Your Older Houston Home Needs TLC

Older home

As a house ages, it will eventually need repairs and maintenance. One of the most important parts of an older Houston home that you need to pay extra attention to is the foundation. If damage develops on this part of the home, it can turn into a very expensive repair job down the road.

Everything Ages

Over time, most building materials deteriorate. This will cause them to get weaker, which means they’ll be more susceptible to damage. The damage can be the result of different factors, such as mistakes made during the construction process, shortcomings in maintenance, and slight soil movement that could occur due to freeze-thaw processes and/or the consolidation of the soil layers beneath the ground’s surface.

Water is another factor that might cause damage to an older Houston home. In general, water damage can be difficult to detect when it first occurs particularly because it isn’t readily apparent. Thus, if you suspect a leak inside or outside your home, having your pipes and sewage lines looked at by a professional can help you prevent extensive structural damage due to water infiltration. Maintaining your plumbing system and foundation regularly is another proactive step you could take in order to avoid major foundation problems and costly repairs in the future.

Plumbing Problems

Although sudden and unexpected pipe failure is usually covered by homeowner’s insurance, leaky pipes in a home can turn into a giant problem. Despite the problems that one or more leaky pipes could generate, replacing an old plumbing system may seem like an unnecessary cost at first. But, if one or more pipes break unexpectedly, you’ll need to replace them anyway. Moreover, you might have to repair or replace everything else that was damaged by water, such as floor coverings, drywall, and ceiling. Leaky pipes may also lead to different mold-related problems that can be difficult to get rid of. Since old piping in a Houston home can create so many issues, it’s important to know whether you have copper, PVC, or PEX pipes, and have them inspected regularly by a professional plumber with relevant experience.

Pest Infestations

Moisture and water also play a big role in pest infestations. Once excess moisture or water affects different building materials, such as wood and concrete, they can lead to mold growth that many pests feed on. Since leaky pipes, poor drainage, and clogged gutters can all promote mold growth, an older home with moisture problems can provide the right environment for different types of pests, including mosquitoes, cockroaches, spiders, rodents, and termites. If you own an older Houston home or intend to purchase one, it’s important to check for any signs of pests in order to prevent the annoying problems that usually come with a severe infestation.

Foundation Issues

If you intend to purchase a home with foundation problems, one thing you may know already is that foundation issues can be overwhelming and scary. That is the reason why many people shy away from older houses with foundation problems. But foundation damage doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker. The trick is to see how bad the problem is and make sure that an experienced foundation repair company will fix the damage as well as the underlying issue that has caused it in the first place.

Additionally, we recommend keeping an eye out for specific problems that may signal foundation distress, such as:

  • Doors and windows that look uneven or don’t latch properly;
  • Cracks in brick, stucco, or drywall;
  • Cracked tiles or concrete;
  • Uneven floors or floors that bounce, dip, or sag underfoot.

In general, older Houston homes are prone to a variety of foundation and structural problems, such as major cracks or unevenness in the foundation or slab; corrosion, dry rot, or moisture damage in piers, beams, or concrete foundation supports; and dry rot or moisture damage in floor joists.

Even though foundation issues can come from many places, the environment plays a large part. If a home is in an area that is prone to wet as well as dry weather, like the weather in Houston, then the damage is most likely caused by soil expansion and contraction.

Tree roots can be the culprit as well. Many older Houston homes have large, old trees in the yard, with roots that run deep underground. Those roots can grow into the foundation and even reach the pipes and sewer lines, causing leaks or failure. As explained above, when a pipe fails, the water can seep into the foundation and cause major issues. If those issues are caught in time, an experienced contractor can tackle the problem before the house suffers irreversible damage and becomes uninhabitable.

The Cost of Foundation Repair

Depending on the extent of the damage and the size of your home, fixing your foundation can be quite expensive. Because a Houston home’s foundation can be affected by a variety of problems, the best way to determine the cost of foundation repair is by calling in a professional and requiring a free estimate. The estimate will include the cost of labor and all the materials that will be used to repair the structure.

Even though the cost to repair a foundation can be high, it tends to increase exponentially when the problem is ignored for too long. 

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