It’s the soil.
If your slab-on-ground concrete foundation sits on heavy clay soils that dry out , then swell up when heavy rains come, the foundation is in danger of movement.
It’s exactly this kind of expanding then shrinking that causes most of the common signs of foundation stress and damage.
A lot of foundation repair companies will tell you that the sticking doors, windows that are hard to open and close, diagonal cracks in the drywall and brick, and sloping floors are signs that you might need foundation leveling.
And the main culprit is the clay soil that swells and shrinks.
We had a classic case of the soils reacting to the weather this past summer in North Texas. Weeks of little or no rain, depending on whether you were lucky enough to be under a stray pop-up thunderstorm or not. (Shrink)
Then along came Tropical Storm Hermine. (more…)
Another thing Tom the Contractor suggested for reversing the loss of moisture under my slab foundation after the root barriers were installed was to rehydrate the soil. That’s a fancy word for squirting water into the dirt under the house.
One of his crew went all around the foundation with machine similar to a power washer with a plunger attachment. A garden hose was attached and the plunger was pushed a good three feet deep into the soil every 24 inches or so. A valve on the handle controlled the flow of water.
Between the rehydration treatment and a better soaker hose configuration we are getting moisture back into that clay soil.
UPDATE: This was probably not needed given the slab leak that was discovered a few years later.
The Branyon and Houston-Black clay soils that my neighborhood sits atop heaves and breaks up streets in addition to foundations.
The street two blocks behind me is getting an extreme makeover.
This street feeds a nearby school and takes a fair amount of traffic. School buses, heavy city trucks and normal traffic takes it’s toll on the road.
The city has been putting band-aids on it for some years now, filling in a hole here and dent there. But the time came for a re-build and here is a picture of the project. (more…)