the water in the soil, causing the soil to gradually shrink and cause the foundation to settle. Tree roots can grow and spread underneath your house, gradually crack the slab over time, and even cause your foundation to rise. If you have trees on your property, make sure that they don’t have invasive roots, and that your trees, shrubs and any other kind of vegetation, is not too close to your house.
Water problems are often the cause of foundation problems. Unless the leak is addressed right away, it can cause your foundation to shift. Then again you may not even be aware of any leaks you fix the leak, the foundation will continue to shift. If you notice cracks in your concrete slab foundation, chances are there’s a leak somewhere. Check your water meter to make sure that the levels aren’t higher than normal. If they are, then you may have an issue.
It’s important to make sure that there’s sufficient drainage around your home so that it doesn’t affect the foundation. Improper drainage and a buildup of water, especially during the rainy season in the spring, can lead to major headaches for your home. In addition to your foundation, the buildup of water will also affect piers, beams, joists, and anything else that supports the structure of your home. shims supporting the structure.
It’s best to have your foundation inspected by a professional, to ensure that it hasn’t been constructed out of inferior quality concrete and steel. Some construction companies like to cut corners and use lesser quality building materials, which over time can lead to major foundation problems.
If you are experiencing any of the above-mentioned issues, please contact us and schedule an appointment right away.
About Done Right Foundation Repair
Locally Owned, Texas Proud
Done Right Foundation Repair was created over 20 years ago by Chris Felsing with the support of his family. He started with a small team and a big dream, learning the ins and outs of foundation repair as he went. He and his team looked for ways to provide a complete solution to all foundation issues and have worked tirelessly for the past 20 years to master their craft. Our Central Texas locations: Done Right Foundation Repair in Austin, Done Right Foundation Repair in New Braunfels, Done Right Foundation Repair in San Marcos