Townhome Foundation Repair: Top Things to Consider
Due to its tendency to expand and contract according to water content, clay soil is not the ideal type of substrate for townhomes. However, townhomes can be found in many areas across Texas, including Houston, where the soil has a high clay content.
Clay soil in conjunction with Houston’s weather, can put a lot of strain on the foundation of a townhome. In a nutshell, the hot weather causes the soil to shrink around the foundation while freezing and rainy weather makes it expand. Due to all this movement around the foundation, your townhome can develop a series of problems, such as:
- Cracks in the interior and exterior walls;
- Cracked and/or misaligned siding panels;
- Bowing walls;
- Uneven, buckling, and/or bouncy floors;
- Cracked tiles;
- Sticking windows and doors;
- Plumbing issues;
- Water and mold stains.
If you live in a townhome, or you’re a property manager who oversees one or more townhomes, keeping track of all these potential issues can be difficult and time-consuming. That’s why communicating with other homeowners and/or tenants and having an experienced professional conduct regular foundation inspections is key to identifying and addressing foundation problems early.
In addition to detecting foundation issues before they cause more damage, property owners and managers should take into account a few important considerations that can affect how foundation issues are addressed in townhome developments. These are as follows:
- The early signs of foundation problems typically occur on the ground floor first – Because the foundation is located right below the ground floor of a townhome, foundation problems usually affect the ground-floor structure first and then the rest of the building. Monitoring the units at the ground-level is usually the best way to catch foundation issues early and prevent the damage from spreading to the rest of the units.
- Foundation problems typically affect more than one unit – A townhome includes a number of conjoined units that share one or two walls as well as the foundation underneath. This makes foundation problems more likely to affect multiple units at the same time. A foundation issue that’s left unaddressed can also spread to other areas and even affect the entire building over time. This could lead to more expensive repairs.
- Foundation repair methods for townhomes are different from the repair methods employed for conventional homes – Townhomes are bigger and heavier than traditional, single-family dwellings. Consequently, townhome foundation repair projects tend to be significantly larger than regular home foundation repairs, so they usually require more materials, resources, and manpower. All these could result in higher costs and longer time frames.
- Townhome foundation problems should be addressed simultaneously – When it comes to townhomes, addressing foundation problems individually may not be the best approach. First, if one unit is having foundation problems, it’s only a matter of time before the neighboring units develop foundation issues as well. Second, if you fix only a portion of the foundation, the problems left unaddressed will continue to evolve. Not only will these problems become worse over time; they may affect other elements, including load-bearing components, too. While it’s possible to repair individual sections of a townhome foundation, fixing all the foundation problems at the same time will result in a more complete and durable repair. Once fixed, the foundation will remain level and stable for many years to come, preventing damage to the neighboring units that share the same footprint.
- HOA may cover the costs of foundation repairs – If a townhome is part of a homeowner association (HOA), the HOA may be responsible for covering the cost of maintenance and specific repairs, including foundation repairs. However, whether an HOA will cover foundation repairs or not depends on how it is set up. In some situations, the developer or builder can designate the HOA to cover the costs associated with maintaining and repairing the common areas and exterior walls of a townhome as well as the foundation and roof. In other situations, however, foundation repairs may fall under the HOA’s insurance as long as the foundation problem(s) causing the damage are the result of a covered peril. Foundation problems may also be covered by specific homeowners/renters insurance policies. On the other hand, if foundation damage isn’t covered by the HOA or insurance policies, our associates could help you have all the necessary repairs done now and pay later.
Repairing a townhome foundation is trickier compared to addressing foundation issues in a traditional, single-family home. Thus, when looking for foundation repair services for a townhome in Houston, enlisting the services of an experienced contractor, which knows the best foundation repair methods for each type of foundation and dwelling built on clay soil, is paramount for the success of the project and durability of the repair. Whether you’re looking for professional advice or have a home foundation in need of repair, our experts are ready to help. Contact Allied Foundation today to find out how we can fix foundation damage and prevent problems that may emerge in the future!
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