The Woodlands is a great place to live. In fact, it was ranked the #1 Best City to Live in America as recently as March 2021. The ranking website Niche, trusted by people all over the U.S. to help them plan their big moves, gave it an A+ overall score by processing millions of reviews.
Considered “an amazing place to raise a family,” Woodlands has a lot going for it!
Home to about 94,000 people, an increase of nearly 40,000 since 2000, it has seen a lot of development but has not lost its beauty and charm. It boasts a vibrant local economy, with corporate campuses for brands like Occidental Petroleum and Chevron Phillips Chemical.
No matter if you’re new to Woodlands or you’ve been here many years, there’s always something new to enjoy. But to make the most of it all, it is crucial to make sure your home stands the test of time. One of the biggest risks to the Woodlands homes is foundation damage.
Foundation damage is not always obvious. It can accumulate over a long period of time. But once the process starts, it can lead to devastating repercussions throughout the home. In the most severe cases, foundation damage can render a home unsafe to inhabit.
If you’ve noticed foundation cracks in your Woodlands home, it’s important to know not all cracks indicate a major issue, even if they are visible in the concrete of your foundation. However, bigger cracks in your foundation slab should always get attention from a Houston foundation repair company.
Is It a Normal Shrinkage Crack or Foundation Repair in Woodlands, Texas?
It is never fun to see a crack in your concrete slab!
That said, there is such a thing as a “normal crack.” These cracks are caused by shrinkage, which takes place over the normal course of a home’s life. It is most common to notice normal shrinkage cracks in the first two years after a home’s construction. These cracks are distinctive in some ways:
1. Size of the Crack
Most normal foundation cracks should be “hairline cracks.” That means they should be no wider than an eighth of an inch. A harmless crack may be longer, but not wider. This kind of crack can be controlled, but it usually cannot be completely eliminated – nor is there any reason to do so.
2. Shape of the Crack
Cracks can come in many different shapes, and it is not easy to predict how serious a crack may be by the shape it has taken. However, cracks where one side is higher than the other are more likely to be serious cracks that will get worse over time. That leads us to the final point.
3. Activity of the Crack
A harmless hairline crack in a foundation slab develops very quickly as normal settling takes place. It does not develop and then continue to grow. An “active” crack like this is usually related to underlying causes of concern that are damaging the slab over time, such as water seepage.
Getting Down to the Cause of Your Active Foundation Cracks in Woodlands, Texas
Many different factors can cause a cracked slab in Texas. When you hire a Houston foundation repair company, they will help diagnose the issue so it can’t recur. Without this crucial piece of the puzzle, you could continue to be at risk for future foundation damage.
In general, the cause of concrete slab damage is found either above or below.
Concrete is extremely strong, able to hold up enormous weight, but it lacks tensile strength – that is, it succumbs easily to side-on pressure that forces it to bend. Your repair team will evaluate whether a large object, such as a tub or pool, may be at fault and if there are any side-on pressures.
By far the most common, damage from below the foundation is related to water drainage issues, weak soil, and so on. Concrete is highly porous, so it will absorb a great deal of moisture if rainwater drains toward the foot of the building. This excessive moisture can lead to cracks and weakening.
Whereas drainage problems zap the foundation’s strength over months or years, a water leak in piping that runs under the slab can wreak havoc within a much shorter period of time. Between soil movement and hydrostatic pressure, the slab is placed under tremendous strain it cannot handle for long.
With that in mind, you should always call for a Houston foundation repair comapny if you notice wet spots in and around the concrete slab. Even if there are no noticeable cracks today, it is only a matter of time before the problem becomes serious.
At Allied Foundation, we can perform most Houston foundation repair in just 24 hours – limiting both the damage and your costs. Contact us to get started.