Top Five Residential Foundation Issues in Houston

Houston residents who own houses often have problems with the foundations of their homes. This is often caused by the soil and clay in the area. These issues can cause problems for the house’s foundation. This article will explain some of the most common foundation problems that Houston homeowners experience.

1. Heaving from Soil Oversaturation

Heaving happens when it rains a lot and the ground under your house gets too wet. There is a good amount of clay soil in the Houston area, and when it rains, it pours. Clay soil doesn’t let water drain away like sandy or rocky soil does. So, when the clay gets wet it expands and pushes against the bottom of your house.  This can make the edges and joints of your foundation crack, especially in diagonal lines. Sometimes, this can also cause corners of your foundation to break off or become truncated.

2. Sinking Due to a Lack of Moisture in the Soil

A dry season can be just as bad for your foundation as a wet one. Houston has no lack of dry and hot days. When the clay soil dries out, it shrinks and creates empty spaces under your house. This can cause cracks, especially if the soil dries out unevenly under your house. Also, after heavy rains, loose soil can wash away and create additional empty spaces under your foundation. This can cause issues each time it happens and over time it will become a major issue. You might notice cracks on your sheetrock in the home and you may notice cracks in your brick or stucco on the outside of your home.

3. Cracking on the Inside and Outside of the Home

When you first notice cracks in your foundation, it’s important to take action as they can quickly become bigger problems. Initially, small spider-web cracks in a corner of your house may seem insignificant, but as water and debris seep into these spaces, they can cause further expansion. Over time, you may notice that the joints in your foundation have become wider and moisture is penetrating through your walls and flooring. Additionally, the expansion of these joints can put pressure on exterior walls, leading to issues with corner bricks, windows, and other areas.

4. Natural Settlement

It’s normal for a house to settle over time, even if it’s built well. The weight of the house needs to be spread out evenly across the foundation at first, but as the soil expands, shrinks and erodes at different rates, some areas may not be able to handle the weight as well. Engineers try to plan for settling but they can’t always predict what will happen. Settling usually takes many years to cause problems, but you may notice that your doors and windows start to stick before you realize the foundation is the problem. Eventually, your floors may become uneven, especially on the top level of your home, and you may see cracked tiles or other flooring damage caused by the stress.

5. Poor Drainage

The most common problem with a home that has foundation issues relates to drainage. There is a lack of proper landscape grading in the Houston area. Couple that with a lack of gutters and landscape drainage solutions and you are creating trouble for your home foundation. First, ensure that your landscaping and your lawn run down and away from your home. You should have about one-inch of downward grade for every four-feet of length coming from your home. Your home should also have gutters on any side that has a roof slope where rain may fall from. The gutters should have downspouts that extend six-feet from your home. Lastly, a French Gutter or Weeping Tile system should be installed to move water away from your home.

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    AAA Foundation Service

    If you live in the Houston area and have any of the listed foundation issues, trust the professionals of AAA Foundation Service to provide honest information and create an affordable plan to get you back on solid ground. Call us today!

    Chris Bartlett
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