I was looking at a map from the US National Weather Service that showed almost a third of the country in drought conditions that range from “excessively dry” to “exceptional drought.” Not good.
And to make matters worse, many areas included in the drought also have homes built on shrink/swell heavy clay soils. That means when the soils dry out, house foundations start moving, usually dropping.
Things the homeowner will start to notice are cracks in the sheet rock inside and in brick veneers outside. Doors and windows that don’t work the way they used to and are supposed to, and in the worst cases, floors starting to slope.
It’s happening again at my house too.
Extended dry conditions like this provide plenty of work for foundation repair companies, but what about the homeowner?
Here are 5 Foundation Repair Issues To Be Aware Of
You know a drought is taking its toll on the slab foundation in your area when the local television news is running stories on how busy foundation repair companies are.
While some parts of the U.S. are finally drying out after record flooding this spring, other parts of the country including Texas are experiencing record dry conditions.
As I write this, my soaker hoses are running. You know the drill, when in drought, water foundation.
A TV outlet in Austin, Texas has a news article where they are talking to both homeowners and foundation contractors and things are not good. Well, not for the homeowners.
One of the homeowners has a problem with his doors sticking, not latching properly, and now cracks are appearing in the walls. Those are classic signs of foundation issues. (more…)
The three most common ways of underpinning a home foundation in need of repair are steel piers, pre-cast concrete cylinders (or push piers) and the drilled bell bottom piers. Each method has it’s pros and cons and affects the cost of foundation repair.
Steel piers can be shoved into the ground deeper than concrete cylinders because they have a smaller diameter. Using concrete cylinders provides more surface area for the “skin friction” concept of engineering. The drilled bell bottom piers is the oldest method of foundation repair and still widely used although this method takes the most time.
I’m watching TV the other day and here comes a commercial for the Olshan foundation company pitching a combination of steel and concrete cylinders for a foundation fix.
Here’s the claim: (more…)
Subject: Old house, slab foundation, clay soil, big trees, and the drought!
My family moved from Columbia, MO to a 21-yr old house in Sugar Land, TX in December 2010. Over the past few months, I have observed and learned big lessons about the house and its foundation, the swell/shrink clay soil in this region, one monstrous oak tree and another two big trees nearby, and the exceptional dry weather condition facing the entire state of Texas. I have a family of seven.
On top of my daily duties, I am feeling overwhelmed by the acuteness of the situation, signified by brick wall crack, pulled away soil, cracked door/window frames, wood siding separation, etc. (more…)
The structural engineer who inspected my concrete slab foundation recommended tree root barriers be installed to stop foundation settlement due to loss of moisture in the clay soil that my home sits on. The thinking is that trees can suck a lot of water from under a foundation and contribute to the shrinking of clay soils which in turn causes differential movement of the slab. You see the results with cracks in sheet rock, separation of trim, doors and windows that stick or uneven floors. You know, bad stuff in the house.
Yesterday the contractor and his merry band of shovelers and ax wielders arrived, took out shrubs and put in root barriers. Please indulge me and read about it here. Thanks.