3 Causes of Texas Foundation Problems
Texas is no stranger to foundation problems. In fact, the state might experience them more than any other place in the country. What makes Texas foundation problems so prevalent?
The answer: We have a lot of people, a lot of buildings, and a lot of problematic soil.
1. Expansive Soil
When many parts of the country deal with foundation problems caused by soil, it is either because of settlement or erosion.
And both of those certainly can wreak havoc on Texas homes. With our drought-prone summers, the shrink portion of the clay soil’s shrink-swell cycle can be severe enough to cause settlement issues. Expansive clay also has a high degree of erodibility, which also increases the instability below your foundation.
Upheaval Can Cause Texas Foundation Problems
Settlement, however, isn’t the only kind of soil movement. When expansive soil absorbs water it, well, expands. And not simply at the lesser rate that all soils expand when wet, either.
And when soil expands, it has to go someplace. Since down isn’t usually an option, it instead goes up. And when that soil happens to be below your foundation and it expands, well, your foundation is going to raise as well. This is called foundation upheaval.
Expansive soils are perhaps most prevalent in the Great Plains and Southwestern United States. And which state sits at the intersection of these two regions? You guessed it, Texas.
While you might think they are complete opposites, foundation upheaval can cause some of the same problems as settlement. In both cases, forces are being applied, usually unevenly, to the foundation, causing it to no longer be level.
And when a foundation isn’t level, that is when the symptoms of foundation failure begin to pile up.
According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, roughly 1/4 of all homes in the U.S. have suffered some expansive soil damage, including many in Texas.
How to Stop Foundation Upheaval
The key to stopping foundation upheaval — and the Texas foundation problems it causes — is to stop the soil from expanding in the first place.
To do that, you need to employ soil stabilization.
There are many varieties of soil stabilization. Most range from temporary half measures to just plain ineffective.
In our experience, it is not enough to simply try to keep water away from the soil.
You need to chemically change the soil itself.
That is why we use Environmental Soil Stabilization LLC’s soil stabilizer, which chemically reduces the attraction of water molecules to the clay soil, preventing the expansion caused by the water molecules pushing the clay particles apart.
While other solutions might work better on settlement, when you are dealing with upheaval caused by expansive soil, Texas foundation problems can best be solved with soil stabilization.
2. Drainage Issues
While expansive soil is, if not uniquely Texan, at least more prevalent here than elsewhere, drainage issues are among the leading causes of foundation problems all across the country.
Ideally when it rains, your home’s drainage system can handle the water. Rainwater from the roof is funneled to the gutters and from there the downspouts and downspout extenders. From there, that water and other rainwater that isn’t immediately absorbed into the soil is directed away from the house either through grading or an exterior drainage system.
When this is all functioning correctly, these measures will reduce the risk of Texas foundation problems rearing their ugly head.
When they aren’t, however … that’s where the problems start.
Specifically because many of the problems that lead to Texas foundation problems can be traced back to water, or lack thereof.
More water around your house means more expansion and upheaval. Improper drainage can increase erosion that washes away soil and weakens the support for your foundation. Hydrostatic pressure (pressure from, in this case, water in the soil) is also one of the main causes of bowing or leaning basement walls.
Whether it be from heavy rains or overwatering, pooling water can cause major problems.
If poor drainage is causing foundation problems at your house, you might need two fixes. First, repair the damage done to the foundation, either by helical piers if erosion has caused settlement issues, or one of our other foundation repair solutions. Second, fix the drainage issues so the same problems — or fun new ones — don’t pop up again.
3. Human Error
Once again, this cause is hardly unique to Texas, but we’re not immune from it either.
Perhaps the initial builder didn’t properly compact the soil before installing the foundation. Perhaps a past foundation repair company used a substandard fix and now it is failing again.
The best remedy for human error is hiring the type of contractor least likely to make one. A company with years of experience serving the Texas Panhandle and the surrounding region. A company dedicated to having an array of solutions at their fingertips so they can match the right solution to your specific problem. Technicians who have access to state-of-the-art technology and solutions based on science, not guesswork.
At Childers Brothers, we pride ourselves on being that kind of company, the kind who can find the best fix for you Texas foundation problems.
Choose Childers Brothers to Solve Your Texas Foundation Problems
At Childers Brothers, we don’t believe in guesswork or substandard solutions. That is why we do a 27-point analysis to fully understand your home’s foundation problems before we begin. That is why we offer different solutions for different problems rather than trying to shoehorn one foundation repair fix into every situation, whether it will actually solve the problem or not.
We base our choices on science and experience so you can be confident in our repairs. Contact us today for more on our foundation repair solutions.