If you’ve noticed any foundation problems, fixing them is the best decision you can make despite all the horror stories you might have heard of. The good news is that most of the horror stories about foundation repairs are based on several myths that we’re going to debunk in this post. Dispelling the most common myths and misconceptions about foundation repair is essential because that’s the only way you can get to the root of foundation problems and obtain the professional help you need in order to fix specific issues.
MYTH: Foundation Cracks Only Appear in Old or Poorly Built Houston Homes
In general, foundations are subject to different tensile, compressive, and/or bending stresses, which can be caused by a few factors, such as the drying shrinkage rate during the curing/drying process, unstable soil, foundation settlement, poor drainage, and/or hydrostatic pressure.
Unstable soil and foundation settlement are two factors that could cause any foundation to crack. Because building a new foundation involves digging out a significant amount of soil, the soil left around and underneath the foundation often remains slightly loose, even when the builders use specialized equipment to compact it. That could cause uneven settling of the foundation, commonly referred to as differential settlement. Failure to compact the soil properly before lying down the foundation could make differential settlement worse, potentially leading to major structural damage. In most cases, settlement occurs during the first few years after the construction of a building is complete.
An essential aspect is that foundation problems tend to occur more frequently in homes built on soils with a high content of clay, such as the soil in the Greater Houston area and southeast Texas. Because clay soils generally absorb more water when it rains, they tend to shrink more than sandy soils under dry conditions. To compensate for all these changes in the soil moisture content, concrete foundations—which are characterized by high porosity and permeability—will also expand and contract significantly. As a result, most foundations develop cracks, which will eventually need repairs. In addition, poor drainage can wreak havoc on your foundation, causing damage that might require immediate repairs.
MYTH: Foundation Repairs Can Wait
Many people wrongly assume that concrete cracks stabilize eventually. While cracks caused by drying shrinkage tend to stabilize once the foundation has fully dried, the cracks due to other causes will continue to widen and deepen over time unless the right repair solutions are implemented.
Even small foundation cracks, which don’t have a direct impact on the structural integrity of your Houston home, can be problematic. Because water can seep through those cracks, it may damage your foundation and lead to mold infestation. Water can also enlarge small cracks over time, leading to problems that might require immediate foundation repairs. All things considered, the longer you neglect a crack in your foundation, the worse it’s going to get.
MYTH: Filling Cracks Is All that Needs to Be Done
Sometimes, foundation repairs are as simple as injecting epoxy or polyurethane resins to stop active cracks and eliminate water leaks from the foundation. Other times, however, a more invasive repair method might be required, based on the problem identified. For instance, if there are any below-the-surface foundation problems, the best way to fix them is to install driven concrete piers or pile guard piers. The best way to repair your foundation is to have an experienced contractor determine exactly what the problem is and then recommend the right remedial measures to fix it from the bottom up.
MYTH: Foundation Repairs Are Extremely Expensive
While extensive repairs can be expensive, depending on the root cause and severity of the problem, you can avoid higher costs by calling in an experienced foundation repair specialist and repairing your foundation before the damage gets worse. If you’re worried about potential foundation repair costs, we’ll be glad to offer you a free consultation and estimate. In case that your foundation requires extensive repairs, you may qualify for one of the home repair financing options available.
MYTH: Foundation Repairs Could Scare Off Potential Homebuyers
When planning to buy a pre-owned Houston home, most potential homebuyers are aware that things aren’t perfect. Sometimes showers leak, appliances don’t work, walls are slightly damaged, and foundations have just been repaired. As long as a foundation problem has been fixed by an experienced contractor, and you have documentation that explains the original problem and confirms the repair is a permanent fix, you should be able to sell your home within a reasonable time frame.
If any other myths or misconceptions are keeping you from repairing your foundation, please reach out to our friendly professionals who are ready to answer any questions you might have. Upon your request, one of our specialists can also come to your home to inspect your foundation, identify problems, and recommend the most appropriate repair methods and products to get the repair done correctly.