This is a primer we put together for the homeowner to becoming informed and make the correct decisions when undertaking any foundation repairs jobs. There is a saying in Dallas – “There are two types of homes, one with foundation problems, the other with foundation repairs”. Here is why:
Causes of foundation repairs.
The main reason causing foundation problems is the expansive soils present in North Texas.
We could bore you with all sorts of chemical formulas and molecular diagrams but long story short is that expansive clays are the ability to absorb a lot of water, greatly expanding their volume and conversely, in times of drought, to shrink severely. All the swelling and shrinking is the #1 reason of foundation problems in DFW. As you can see from the map below, DFW is built over one of the major areas of expansive soil in US. Look for the red colored swabs of land in the map below. DFW is in the yellow dotted circle. The areas in red represent clay with high swelling potential.
Other common reasons and sometime compounding reasons causing foundation repairs.
These are some of what we have seen in the field over the last 30+ years:
- Poor drainage around the house. When the land around the house is not properly sloped, water will stay stagnant for prolonged time causing problems
- Under slab leaks. This is one of the few times your insurance policy may actually be willing to cover the cost of the repairs. Leak tests are always a good idea to eliminate or confirm the status of your plumbing. Ask as more about it here
- Poor or missing gutters and downspouts. The uneven distribution of water around your foundations will cause different section of the foundation to swell and shrink at different rates causing fractures.
- Large trees or root system too close to the foundation. This scenarios are most common in older home with very established landscape around the perimeter of the foundation.
Doing a perimeter inspection, specially when is raining, is a good idea to observe how the water around the house is being evacuated and handled. We can help determine if you need any adjustments or improvements.