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Unpredictable Weather: Houston's Leading Cause of Foundation Problems

July 11, 2019

Unpredictable Weather: Houston's Leading Cause of Foundation Problems

The weather conditions in Texas are one of the major causes behind the poor foundation of houses. Houston is founded on a huge flood plain. Moreover, the stormy nature of the Gulf of Mexico is another significant issue. Above all, frequent rainstorms lash the city which floods the whole place.

Why is the city so vulnerable to devastating floods? The engineers and experts give the reason to be a lack of zoning and land-use controls. The city is the fourth populous city in the United States. The recent flood caused by Hurricane Harvey was pretty devastating.

What is Damaging Foundations in Houston?

Several reasons contribute to the problems that are happening to the foundation of homes in Houston.

"Houston is very flat," said Robert Gilbert, a University of Texas at Austin civil engineer who helped investigate the flooding of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. "There is no way for the water to drain out."

This makes the water drainage slow. Almost, 374 billion gallons of water gathered in the city from Hurricane Harvey.  All the lakes, reservoirs, rivers, and bayous did not have the capacity to hold this water.

Apart from the problem of flooding, what else is damaging the homes’ foundation in Houston?

In fact, the city is sinking at a rate of 2.2 inches per year which is notably high in geological terms. Actually, pumping water and oil from under the city causes movement of the salt deposits. As a result, a township in the neighborhood of Brownwood was 10 feet above the sea level at the time of its construction in 1930. After 40 years, it was only 2 feet above sea level.

Ways to Control Foundation Problems

There are several factors that can affect your home’s foundation. Whether the soil is too wet, dry or it is sinking slowly, the foundation of your home can be badly affected. In fact, the foundation may slide, crack, or the walls buckle. Hence, with time your house becomes unlivable and you lose all the money that you put into your home’s construction.

But, the good news is that foundation problems can be solved and the houses can be saved from losing their value. There are a number of things that give you a warning sign before things get out of control. These warning signs may look insignificant or unrelated to your home’s foundation. However, construction experts can identify them as potential signs for foundation damage. So, when you observe any of these signs in or around your home, call us for an assessment.

Cracks in Your Walls: When you find bricks or wall plaster is cracking and breaking, it could be a sign that your foundation is shifting and possibly faulting.

Examine Your Wall Surface: Examine the entire surface of your wall. Is the paper peeling off or curling? It can be just because the paper has become old but in some cases, it can be because of foundation problems. The best way to be sure is to see what the wall under the paper is doing. Look for diagonal cracks.

Sloping Floors: This is an obvious sign of foundation problems. If you notice that the floor of your hall is sloping towards one direction, then you need to contact the foundation experts as soon as possible.

Windows and Doors Start Sticking: You experience that the doors of your home and windows get stuck when you push them open. Do the hinges seem off? It’s probably a sign of foundation damage.

Thin Cracks: Observe the floor of your garage and porch.If you see thin, hair-like cracks on the floor, do not ignore them. These are the most obvious signs that mean nothing else other than foundation issues. These small, cracks, if left unnoticed, can widen, grow larger, and cause more serious problems which are not easily fixed.

If you see that you are experiencing any of these issues, don’t delay and consult a good foundation expert with a long experience of working on Houston homes to fix any foundation issue!

Foundation Health Checklist

 

Jon

Written by Jon

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