Texas homes are no strangers to foundation problems and there are numerous causes. What are some of those problems and what do you look for when you suspect that you might have an issue? Don’t brush off concerns about the health of your home. The sooner you address the problem the better off you’ll be.
Improper Concrete Mix
Concrete mix isn’t the same from one place to another. There are concrete mixes that are created to be able to withstand extreme seasonal temperature fluctuations or various levels of humidity. The wrong mix can mean problems down the road.
Proximity to pools, improper drainage, inadequate gutter systems, all of these things can exasperate and/or cause a foundation problem. If there is excess moisture present when the concrete is setting you have increased chances for foundation problems. Additionally, if you foundation is repeatedly subjected to these types of problems you’re quite likely to suffer negative consequences that have significant ramifications down the line.
When pouring out a foundation, extreme temperatures can cause cracking and problems down the line. If the weather is going to be cold the concrete should be aerated and if the poured concrete is going to be subjected to extreme heat, particularly dry heat, the concrete should be misted to keep it from drying too fast and causing cracking.
Tree Root Overgrowth
Another common cause of foundation problems are the overgrowth of tree roots underneath, or next to, foundations. Not only can the roots push up into the foundation they will also take the water that your foundation needs.
Signs of a Foundation Problem
Cracks are an obvious sign that you might have foundation problems. Small cracks may be nothing to worry about but larger cracks are a fairly solid sign that you have an issue that you need to deal with sooner or later. Horizontal cracks are a bad sign. While you’re at it, if you have a brick home, check the bricks near the foundation and windows. Do you see any spots where there are cracks along the mortar joints? What about cracks in tile? Do you have any cracks in interior walls or do you have walls that seem to be pulling apart from each other? These are all signs that you need to further investigate the problem before it gets worse.
After a rain go out and inspect your foundation. Do you have areas where water is pooling up next to the foundation? Do you have downspouts that don’t empty onto concrete splash blocks? If you’re finding that these things are an issue make sure you remedy them before they cause major issues.
Doors and Windows
Do you have doors and windows that are sticking? These are also among the many signs that you might very well have a problem than needs to be addressed by a professional.
Call in the Professionals
The sooner, the better. The longer you wait to call in a professional to assess the problems you foundation may have the more money you’re looking into sinking into your repairs. If you see areas in your foundation that appear to be flaking or cracking take a screwdriver and see if you can chip into it. If it’s crumbly you have a problem that needs to be addressed right away.
A professional assessment is going to help you determine if cracks or other signs are from settling and shrinkage. The sooner you diagnose problems the better off you are. Your fix might be as simple as some concrete waterproofing paint but it might be as significant as needing an entirely new foundation.
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