Every region has its issues, and nowhere is perfect. Unfortunately for homeowners, East Texas homes are prone to foundation problems.
Not every shift in your house is a foundation issue. There are plenty to be aware of, but not everything is a world-ending problem.
For example, settling isn’t a foundation problem, but it’s something most homeowners are familiar with. When the soil under your house expands and contracts, your foundation shifts.
Small shifting–less than an inch or so–is normal and settling is perfectly fine. This tends to happen in the first few years after a house’s construction. However, anything beyond that can be a problem.
Older homes, especially on pier and beam foundations can shift a bit more. You’ll notice small cracks in the walls and your floor may not be perfectly flat anymore. Small instances of those, if they don’t bother you, are fine.
Anything beyond small settling, though, can be a sign of serious problems to come.
There are two main issues when it comes to your foundation in East Texas: expansive clay soil and extreme weather. These two can cause potential foundation damage, but there’s also preventative measures homeowners can take.
Expansive Clay Soils are just what they sound like. The clay under your house can absorb a lot of water. When it absorbs water, it expands.
As the clay expands, your foundation shifts and causes some sections of your house to be higher than others.
Conversely after longer dry periods, the clay soil contracts. In mild contractions, your soil will return to where it was before it expanded.
However, during longer dry spells, your soil can contract beyond where it initially was, leaving parts of your foundation now lower than others.
Texas is known for its temperamental weather, and the last few years have been notable, even by that standard.
Extreme periods like extended winter freezes, intense spring rainstorms, and hot, dry summers can cause a great degree of variance in your soil.
Weather is cyclical, meaning we get decades of more moderate temperatures and lower variances. It also means we get extremes.
Unfortunately, we’re seeing a period of extremes right now, with heavy rains and drought-ridden summers. This wreaks havoc on foundations on top of expansive clay soils, but you can minimize the damage with preventative maintenance.
The biggest thing you can do is make sure your drainage system is efficient.
Clean, functional gutters divert water away from your house and spread it out more evenly through your surrounding yard.
French drains are another option, if gutters alone aren’t enough to prevent water pooling around your foundation.
You could do some serious digging and major landscaping if you wanted to, and that certainly wouldn’t hurt.
However, most homeowners can get away with minor landscaping work. As long as your landscape provides a gentle slope away from your home that rainwater can follow, you’re pretty much fine.
Optimizing draining sloping your yard are absolute necessities in East Texas. However, if you want to do the maximum amount of preventative maintenance, you need the pros.
Lone Star Foundation Repair has you covered to make sure your life’s most important investment is with you for years to come.
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