Officially beginning on June 1st, the hurricane season that typically affects the entire Atlantic region is just around the corner. This means that every single homeowner, who lives in Houston or any other Texas city that was ever pummeled by a major storm, should spring into action to prepare his home for the worst. If you’re ready to batten down the hatches, Allied Foundation is here with a few helpful tips.
Flooding is an annual problem in Houston, TX, and neighboring cities. Regardless of its underlying causes, flooding threatens our lives as well as our homes and appliances that have outdoor components, like the AC system.
Plumbing leaks and foundation damage may seem like two separate issues. But in reality, a causal relationship exists between them. In this case, a causal relationship essentially means that plumbing leaks can cause foundation damage and vice versa. To better understand how different plumbing problems can affect your home’s foundation, let’s discuss two scenarios that could impact any home in Houston.
Whether homeowners opt for different home improvement projects in order to make their homes more comfortable, add more livable space, or improve the structural integrity of their properties, the home improvement sector has seen continued expansion over the past few years.
Among all soil types, clay soil, which is prevalent in the Houston area, has the greatest potential to damage a foundation. This type of soil can absorb a lot of water during the wet season, expanding in volume—a phenomenon also known as heaving—as it becomes more saturated. However, clay soil can also lose a lot of moisture during the dry season, shrinking, cracking, and potentially leaving gaps around your foundation. When that happens, rainwater can seep into the ground under your home every time it rains, reinitiating the expansion-contraction cycle.
Typically, foundation problems lead to major structural damage and costly repairs over time. Even though minor foundation issues, such as hairline cracks and/or damp patches on the walls, floors, and/or ceilings, rarely indicate an immediate risk, they can get worse over time, potentially affecting the structural stability and safety of your Houston home.
If you’re looking for a short answer to this question, then yes, a French drain can definitely save your foundation and prevent future problems from occurring.
In the Greater Houston area, our soil is a mixture of different sediments, minerals, and varying amounts of organic and inorganic matter packed into clay-rich soil material. When a home is being built, the soil is excavated to make room for the foundation. This creates an empty “clay bowl”. Once the workers build the foundation and exterior walls, they use the soil that was initially removed to fill in the space around the edge of the foundation. The soil that is put back along the foundation is called backfill.
The foundation is the most critical component of a Houston home. If the foundation is compromised in some way, there could be severe consequences for the entire structure. One of the most serious consequences of foundation damage is wall bowing.
Knowing the difference between foundation settlement and sinking is critically important in order to avoid extensive structural damage that could cause all sorts of problems throughout your Houston home.